A partner of the state

Matthew Schofield reported for McClatchy last week:

A Russian newspaper claims to have an official government strategy document outlining the invasion of Ukraine that was prepared weeks before the Ukrainian government collapsed last year…

…Muratov [Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief] said that… he could with some confidence speculate that the authors included Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofayev [sic]… Muratov said the document was passed from Malofayev to aids of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who then approved of the plan.

Also see Paul Goble on the same Novaya Gazeta report.

Now Novaya has made this “strategy document” public and The Interpreter has uploaded a translation.

I have no idea if that “analytic note” played any role in the planning and conduct of Russia’s hybrid interference in Ukraine. Was it the controlling opinion or merely one of many concurring ones? Further, I would not call Malofeyev a first-rank oligarch like, say, Abramovich, Deripaska or Prokhorov; rather, he’s a “young”, “new” oligarch from the past decade, a man who came into the money in Putin’s, rather than Yeltsin’s, time – but not one of Putin’s inner circle.

This said, my question is, how did this 40-year-old amass several hundred million dollars in less than a decade? I have discussed one source of Malofeyev’s fortune in this post. Was it all won like that? When a private Russian company appropriates a loan from a state-controlled Russian bank and goes unprosecuted by Russian authorities, must we conclude it a particularly privileged, specially designated company? A special-purpose vehicle, so to say? Or shall we file it under the all-purpose “Typical!” heading?

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