AboutTime - Page 24

cover Story By Chester Hopkins By Steve Lundin T he year is 1992 and a young Lithuanian physicist production of affordable watches and watch movements, Vostok named Igor Zubovskij toils away at the Vilnius Radio- was actually a labyrinth of departments during the Soviet era, Measurement Equipment’s Research Institute with three many of which are engaged in activities for the electronic equip- colleagues. While most of the world look on from the outside in as the Soviet Union rapidly collapses, Zubovskij and his team live the increasing turmoil from the inside day after day. Working under classified Soviet directives, the team feels the ment needs for Soviet Military Aviation and Space Programs As the conclusion of that fateful year arrives, the transceiver is just becoming whole as the Soviet Union falls apart. Lithuania and all of the former republics quickly fall into chaos. One of the sense of urgency as their current project approaches comple- lesser remembered impacts of this seismic change in the makeup tion. It’s a microwave transceiver being built together with for the of the Eastern world is the severing of all banking ties between the Vostok Factory of Chisptopal Russia, and it’s a critical piece of a former republics and its recent motherland. Soviet government contract. While more publically known for the 24 FUNCTION | AboutTime Magazine It’s an untenable situation for both Vostok and the institute