They were typical of the transition period: politicians and generals, businesspeople and artists, idealists, populists and criminals.
Some of them are no longer alive -- a couple were killed while others left the country or climbed up the ranks of the government.
Since 2006 many women and men upload their hot videos and pictures to the site.
The hottest amateurs on the planet exclusively for you!
All that is now history and, all things considered, Russia isn't doing so badly these days.
The book mentioned above was written by me and includes profiles of 18 people trying to find their place in Russia.
DER SPIEGEL correspondent Christian Neef spent three decades reporting on Russia.