How Russian raiders use bribery, forgery, corruption, intimidation and violence to shift assets for profit



The illicit acquisition of a business or part of a business in Russia (known as reiderstvo or asset-grabbing)

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Published in 2016 as the first comprehensive examination of its kind, The Rise of Reiderstvo: Implications for Russia and the West by Dr. Louise Shelley and Ms. Judy Deane analyzes the evolution of business raiding and asset grabbing in Russia. It identifies the methodical tools and tactics used by business raiders and provides concrete examples of heretofore unexamined cases inside Russia, documenting the “playbook” for systematizing asset grabbing.
In 2021, Dr. Yulia Krylova, Dr. Shelley,  and Ms. Dean published a second report, Reiderstvo 2.0: The Illegal Raiding Pandemic in Russia, which considers the evolution of corporate raiding tactics over the past five years and expands the scope of their original enquiry to highlight new trends in corporate raiding and its implications for Russia and the West.

2016 Report

2021 Report

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    About the Authors

    Dr. Yulia Krylova

    Dr. Yulia Krylova is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University. She also works as a consultant for various international development organizations. She holds a PhD degree in Political Science from George Mason University and a PhD degree in Economics from Saint Petersburg State University. Her research focuses on the extremely challenging and important confluence of problems related to international development, corruption, entrepreneurship, and gender inequalities around the globe.


    Over her career, she has earned several prestigious awards, scholarships, and fellowships. She began her research into international development and anti-corruption policies as a Fulbright exchange scholar at Duke University and Georgetown University Law Center in 2009-2010. In 2012, she was selected as a Presidential Scholar by George Mason University. In 2015, she received the Dissertation Fellowship at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. In 2016, she was awarded the Fellowship of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA).

    She is the author of Corruption and the Russian Economy: How Administrative Corruption Undermines Entrepreneurship and Economic Opportunities (Routledge, 2018). Her articles have been published in such journals as Global Policy, the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the Economic Analysis of Law Review, East European Politics, the Journal of Eurasian Studies, Region: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, and International Policy Digest. She also writes extensively on the topics of international development and anti-corruption for online publications and blogs of international development organizations.

    Dr. Louise Shelley

    Dr. Louise Shelley is the Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Endowed Chair and a University Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. She directs the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) that she founded.


    She studied at the Law Faculty of Moscow State University on IREX and Fulbright Fellowships and holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of the Guggenheim, NEH, IREX, Kennan Institute, and Fulbright Fellowships and received a MacArthur Grant to establish Russian Organized Crime Study Centers. She was an inaugural Andrew Carnegie fellow and held a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship that allowed her to write Dark Commerce: How A New Ilicit Economy Threatens our Future (Princeton University Press, 2018),

    Dr Shelley is also the author of Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime and Terrorism (2015) Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective (Cambridge 2010) both published by Cambridge University Press. She also wrote, Policing Soviet Society (Routledge, 1996), Lawyers in Soviet Worklife and Crime and Modernization, as well as numerous articles and book chapters on all aspects of transnational crime and corruption.

    From 1995-2014, Dr. Shelley ran programs in Russia, Ukraine and Georgia with leading specialists on the problems of organized crime and corruption. She has testified before different House and Senate Committees and served on the Global Agenda Council on Illicit Trade and Organized Crime of the World Economic Forum (WEF) She has spoken at various international fora and at many universities both in the United States and abroad and appears regularly in the media in the US and abroad. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Judy Deane

    Judy Deane joined George Mason University’s Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center as a Senior Policy Fellow in November 2012, and became deputy director in 2014. During her time with TraCCC, she has served as project manager for TraCCC projects on global terrorism, environmental corruption, antiquities trafficking from Syria and Iraq, and wildlife crime in South Africa and Tanzania. She has been lead researcher on projects on corruption in Russia and Ukraine.


    Judy Deane is a retired Foreign Service Officer, specializing in Central Europe and Eurasia. In addition to her Washington assignments she served in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Mongolia and Russia. From 1999 to 2006 she worked in the Europe and Central Asia Division of the World Bank, focusing on economic development and peace-building issues in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. From 2007 to 2012 she was Senior Development Officer at American Councils for International Education, an international non-profit dedicated to international exchanges and language training.

    Ms. Deane received her BA in Economics from the University of Connecticut and holds a Master of Arts in Russian and Eastern European Studies from Yale University and a Master of Sciences in Strategy from the National War College. She is fluent in Russian, French and German and also speaks some Czech and Polish.