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Putins Former Supervisor Mines a Fortune in Shares

Published: April 6, 2011 (Issue # 1650)



  • Vladimir Litvinenko, rector of the St. Petersburg Mining Institute, is worth an estimated $350 million to $450 million.
    Photo: Vedomosti

Vladimir Litvinenko is awell-connected man.

Therector ofthe St. Petersburg Mining Institute oversaw Vladimir Putins dissertation, which in1996 earned thecurrent prime minister adoctorate ineconomics.

Last year, Litvinenko became chairman ofthe board ofPhosAgro, thecountrys largest producer ofphosphate-based fertilizers.

Now he is amultimillionaire, worth anestimated $350 million to$450 million after aninvestor prospectus filed byPhosAgro last week showed he holds 5 percent ofthe companys shares.

Thefortune is raising eyebrows because Litvinenko, who has headed thestate mining institute since 1994, was not previously known as abusinessman. Litvinenkos apparently rapid rise toriches speaks volumes ina country where who you know can be as important as what you know if not more so.

Litvinenko seems toowe his luck tobeing theright man inthe right place atthe right time.

He is anexpert inthat sector, andhe has direct links with Vladimir Putin what more can you ask for? said Georgy Ivanin, asenior analyst with Alfa Bank.

Asked how Litvinenko became ashareholder, PhosAgro spokesman Timur Belov said bytelephone that thecompany has apolicy ofnot commenting onits shareholders beyond what is published officially.

Themining institute did not reply towritten questions sent toLitvinenkos office last week. One ofhis aides, who identified himself only byhis first name andpatronymic, Viktor Mikhailovich, said bytelephone that theinstitutes press service would look intothe questions.

Litvinenko has proved his political allegiance toPutin more than once. In2000 and2004, he headed theSt. Petersburg campaign team forPutins election as president.

His role insupervising Putins doctorate has been questioned since 2006, when Clifford Gaddy, ascholar atthe Brookings Institution inWashington, demonstrated that key parts ofthe dissertation, which discusses resources planning inSt. Petersburg andthe neighboring Leningrad Oblast, appeared tohave been plagiarized froma 1978 U.S. business school textbook.

Litvinenko has denied theallegations ofplagiarism, andPutins spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TheSt. Petersburg Times that they were slanderous.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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