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WHITE-COLLAR, corporate, and organized crime in Russia literally exploded in the years following the disintegration of the Soviet state in the late 1980s and early 1990s. By 2003, the statistics were staggering: In addition to controlling conventional illegal practices such as drug trafficking, prostitution, and money laundering, it is estimated that the Russian Mafia controls as many as half the banks in the country as well as key economic sectors such as petroleum distribution, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products distribution.

Their influence reaches into the highest levels of government and industry. It is widely acknowledged that the Mafia has close links with ranking members of the Russian government. The arrest and forced exile of leading business figures such as Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky and, most notably, the ...

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