About Andrei Zaostrovtsev

Andrei Zaostrovtsev is lecturer at the M-Centre at the European University, St. Petersburg and professor of the Higher School of Economics

Articles by Andrei Zaostrovtsev

This week's editor

Heather McRobie

Heather McRobie is an editor at 5050.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Russia’s pension impasse – is there a way out?

One way Vladimir Putin has retained his popularity among Russians has been by increasing retirement pensions and other social benefits, and as a result the state pension fund is deep in the red. But as Andrey Zaostrovtsev finds, Putin is more interested in keeping voters sweet than balancing the books (photo: RIA Novosti Agency).

Russia: an Oprichnik economy

Owning a business in Russia today is a hazardous affair: each year thousands of companies close after their owners are accused of ‘economic crimes’ and face either prison or protection payments to government officials. Andrey Zaostrovtsev describes a system reminiscent of an equally lawless period in Russia’s past (photo: RIA Novosti Agency).

Privatisation, but no private property

Privatisation was one of the beacon words of Yeltsin’s presidency, but, with the possible exception of housing, there has been no development of private property or attendant protected rights. Property in Russia still belongs to a small clique of top dogs and woe betide anyone who gets across them. How can Russia ever become prosperous or civilised? Andrei Zaostrovtsev despairs.

Not poverty, but lack of freedom

International economic indicators suggest that Russia’s problems are not those of the developing world. Relatively speaking, its people are not poor. But its economy is just not free

Russia's economic crisis today

On 30 April the internet site gazeta.ru published an article by Andrei Illarionov, former economic advisor to the President. The title "A leap backwards" speaks for itself. The article shows that industrial production fell to its lowest point in February this year, a fall of 23.4% from the peak in December 2007.   The following month saw an increase of 3%. But it is still unclear whether this really indicates a rise in production or just the fluctuations characteristic of a depression.   
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