I was delighted to be able to discuss Russia, crime, corruption, politics, geopolitics and kleptocracy — all subjects close to my heart — yesterday at the Hudson Institute under the auspices of its Kleptocracy Initiative. The event was livestreamed and is now available through the Hudson’s YouTube channel here. The central point? That Russia is a kleptocracy in many ways but certainly not just a kleptocracy. There is also a rational state and people who want to do their jobs on one side, and a state-building project on the other, and what is distinctive about Russia today is:
- the way that kleptocracy has been harnessed by the state as an instrument for both domestic and international purposes; and
- the interconnected, post-ideological world in which Russia operates.