NEWSLINK: “Unequal Russia: is anger stirring in the global capital of inequality?” – The Guardian (UK)  

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“With the richest 10% owning 87% of all the country’s wealth, Russia is rated the most unequal of the world’s major economies. Amid falling oil prices and a wave of protests, Shaun Walker asks how Russians really feel about life’s inequalities. …”

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Online dissidents expose the Russian prime minister’s material empire; The truth about Dmitry Medvedev lives on the Internet” – Washington Post

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

“… #Medvedev has been seen in [items] … ordered online and delivered to an address linked to a web of companies and charities controlled by close confidants and relatives. After months spent probing the network, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, headed by opposition activist Alexei #Navalny, has released a video and documentation it says show … Medvedev has accumulated more than $1 billion worth of […]

» Read more

The Russian Billionaires on Bloomberg’s Rich List; Only a select few of Russia’s oligarchs make it to the top of the world’s rich lists.

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Katie Davies – March 6, 2017) Russia is home to droves of millionaires, business owners and oligarchs: but only a select few make it to the top of the world’s rich lists. Just eight Russian businessmen have made it into the top 100 of Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. Together, they boast an estimated net worth of […]

» Read more

How Does Conflict of Interest Translate Into Russian? It Doesn’t.

Yury Chaika file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Skrynnik – February 9, 2017) Russia’s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika gave his first detailed comments on the business owned by his eldest son, Artyom, and his younger son, Igor, in an interview last week. “Don’t you think it’s a delicate situation when a father – meaning you – serves on a high government post […]

» Read more

Putin Bans Officials From Owning Foreign Assets Via Third Parties

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 29, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning state officials from owning “foreign financial instruments” through third parties. The text of the new law – which applies to members of parliament, government officials, and law enforcement officers – was published on an official government legal website. The document defines foreign financial […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK bne Intellinews: “Russia’s Watcom shopping index back at 2015 levels as consumption recovers”

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

“… The Russian shopping footfall index accelerated once again in the 44th week of the year as consumer confidence gathers momentum and the hoi polloi go shopping thanks to a slew of improving (but still far from ideal) macroeconomic indicators, according to the Watcom Shopping index. …”

» Read more

Ukraine’s Millionaire Officials Come Out of Hiding

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – October 31, 2016) If you believe his mandatory income and property declaration, Serhiy Melnichuk, a Ukrainian legislator with a military past, should be one of the wealthiest people in the world. The document says he holds 1 trillion hryvnias ($39 billion) in cash. That’s almost twice Ukraine’s planned revenue for this year and […]

» Read more

Russia’s Widening Wealth Divide Poses Risks to Central Bank

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrey Biryukov – October 19, 2016) The Bank of Russia is discovering yet another downside to how little is left of the country’s middle class. The central bank has warned that its ability to steer inflation is at risk from growing wealth inequality and the disappearance of the middle-income households that are the most sensitive to […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK Irrussianality/Paul Robinson: “FOREIGN EDUCATION”

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

“According to the website Znak, a strong recommendation has been issued to Russian state officials to bring home any children who are studying abroad. Strictly speaking, this is not mandatory, but ‘One of the sources said that anyone who fails to act, will find such non-compliance to be a “complicating factor in the furtherance of their public sector career”.’ This […]

» Read more

Wealthy Russian Families Lose Up to 75% of Their Income in 2015

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 24, 2016) Wealthy Russian families lost between 25 and 75 percent of their income in 2015, the Vedomosti business daily reported Thursday, citing the Russian Wealth Report 2016. On average, families with an annual income between 15 million and 100 million rubles ($235,000 to $1.5 million) lost 45 percent of their revenue, according to […]

» Read more

Government incomes: Abyzov pulls into first place in 2015

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

MOSCOW. April 15 (Interfax) – Open Government Affairs Minister Mikhail Abyzov, the only member of the government on the Forbes list of billionaires, pulled ahead of other members of the government in terms of income last year, thanks to a near doubling of his own earnings and a decline for his main competitor, Alexander Khloponin. Abyzov and his wife had […]

» Read more

Panama Papers scandal: What was the reaction in Russia?

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

Even though most Russian newspapers wrote about the discovery of the Panama offshore bank accounts belonging to politicians and businessmen close to Vladimir Putin, public reaction to the scandal was rather muted. Russians exchanged jokes and comments about the information policy of the main Russian TV channels, which, unlike the newspapers, did not report on the scandalous leak. (Russia Beyond […]

» Read more

Putin’s a Pauper, His Friends Are Rich

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – April 4, 2016) Recent reports by two consortia of investigative journalists purport to have exposed the dealings and offshore accounts of some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest associates. They don’t name him as a beneficiary of any account, suggesting that Putin is as poor as a church mouse — or would be […]

» Read more

Where does the Russian Orthodox Church get its money from?

Patriarch Kirill file photo

The Russian Orthodox Church is not only a religious organization, but also a large corporation that does business. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – March 9, 2016) In 2014, the Russian Orthodox Church received $75.7 million of revenues from ceremonies, sales of religious literature and donations, according to the Federal Tax Service. All of this […]

» Read more

Moscow Times: Russian Middle Class Has Not Felt Impact of Economic Crisis

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 29, 2016) Russia’s middle class has not yet felt the impact of the economic crisis, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday citing a report by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Most middle class Russians have retained their jobs and income levels, and many have even reduced their debt burden under […]

» Read more

U.S. Senator Predicts Revelations Of Putin’s Wealth Will Destabilize His Rule

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – February 1, 2016) A senior U.S. lawmaker says revelations about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wealth will be “destabilizing” to his rule as the Russian population becomes increasingly aware of them. U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Voice Of America on February 1 that the Russian people “are beginning […]

» Read more

U.S. Official Says Putin Is Secretly Wealthy, Corrupt

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – January 26, 2016) The BBC is reporting that the United States has long considered Russian President Vladimir Putin to be secretly wealthy, corrupt, and focused on enriching his friends and allies. Adam Szubin, the U.S. Treasury’s acting secretary for terrorism and financial crimes, said in an interview with BBC Panorama that the Russian president had been […]

» Read more

Debt repayment falters as ruble stays unsteady

File Photo of Cash Register with Drawer Open and Hands of Cashier

Amid continuously falling incomes, debt help groups thrive as Russians turn to different solutions to repay loans. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – December 2, 2015) In the past year, arrears on loans have reached record levels. Borrowers are finding it more difficult to repay their loans due to the steep devaluation of the ruble […]

» Read more

Gazprom’s Miller Tops Russia’s Best Paid Executive List With $27 Million

Gas Facility file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 20, 2015) Russia’s highest-paid executive last year with earnings of $27 million was Alexei Miller, the head of natural gas producer Gazprom, according to a ranking published by the Russian edition of Forbes magazine on Thursday that showed a sharp fall in the incomes of many of Russia’s top corporate bosses. Miller, 53, bucked […]

» Read more

Russia Sees Biggest Decline in Wages, Retail Sales Since 1999

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – November 19, 2015) Russian wages and retail sales declined by the most since 1999, a sign consumer demand will remain a weak link in the economy’s efforts to break out of its first recession in six years. Real wages fell 10.9 percent in October from a year earlier, a deeper contraction than the […]

» Read more

Half of Russia’s Richest People Are Planning to Cash Out

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Alexander Sazonov – November 13, 2015) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-13/putin-s-gilded-cage-russia-s-rich-are-facing-cash-out-conundrum] It’s been a quarter century since the fall of the Soviet empire triggered one of history’s greatest wealth transfers. Now bankers are preparing for another as Russia’s first generation of capitalists makes way for the next. Confidential surveys of dozens of millionaires and billionaires conducted since European […]

» Read more

If the Russian Elite is to Preserve Itself, It Must Change,’ Gudkov Says

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 5, 2015) Many commentators are speculating on whether Russia’s elite groups, now threatened by Vladimir Putin’s policies, will find a way to remove him from office and install someone more to their liking. Andrey Piontkovsky has focused particular attention on this issue (nv.ua/opinion/piontkovskiy/putin-protiv-rossijskih-elit-78063.html). But this is only part of a larger […]

» Read more

Kids of Russia’s billionaires charge into business

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – September 14, 2015) It’s been just under a quarter of a century since the fall of the Soviet Union and in that time a relatively small group of men have become fabulously wealthy in the rough and tumble of Russia’s “wild capitalism”. As most of Russia’s tycoons are approaching […]

» Read more

Russia comes out worst in wealth equality study

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – July 2, 2015) Over four-fifths of Russia’s national wealth is held by just one-tenth of the overall population, according to the 2014 Global Wealth Databook, produced by financial services group Credit Suisse. The 84.8% of wealth held by the top decile of Russia’s population was the highest proportion measured […]

» Read more

In Putin’s Russia, Universal Health Care Is for All Who Pay

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer – May 13, 2015) Expectant mothers in Moscow must wait as long as six weeks for ultra-sound scans, up from three days last year. Hospital outpatients pay for blood tests and X-rays that were free 12 months ago. And Marif Alekberov, a 27-year-old fireman with leukemia, is being told to find […]

» Read more

Questions Raised Over Poroshenko’s Role In Valuable Kyiv Land Deal

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Maksym Savchuk, Daisy Sindelar – May 13, 2015) KYIV — An investigation by RFE/RL shows that Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko may have used his presidential influence to shut down investigations into a land deal aimed at building a private mansion on a historic site in the Ukrainian capital. Two reports broadcast on RFE/RL’s Ukrainian-language television program, […]

» Read more

Champagne Tastes On Beer Incomes: Tax Declarations In Ukraine Suggest Enduring Corruption

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Katya Gorchinskaya – KYIV, April 21, 2015) Yulia Tymoshenko didn’t have much of an income in 2014. The former Ukrainian prime minister spent part of the year in prison, part of it rehabilitating in the hospital, and much of it in back-to-back campaigns for president and parliament. But nevertheless, she managed to buy a luxury car, […]

» Read more

Poor Putin’s Wealthy Friends

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – April 16, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin has an optics problem: Even as he asks people to be patient with the economic turmoil brought on in part by his response to Western sanctions, new income and property declarations are demonstrating that he and his top staffers aren’t sharing the pain. During today’s four-hour […]

» Read more

Ukraine’s Catch 22 over its oligarch class

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Mark Adomanis in Philadelphia – March 25, 2015) As the Soviet Union collapsed in both Russia and Ukraine, small groups of extremely clever and even more ruthless men “privatized” (or if you prefer less exalted language “stole”) all of the prize industrial assets. Virtually overnight, these formerly mid-ranking bureaucrats and functionaries became billionaires, some […]

» Read more

BOOK REVIEW: Russia’s Mobutu?

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Derek Brower in London – January 13, 2015) Corruption in Vladimir Putin’s Russia has sprouted its own sub-genre for Western publishers. Few of the many books, though, have the laser-like focus or amass the same devastating detail as Karen Dawisha’s “Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?” (Simon & Schuster, New York: 2014). Thanks to Britain’s […]

» Read more

How to Become a Russian Billionaire With No Help from the Kremlin

Krasnodar and Road

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov – November 20, 2014) It’s a hot day in Krasnodar, deep in southern Russia. The action is hot on the soccer field, too. Ari, the local club’s Brazilian striker, takes a pass from the left flank and scores a beautiful goal. Ari (full name Ariclenes da Silva Ferreira) then wheels away in celebration to […]

» Read more

Riches Don’t Come Honestly in Russia, Most Russians Say

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2014) More than 60 percent of Russians think it is impossible to get rich honestly in their country, according to a survey published Wednesday by the Levada Center, an independent pollster. Fifteen percent of respondents said that it was possible to become wealthy honestly 15 to 20 years ago, but that times have […]

» Read more

Russian Elites Still View Putin as Their Defense Against Russian People, Skobov Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 30, 2014) Members of Russian elites see Vladimir Putin as the only person who can maintain the existing system in which they are beneficiaries and protect them from having to go head to head with the Russian people as a whole, Aleksandr Skobov says. Consequently, they will stick with him even […]

» Read more

For the Russian elite, loyalty is all: Life has changed for Russia’s elite – and not just their holiday destinations…

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(opendemocracy.net – Yelizaveta Surnacheva – October 16, 2014) Yelizaveta Surnacheva is a journalist at Kommersant. In the last six months, Russian officials, oligarchs, CEOs of state-owned businesses, parliamentary deputies, and regional governors have found themselves in a new world, with new missions, new economic circumstances, and new mechanisms for decision-making. Not many are comfortable with it, but enough of them […]

» Read more

Daching: How to Get Beaten Up in the Russian Countryside

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – August 11, 2014) Many extreme sports, from snowboarding to air racing, are known health hazards. But only one can lead to indiscriminate beating, allegations of terrorism, jail and even self-imposed exile – and all you need to do is take a stroll through supposedly public land. Dozens of Russian officials, from President […]

» Read more

Number of millionaire households in Russia keeps growing

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – June 12, 2014) Wealth of Russian households increased 21.9% in 2013 to reach $1.92tn. The figures are disclosed in a survey “Riding a Wave of Growth: Global Wealth 2014” made public by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and seen by RBC daily. Whilst calculating overall wealth, BCG took account of total cash savings and […]

» Read more

Russian Millionaires Up By 18.5 Percent, Report Shows

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2014) The number of households whose wealth exceeds $1 million in Russia has grown by 18,5 percent in 2013, reaching 213,000 last year, the Boston Consulting Group said in a report. Russia thereby maintained the position it held in 2012, ranking 13th worldwide in terms of the number of millionaire households, the consulting […]

» Read more

Navalny Proposes Sanctions List to the West

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – March 20, 2014) Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, currently under house arrest in connection with a criminal case against him, has written an op-ed for the New York Times in which he calls for sanctions on officials and businessmen connected to President Vladimir Putin. Saying that previous U.S. and EU sanctions in response […]

» Read more

RIA Novosti: Russian Lawmaker Has Undeclared Luxury Dubai Apartment – Navalny

Middle East Map

MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s leading opposition activist Alexei Navalny published material Tuesday allegedly showing that a prominent lawmaker and son of nationalist firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky owns an undeclared $2.5 million apartment abroad with seven toilets and a balcony Jacuzzi. Igor Lebedev, deputy speaker of the State Duma, bought the property in Dubai in 2009 but failed to […]

» Read more

Most Russians pessimistic about improvement of their financial standing

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 14, 2014) Most Russians (60%) think that the financial standing of their families will not change during the nearest year, according to findings of a survey conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM). The Russian people have been in such downbeat mood over the past ten years 17% of respondents expect […]

» Read more

Billionaire Quits Business to Better Fight Kremlin

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – January 29, 2014) The only billionaire in the country at the head of a political party, Gleb Fetisov, has sold out of all his assets, showing his resolve to jostle for a greater role in current affairs. Worth an estimated $1.9 billion, Fetisov let the word out about the move at a […]

» Read more

Expert Pavlovsky wonders about political meaning of legalization of gifts to officials

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) – The Russian government’s decision to appraise gifts received by officials has certain logic but the possibility to prevent a gift business allowing officials to “launder” bribes is the question, Foundation for Effective Politics President Gleb Pavlovsky said. “What is the political meaning of this decision? It will make sense to decide whether we want officials […]

» Read more

All gifts received by Russian civil servants will be appraised

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – January 10, 2014) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a governmental resolution ordering an appraisal of all of the gifts received by the country’s civil servants during official events. The government’s press service said, citing the document, that Russian civil servants will be required to report all of their presents within three days after they were received […]

» Read more

Gifts to Officials Worth More Than $90 to Be Handed Over to State

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 10, 2014) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order requiring state officials to hand over to the state any gifts they receive that are worth more than 3,000 rubles ($90), but gives them an option of buying the presents back. The anti-corruption measure requires government officials to report any gifts within three days […]

» Read more
1 2