THE REDS COME BACK

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov is elected President but is pushed aside by hard-line leftists. Limited renationalization begins, while big state spending hikes inflation. Political reform takes a step backward as economic progress made in 1994-95 is wiped out. Conglomerates survive but are harassed.

YELTSIN WIN SPURS ECONOMY FORWARD

President Boris Yeltsin wins reelection and uses his mandate to renew economic-reform efforts. The economy begins growing by 3% to 4% in 1997. Conglomerates thrive and evolve, sooner than expected, into true transnational corporations with global clout.

RUSSIA MUDDLES THROUGH

Either Zyuganov or Yeltsin wins, but the vote is so split that economic reform is held in check. Progress is made in fits and starts, jerking between state bailouts and monetary discipline. Inflation stays low, but the economy doesn't grow, either. Conglomerates still do well, thanks to their close ties to state bureaucrats.

DATA: RENAISSANCE CAPITAL GROUP, BUSINESS WEEK

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