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March 21, 2022

Russia’s original oligarchs made their fortunes in the 1990s during the chaotic aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse, as state assets were offloaded to private bidders, often in corrupt deals. During this period of market liberalization, well-to-do businessmen, former officials and plucky entrepreneurs acquired large stakes in Russian companies in oil and gas, metals and mining, railway and transportation, agricultural products and other core industries. A newer group of oligarchs became wealthy through their ties to Putin, who has ruled Russia in one form or another since 2000.

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