The feature article in the Sunday Business section of The New York Times is very interesting! In a nutshell, being an entrepreneur in Russia is rife with danger. The totalitarian state is deeply suspicious of business activity that is not state sponsored, corruption is rampant, and competitors often go to local law enforcement who prosecute private businessmen with relative impunity. Putin has recently pardoned Khodorkovsky, the billionaire oligarch who was imprisoned on dubious charges for newly a decade.
The challenge for many counties who don’t have a firmly established rule of law is how to create a positive business climate that is fair and reasonable. Apparently Russia is a long way off even though Putin has now appointed an ombudsman to oversee entrepreneurial rights. The summary is that starting your own business in Russia is rarely worth the risk.