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The non-ferrous metal works Norilsk Nickel reflects the history of the Soviet Union and Russia in the 20th century like no other enterprise. The Noril`sk combine was established in the 1930s in the wake of the forced industrialisation campaign. In the Brezhnev era, Noril`sk was expanded and became an enormous centre of mining and heavy industry. The collapse of the Soviet Union hit this economically unprofitable combine hard. By means of a contentious privatisation during the Yeltsin era, it became the property of the industrial magnates Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov. Today, the conglomerate is one of the ten largest and most profitable companies in Russia and a global market leader in nickel production.