Moscow right after the fall of the USSR (PHOTOS)

Robert Stephenson/Glagoslav Publications
A British IT expert who worked in Russia during the early 90s has documented the rise of the new capitalist state in a new book, and it’s fascinating.

Many foreigners feel impelled to write a book after roaming around Russia, smashing stereotypes about bears walking the streets has become the intrepid traveler’s badge of honor.

Brit Robert Stephenson, who witnessed the birth of new Russia with his own eyes, felt it was his duty to document the Moscow of the early 90s. His book of photos and memoirs entitled We Are Building Capitalism. Moscow in Transition 1992-1997 was published in March by Glagoslav Publications.

Right after the Soviet state fell, Stephenson was offered a job organizing technical support for the Russian Federal Employment Service. Over the course of five years, Stephenson lived through perestroika and saw firsthand how political and economic changes in the country affected people's lives.

"In the early 1990s, after seventy-five years on the road to communism, Russia changed direction and began – just as fervently, and as always in its own unique form – to build capitalism," Stephenson writes.

In the book the author explains how the Orthodox Church rose from the ashes, what happened to the USSR’s legacy, and why Soviet monuments were demolished while new, often controversial monuments were erected, like the statue of Peter the Great on Red October.

Here are some photos from the book with the author’s captions:

1. Graffiti on a fence near the White House, 1992

2. International experts working at the head office of the new Federal Employment Service in 1992 found themselves laboring each day under the watchful gaze of the founder of the Soviet Union and the slogan: "The name and deeds of V.I.Lenin will live forever."

3. Open air market at the stadium in Izmailovsky park, March 1992

4. Fallen monuments: statues of leading Soviet figures removed from their sited in the city after the 1991 coup and deposited in the grounds of the Central House of Artists, April 1992

5. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour under construction, 1995

6. Street musicians on the Arbat, early 1990s

7. Selling goods on the street opposite the Bolshoi Theatre, March 1992

READ MORE: 26 photos that make Russians nostalgic for the 1980s

8. In a scene reminiscent of a "Western" movie, alone GAI (traffic police) officer outside the Bolshoi Theatre surveys the traffic bearing down on him from the direction of the Lubyanka and the Metropol Hotel, c. 1993

9. Rock concert at the White House on 19 August 1992 to commemorate the first anniversary of the failed coup

10. The author with life-size cut-out figures of Presidents Gorbachev and Yeltsin, Pushkin Square, Moscow, 1992

11. The "Red October" chocolate factory, 1992. Sited on the embankment of the Moscow River, the factory was privatized in 1993 and eventually closed in 2007. By then this peaceful and uninterrupted view was already crowded with new landmarks, including a massive statue of Peter the Great and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

12. Veterans of the Afghanistan and Chechnya conflicts collecting charity at "Ulitsa 1905" Metro station, 1994

13. Luzhniki Stadium from Sparrow Hills in 1992 and 1997

14. The imposing edifice of the since-demolished "Rossiya" Hotel dominated the row of churches on Varvarka Street, leading to Red Square, c. 1993

15. Many old cars from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were still maintained and in use during the early 1990s

READ MORE: How European artists saw Moscow in the 18th and 19th centuries

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