Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

IANAE, but I get the distinct impression that the Russian mob has a hand in everything in Russia, and completely controls some things.

Any foreign venture that succeeds there will inevitably end up, at best, paying the mob protection money, and at worst having their company stolen as Bill Broward discovered (see link in article).

On the risk management scale, the probably of losses to the mob is P(A) = 1.0. The only question left is, how much.

The Russian mob has a hand in everything important in Russia. If you go as a tourist, you'll probably feel fairly safe and nobody will notice you. If you go as an investor and try to start a company you will most definitely deal with the mob. It will probably start with you dealing with the police and other 'officials' who are actually a front for the mob.

Isn't it more likely that tourism is also a big business? Tourists only come back (or tell others to go) if they feel safe. Asking tourists for protection money or other such things is just shooting yourself in the foot if you (indirectly) get money from tourism.

Right. In other words if you go there as a tourist you will most likely get no problems from the mob. They might own the hotel, but you'll be mostly safe. You won't have to bribe them, you won't have to have a bodyguard with you.

If you go there ready to start a business or invest a couple million dollars, you'll definetly deal with mobsters.

The mob was replaced by the FSB - formerly the KGB. Which is now the mob, but also the Kremlin. So yeah.

The mob wasn't replaced by FSB, it was the FSB from the start, after Soviet Union collapsed.

ex-KGB agents were in the most favorable position to participate in the power and asset grab after the collapse. They knew how things were run, they had the connections, they also were most educated and most trained. They sort of represented an elite class of individuals selected, educated and trained better than the rest.

When things fell apart a lot of them scattered looking to grab whatever as available. Political and patriotic allegiance to the party has become a running joke since after the 60s. Most of them had absolutely no problem switching practically overnight from staunch supporters of communism to brutal capitalists.

> The mob wasn't replaced by FSB, it was the FSB from the start

Back in late 80s and early 90s there was a mod and there was a FSB, with former comprised predominantly of criminals and former athletes. I am sure you are well aware of that if you lived in Russia at that time.

Yes. But we are talking about the high level mobsters. Those that grabbed whole enterprises and were running multi-million dollar racket jobs, not local street gangs.

Some people think of local street gangs because they are just more visible, I am thinking of mobsters who were running the whole country. There were often connections between the two but both were operating at different scales and in different domains.

I know people who's krysha was not the FSB, then it became the FSB in the late 90s. Thats the mob I mean - people you pay protection money to in order to do business. The FSB took over and became the universal krysha, imposing an additional tax on businesses.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact