Raids Are Happening More Than Ever Before. Russian Businesses Need an Anti-Raid Center, and They Need Your Support.
The break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s touched off a stampede for the enterprises, property, land and other assets that each of the socialist-republic governments had held.
Many of the asset grabbers were criminals, or those with criminal mentalities.
They were ruthless, using intimidation and force to get what they wanted for little or nothing. They used bribes to police, prosecutors and judges to help them take over businesses, and in many cases jailings, assaults and assassinations of those who stood in their way.
Although this initial wave of lawless asset-grabbing ebbed for a few years, it never disappeared. And in the past 10 to 15 years what Russians call reiderstvo — or raids to seize companies without compensation — has made an explosive comeback.
Journalists who follow reiderstvo estimates there are 70,000 instances of illegal and forceful seizure of assets a year in Russia alone. And reiderstvo is occurring in other countries in the former Soviet Union, too.
At first reiderstvo was confined to Russian businesses. But increasingly in recent years the asset grabbers are using dirty legal tricks, intimidation, trumped-up jailings of corporate leaders and violence to seize foreign-owned companies doing business in Russia as well.
A victim of reiderstvo myself, I founded a Center for Business Transparency and Countering Corporate Raids in Russia to try to put an end to it.
The practice, which authorities are either turning a blind’s eye to or actively participating in, is robbing those who built businesses large and small of their assets, life’s work, and sometimes their lives.
Because reiderstvo has become notorious throughout the world, it is also preventing Russia from obtaining the foreign capital and technology it needs to help its business world reach new heights and give its people better lives.
For Russia to take its place in the ranks of truly civilized nations, it needs to stop reiderstvo. By keeping a spotlight on the problem and offering solutions, the Center for Business Transparency and Countering Corporate Raids in Russia hopes to help.