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Heh, Skolkovo is on Hacker News now. The author paints quite a grim picture there; the reality is probably even worse, though.

Just to give you some idea about it: one of the main selling points for Skolkovo, for potential russian players, is the official statement that Skolkovo will have "its own legal and tax regime, and even its own police". Why? Because the situation with legal and tax regime here in Russia is obviously too bad for whatever they want to do in Skolkovo, and because the police [and other law and regulations enforcement institutes] are way too corrupted to provide the necessary business climate.

Basically, it's now officially acknowledged that the general situation with these things in Russia is broken beyond repair, there is neither hope nor effort to fix it, and now they are going to try to build something less ugly specifically for Skolkovo.

Needless to say, I can't imagine it working out as planned.

Isn't this basically an attempt at Hong Kong/SEZ/Charter City type development. Not necessarily doomed to failure?

It's definitely not Hong Kong and not a charter city -- whatever they mean by "their own something something", it definitely doesn't imply any comparable levels of autonomy.

So yes, it's basically a SEZ, I suppose. It could as well work if the main problem was the tax burden -- which, unfortunately, it's not. Taxes didn't kill e.g. Magnitsky or make e.g. Chichvarkin lose his business and flee the country.

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