Thursday, December 15, 2005

Russian Godfathers....

BBC TV has a series on BBC2 on Thursdays at 9:00pm entitled "Russian Godfathers" where they profile the major players in current Russian politics & business since the rise of the oligarchs resulting from Russia's transformation to capitalism.

So far a fascinating profile of Boris Berezovsky in the first programme showed how even in exile in London he plays a major part in Russian political life & his mere presence in a distant state from Moscow can give rise to the most extreme reaction from President Putin.

Programme 2 gave insight into the imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky (above), former head of oil company Yukos, was by some guesses at the time the richest man in Russia - Forbes magazine once estimated his wealth at £9bn, he is now serving 9 years in Siberia where he is said to earn 23 roubles a day sewing police uniforms.

Later programmes follow the fortunes of Vladimir Gusinsky ex head of Media-Most - the country's only independent media corporation (he has criticised Putin via his media group & now lives in exile in Israel), Roman Abramovich - ex owner of Sibneft, now with a net worth of £15bn & Yuri Luzhkov, Mayor of Moscow who appears to be very wealthy for a public official?

Clearly none of them are angels, but they are fantastically wealthy individuals who solely by there lifestyle are intriguing & interesting to many, me included.

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