Here’s an interesting story from The Moscow Times, that shows that in Russia it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.
Vladimir Litvinenko went from rector of the St Petersburg Mining Institute to becoming a wealthy businessman worth an estimated $350-$450 million. Apparently he owns 5 percent of PhosAgro, the country’s largest producer of phosphate-based fertilizers. Still doesn’t make sense? Well how about this: his most famous student was Vladimir Putin, now prime minister.
Putin earned a doctorate in economics at the institute in 1996. Litvinenko oversaw his dissertation. (The very dissertation that was plagiarized at length from a 1978 US business school textbook.) Litvinenko also headed Putin’s presidential campaigns in St Petersburg in 2000 and 2004.