Owning Russia: The Struggle Over Factories, Farms, and Power
During and after the breakdown of the Soviet Union, a wide range of competitors fought to build new political and economic empires by wresting control over resources from the state and from each other. In the only book to examine the evolution of Russian property ownership in both industry and agriculture, Andrew Barnes uses interviews, archival research, and firsthand observation to document how a new generation of capitalists gained control over key pieces of the Russian economy by acquiring debt-ridden factories and farms once owned by the state. He argues that although the Russian government made policies that affected how actors battled one another, it could never rein in the most destructive aspects of the struggle for property.Barnes shows that dividing the spoils of the Soviet economy involved far more than the experiment with voucher privatization or the scandalous behavior of a few Moscow-based "oligarchs." In Russia, the control of property yielded benefits beyond mere profits, and these high stakes fueled an intense, enduring, and profound conflict over real assets. This fierce competition empowered the Russian executive branch at the expense of the legislature, dramatically strengthened managers in relation to workers, created a broad array of business conglomerates, and fundamentally shaped regional politics, not only blurring the line between government and business but often erasing it.
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acquired administration agrarian agro-industrial argued assets auction AvtoVAZ Bank bankruptcy began Berezovskii Blasi cash Chubais collective competitors conflict conglomerates crash created debt December decree Deripaska developed directors economic actors economic groups ekonomika enterprises Europe-Asia Studies example factory farmers federal firms funds Gazprom Gorbachev grain important industrial inputs Interros July KrAZ Kroumova Kruse large farms leased LUKoil major managers mass privatization Menatep ment metallurgy million ministries Moscow Norilsk oblast October Oleg Deripaska oligarchs output ownership peasant percent plants players post-Soviet private farms processors production chain property redistribution Putin raion regional governments reorganization Rosneft rubles Russian agriculture second-tier groups sector sell shareholders shares Sibneft significant Slavneft Soviet Union stake strategies struggle for property Surgutneftegaz takeover tion University Press USSR Vladimir Volgograd Volgograd oblast voucher voucher privatization Wegren Whitefield 1993 workers Yeltsin Yuganskneftegaz Yukos