PART OF THE Russian genius is the love of simplifying the complex. Sergei Roy - the grandfather of The Moscow News, Moscow's oldest liberal paper - likes to squeeze most of twentieth-century Russian history into a 'fourstage arrangement'. Beginning with the death of Lenin in 1924 and ending with the death of Stalin in 1953 was the period of Stalinisation. De-Stalinisation began under Khrushchev from 1953 to 1964. His successors up to 1985 - Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko - presided over 'vegetarian' Stalinism. The final demolition of Stalinism took place under Gorbachev and Yeltsin.
At the turn of this century, Yeltsin anointed Vladrnir Putin as his successor. During" his first four Years in one, Putin methodically took control, shutting down sources of potential opposition as he went. This process culminated in late 2003, when Putin finally purged the Kremlin of the 'Family ', as