Although the KGB was abolished in 1991 after its chairman, Vladimir Kryuchhov, participated in the failed coup d’etat against USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev, the KGB mentality still thrives. Russian is run by former KGB officials and Kremlin-friendly oligarchs. They control industry, commerce, media, and banking, conduct covert operations at home and abroad, and operate their own prisons. They order telephone justice (tell judges their verdicts) and gather compromising material to intimidate opponents. If they do not directly order assassinations, they make sure that those who do are not caught. Outsiders do not know how the KGB state works. Insiders may be confused as well.

This is from Paul Gregory, “Russia’s Economy: Putin and the KGB State,” this month’s Econlib Feature Article, released earlier today. I highly recommend it.