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He allowed a group of cronies access to the material resources of the market economy, which were considerable and growing, and he formed a new class which I will call "burness".
The Yeltsin burness may have actually been more to do with business, but the Putin burness is more about bureaucracy and this is very revealing about both Putin and the role of state in society.
The Centre allows regional burness representatives to receive corrupt revenue from the growing market economy that depends on it, and they in return guarantee the appearance of political loyalty to the Centre.
Putin simultaneously created a corrupt system to buy the loyalty of this burness, on the basis of which he organised what was called the Putin consensus of elites.
If the Centre has run out of money, then regional burness no longer needs it and there is a real crisis of management.