At the end of 1996, President Yeltsin could contemplate a third economic bonanza, which established a foundation for the unexpected Eurobond and Gazprom successes. This was the great generosity and good sense of the Western nations, through their agency, the International Monetary Fund, in granting $6.8 billion aid to Russia in April 1995, and an additional $10.1 billion in April 1996. After three years of too little, too late, and much recrimination on both sides, the anemic 1991-94 grants of $4 billion were redeemed by a munificent $16.9 billion windfall. There was no dancing in the streets in Russia upon the news. This was not outright humanitarian aid for its new poverty class. It included more hard-nosed, professional foreign aid intended to end Russia’s murderous inflation and restore its battered industrial production, by way of continued market-oriented reforms guaranteed to hurt as well as heal. It was, however, also clearly directed at quick social relief. Since the average Russian has as little understanding as the average American about IMF, the following review will help establish its role in Russia’s march to capitalism. We can then assess what IMF is and what it has accomplished.