Russia’s magnates in the second half of the 1990s and in 2000s

TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 15 (no. 2),

Performance of Russian capital magnates in the post-Soviet period is analyzed. The 20 richest people of Russia are regarded magnates. Their performance is reviewed with breakdown by particular stages of the post-Soviet economic history. A connection of the magnate origin with privatization and loans-forshares auctions is emphasized. The sectoral profile of the companies controlled by magnates is shown. Changes in the magnate composition and their shifting in the Forbes magnate ranking are outlined in detail. The role of relationships with the authorities as well as business skills for the magnate position is highlighted. Performance nuances of the magnates who gained the first place in the Forbes ranking are characterized. The trends in the overall scope of the magnates’ wealth and their determinant factors are explained against the general state of Russian economy, the situation in the global economy and the level of world prices for primary commodities. The estimates of Russian magnates’ wealth are verified. The role of magnates in developing Russian economy is evaluated. The one-sidedness of an adverse judgment on their performance is disproved as not accounting for the special features of the Soviet and post-Soviet society and the economy. Before 2000, with numerous abuses of particular magnates, professional activities of most of them ensured, however, that the large manufacturing companies continued their existence in Russia’s industries. This positive aspect of the magnates’ companies operation became more evident during in 2001–2003. Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s activities are emphasized in this context. The author indicates both positive role of magnates from 2004 to 2007 in supporting the economic growth, and wastefulness of spendings among many of them. Between 2007 and 2015, the influence of affinity to the government had increased in magnates’ companies’ performance indicators.

Keywords: economy of the modern Russia; capital magnates; Russian oligarchs; the significance of magnates in developing Russian economy; specifics of post-Soviet capitalism in Russia

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606