Rough guide book for In particular, it means that incentives governing the behavior of economic agents are based on mostly informal institutions controlled by interest groups that had been capturing monopolistic rents even before communism collapsed, and that were often formed in alliance with corrupt or semi-criminal structures. Those lower-tier institutions and the informal framework partially inherited from the planned economy have survived the collapse of communism and have been consolidating their grip on the Russian economy and political system ever since. It is this new system of crony capitalism that is largely responsible for the fact that A decade after the implosion of the Soviet Union in December, 1991, Russia is still struggling to establish a modern market economy and achieve strong economic growth, says the CIA World Factbook (2002). Russian GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP), and especially industrial output, had been contracting in 1991 98 with the accumulated decline in industrial output of over 60 percent, according to official statistics. Despite its vast natural resources (including large deposits of oil, natural gas, strategic minerals, and timber), living standards, again at least by official statistics, also fell dramatically, with 40 percent of the population estimated to be below the poverty line in 1999. The demise of the Soviet Union and the folding-up of the manufacturing industries left Russia heavily dependent on exports of primary resources, particularly oil, natural gas, metals, and timber, which account for over 80 percent of exports. The economy has been recovering since 1999 but this recovery, besides starting from a very low basis, is also very much dependent on the increase in oil prices and so far remains rather feeble from the long-run perspective. Rough guide book 2016.