"Rosneft's chairman is Putin's powerful deputy chief of staff, Igor Sechin. From the Kremlin, he is reported to have masterminded the attack on Yukos's leadership--from which Rosneft benefited handsomely. Sechin leads the siloviki faction in the Kremlin composed of former military and secret police officers. According to the Financial Times, Rosneft is viewed in Russia as "the oil company of the Siloviki," of which Putin and the other leading candidate to replace him as president, second deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov, are themselves members.
"Medvedev and Sechin, both senior government officials at the head of Russian energy giants, are among Russia's "new oligarchs." In a systematic, Kremlin-directed reversal of the rushed privatizations of the 1990s that coincided with Putin's rise to power, the Russian state has coopted or destroyed the independent tycoons of the 1990s who controlled Russia's vast natural resource base--and who represented centers of financial and political power beyond Kremlin control--and replaced them with its own loyal servants. According to the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta and the Christian Science Monitor, seven people from President Putin's inner circle now control nine state companies with total assets equal to 40 percent of Russia's GDP."
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