Download Once Upon a Time in Russia by Ben Mezrich

Download Once Upon a Time in Russia by Ben Mezrich 

For the eighteen middle-aged men in dark suits shifting uncomfortably in their seats as they waited in that palpable silence around an oversize dining room table, it was hard to believe that they were still technically within Moscow’s city limits. Though, to be fair, this aging, stone house tucked in the middle of the dark woods, surrounded by a pair of chain-link fences topped by barbed wire, was a symbol of a much different Moscow than the rapidly growing metropolis beyond the wire. The men in this room had traveled back in time more than fifty years the minute they had been ushered out of their chauffeured limousines now parked in glistening rows behind the double fences and led through the dacha’s front door.

Under the best of circumstances, these men were not accustomed to waiting. To describe them as powerful businessmen or even billionaires would have been a laughable understatement. Among them, they represented the largest and fastest accumulation of wealth in modern history. Within the Russian media, they had garnered the label Oligarchs a term that was usually derogatory, defining them as a class apart and above. According to the popular notion, over the course of the past decade, as the former Soviet nation had lurched into capitalism through a complex, often shadowy process of privatization, this class the Oligarchs had accumulated insane riches, and they had used this wealth to imbed and twist themselves, like strangling vines, into the ruling mechanisms of the nation’s government, economy, and culture. 

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