Russia's Oligarchs and Making the Loyal Economy.
Van Meter, Benjamin T.
- After the fall of the Soviet Union, a new class of people arose to dominate Russian economic and political life-the oligarchs. These fabulously wealthy individuals rose from Soviet obscurity to unprecedented influence in Russia during the 1990s. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Boris Berezovsky, and others cultivated close relations with the government, epitomized in 1996 when the oligarchs saved President ... read moreYeltsin from certain electoral defeat. Informal, extra-legal relations among the oligarchs and the government solidified the oligarchs' influence and wealth. When Vladimir Putin rose to power in 1999, he used these informal relations to curb the power of the oligarchs. Rather than launch a crusade against the oligarchs however, as many have argued, Putin restructured the priorities of the oligarchs. Expelling or imprisoning a few of them as an example, Putin ensured the loyalty of those remaining. These oligarchs are still essential to Putin's system of /managed democracy/" and his continued power."read less