Oligarchs are business persons who gained their wealth during the era of privatization in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union – and, generally, of the Soviet bloc – in the 1990s. They are usually associated with corruption, money laundering, or other unethical practices.

What differentiates the oligarchs from business persons proper is that the first ones are closely connected to political power from which they derive their wealth and status. Oligarchs didn’t make their fortunes on the free market, but from acquiring monopolistic or oligopolistic positions on the politically controlled markets of the former Soviet republics. As such, they are highly dependent on the good-will of various strongmen like Vladimir Putin.

Oligarchs Insider is an online project providing information, analysis and journalistic investigations on the mysterious and often undocumented world of the oligarchs.

Contributions are welcomed. If you have relevant information on one or more present day oligarchs, let us know.