Russian oligarchy acted like that proverbial bogatyr from Russian fairy tales. They too came to a crossroad, a fork in the road, and there was a sign that marked and defined three roads and three different possible fates. The first one read: "You can get quick and easy cash, but you will destroy a country for you will cash in her existence."
Having read that, Russian oligarchy did not bother reading the
description of the other two roads. They did not want to waste any time,
especially if it were to serve no good purpose. For time is money.
To their horror, Russian oligarchy is discovering that the state which
they are controlling is also supposed to have some obligations, however
minimal the oligarchs want them to be--like pensions, roads,
infrastructure, education ... Can you imagine how many more palaces or
how MORE billions could they have been had for all these pensions,
roads, factories instead? Exactly. That's why all the pensions, roads,
schools appear to them as the worst possible theft from their own theft
and the grossest "inefficiency."
As things are going, the bridge to Crimea built by Putin's buddies, the
Rotenbergs, will be stolen ten times over in terms of its monetary value
before 1/10 of it will be built. That's the iron law of Russian