Present and past owners of OAO Bank Rossiya, the only company hit with sanctions for Russia’s takeover of Crimea, include three billionaires, two proteges of a Nobel Laureate and, according to a Spanish prosecutor, one possible mob boss.
When Igor Sechin was working as President Vladimir Putin’s deputy chief of staff a decade ago, visitors to his Kremlin office noticed an unusual collection on the bookshelves: row after row of bound volumes containing minutes of Communist Party congresses.
Western leaders may think Vladimir Putin is crazy for threatening to annex Crimea and invade other areas of Ukraine. Most Russians, still bitter about the Soviet Union’s demise more than two decades ago, couldn’t be prouder.
Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who died of an apparent suicide last year, was a “broken man” on anti-depressants after he lost a court case against Roman Abramovich in 2012, witnesses told an inquest.
On a frosty Moscow evening in December, Alisher Usmanov is wearing a boyish grin. Russia’s richest man, who rarely smiles in public, has been elected to a second term as president of the International Fencing Federation, which is holding its annual congress in the Russian capital for the first time.
After Moscow was picked to host the 1980 Summer Olympics, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev considered backing out as he fretted over the costs and political risks. Not so Vladimir Putin, who’s dreamed of bringing the games back to Russia for two decades and has staked his legacy on success.