Half of Russia’s billionaires are working for the war with Ukraine Today, the “Project” presents a list of the richest businessmen in Russia who are involved in one way or another in the attack on Ukraine. Until now, some oligarchs have declared that they were not involved in Russian aggression, while the rest simply remain silent. But we did a lot of research and found that in fact the vast majority of billionaires and many multimillionaires work for the war. ???? How did we count? As a basis, we took the latest pre-war Forbes list from 2021, which included the 200 richest Russians. Next, we studied which of the legal entities associated with them: * owns enterprises that produce weapons; * supplies goods and services to the military-industrial complex, the army and * the National Guard; * helps to integrate the occupied territories of Ukraine into the Russian economy. ???? It is important to note that we have taken into account the cooperation of businessmen with the Russian army and occupation administrations since 2014. After all, it was from that moment that Russia illegally seized Crimea, and then unleashed a war in the Donbass. ???? How many businessmen are working for the war? More than a third – at least 81 people out of 200. However, the vast majority of these people are at the top of the Forbes list. Therefore, if we count only billionaires, it turns out that almost half of them are involved in the supply of the Russian army and the military-industrial complex – 58 out of 121. ???? What exactly did these people do? They are related to the most terrible crimes of the Russian army. For example, the drama theater in Mariupol in March last year was destroyed by FAB-500 bombs (at that time, from 300 to 600 people died). Aluminum powder is supplied to the manufacturer of this bomb by the structures of Oleg Deripaska, who verbally stands for peace, and Viktor Vekselberg, and the company, where Vladimir Yevtushenkov has a stake, supplies components. The same Yevtushenkov company supplied aluminum armor for airborne combat vehicles, from which the Russian military shot civilians in Bucha. Deliveries for the production of these machines and weapons were carried out by many – Mikhail Shelkov and Evgeny Zubitsky (metal products), the Rotenberg family (production of guns and shells that shot people), Dmitry Mazepin (ammonia and ammonium nitrate for manufacturers of explosives and ammunition). Read more about who and what kind of weapons helped to make for the Russian army, read in our material “Dogs of War”. And watch on Youtube.
The “project” calculated that only 47 of the richest Russian businessmen out of 81 involved in the production of weapons for the army fell under Western sanctions , calculated the publication “Project”. In its calculations, the “Project” relied on the rating of the 200 richest Russians according to Forbes magazine, compiled at the end of 2021. After analyzing the state contracts of businessmen with defense plants, the Ministry of Defense and the National Guard for 2014-2023, the journalists found that at least 81 people from this list openly participated in the supply of the Russian army and the military-industrial complex. However, the sanctions did not affect everyone. Of the 81 businessmen, 80 people fell under the restrictions. Of these, only 14 are sanctioned in all Western countries that are partners of Ukraine (the European Union, the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Japan). 47 people out of 81 fell under the sanctions of not all Western countries, and the remaining 34 – only under the sanctions of Ukraine. The only one who avoided sanctions was businessman Sergei Makhlai, who until March 2022 was the main owner of the ammonia producer Togliattiazot. However, Makhlai left Russia in the early 2010s and, as journalists write, apparently does not control the company, and the plant itself, according to him, was seized by the owner of Uralchem, Dmitry Mazepin. The total amount of open contracts that the enterprises of these businessmen entered into with the Russian defense complex from 2014 to 2023 is at least 220 billion rubles according to the “Project” (journalists themselves call this estimate minimal). According to Rain
RUSAL and PIK supply mercenaries for the Russian army. Investigation of “Important stories” Russian billionaires take on the salary of volunteers who go to war, found out “Important stories”. But if the businessmen themselves are sanctioned, their recruiting companies are not. We will describe how the scheme works using the example of Oleg Deripaska’s RUSAL, one of the world’s largest aluminum producers: RUSAL registers those who wish to join a company associated with Deripaska. For example, private security company “Ruslan”. The next day, the “employee” signs a contract with the Ministry of Defense. After that, the employment contract is suspended – so the company has the opportunity to “pay bonuses”. Payments from the Ministry of Defense – 200 thousand rubles, from “Ruslan” – 100 thousand, in the bank statement they are called: “Free payment of funds to military service under the contract.” Mercenaries are sent to the Sokol volunteer battalion, which is actually part of the Russian army. And if Oleg Deripaska himself is under sanctions. Sanctions were lifted from the company when Deripaska reduced his stake in RUSAL below the control. In addition to Deripaska, “volunteers” for the Ministry of Defense are supplied at a minimum by: – Novatek by Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko, – Mospromstroy by Mikhail Gutseriev, – Russia’s largest developer PIK Sergey Gordeev. Read the details in the investigation by Maria Zholobova and Anastasia Korotkova here →
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