Letter: Moscow nightmare

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am haunted by a man I saw last year on a Moscow street corner. Standing proudly with his medals pinned to his suit, 60 years old, he was leaning on a walking stick and holding out his wristwatch for sale to the passing crowd. The price of bread tripled in the time I was there and state subsidies were being cut.

What did the promise of democracy do for this man? He was born to expect the security of the Communist system, with all its faults, throughout his life. And on that street corner he was being forced to confront the free market that the West considers to be the cure for all his ills.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW1

5 October