This collection consists of research studies conducted by an elite group of private and governmental organizations, commonly known as "think tanks," government agencies and institutions of higher learning. The authors of these special studies are associated with: Commerce Department, Defense Department, State Department, Institute for Defense Analysis, Central Intelligence Agency, Agriculture Department, Strategic Solutions Institute, Air War College, Naval Postgraduate School, Economic Research Service, Army War College, and Office of the Comptroller General. In addition, many studies were sponsored and supported by research at major universities, institutes and research programs, including the National Defense University, and Harvard, Columbia, Washington, Stanford, Georgetown, MIT, and Yale Universities, the American Institutes for Research, RAND Corporation, and the World Bank. The ongoing political, economic, and social struggles in Russia and republics of the former USSR have many aspects, including contests over political ideology, the character of governments, and the pace and character of economic reforms; institutional clashes between central government and rural areas in some countries; international criminal activities; and intra-regional political and labor migration. Timely information is necessary to navigate these troubled regions and events.