The chemical industry comprises the companies that produce industrial chemicals. Central to the modern world economy, it converts raw materials into more than 70,000 different products; the plastics industry contains some overlap, as most chemical companies produce plastic as well as other chemicals. Various professionals are involved in the chemical industry including chemical engineers, lab chemists, etc; as of 2018, the chemical industry comprises 15% of the US manufacturing economic sector. Although chemicals were made and used throughout history, the birth of the heavy chemical industry coincided with the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in general. One of the first chemicals to be produced in large amounts through industrial processes was sulfuric acid. In 1736, the pharmacist Joshua Ward developed a process for its production that involved heating saltpeter, allowing the sulfur to oxidize and combine with water, it was the first practical production of sulphuric acid on a large scale.
John Roebuck and Samuel Garbett were the first to establish a large-scale factory in Prestonpans, Scotland, in 1749, which used leaden condensing chambers for the manufacture of sulfuric acid. In the early 18th century, cloth was bleached by treating it with stale urine or sour milk and exposing it to sunlight for long periods of time, which created a severe bottleneck in production. Sulfuric acid began to be used as a more efficient agent as well as lime by the middle of the century, but it was the discovery of bleaching powder by Charles Tennant that spurred the creation of the first great chemical industrial enterprise, his powder was made by reacting chlorine with dry slaked lime and proved to be a cheap and successful product. He opened a factory in St Rollox, north of Glasgow, production went from just 52 tons in 1799 to 10,000 tons just five years later. Soda ash was used since ancient times in the production of glass, textile and paper, the source of the potash had traditionally been wood ashes in Western Europe.
By the 18th century, this source was becoming uneconomical due to deforestation, the French Academy of Sciences offered a prize of 2400 livres for a method to produce alkali from sea salt. The Leblanc process was patented in 1791 by Nicolas Leblanc who built a Leblanc plant at Saint-Denis, he was denied his prize money because of the French Revolution. However, it was in Britain that the Leblanc process took off. William Losh built the first soda works in Britain at the Losh and Bell works on the River Tyne in 1816, but it remained on a small scale due to large tariffs on salt production until 1824; when these tariffs were repealed, the British soda industry was able to expand. James Muspratt's chemical works in Liverpool and Charles Tennant's complex near Glasgow became the largest chemical production centres anywhere. By the 1870s, the British soda output of 200,000 tons annually exceeded that of all other nations in the world combined; these huge factories began to produce a greater diversity of chemicals as the Industrial Revolution matured.
Large quantities of alkaline waste were vented into the environment from the production of soda, provoking one of the first pieces of environmental legislation to be passed in 1863. This provided for close inspection of the factories and imposed heavy fines on those exceeding the limits on pollution. Methods were soon devised to make useful byproducts from the alkali; the Solvay process was developed by the Belgian industrial chemist Ernest Solvay in 1861. In 1864, Solvay and his brother Alfred constructed a plant in the Belgian town of Charleroi and in 1874, they expanded into a larger plant in Nancy, France; the new process proved more economical and less polluting than the Leblanc method, its use spread. In the same year, Ludwig Mond visited Solvay to acquire the rights to use his process, he and John Brunner formed the firm of Brunner, Mond & Co. and built a Solvay plant at Winnington, England. Mond was instrumental in making the Solvay process a commercial success; the late 19th century saw an explosion in both the quantity of production and the variety of chemicals that were manufactured.
Large chemical industries took shape in Germany and in the United States. Production of artificial manufactured fertilizer for agriculture was pioneered by Sir John Lawes at his purpose-built Rothamsted Research facility. In the 1840s he established large works near London for the manufacture of superphosphate of lime. Processes for the vulcanization of rubber were patented by Charles Goodyear in the United States and Thomas Hancock in England in the 1840s; the first synthetic dye was discovered by William Henry Perkin in London. He transformed aniline into a crude mixture which, when extracted with alcohol, produced a substance with an intense purple colour, he developed the first synthetic perfumes. However, it was German industry that began to dominate the field of synthetic dyes; the three major firms BASF, Bayer and Hoechst produced several hundred different dyes, by 1913, the German industry produced 90 percent of the world supply of dyestuffs and sold about 80 percent of their production abroad.
In the United States, Herbert Henry Dow's use of electrochemistry to produce chemicals from brine was a commercial success that helped to promote the country's chemical industry. The petrochemical industry can be traced back to the oil works of James Young in Scotland and Abraham Pineo Gesne
Russians are a nation and an East Slavic ethnic group native to European Russia in Eastern Europe. Outside Russia, notable minorities exist in other former Soviet states such as Belarus, Moldova and the Baltic states. A large Russian diaspora exists all over the world, with notable numbers in the United States, Germany and Canada; the Russians share many cultural traits with other East Slavic ethnic groups Belarusians and Ukrainians. They are predominantly Orthodox Christians by religion; the Russian language is official in Russia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, spoken as a secondary language in many former Soviet states. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as "Russians". One is "русский", which most means "ethnic Russians". Another is "россияне", which means "citizens of Russia"; the former word refers to ethnic Russians, regardless of what country they live in and irrespective of whether or not they hold Russian citizenship. Under certain circumstances this term may or may not extend to denote members of other Russian-speaking ethnic groups from Russia, or from the former Soviet Union.
The latter word refers to all people holding citizenship of Russia, regardless of their ethnicity, does not include ethnic Russians living outside Russia. Translations into other languages do not distinguish these two groups; the name of the Russians derives from the Rus' people. According to the most prevalent theory, the name Rus', like the Finnish name for Sweden, is derived from an Old Norse term for "the men who row" as rowing was the main method of navigating the rivers of Eastern Europe, that it could be linked to the Swedish coastal area of Roslagen or Roden, as it was known in earlier times; the name Rus' would have the same origin as the Finnish and Estonian names for Sweden: Ruotsi and Rootsi. According to other theories the name Rus' is derived from Proto-Slavic *roud-s-ь, connected with red color or from Indo-Iranian; until the 1917 revolution, Russian authorities never called them "Russians", calling them "Great Russians" instead, a part of "Russians". The modern Russians formed from two groups of East Slavic tribes: Northern and Southern.
The tribes involved included the Krivichs, Ilmen Slavs, Radimichs and Severians. Genetic studies show that modern Russians do not differ from Belarusians and Ukrainians; some ethnographers, like Dmitry Konstantinovich Zelenin, affirm that Russians are more similar to Belarusians and to Ukrainians than southern Russians are to northern Russians. Russians in northern European Russia share moderate genetic similarities with Uralic peoples, who lived in modern north-central European Russia and were assimilated by the Slavs as the Slavs migrated northeastwards; such Uralic peoples included the Muromians. The territory of Russia has been inhabited since 2nd Millennium BCE by Indo-European, Ural-Altaic, various other peoples. Outside archaeological remains, little is known about the predecessors to Russians in general prior to 859 AD when the Primary Chronicle starts its records, it is thought that by 600 AD, the Slavs had split linguistically into southern and eastern branches. The eastern branch settled between the Dnieper Rivers in present-day Ukraine.
Both Belarusians and South Russians formed on this ethnic linguistic ground. From the 6th century onwards, another group of Slavs moved from Pomerania to the northeast of the Baltic Sea, where they encountered the Varangians of the Rus' Khaganate and established the important regional center of Novgorod; the same Slavic ethnic population settled the present-day Tver Oblast and the region of Beloozero. With the Uralic substratum, they formed the tribes of the Ilmen Slavs. Kievan Rus' was a loose federation of states. Modern Russians derive their name and cultural ancestry from Kievan Rus'. In 2010, the world's Russian population was 129 million people of which 86% were in Russia, 11.5% in the CIS and Baltic countries, with a further 2.5% living in other countries. 111 million ethnic Russians live in Russia, 80% of whom live in the European part of Russia, 20% in the Asian part of the country. After the Dissolution of the Soviet Union an estimated 25 million Russians began living outside of the Russian Federation, most of them in the former Soviet Republics.
Ethnic Russians migrated throughout the area of former Russian Empire and Soviet Union, sometimes encouraged to re-settle in borderlands by the Tsarist and Soviet government. On some occasions ethnic Russian communities, such as Lipovans who settled in the Danube delta or Doukhobors in Canada, emigrated as religious dissidents fleeing the central authority. After the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War starting in 1917, many Russians were forced to leave their homeland fleeing the Bolshevik regime, millions became refugees. Many white émigrés were participants in the White movement, although the term is broadly applied to anyone who may have left the country due to the change in regime. Today the largest ethnic Russian diasporas outside Russia live in former
Tourism is travel for pleasure or business. Tourism may be international, or within the traveller's country; the World Tourism Organization defines tourism more in terms which go "beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only", as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure and not less than 24 hours and other purposes". Tourism can be domestic or international, international tourism has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country's balance of payments. Tourism suffered as a result of a strong economic slowdown of the late-2000s recession, between the second half of 2008 and the end of 2009, the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, but recovered. International tourism receipts grew to US$1.03 trillion in 2005, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 3.8% from 2010. International tourist arrivals surpassed the milestone of 1 billion tourists globally for the first time in 2012, emerging markets such as China and Brazil had increased their spending over the previous decade.
The ITB Berlin is the world's leading tourism trade fair. Global tourism accounts for ca. 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The word tourist was used in 1772 and tourism in 1811, it is formed from the word tour, derived from Old English turian, from Old French torner, from Latin tornare. Tourism has become an important source of income for many regions and entire countries; the Manila Declaration on World Tourism of 1980 recognized its importance as "an activity essential to the life of nations because of its direct effects on the social, cultural and economic sectors of national societies and on their international relations."Tourism brings large amounts of income into a local economy in the form of payment for goods and services needed by tourists, accounting as of 2011 for 30% of the world's trade in services, for 6% of overall exports of goods and services. It generates opportunities for employment in the service sector of the economy associated with tourism; the hospitality industries which benefit from tourism include transportation services.
This is in addition to goods bought by tourists, including souvenirs. On the flip-side, tourism can degrade sour relationships between host and guest. In 1936, the League of Nations defined a foreign tourist as "someone traveling abroad for at least twenty-four hours", its successor, the United Nations, amended this definition in 1945, by including a maximum stay of six months. In 1941, Hunziker and Kraft defined tourism as "the sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, insofar as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected with any earning activity." In 1976, the Tourism Society of England's definition was: "Tourism is the temporary, short-term movement of people to destinations outside the places where they live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination. It includes movements for all purposes." In 1981, the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism defined tourism in terms of particular activities chosen and undertaken outside the home.
In 1994, the United Nations identified three forms of tourism in its Recommendations on Tourism Statistics: Domestic tourism, involving residents of the given country traveling only within this country Inbound tourism, involving non-residents traveling in the given country Outbound tourism, involving residents traveling in another countryThe terms tourism and travel are sometimes used interchangeably. In this context, travel implies a more purposeful journey; the terms tourism and tourist are sometimes used pejoratively, to imply a shallow interest in the cultures or locations visited. By contrast, traveler is used as a sign of distinction; the sociology of tourism has studied the cultural values underpinning these distinctions and their implications for class relations. International tourist arrivals reached 1.035 billion in 2012, up from over 996 million in 2011, 952 million in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, international travel demand continued to recover from the losses resulting from the late-2000s recession, where tourism suffered a strong slowdown from the second half of 2008 through the end of 2009.
After a 5% increase in the first half of 2008, growth in international tourist arrivals moved into negative territory in the second half of 2008, ended up only 2% for the year, compared to a 7% increase in 2007. The negative trend intensified during 2009, exacerbated in some countries due to the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, resulting in a worldwide decline of 4.2% in 2009 to 880 million international tourists arrivals, a 5.7% decline in international tourism receipts. The World Tourism Organization reports the following ten destinations as the most visited in terms of the number of international travelers in 2017. International tourism receipts grew to US$1.26 Trillion in 2015, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 4.4% from 2014. The World Tourism Organization reports the following entities as the top ten tourism earners for the year 2015: The World Tourism Organizati
The Independent is a British online newspaper. Established in 1986 as a politically independent national morning newspaper published in London, it was controlled by Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media from 1997 until it was sold to Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev in 2010; the last printed edition of The Independent was published on Saturday 26 March 2016, leaving only its digital editions. Nicknamed the Indy, it began as a broadsheet, but changed to tabloid format in 2003; until September 2011, the paper described itself on the banner at the top of every newspaper as "free from party political bias, free from proprietorial influence". It tends to take a pro-market stance on economic issues; the daily edition was named National Newspaper of the Year at the 2004 British Press Awards. In June 2015, it had an average daily circulation of just below 58,000, 85 per cent down from its 1990 peak, while the Sunday edition had a circulation of just over 97,000. Launched in 1986, the first issue of The Independent was published on 7 October in broadsheet format.
It was produced by Newspaper Publishing plc and created by Andreas Whittam Smith, Stephen Glover and Matthew Symonds. All three partners were former journalists at The Daily Telegraph who had left the paper towards the end of Lord Hartwell's ownership. Marcus Sieff was the first chairman of Newspaper Publishing, Whittam Smith took control of the paper; the paper was created at a time of a fundamental change in British newspaper publishing. Rupert Murdoch was challenging long-accepted practices of the print unions and defeated them in the Wapping dispute. Production costs could be reduced which, it was said at the time, created openings for more competition; as a result of controversy around Murdoch's move to Wapping, the plant was having to function under siege from sacked print workers picketing outside. The Independent attracted some of the staff from the two Murdoch broadsheets who had chosen not to move to his company's new headquarters. Launched with the advertising slogan "It is. Are you?", challenging both The Guardian for centre-left readers and The Times as the newspaper of record, The Independent reached a circulation of over 400,000 by 1989.
Competing in a moribund market, The Independent sparked a general freshening of newspaper design as well as, within a few years, a price war in the market sector. When The Independent launched The Independent on Sunday in 1990, sales were less than anticipated due to the launch of the Sunday Correspondent four months prior, although this direct rival closed at the end of November 1990; some aspects of production merged with the main paper, although the Sunday paper retained a distinct editorial staff. In the 1990s, The Independent was faced with price cutting by the Murdoch titles, started an advertising campaign accusing The Times and The Daily Telegraph of reflecting the views of their proprietors, Rupert Murdoch and Conrad Black, it featured spoofs of the other papers' mastheads with the words The Rupert Murdoch or The Conrad Black, with The Independent below the main title. Newspaper Publishing had financial problems. A number of other media companies were interested in the paper. Tony O'Reilly's media group and Mirror Group Newspapers had bought a stake of about a third each by mid-1994.
In March 1995, Newspaper Publishing was restructured with a rights issue, splitting the shareholding into O'Reilly's Independent News & Media, MGN, Prisa. In April 1996, there was another refinancing, in March 1998, O'Reilly bought the other shares of the company for £30 million, assumed the company's debt. Brendan Hopkins headed Independent News, Andrew Marr was appointed editor of The Independent, Rosie Boycott became editor of The Independent on Sunday. Marr introduced a dramatic if short-lived redesign which won critical favour but was a commercial failure as a result of a limited promotional budget. Marr admitted his changes had been a mistake in My Trade. Boycott left in April 1998 to join the Daily Express, Marr left in May 1998 becoming the BBC's political editor. Simon Kelner was appointed as the editor. By this time the circulation had fallen below 200,000. Independent News spent to increase circulation, the paper went through several redesigns. While circulation increased, it did not approach the level, achieved in 1989, or restore profitability.
Job cuts and financial controls reduced the quality of the product. Ivan Fallon, on the board since 1995 and a key figure at The Sunday Times, replaced Hopkins as head of Independent News & Media in July 2002. By mid-2004, the newspaper was losing £5 million per year. A gradual improvement meant. In November 2008, following further staff cuts, production was moved to Northcliffe House, in Kensington High Street, the headquarters of Associated Newspapers; the two newspaper groups' editorial and commercial operations remained separate, but they shared services including security, information technology and payroll. On 25 March 2010, Independent News & Media sold the newspaper to Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev for a nominal £1 fee and £9.25m over the next 10 months, choosing this option over closing The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, which would have cost £28m and £40m due to long-term contracts. In 2009, Lebedev had bought a controlling stake in the London Evening Standard. Two weeks editor Roger Alton resigned.
In July 2011, The Independent's columnist Johann Hari was stripped of the Orwell Prize he had won in 2008 after claims, to which Hari admitted, of plagiarism and inaccuracy. In January 2012, Chris Blackhurst
The intelligentsia is a status class of educated people engaged in the complex mental labours that critique and lead in shaping the culture and politics of their society. As a status class, the intelligentsia includes artists and academics, writers and the literary hommes de lettres; the intelligentsia status-class arose in the late 18th century, in Russian-controlled Poland, during the age of Partitions. In the 19th century, the Polish intellectual Bronisław Trentowski coined the term intelligentcja to identify and describe the educated and professionally-active social stratum of the patriotic bourgeoisie who could be the cultural leaders of Poland under the authoritarian régime of Russian Tsarist autocracy, from the late 18th-century to the early 20th century. In Russia, before the Bolshevik Revolution the term intelligentsiya described the status class of educated people whose cultural capital allowed them to assume practical political leadership. In practice, the status and social function of the intelligentsia varied by society.
In Eastern Europe, intellectuals were deprived of political influence and access to the effective levers of economic development. Whereas in Western Europe in Germany and Great Britain, the Bildungsbürgertum and the British professions had defined roles as public intellectuals in their societies. In Europe, the intelligentsia existed as a status class before the coinage of the term intelligentsia in the 19th century. In their status-class functions, the intellectuals had involvement with the cultural development of cities, the dissemination of printed knowledge, the economic development of rental-housing for the teacher, the journalist, the civil servant; as people whose professions placed them outside the traditional places and functions of the town-and-country monarchic social-classes of the time, the intelligentsia were an urban social-class. In his 2008 work The Rise of the Intelligentsia, 1750–1831, Maciej Janowski identified the intelligentsia as intellectual servants to the modern State, to the degree that their state-service policies decreased social backwardness and political repression in partitioned Poland.
The Polish philosopher Karol Libelt coined the term inteligencja in his publication of O miłości ojczyzny in 1844. In the Polish language, the popular understanding of the word inteligencja is close Libelt's definition, which saw the inteligencja status-class as the well-educated people of society, who undertake to provide moral leadership, as scholars, lawyers, engineers et al.. The Russian word intelligentsiya derived from the German word Intelligenz and identified and described the social stratum of people engaged in intellectual occupations. Vitaly Tepikin identified the characteristics of the group copmprising the intelligentsia as follows:1) the advanced for its time moral ideals, sensitivity to the neighbor and gentleness in manifestations. In 1844 Poland, the term intelligencja, identifying the intellectuals of society, first was used by the philosopher Karol Libelt, which he described as a status class of people characterised by intellect and Polish nationalism; that the intelligentsia were aware of their social status and of their duties to society: Educating the youth with the nationalist objective to restore the Republic of Poland.
Nonetheless, the writers Stanisław Brzozowski and Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński criticised Libelt's ideological and messianic representation of a Polish republic, because it originated from the social traditionalism and reactionary conservatism that pervade the culture of Poland, so impede socio-economic progress. C
Moscow State Institute of International Relations
Moscow State Institute of International Relations is an academic institution run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, considered the most elite university in Russia. It was dubbed the "Harvard of Russia" by Henry Kissinger, because it educates so many of Russia's political and intellectual elite, it has the lowest acceptance rate and the highest test scores of any university in the country. MGIMO is one of the leading Russian universities that offers numerous educational programs in 18 key fields of study, including: international relations, international economic relations, regional studies, international law, political science and business administration, public relations and transnational business. MGIMO is the only university in the world listed in the Guinness Book of Records – it is named the only educational establishment teaching 53 foreign languages full-time; the University structure comprises ten faculties and three institutes. Each year about 8,000 students from Russia and abroad study at MGIMO University.
MGIMO was founded on 14 October 1944 by a special decree of the Soviet Government on the basis of the established School of International Relations of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The first 200 students were veterans who had survived in the Second World War and were determined to build international peace and stability. By early 1950s, MGIMO comprised three schools, since its ancestor, the School of History and International Relations was added by the School of International Law and the School of International Economic Relations. In 1954 the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, one of the oldest Russian institutes and the successor of the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages created in 1815, was integrated into MGIMO. In 1958, MGIMO incorporated one more university — of Foreign Trade — and became the national leader of education and expertise in International Relations. In 1969 the School of Journalism and the School of Law were added to the scope of education and research fields.
In the second half of 1980s MGIMO became a open institution. In 1989, admission on a commercial basis started and first students from Western countries began to arrive. In the late 1980s, MGIMO became the first national university to establish its own business school that in 2012 emerged as the School of Business and International Proficiency. 1992 saw the creation of the School of Business Administration. In 1994 MGIMO was granted University status but traditionally contains the word institute in its name; the same year saw the creation of the International Institute of Administration. The same year a Department of Politics was introduced within the School of International Relations and evolved into the separate School of Political Science in 1998; the next decade saw the further buildup of reforms and improvement of educational quality, including newly opened schools and Master programs with the number of partnering universities abroad. In 2000, two educational divisions were established - Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy and School of Applied Economics and Commerce.
In 2005, the European Studies Institute was opened on MGIMO basis. In 2011, the Institute for Foreign Economic Relations was transformed into the School of Applied Economics and Commerce. In 2013 The School of Governance and Global Affairs was launched as the first Russian school to train international students in English at Bachelor’s level. In 2016, MGIMO opened the Odintsovo Branch – its first Campus located in the prestigious Moscow suburban area; the Campus is a home for MGIMO Gorchakov Lyceum. In 2017, the International Institute of Administration and the School of Political Science merged into the School of Governance and Politics. In 2016, MGIMO ranked first in the world in QS Graduate Employability Rankings - "Employment within a year after graduation". MGIMO lists 350th in the world, leaving behind many leading foreign universities, including the University. J. Washington, American University, Paris Descartes University and University of Kent. In 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report MGIMO holds the 12th place.
MGIMO ranked within 100 Top Think Tank in the World in such fields as: Top Science and Technology Think Tanks – 42nd place. Today MGIMO comprises eight main schools, three institutes and one business school. MGIMO Schools: School of International Relations School of International Law School of International Economic Relations School of International Business and Business Administration School of Applied Economics and Commerce School of Governance and Politics School of International Journalism School of Preparatory Training School of financial economy School of linguistics and cross-cultural communicationMGIMO Institutes: International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy European Studies Institute School of Governance and Global AffairsMGIMO became one of the first Russian universities to establish their own business school. Nowadays all MGIMO School of Business and International Competencies programs conform to the Association of MBA’s standards. MGIMO as well has 12 corporate departments designed in cooperation with different Russian companie such as an integrated oil company Rosneft, is a state-owned transport monopoly JSC Transneft, the third largest bank in Russia Gazprombank, JSC Russian Railways, The Federal An
Russian oligarchs are business oligarchs of the former Soviet republics who accumulated wealth during the era of Russian privatization in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. The failing Soviet state left the ownership of state assets contested, which allowed for informal deals with former USSR officials as a means to acquire state property. Historian Edward L. Keenan has drawn a comparison between the current Russian phenomenon of oligarchs and the system of powerful boyars which emerged in late-Medieval Muscovy; the first modern Russian oligarchs emerged as business-sector entrepreneurs under Mikhail Gorbachev during his period of market liberalization. The term "oligarch" derives from the Ancient Greek word ὀλιγάρχης, a derivative itself from oligarchy ὀλιγαρχία meaning "the rule of the few". By the end of the Soviet era in 1991 and during Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika, many Russian businessmen imported or smuggled goods such as personal computers and jeans into the country and sold them on the black market, for a hefty profit.
During the 1990s, once Boris Yeltsin became President of Russia in 1991, the oligarchs emerged as well-connected entrepreneurs who started from nearly nothing and became rich through participation in the market via connections to the corrupt, but elected, government of Russia during the state's transition to a market-based economy. The so-called voucher-privatization program enabled a handful of young men to become billionaires by arbitraging the vast difference between old domestic prices for Russian commodities and the prices prevailing on the world market; because they stashed billions of dollars in private Swiss bank accounts rather than investing in the Russian economy, they were dubbed "kleptocrats". These oligarchs became unpopular with the Russian public, are thought of as the cause of much of the turmoil that plagued the country following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; the Guardian described the oligarchs as "about as popular with your average Russian as a man idly burning bundles of £50s outside an orphanage".
Post-Soviet business oligarchs include relatives or close associates of government officials government officials themselves, as well as criminal bosses connected to the Russian government who achieved vast wealth by acquiring state assets cheaply during the privatization process controlled by the Yeltsin government of 1991–1999. Specific accusations of corruption are leveled at Anatoly Chubais and Yegor Gaidar, two of the "Young Reformers" chiefly responsible for Russian privatization in the early 1990s. According to David Satter, author of Darkness at Dawn, "what drove the process was not the determination to create a system based on universal values but rather the will to introduce a system of private ownership, which, in the absence of law, opened the way for the criminal pursuit of money and power". In some cases, outright criminal groups – in order to avoid attention – assign front-men to serve as executives and/or "legal" owners of the companies they control. Although the majority of oligarchs were not formally connected with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, there are allegations that they were promoted by the communist apparatchiks, with strong connections to Soviet power structures and access to the monetary funds of the Communist Party.
Official Russian media depict oligarchs as the enemies of "communist forces". The latter is a stereotype that describes political power that wants to restore Soviet-style communism in Russia. During Yeltsin's presidency oligarchs became influential in Russian politics. With insider information about financial decisions of the government, oligarchs could increase their wealth further; the 1998 Russian financial crisis hit some of the oligarchs hard and those whose holdings were still based on banking lost much of their fortunes. The most influential and exposed oligarchs from the Yeltsin era include Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Fridman, Vladimir Gusinsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Vladimir Potanin, Alexander Smolensky, Pyotr Aven, Vladimir Vinogradov and Vitaly Malkin, they formed what became known as Semibankirschina, a small group of business moguls with a great influence on Boris Yeltsin and his political environment. Together they controlled from 50% to 70% of all Russian finances between 1996 and 2000.
Fridman, Potanin and Malkin retained their influence in the Putin era, which began in 1999. Khodorkovsky and Gusinsky "have been purged by the Kremlin", according to The Guardian in 2008; the most famous oligarchs of the Putin era include Roman Abramovich, Alexander Abramov, Oleg Deripaska, Mikhail Prokhorov, Alisher Usmanov, German Khan, Viktor Vekselberg, Leonid Mikhelson, Vagit Alekperov, Mikhail Fridman, Vladimir Potanin, Pyotr Aven, Vitaly Malkin. Between 2000 and 2004, Putin engaged in a power-struggle with some oligarchs, reaching a "grand bargain" with them; this bargain allowed the oligarchs to maintain their powers, in exchange for their explicit support of – and alignment with – Putin's government. Many more business people have become oligarchs during Putin's time in power, due to personal relations with Putin, such as the rector of the institute where Putin obtained a degree in 1996, Vladimir Litvinenko, Putin's childhood friend and judo-teacher Arkady Rotenberg. However, other analysts argue that the oligarchic structure has remained intact under Putin, with Putin devoting much