Sergei Pugachev was once a close acquaintance of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was formerly known as ‘Putin’s banker’ or ‘Kremlin’s banker’.
Mr. Pugachev was once the owner of the world’s biggest mine, two shipyards and real estate in Moscow and Sankt Petersburg, according to The Guardian. This totalled to an approximate wealth of 15 billion euros. But almost all of that was taken from him when the Russian DIA (Deposit Insurance Agency) won a UK high court case to freeze Mr. Pugachev’s assets worldwide.
According to his standards, he is now broke: “I’m down to my last $70m.”
At that time he was in the UK, but he managed to flee to France. He is fearing for his life: “I’ve been receiving death threats since 2011. I could either obey the order and risk the lives of my wife and children, or leave”
According to Mr. Sergei’s statements, President Putin was not planning to remain in office for more than three or four years. He just wanted to get wealthy, and leave. “Putin wanted to get rich. He was a pragmatic person. We talked about this. He didn’t want to leave office poor.”
Now, allegedly, everything in Russia is considered to be Putin’s.
“Everything that belongs to the territory of the Russian Federation Putin considers to be his. Everything – Gazprom, Rosneft, private companies. Any attempt to calculate it won’t succeed. He’s the richest person in the world until he leaves power.”
‘Kremlin’s banker’ also stated that Putin was faced with a hard choice in 2012. He either had to liberalise the country, or to distract the citizens from their economic worries. He chose the second with the Crimean annexation and the invasion of eastern Ukraine. This led to a sense of patriotism among Russians. At that time, the relationship between Putin and Pugachev started to fall apart, since Pugachev did not agree with this type of politics. This is one of the reasons behind Mr. Pugachev’s willingness to speak against ‘such an oppressive government’.
Vladimir Putin’s wealth was estimated at 200 billion dollars by Bill Browder, the Chief Executive Officer of a hedge fund.
“After 14 years in power of Russia, and the amount of money that the country has made, and the amount of money that hasn’t been spent on schools and roads and hospitals and so on — all that money is in property, Swiss bank accounts, shares, hedge funds managed for Putin and his cronies. The first eight or 10 years about reign over Russia was about stealing as much money that he could” – Bill Browder
Sursa foto: breitbart.com