In the past few days, a small group of insiders, most of them part of the team that engineered and financed President Boris Yeltsin’s successful re-election campaign in 1996, has tightened its control over the giant monopolies that provide the government’s cash flow and dominate Russia’s economy. This group is in position now to dictate critical government decisions, to influence and perhaps determine the choice of Boris Yeltsin’s successor, and, most important, to perpetuate its own power. In the turbulence of Russian politics, this small super-elite provides stability–at the expense of democracy, legitimacy, equity and the rule of law.