Originally Posted by Group9
You really think a Vodka business he couldn't have started until after 1989, really financed that yacht?
Yes. In 1987, when Russian Wild West started, the owner of that particular boat was a 20 year old from a provincial town, no higher education. Deep contacts in KGB? Fieldcraft training? Give me a break.
The owner of another boat mentioned was a scientist and low level administrator in some research
institute. I worked with a guy who was his subordinate at that point in his life.
Vast majority of Russian "oligarchs" had neither prominent parents, nor a successful security
services career in their biography. Quite a few were Komsomol (Communist Party youth branch) activists though.
There were several million others playing the "get rich quick" game
, most of them failed, a lot of them died, many succeeded moderately, and a few succeeded wildly. Products of natural selection in all of its beauty.
Your comment about dark alleys is rather accurate though - one had to be (or become) a predator to win in that environment