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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Intourist Faces Investigation

President Boris Yeltsin has ordered a review of the privatization of one of the plums of the Soviet system: a vast travel agency that owned hotels, real estate and offices abroad. Shortly before the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, officials at Intourist formed a private company called Intourist Joint Stock Company that took over many of the agency's assets. Those assets reportedly included valuable hotels, real estate and bank accounts. Their ownership is now shrouded in mystery, like the fate of much of the wealth once controlled by the Soviet state. Yeltsin's decree, issued Monday, instructs the government to look into whether officials broke the law when they privatized the agency. A company vice president, Vitaly Zhukov, refused Tuesday to discuss the president's decree or the privatization. "We are not a publicly held company," he said. "All this is a commercial secret."