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Oligarchs are the plutocratic businessmen who quickly acquired huge wealth in post-Soviet states (mostly Russia and Ukraine) during the privatization in Russia and in other post-Soviet states in the 1990s. They are business magnates who control sufficient resources to influence national politics.
A business leader can be considered an oligarch if they satisfy the following conditions:
- they are among the largest private owners in the country
- they possess sufficient political power to promote their own interests
- they control multiple businesses, which intensively coordinate their activities.
A typical example of a post-Soviet oligarch entity is the Privat Group - a large Ukraine-based transnational business conglomerate comprising dozens of industrial companies in several markets, controlled by only three stakeholders, and not through the stock exchange. For the history of business oligarchs in post-Soviet Union states see:
More generally, an oligarch is a "member of an oligarchy; a person who is part of a small group holding power in a state".Aristotle gave the concept of oligarchy some negative connotations, but the term does not necessarily imply wealth.
- Guriev, Sergei; Rachinsky, Andrei (2005). "The role of oligarchs in Russian capitalism". Journal of Economic Perspectives. 19 (1): 131–150. doi:10.1257/0895330053147994.
- Chernenko, Demid (2018). "Capital structure and oligarch ownership" (PDF). Economic Change and Restructuring: 1–29. doi:10.1007/S10644-018-9226-9.
- "oligarch". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
"Oligarchy". Encyclopædia Britannica. June 20, 2013.
Oligarchy, government by the few, especially despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for corrupt or selfish purposes. [...] Aristotle used the term oligarchia to designate the rule of the few when it was exercised not by the best but by bad men unjustly. In this sense, oligarchy is a debased form of aristocracy, which denotes government by the few in which power is vested in the best individuals. Most classic oligarchies have resulted when governing elites were recruited exclusively from a ruling caste [...].
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