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Commentary: Hybrid Business -- The Risks in the Kremlin's Weaponization of the Economy

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

"How many divisions does the pope have?" Josef Stalin was meant to have asked contemptuously. Today the question could as easily be posed: How many companies does the Kremlin have?
 
Russia's government has a pernicious habit of treating business as yet another arm of politics, and this habit goes far beyond the notions of "kleptocracy" or "state capitalism." The recent release of the so-called Panama Papers has directed attention toward the complex network of offshore shell companies used to hide, launder, move, and house funds acquired -- through whatever means -- by figures close to Putin, often through "donations" from oligarchs and businesses seeking favors or repaying debts. This is, however, the kind of personal enrichment familiar from kleptocracies the world over.
 

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Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Commentary: Hybrid Business -- The Risks in the Kremlin's Weaponization of the Economy

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