Russia’s dependence on its oil and gas wealth is much deeper than generally recognized. Since their privatization in the 1990s, a small number of oligarchs have taken control of the economy, and the fates of millions of Russians. Vladimir Putin’s system of personal protection has been successful in keeping peace among these oligarchs and Russia’s industrial heartland—but can it continue?
In Russia’s Addiction, Clifford Gaddy and Barry Ickes argue that the country’s addiction to oil and gas are a comparable to a physiological compulsion—the country understands that it is destroying itself by continuing down this road, but is unable to stop. They investigate the country’s dependence on oil, and how Putin manages to run his corrupt system, focusing on keeping oligarchs happy and expecting their full support in return. And they ask the important question: What will happen to this system when Putin is gone?