Among the members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, Igor Sechin has always been known as “the expansionist.” While others have been happy skimming profits, Sechin was always about conquest.
That was the case from 2004 to 2006, when Sechin, a former officer in the KGB and then a top official in Putin’s administration, led the takeover of Russia’s largest oil company, Yukos. In March, Rosneft, the state energy behemoth where Sechin serves as president, completed the largest acquisition in Russian history, purchasing a controlling share of the British-Russian venture TNK-BP and becoming the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer.
Informally, Sechin leads the Kremlin faction known as the siloviki, or “people of force,” made up of former security agents. So far no one can match their influence — and Sechin’s appetite for control makes him the group’s inevitable leader.
Milov is a political activist who opposes Putin
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