The demise of the Soviet Union in the 1990s saw the state's vast wealth up for grabs by enterprising citizens; in making the public into the private, a new class of both Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs was born. For decades they played a pivotal role in both local – and often international – politics. But this era may be coming to an end. In both countries, political power is bringing the rich to heel. Will they manage? What does this mean for the mega rich across the globe?
In this episode of our podcast "Power Lines: From Ukraine to the World," co-produced with Message Heard, we speak to Oliver Bullough, author of "Moneyland," about the rise and fall of Russia and Ukraine's oligarchs, the effect of the war from 2014 to today on their wealth and status, similar trends in other countries, and how much responsibility the rest of the world bares for it all.
Co-host Anastasiia Lapatina also spoke with Maryna Khromykh, the executive director of the DEJURE Foundation, a think-tank that fights against corruption in the judicial system in Ukraine, about the fallen Ukrainian civil activist and soldier Roman Ratushnyi, whose extraordinary life exemplifies the importance of standing up to corrupt elites.