Where is Russia Going? Back to the USSR, of Course

Nadin Brzezinski
5 min readFeb 20, 2024

Some historical context is essential here. In the heyday of the 1990s, especially early on, there was a fire sale on all state-owned businesses. The state-owned enterprises gave shares to workers, making these technically owned by these workers feel owned. That did not last.

Ukrainian-made Artillery system.

People who had cash-bought these companies for Pennies on the dollar. Or are these kopecks on the ruble? This led to the first generation of oligarchs. Many of these were also fans of the shock therapy applied to the country, which included things like the massive subsidy on bread.

Before this went away, state bakeries produced bread that was so cheap that it made zero sense to try to bake it at home. This is one reason why pensioners starved. This is the era when Vladimir Putin drove a taxi before entering politics in St Petersburg and the rise of the Osera cooperative. So now we are reversing the privatization policies of the 1990s. This is but the latest example:

The Prosecutor General’s Office demanded the nationalization of the largest plant producing machine tools in Russia😬

In Russia, the reversal of the privatization results of the 1990s continues. The Prosecutor General’s Office considered the transfer of the Ivanovo Heavy Machine Tool Plant (IZTS) into the hands of private owners illegal and demanded that it be returned to the state, Kommersant writes . According to the publication, Deputy Prosecutor General Igor Tkachev applied to the Arbitration Court to claim the plant’s shares in favor of Russia. The defendants in the lawsuit were JSC IZTS, Techinvest, Investproekt, as well as individual owners of securities.

The Prosecutor General’s Office insists that the decision to transfer shares of the defense plant was made at one time by unauthorized persons and organizations. The required government permission in such cases was not obtained. The Russian Federation, as the owner of the plant, did not privatize the enterprise and did not transfer the authority to own, use and dispose of this property, the department emphasized. At the same time, privatization led to damage to the national interests and defense capability of Russia, and the seizure of state property was carried out as a result of “deliberate and interconnected illegal actions of officials and…



Nadin Brzezinski

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game. You can find me at CounterSocial, Mastodon and rarely FB