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The Russian Oligarchs, from Yeltsin to Putin

  • Chaim Shinar (a1)
Abstract

Yeltsin’s oligarchy1 was 15, or even 20 or even 50, very rich people who featured all the time in the mass media. They were very ambitious. They were prepared to go openly i1nto the government or Duma, or to finance a political party. They were well known because they were popular. However, it would be difficult to argue that they controlled any part of the real economy.

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1.The origin of the term ‘oligarchy’ is Greek: it means government by the few. Aristotle introduced the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich; Kryshtanovskaya applied it to the idea that the tycoons were becoming an oligarchy – a small group of men who possessed both wealth and power, in D. E. Hoffman (2003) The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia (New York: Public Affairs), p. 321.
2.The theoretical case for privatization rests in part on removing enterprises from political oversight, so that managers’ decisions are motivated by profit, not by whatever motivates politicians, in B. Black, R. Kraakman and A. Tarassova (2000) Russian privatization and corporate governance: what went wrong? Stanford Law Review, 52(6), p. 37.
3.Verdery K. (2003) The Vanishing Hectare: Property and Value in Postsocialist Transylvania (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press), p. 1.
4.Kokh A. R. (1998) The Selling of the Soviet Empire: Politics and Economics of Russia’s Privatization Revolutions of the Principal Insider (New York: S.P.I. Books, Liberty Publishing House), p. 186.
5.Hoffman D. E. (2003) The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia (New York: Public Affairs), p. 186. see also: M. D. Intriligator (1996) Reform of the Russian economy: the role of institutions. International Journal of Social Economics, 23(10/11), pp. 58–72; L. Shevtsova (2001) Russia’s hybrid regime. Journal of Democracy, 12(4), pp. 65–70; A. Aslund and M. Brill Olcot (1999) Russia after Communism. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, p. 14; The Economist (2003) Special Report: Putin’s way – the Russian elections. The Economist, 369(8354, 13 December), p. 22.
6.Medvedev R. (1998) A new class in Russian society. Russian Social Science Review, 39(5), p. 61. Currently, the US government is pouring money into failing companies in order to prevent their downfall.
7.Aslund A. (2007) Russia’s Capitalist Revolution: Why Market Reform Succeeded and Democracy Failed (Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC), p. 90.
8.Hoffman D. E. (2003) The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia (New York: Public Affairs), p. 203.
9.Handelman S. (1995) Comrade Criminal: Russia’s New Mafiya (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press), p. 139.
10.This section is based on: D.E. Hoffman (2003) The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia (New York: Public Affairs), pp. 11177http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/711022/Boris-Berezovsky#tab=active~checked%2Citems~checked&title=Boris%20Berezovsky%20--%20Britannica%20Online%20Encypedia; Moscow, Rich in Russia, October 2003, http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/moscow/smolensky.html; Moscow, Rich in Russia, October 2003, http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/moscow/berezovsky.html; J.A. Corvin (1998) The decline and fall of Vladimir Vinogradov. American Russian Law Institute, RFE/RL, 22 December 1998, p. 1; (2010) Year in Review 2001 Gusinsky Vladimir. Encyclopedia Britannica 2007 Deluxe Edition (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010).
11.Money, at this time, was of two kinds: cash (nalichnye) and nominal (beznalichnye). Only cash was money in the real sense; bank credits were necessary for purely paper transactions between state organizations. An enterprise deducted what it needed for the pay of its employees, whose rates of remuneration were strictly regulated by the state, and no other source of income was possible than the one that came from a regular salary or bonus payment, in O. Kryshtanovskaya, O and S. White (1996) From Soviet Nomenklatura to Russian elite. Europe-Asia Studies, 48(5), pp. 711733; A. Aslund (1992) Post-Communist Economic Revolutions: How Big a Bang? (Washington, DC: The Center for Strategic and International Studies), p. 30; Cash was much more valuable and sought after. By some estimates, a cash rouble was worth ten times a non-cash rouble, in D.E. Hoffman (2003) The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia. (New York: Public Affairs), p. 109.
12.Hoffman D. E. (2011) How’d we do covering the revolution? Foreign Policy, 187), (Jul/Aug), p. 5.
13.Brzezinski Z. (2008) Putin’s choice. The Washington Quarterly, 31(2, Spring), p. 108.
14.Shevtsova L. (2003) Whither Putin after the Yukos affair. The Moscow Times (27 August), p. 7; in R. Sakwa (2008) Putin and the oligarchs. New Political Economy, 13(2, June), p. 188.
15.Kryshtanovskaya O. and White S. (1996) From Soviet Nomenklatura to Russian elite. Europe-Asia Studies, 48(5), pp. 711733.
16.Markus S. (2007) Capitalists of all Russia, unite!. Polity, 39(3, July), p. 285.
17.Remnick D. (2010) Gulag lite. New Yorker, The Talk of the Town, 86(41, 12/20), p. 2.
18.Baker P. and Glasser S. (2010) The billionaire dissident: an oil tycoon in a glass cage aspires to be the Russia’s next Sakharov. Foreign Policy, 179(May-June p. 64; D. Remnick (2010) Gulag lite. New Yorker, The Talk of the Town, 86(41, 12/20), pp. 1–2.
19.Land T. (2004) Putin pursues Russia’s oil oligarchs. Contemporary Review, 285(1663, August), p. 69.
20.Christian Science Monitor (2003) Russia’s muzzled democracy. Retrieved April 27, 2004 from Christian Science Monitor Web site: http://www.csmonitorservices.com.
21.Baker P. and Glasser S. (2010) The billionaire dissident: an oil tycoon in a glass cage aspires to be the Russia’s next Sakharov. Foreign Policy, 179(May-June), p. 62.
22.Ames M. and Berman A. (2008) McCain’s Kremlin ties. The Nation, (October 20), p. 20.
23.Meyer H. and Matlack C. (2011) Another tycoon defies the Kremlin. Bloomberg Businessweek, Global Economics, 26 September – 2 October, pp. 13.
24.Cunningham B. (2010) Opposing Putin. The New Presence, (Winter), p. 38.
25.Aron L. (2005) Whither Putin? Commentary, Letters from Readers, 119(1, January), p. 10.
26.Politkovskaya A. (2008) La Russie selon Poutine (Paris: Gallimard, 2005), p. 139. in A. Rothacher (2008) Putin’s Russia: spy rule and post-Soviet transformation. European Political Science, 7(4, December), p. 545.
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European Review
  • ISSN: 1062-7987
  • EISSN: 1474-0575
  • URL: /core/journals/european-review
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