If you live in the UK, you might want to check out Russian Godfathers, which will air on BBC2 this Thursday. Basically it looks like it will be a 50 minute roundup of who’s who in Russia, who is on the up, and who has recently come crashing down to earth.
Putin, able to see matters rather straighter than Yeltsin, realised two crucial things about the oligarchs: that they were potentially more powerful than him, and that they were about as popular with your average Russian as a man idly burning bundles of £50s outside an orphanage (according to one 2004 poll, only 18% of Russians opposed wholesale renationalisation of the country’s resources). In a country in which anti-semitism never quite went out of fashion, the fact that many of the oligarchs are Jewish makes them an even more tempting target for a populist like Putin (after the arrest of arch-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Putin’s already high approval rating was measured at 80%).
I doubt it’ll reveal anything particularly startling, but it should be a quite interesting way to while away hour or so.