One less snout

Bloomberg reports of a Russian oligarch who has found himself ousted from Putin’s inner circle:

He was one of the most powerful men in Russia for a decade, an old pal of the president who oversaw a million workers and a rail network spanning 11 time zones.

But then Vladimir Yakunin was suddenly out, ending a career that included a stint as an intelligence officer at the United Nations in New York during the Cold War. Now Yakunin, 67, has some parting advice for the remaining members of what he dismissed as Putin’s “so-called inner circle”: know your place.

There’s a very simple reason for this, and such oustings were entirely predictable from when the Russian economy started tanking: the pie is getting smaller, and nobody wants to reduce their own share.  That means some will have to go without altogether.

“Budge up!”

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