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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, July 24


Liliana Modiliani, a well-known Russian stylist, will talk about choosing clothes that fit during her lecture at 7 p.m. at the Pryamoy Efir art club, 13 Viborgskoe Shosse.



Friday, July 25


Discuss Russias economic and political prospects for 2014 during a Business Breakfast organized by SPIBA at 9.30 a.m. in the Bank Saint-Petersburg office at 64


Malookhtinsky Prospekt.


Start your weekend with adorable miniature pigs at the Squealing Pig festival at 7 p.m. this evening in the Karl & Friedrich restaurant, 15 Iozhnaya doroga, on Krestovsky Island.



Saturday, July 26


Hundreds of brand-new and retro cars, drag and drift shows, test drives and karting are planned for the Avtobum-2014 festival, which will take place in front of the RIO shopping center at 2 Fuchika Ulitsa.


Participants in todays SaniDay Summer competition will impress visitors with their hand-made, unusual and hilarious boats, which will race at the Igora Resort near the 54th kilometer on Priozerskoe Shosse.


Metro Family Day will include both serious lectures for adults and master-classes for children, making the event interesting for the whole family. To participate, come to Kirov Park on Yelagin Island.


Photography will be the focus of todays Photosubbota, which features lectures by famous photographers, meetings with photo schools and studio representatives, and participation in a photography competition. The event starts at noon at Petrokongress, 5 Lodeynopolskaya Ulitsa.


If you like cycling, make sure to visit the Za Velogorod Festival with its retro bike exhibition, market and live music. The second round of the Leningrad Criterium race will also take place during the event at Petrovsky Arsenal in Sestroretsk.



Sunday, July 27


Navy Day will be celebrated with a weapon and military transportation exhibition, self-defense master classes and concerts. The event starts at 1 p.m. in the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburg.



Monday, July 28


Dont miss a chance to see the latest achievements in robotics during the RoboDom interactive show, exhibiting more than 150 robots. The show will be at BUM center, 22/2 Gzhatskaya Ulitsa, until Aug. 3. The entrance ticket costs 350 rubles ($10).



Tuesday, July 29


A video of a Queen concert from 1986 will be shown today at 8 p.m. in Yaschik, 50/13 Ligovsky Prospekt.



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