Friday, January 26, 2018

Putin family business

An article in the The Moscow Times looks at an event in the world of today's Russian oligarchy, Putin Family Split Offers Peek at Secret Dealings of Russia Inc. 01/25/2018.

(Given today's controversies, I'll add that so far as I'm aware, The Moscow Times is independent of the Russian government.)

Kirill Shamalov is reportedly divorcing Katerina Tikhonova, the youngest daughter of Vladimir Putin. The article describes Sahmalov as the "son of an old Putin pal." It makes the marriage sound like a business merger:
Shamalov’s brief tenure as a captain of industry started in 2012, around the time he was preparing to wed. Sibur’s main owners, Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko, promoted their vice president for business administration to deputy chief executive officer and then awarded him 4.3 percent of the company. In 2014, with a loan from Gazprombank, he acquired another 17 percent from Timchenko for about $2.2 billion. He was 32.

Then Sibur announced last April that Shamalov had sold the shares he bought from Timchenko to Mikhelson. Though the details of the deal and the reasoning behind it were never disclosed, a person familiar with the transaction said Shamalov made “zero” from the sale because he was only allowed to hold those shares in a kind of trust as a Putin family member. That ownership privilege ended when the marriage did, three of the people [sources] said.
And they describe the secrecy around Putin's family this way:
So assiduously does the Kremlin guard the Putin family’s privacy that even off the record none of the people contacted for this story would say whether Tikhonova has formally divorced or when, exactly, she got married.

Russian media are all but banned from reporting about his daughters, Katerina, 31, and Maria, 32, so their lives are shrouded in mystery. Even their maiden names are different.

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