If you're ever in a bookstore and see this book, read the Introduction which is insightful and moving. The rest of the book can be handled quickly. Gaidar (who omits personal recollections from this account) believes that the USSR was undone by an economic (fiscal, currency/balance of payments) collapse brought about by the sudden collapse of oil prices after the Iraq-Iran war came to an end. There are interesting observations on the collapse of multi-ethnic territorially integrated empires throughout.
The translation was funded by Daniel Yergin (CERA) and Gaidar (though writing in 2005/2006) shows no understanding of the the permanent upward shift in commodity prices that were are now experiencing -- and seems to think that oil prices would soon revisit $10/bbl. This, obviously, vitiates his argument.