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TOPIC: russian elites

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The Militarization Of Russia's Economy, And The Demise Of The Oligarchs

By putting the economy on a war footing, Putin risks returning Russia to the days of Stalinist totalitarianism, where there will be no oligarchs or businesses left, only loyal administrators.


MOSCOW — The war with Ukraine has not gone according to Vladimir Putin's plan. Eleven months have passed, but less than 17% of Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, is under Russian control.

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Exposing The Faces — And Silence — Of Russia's Liberal Elites

Back in the 1990s, the Russian elite were busy maneuvering behind the scenes. But today, Moscow's liberals know better than to contradict the strongman in the Kremlin.

MOSCOW — As the war in Ukraine nears its first anniversary, Russia's liberal elites have fallen silent — criticizing the disastrous invasion in private, but not daring to risk Vladimir Putin's wrath by speaking out.

A source in Moscow, close to the inner circle that currently still wields major political and economic power, said would-be reformists have been watching events closely, both at the Kremlin and on the battlefield: "The withdrawal from Kherson highlighted the mistakes made by the military command since the beginning of the war," the source noted. "It also exposed how bad Russia's senior political leadership is."

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The source summed it up this way: "Many want Putin’s regime to end. But no one is ready to do something, or willing to get involved in order to bring the regime down. So nothing will change."

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