The role of German Gref is certainly pivotal. Sberbank dominates Russia's market with credits and loans. Here is Putin's meeting with Gref back in early 2012 where Putin is asking Gref and his bank to "retain [their] social role." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quOCMjjhuxo
Few months later, Gref was organizing and hosting a conference on the crisis of management/governance in Russia. There he took his place right next to Elvira Nabiullina, Putin's current head of Russia's Central Bank for whom Gref was not only a business partner, but also a mentor and ally. Other experts on the Russian crisis or "blind alley" of governance were presented, including a British government adviser.
It was here back in 2012 where Gref outlined the political reasoning behind something that is going on today in Russia.
At the beginning, Gref states that to think that power should belong to the people is "terrible." What is also terrible, according to Gref, is for people to know the truth and what is going on, for example, by having knowledge and information that is not duly mediated, filtered and manipulated for them by the media or the powers that be. For if the people were to know the truth, they would no longer keep the blinders on their eyes, which are needed if they remain to be manageable. And Gref bluntly explains that management means for him manipulation. He thus identifies himself as a convinced enemy of democracy or any people's power as long as it does not mean a lie or the opposite in fact. In this respect, he praises Confucius for creating what he believes was a society made of castes. He also praises Lao Tze for he believes that Lao Tze too was as wise as he is: the people cannot be told the truth, and the truth can be taught as a guarded secret only to the select.
Around 22:00 of the recording, Gref runs a poll among the select participants of the forum on what awaits or should await Russia. The overwhelming consensus is that Russia's future is to be either a regime with an authoritarian leader or a strong leader. We do know what it means, don't we? On this, Gref then adds his own expert view. He says that the people are not rational; they don't possess wisdom. Therefore, he says that Russia is bound to arrive at a new (more and better manageable and governable) system only through a stage of great disturbances and severe crisis. In a word, a crisis is needed first (to teach the people a lesson or wisdom, which they lack) and it will pave the way to the right regime led by an authoritarian/strong leader.
Gref is, of course, vain and self-centered. And for such people to commit a crime without bragging about it takes a good deal of fun from it. To confess the crime into the face of a stunned victim is part of the psychopath's pleasure. Moreover, being convinced that people are dumb anyone and that they don't pay attention, he was most likely also very assured--in his arrogance and power--that he would get away with all that anyway.
He asked Elvira to agree with him. She smiled, but she tried to be more cautious. But otherwise, as you can see, they share the same stage--side by side.