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Politics or Revenge? Billionaire Gleb Fetisov is Arrested

Published: March 3, 2014 (Issue # 1799)



  • Gleb Fetisov is suspected of fraud.
    Photo: Vedomosti

A Moscow court has arrested billionaire political leader Gleb Fetisov, weeks after he ramped up his political ambitions by partnering up with prominent opposition figures and launching a new political party.

A fellow leader of the party suggested that the arrest was retaliation by influential private depositors who lost millions of dollars when a bank formerly owned by Fetisov was shut down by the regulator in January.

Related: Billionaire Gleb Fetisov’s Vision in Green

Worth $1.9 billion, Fetisov is one of the richest people to have ever found themselves behind bars in Russia's post-Soviet history, after former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky and media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky. He is now the only billionaire at the helm of a Russian political party, following Mikhail Prokhorov's recent handover of leadership of the Civil Platform to his sister.

The Basmanny Court on Friday ruled to arrest Fetisov for a period ending April 20, hours after Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin announced the billionaire's detention. Fetisov is suspected of fraud at Moi Bank, which he sold in December, Markin said.

A Fetisov aide denied any wrongdoing by the businessman and attributed his prosecution to the recent advances in Fetisov's political career, including his banding together with a prominent Kremlin critic to launch a new party.

Related: Gudkovs Aim to Consolidate Opposition Parties

"All that was done to him suggests reprisal or revenge for his political activity," the party said in a statement following Fetisov's detention at a Moscow airport, as he returned from a foreign location where he underwent medical treatment.

In January, Fetisov stepped up his independent political profile by joining forces with a vocal detractor of the government, Gennady Gudkov, and merging their parties to create the People's Political Party Green and Social Democratic Alliance. They co-chair the new political force.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Sept. 15


Angelic music will ring out in the city during this week’s Third International Harp Competition. Hosted by the Shostakovich Philharmonic in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the country’s best musicians with 40 to 47 strings will convene to find out who’s best.



Tuesday, Sept. 16


Lenexpo plays host to Tekhnodrev, a three-day convention that focuses on the woodworking industry in Russia. Promoting the latest technologies and trends, the event features not only exhibitors from some of Russia’s largest woodworking companies but representatives of the forestry industry, who will have their own coinciding forum.


Parlez-vous français? We don’t here at The St. Petersburg Times but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Join the British Book Center’s French Club meeting this evening at 6 p.m. in their location near Technologichesky Institut metro station.



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