The oligarch is dead. Long live the oligarchy.
Boris Berezovsky's death in London last week has been called the end of an era, and in some ways it sort of was.
The man who once controlled swaths of the Russian economy and was called everything from the "Godfather of the Kremlin" to a modern-day Rasputin pretty much defined and dominated Russian politics for the first decade following the Soviet collapse.
At the height of his power, he was the master of political intrigue, had Boris Yeltsin's Kremlin hardwired, and could reportedly bring down governments on a whim.
He is widely believed to have handpicked Vladimir Putin as Yeltsin's successor and engineered the ageing Kremlin leader's shock resignation on the eve of the millennium that put the then-obscure KGB veteran in power.
And since being forced into exile in late 2000, Berezovsky has been the perfect foil for the current regime -- a symbol of the corrupt oligarchy and wild capitalism of the 1990s that impoverished Russia and which Putin claims to have banished.