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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

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburgs answer to the United States popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genres authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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