A country boss (also referred to as a rural boss) was the name typically given to rural Russian gangsters who controlled swaths of territory, especially in the western provinces of the Eastern Department, as if they were feudal feifs, exacting tribute and offering protection to residents of their territory. Country bosses typically drew power from local relatives and cheap weapons and labor in the region following the Oktoberkrieg, although the phenomenon of the country boss extended back into the late 19th century. Country bosses became more integral to the survival of local communities in the wake of the Oktorberkrieg and thus had a much more structured base of power, and by the late 1930's were running the lawless Eastern Department much more so than the French-appointed Governors in the major cities. When Sebastien fled to the East in 1937, he used the peaceful relations between over a dozen country bosses in and around Minsk to quickly build a base of operations and bring the rural elements of Russia into his fold for the early part of his campaign. The country boss system is regarded as an early model for the later Russian and Alaskan Mafias.