Abramovich’s Girlfriend, Sharapova and Sexy Spy Make List of Russia’s Most Beautiful Women

9 Jul

 

russian oligarch girl

In honor of International Women’s Day, Russian news service Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH) has anointed the 12 most beautiful women in Russia. The list includes supermodel Natalia Vodianova(above), Roman Abramovich‘s gorgeous girlfriend Dasha Zhukova and tennis star Maria Sharapova(below) as well as sexy spy Anna Chapman, who was kicked out of the U.S. last summer following espionage charges. Here’s the full rundown of RBTH’s Russian beauties; it’s unclear whether they’re ranked in order of pulchritude, but if so Anna Chapman clocks in high at #3, Vodianova is #4, Sharapova is #5 and Zhukova.

maria sharapova

  • Source : http://www.luxist.com/tag/Russian+billionaires/

24-Year-Old Russian Billionaire Heiress Is The Buyer Of Greece’s Most Famous Private Island

24 Apr

24-Year-Old Russian Billionaire Heiress Is The Buyer Of Greece’s Most Famous Private Island

Last week we learned that Skorpios, the famous private Greek island that once belonged to shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, had sold to an anonymous Russian billionaire for $153 million.

skorpios-greece-1

It’s now been confirmed that the buyer was Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the 24-year-old daughter of Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, a potash tycoon said to be worth $9.1 billion and the largest shareholder in the Bank of Cyprus.

Does her name sound familiar?

Ekaterina Rybolovleva made headlines in late 2011 when she bought former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill’s penthouse at 15 Central Park West for $88 million, one of the biggest residential real estate deals in New York City history. Presumably, her father bankrolled the purchase.

A representative of the Rybolovlev family confirmed the Skorpios deal to Forbes, saying in a statement: “A company belonging to a trust acting in the interest of Ekaterina Rybolovleva has completed the purchase of a group of companies formerly ultimately owned by Mrs Athina Onassis. Amongst the assets of this group of companies are the islands of Scorpios and Sparti.”

She will reportedly use it for leisure and as a long-term investment.

Skorpios, which Onassis bought in 1962 for $15,000, was made famous as the location of his wedding to former First Lady Jackie Kennedy in 1968.

The island was sold by Athina Onassis Roussel, Onassis’s granddaughter and only surviving heir.

Source:

Boris Berezovsky death: ‘No evidence of third-party involvement’

26 Mar

There is no evidence so far that a “third party” was involved in the death of Boris Berezovsky, police say.

Earlier, the Russian tycoon’s house in Berkshire was given the all-clear after it was searched by police for chemical, biological and nuclear material.

Thames Police said Mr Berezovsky, 67, was found by an employee dead on his bathroom floor on Saturday afternoon. The door was locked from the inside.

A Home Office post-mortem examination is to be carried out.

Mr Berezovsky emigrated to the UK in 2000 after falling out with Russia’s president, and was granted asylum in 2003.

Police are treating the death as unexplained, while scenes-of-crime officers are currently inside the property carrying out a full forensic examination of the scene.

“It would be wrong to speculate on the cause of death until the post-mortem has been carried out. We do not have any evidence at this stage to suggest third party involvement,” Det Ch Insp Kevin Brown of Thames Valley Police said.

Boris Berezovsky death

 ”The investigation team are building a picture of the last days of Mr Berezovsky’s life, speaking to close friends and family to gain a better understanding of his state of mind.

“We are acutely aware of the level of interest into his death and are focused on conducting a thorough investigation as we would with any unexplained death.”

Mr Berezovsky’s body was reportedly found by an employee, who called an ambulance at 15:18 GMT on Saturday.

He had not been seen since around 22.30 GMT the previous evening.

His body remained at the property while the search – described by police as a precaution – for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear material was carried out.

The search was sparked after a paramedic’s personal electronic dosimeter (PED) – a health and safety device – was triggered.

Boris Berezovsky amassed a fortune in the 1990s after the privatisation of state assets following the collapse of Soviet communism.

He survived numerous assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur.

In 2003 he was granted political asylum in Britain on the grounds that his life would be in danger in Russia.

He was married twice and had six children – two with each of his wives and two with a long-term partner.

The tycoon’s wealth is thought to have considerably diminished in recent years, leaving him struggling to pay debts in the wake of costly court cases.

In 2011, Mr Berezovsky reportedly lost more than £100m in a divorce settlement. And, last year, he lost a £3bn ($4.7bn) damages claim against Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.

In an informal interview with journalist Ilya Zhegule on the eve of his death, and published on Forbes’ Russian language website, Mr Berezovsky reportedly said his life no longer made sense and spoke of his desire to return to Russia.

“There is nothing that I wish more today than to return to Russia,” he is quoted as saying.

“I had underestimated how dear Russia is to me and how little I can stand being an emigre.

“I have changed my opinion on a lot of subjects. I had a very idealistic idea on how to build a democratic Russia. And I had an idealistic idea of what democracy is in the centre of Europe.

“I underestimated the inertia of Russia and greatly overestimated the West.”

On Saturday a Kremlin spokesman said that Mr Berezovsky had recently written to Mr Putin, saying he wanted to go home.

Mr Berezovsky was a close friend of murdered Russian emigre and former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 after he was poisoned with the radioactive material polonium-210 while drinking tea at a London meeting.

Without naming Mr Berezovsky, the Kremlin has accused its foreign-based opponents of organising the assassination. It was thought that Russia was, in part, referring to Mr Berezovsky.

He denied the allegation and accused Mr Putin of personally being behind Mr Litvinenko’s death. A former Russian intelligence officer, Andrei Lugovoi, has refused to attend the Litvinenko inquest, saying he will not receive “justice” in Britain.

Russian media have described Mr Berezovsky’s death as “the end of an era”.

Boris Berezovsky death

Fmr Scotland Yard Commander John O’Connor said he did not believe Berezovsky would have written to Putin

On its website, the pro-Kremlin paper Komsomolskaya Pravda describes Mr Berezovsky as having been “clever, cunning, resourceful… a master of chaos”.

Meanwhile, Novaya Gazeta – which is normally critical of the Kremlin – described him as someone who “viewed Russia as a chess board”, albeit one on which “only he would be allowed to move the pieces”.

Former British ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood, who knew Mr Berezovsky, said he had been a man of vigour who had tended to “over-egg his importance”, was at heart “not a bad man” and had been helpful to Britain in the past.

Sir Andrew told the BBC: “If he killed himself, that’s terrible. If he was poisoned – and it’s interesting that people instantly raise that question in one way or another – that is of course still worse.

“If he had a heart attack, well that was what was coming anyway so one should be grateful if it was fast.”

Russian reaction

“This dirty part of our history ended a long time ago and elicits no feeling but disgust. Let’s see if Satan allows him into hell, or maybe he’ll send him back to Russia to endure proper suffering” - blogger Mikhail Delyagin

“Berezovsky died an unhappy man. His life’s main project – President Putin – betrayed him and drove him out of Russia” - opposition activist Ilya Yashin

“Berezovsky’s demise is mostly bemoaned by liberal twitterati, who forget that it was he who brought Putin to power” - blogger Ilya Varlamov

“His life had lost all meaning… He could not return to serious politics, serious money or to any serious game in general” - journalist Dmitry Olshansky

Source :

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21914864

Forbes’ Billionaires World Map

25 Mar

For the 27th annual Forbes billionaires list, Frobes’ team of reporters spent months tracking down the wealthiest people around the globe. Ultimately, they found 1,426 billionaires who are together worth a total of $5.4 trillion — a record sum.

The combined wealth of billionaires from the United States, $1.87 trillion, is larger than the combined wealth of all the billionaires from Europe, $1.55 trillion, or any other continent.

BRIC nations represent three of the five countries with the largest combined net worth: Russian billionaires have amassed $427.1 billion, ranking second. Followed by Germans, $296.25 billion, Chinese, $262.96 billion, and Indians $193.6 billion.

Bob Mansfield and David Lada mapped the wealth of the world’s richest. Share your own conclusions and rankings with us:

Click on image to enlarge

billionaire map russian billionaires

Source :

  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/ricardogeromel/2013/03/22/forbes-billionaires-map/

Wealthy Russians Have Completely Taken Over This Cyprus Beach Town

19 Mar

The tiny island country of Cyprus is in the spotlight this week for a surprise bailout plan that was specifically designed to tax deposits held by Russian gangsters and oligarchs.

You see, wealthy Russians love the country’s lax citizenship requirements, which provides an easy way to get black money into the European Union.

But that can’t be all that Russians love about Cyprus, right?

The Mediterranean nation is home to more than 10,000 Russians, notably in the coastal city of Limassol, which is home to several Russian schools, Russian-language newspapers, and boutiques that sell some of the world’s best mink coats.

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russian oligarch cyprus

russian oligarch cyprus

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/russian-oligarchs-vacation-in-cyprus-2013-3?op=1#ixzz2O04h9LS2

The Amazing Toys Of Russia s NEW Wealthiest Oligarch

14 Mar

Alisher Usmanov is now Russia’s richest man thanks to the investment he made in Facebook three years ago.

Alisher Usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch roman abramovitch

The oligarch, whose investment term DST has invested in several Silicon Valley startups and sold $1.4 billion worth of Facebook stock during the company’s IPO, is currently worth some $18.1 billion, according to Forbes.

While the rich and famous hope to pick up a piece at Sotheby’s auction, Usmanov was able to poach the entire collection before it even went for sale. He is also building a Roman bath under his house.

Usmanov owns Beechwood house, a Victorian mansion in London that he bought for $77 million.

beechwood-house Alisher Usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch

Usmanov’s neighbors in Highgate, London include Jude Law, Annie Lennox and George Michael. 

Jude Law

Usmanov is in the process of building a huge, Roman-style bathing complex and underground swimming pool in his Victorian mansion.

Victoria mansion benchwood-house Alisher Usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch tudor mansion

Usmanov’s Russia’s Arts and Sports Charity Foundation is credited with carrying out a successful bid for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.

benchwood-house Alisher Usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch tudor mansion

Usmanov’s country house is a Tudor mansion built in 1524 and was a gift from Henry VIII to one of his associates. It’s on 300 acres for privacy.

benchwood-house Alisher Usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch tudor mansion

Usmanov has a $100 million yacht named Dilbar, for his mother. The yacht is actually a downgrade from his previous one, which was $273 million.

Yacht dilbar Alisher Usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch

He reportedly just bought a wide-body Airbus A340 that is the largest private jet in Russia, and possibly in all of Europe. It could cost as much as $500 million, depending on how he outfits it.

airbus a340 Alisher Usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch

In 2007, Usmanov bought out a whole Sotheby’s auction for the art collection of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, paying more than $35 million. The paintings are displayed publicly at a Russian castle.

 Sotheby's auction alisher usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch

Usmanov owns Comment, a well-known business newspaper in Russia with a circulation of 131,000. He fired the CEO and Editor-in-Chief for publishing negative comments about Vladimir Putin.

 vladimir putin alisher usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch

In May 2009, Digital Sky Technologies, a company Usmanov owns a 32% stake in, paid $200 million for a 1.96% stake in Facebook. When the company went public, he became Russia’s richest man.

facebook  alisher usmanov whealthiest russian oligarch

 

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/alisher-usmanov-russias-richest-man-2012-6?op=1#ixzz2Kz4qoErs

Russian Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov: From Oligarch To President? (Forbes)

7 Mar

Mikhail Prokhorov Forbes oligarch to president

Credit: David Yellen

He’s in town in early February for just a couple of nights, as usual, to watch his Brooklyn Nets. Tonight they’re playing against the equally matched Chicago Bulls. Three years ago he put $200 million into the Nets, which moved to the spectacular new Barclays Center last fall. But the Nets are “a passion project”–more of a hobby than a serious preoccupation. “I have handed off all of my active business assets to my partners to manage,” says Prokhorov, “so that 100% of my time is devoted to politics.”When billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, alpha oligarch and partner of Jay-Z, comes to New York, he typically nabs the 52nd-floor penthouse suite at the top of the Four Seasons hotel in midtown Manhattan, which goes for $35,000 a night. It has nine rooms, and when I meet Prokhorov, he’s relaxing his 6-foot-8 frame on a couch in the dining area. Prokhorov doesn’t offer to show the other rooms, preferring a controlled setting, which is pretty much his personal modus operandi.

Mikhail Prokhorov Forbes oligarch to president vladimir putin

Skeptics may be forgiven the arched eyebrow. Prokhorov burst upon the Russian political scene just in time to run against strongman Vladimir Putin, whose 2012 election for a third term as president was a foregone conclusion. Before announcing his decision to run as an independent, Prokhorov surrendered his political party, Right Cause, to the Kremlin, saying that it was only a puppet of the government. At the same time he negotiated with “the puppeteers,” who allowed him to run for president and collect 2 million necessary signatures in record time while other candidates were flailing. Attracting 8% of the vote in a third-place finish, Prokhorov went mute for a while after Putin returned to power.

The next time, he insists, he’s serious. “We are in the process of building a real, strong, powerful party called the Civic Platform. That’s what I do all day.”

To gain credibility, as well as traction, he must disprove the label of full-time dabbler. Now 47, Prokhorov has been, by turns, a hawker of denim, a banker, a metals mogul, an extreme athlete, a playboy, a sports team owner, a politician, a media power … and a politician again. “I consider myself an alternative” to the current regime, he says. “I have, of course, already run for president. If the Civic Platform continues to move ahead, further participation in presidential elections is a possibility.” Prokhorov is careful to note his respect for Putin. But challenging the Kremlin in any way is still a dangerous game. Opponents like Prokhorov’s former oligarch contemporary, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, have found themselves entombed in the gulag. Others–like Alexander Litvinenko, ex-KGB agent turned MI6 spy, and Sergei Magnitsky, an accountant turned whistle-blower–have ended up dead. (The Kremlin has denied any involvement in Litvinenko’s death.)

So Prokhorov is writing a new political playbook for billionaires, one far more complicated and high-stakes than the one Michael Bloomberg used to spend his way into Gracie Mansion or Silvio Berlusconi to leverage his media holdings to become Italy’s prime minister. He knows he can’t act too boldly or defiantly, or the Kremlin will shut him down immediately. He also knows he can’t be too closely allied with Putin, or he will lose credibility. And he can certainly read a calendar: The next presidential election is five years away. There’s a lot of groundwork that must be done, and Prokhorov, a consummate chess player as a kid, is suited to temporizing and making thoughtful moves. “He knows how to calculate several steps ahead and can think about several things at the same time,” says Yevgeny Roizman, who followed Prokhorov from Right Cause to Civic Platform. With a net worth of $13 billion, Prokhorov can hang in this game a while.

As for tonight’s game, Prokhorov, who has changed into a trim gray suit, monogrammed white shirt and blue tie, takes a limo to Brooklyn. We are joined by a 40-ish blonde dressed in a dark Nets jersey, flared jeans and stilettos, whom he introduces as Mila. “I am just a friend, an acquaintance,” she says. They exchange a couple of jokes about her rollerblading in Central Park. Prokhorov later admits she is an ex-girlfriend. Business partners and political bedfellows may come and go, but a few of his notoriously plentiful romances have apparently bloomed into lasting friendships.

We cross the East River and head down Atlantic Avenue to Barclays Center. A car elevator dumps Prokhorov right in the center of the building, designed by Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects. On the way to his private box he is mobbed by strangers–as with his players, he’s hard to miss. Prokhorov waves, shakes hands, promises two kids in Nets jerseys he’ll give them an autograph later. “You’ve put your tie on! Do I need a tie now?” asks his partner in the Brooklyn venture, real estate developer Bruce Ratner, who pulls a cravat out of his own jacket pocket and playfully waves it in the air.

Mikhail Prokhorov Forbes oligarch to president jay z

Ratner is the main force behind the once controversial arena and a 55-45 owner of it with Prokhorov. The two are partners in the Nets as well (Prokhorov: 80%; Ratner: 20%). The third member of an odd trio is hip-hop sensation Jay-Z, who performed at the opening of the center last September. (He has a reported cut of the action.) Or maybe not so odd: They’re all self-made, outsize successes. Prokhorov says there is “a natural bond” between him and Jay-Z. Not incidentally, high-profile friends like these in America’s media capital provide a kind of insurance, given the political risks he is embracing. Virtually no New Yorkers can name Khodorkovsky, much less rally around the absurd injustice that has befallen him and his cause; Prokhorov is now far more visible.

As the game starts Prokhorov sits down with Mila and a smattering of Russians from his U.S.-based Onexim Sports & Entertainment. Billy King, the team’s general manager, stops by to say hello. Prokhorov watches the game nervously, fidgeting, cracking his knuckles and, when Chicago takes the ball up-court, roaring, “Those S.O.B.s will now score!” For him, though, it’s simply “a way of relaxing, if you will, a contrast to the headaches of political life.” Which says as much about Russian politics as it does about Prokhorov.

PROKHOROV GREW UP SIDESTEPPING POLITICS, if he thought about affairs of state at all. The now familiar trajectory of his spectacular success–from student to banker to mining bercapitalist–depended on maintaining smooth relations with the government, first under the chaotic and corrupt mess of the Yeltsin administration, then under the increasingly repressive (if more orderly) but still corrupt Putin reign.

“He was not a troublemaker as a child,” says Prokhorov’s sister, Irina, 57. Reared in a well-educated Moscow family, Prokhorov learned about the world outside the Iron Curtain from his father, who traveled widely for the Soviet sports committee. Neither he nor Prokhorov’s mother, an engineer, lived to see the empire collapse; both were dead by 1989. At the time, after a two-year interruption in his studies to serve in the Soviet Army, Prokhorov was finishing his studies at the Moscow Finance Institute. Almost overnight he morphed from a carefree little brother to the family breadwinner, says Irina, who was then divorced and had a young daughter. “All those precious things of student life–dating, romances, everything that most people experience during that time–he, unfortunately, missed out on.”

Becoming an entrepreneur was partly the result of having to support his family. (And a family it remains: He and Irina share a mansion outside of Moscow.) But Prokhorov ultimately sees it as a long-established pattern of risk-taking, starting with a stonewashed jeans business. “People would say to me, ‘What are you doing? You have a brilliant career ahead of you, and you’re throwing it away! This fad will end in two or three years.’ ”

Prokhorov didn’t stick around long enough to find out. His elite financial education helped him climb the ranks at an international bank that dealt with the former Soviet bloc and then move to another financial institution that was acquiring state assets by the hundred-million-dollar fistfuls. He hit true pay dirt when he and Vladimir Potanin, now a fellow billionaire, formed Onexim Bank, which handled loans to the government and treasury obligations, then dealt with bankrupt state enterprises. “
People would say to me, ‘What are you doing?! Your own bank?! That’s so unreliable!’ ” Prokhorov recalls.

Mikhail Prokhorov Forbes oligarch to president

In fact, it was the quickest route to questionable riches in the mid- to late 1990s, during Russia’s often shady privatization. Onexim was right in the middle of it all–supervising the auctions that gave it and other banks the right to lend to the government, which, in turn, collateralized those loans with shares of newly private companies. When the government defaulted on the loans, the banks acquired the shares. In late 1995 Onexim got control of Norilsk Nickel–the foundation of phenomenal wealth for both Prokhorov and Potanin, who later briefly served in a government post in charge of privatization.

Prokhorov was good. He poured resources into Norilsk, made it a model of efficiency and turned it into a powerhouse. But he was also cocky–and lucky.

Cocky, as in the well-worn episode of being detained on a 2007 skiing vacation in the French Alps on suspicion of hiring hookers for his friends. He was cleared two years later and in 2011 was awarded France’s Legion of Honor. Still, the scandal lingers, along with rumors that variously portray Prokhorov as a pimp and the prostitutes as babysitters who read Turgenev classics as bedtime stories. “I go to nightclubs once every three weeks,” Prokhorov now shrugs. “I have lady fans; why hide it?” (He also claims, despite the company of Mila, that he now has a steady girlfriend: “No one knows anything about it except my closest friends,” and now a few million FORBES readers.)

Lucky in his timing, Prokhorov cashed out of some of his mining, metals and energy interests between 2007 and 2008, just ahead of the financial crisis and the plunge in oil prices. (His net worth has since taken a 33% hit.) Onexim Group, his private investment fund, reaches into mining, metals, financial services, tech and media. But Prokhorov turned over day-to-day management to others last fall to concentrate full-time on politics. He recently sold off his biggest Russian asset, his 38% stake in Polyus Gold, for $3.6 billion. That’s on top of the $4.5 billion in cash that he presumably keeps outside of Russia–and out of the grasp of Kremlin meddlers.

THREE YEARS AGO IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HARD to imagine Prokhorov’s running for office. Politics, he now claims in an eloquent but hardly off-the-cuff peroration, is the natural culmination of his life. “At a certain point you begin to understand that at first, you’re in it for yourself–to provide financially for yourself, your family and your friends. Then you begin to realize that what you’re really proud of is not what you have achieved yourself but of those colleagues who have achieved success alongside you. Then, once you begin to manage large systems, you realize that business changes your life,” he says. “When you have gained a certain amount of experience, you find that a desire to help all people arises in you. How do you help all people? Through politics.”

Cut through the campaignspeak and a new kind of Russian politician begins to emerge: an intelligent, educated, successful, worldly guy who understands the value of competition–and isn’t tainted by a KGB past. Rich in resources and education, Russia is still in thrall to an autocrat and outdated political and economic institutions. “The world is changing fundamentally,” says Prokhorov. “Any country that is not up-to-date is in a great deal of danger–and Russia is one such country.”

The World Bank ranks it number 112, out of 185 nations, for ease of doing business. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index–which aggregates measures of political abuse, bribery and inefficient judicial systems–gives Russia a score of 28 out of a possible 100. Yet there are more than stirrings of a middle class. Feeling marginalized and furious, the nation’s young and Moscow’s intelligentsia are bellowing for change.

What can Prokhorov offer? “He’s not going to create the revolution; he’ll wait for others to do it for him,” says Olga Khvostunova, research fellow at the Institute of Modern Russia, a pro-democracy organization in Sparta, N.J. “And he will have a well-prepared party with a solid platform.”

Formed last summer, Civic Platform is still gelling. Last October it held a convention and spelled out its program, which is fairly radical but regional in focus, at least initially. Prokhorov suggested changing the constitution to redraw Russia’s boundaries to end ethnic districts and republics, which he called “national ghettos where corrupt local authorities oppress and rob our people.” The party agreed to focus on upcoming gubernatorial elections, finding candidates in regions where Putin hasn’t claimed the privilege of appointing them. Civic Platform will also sweep in political activists drawn throughout the nation.

Hardly the stuff of Danton or Lenin. “This all seems very cautionary and more oriented towards building up [his political] presence, rather than establishing a long-term vision that people can follow,” says Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s son, Pavel. The older Khodorkovsky, once one of the world’s wealthiest men, crashed and burned when he engaged in politics and challenged Putin. He’s spent the last decade rotting in prison on highly questionable charges of tax evasion and embezzlement, with Yukos, his former oil empire, dismembered and largely renationalized.

Since last year’s presidential race Putin has further tightened the screws against the opposition, marginalizing or jailing the likes of dissident blogger Alexei Navalny and human rights activist Sergei Udaltsov. Civic Platform no doubt exists at the pleasure of Putin, forcing Prokhorov to temper short-term ambitions and instead play realpolitik.

While Prokhorov deliberately calls himself a political “alternative,” rather than an opponent, he and Putin don’t see eye-to-eye at all about where Russia is headed. “Our views about the country’s further development differ,” Prokhorov says. “To me, personally, the individual is more important than the government. The government has to do everything in order to protect private property and individual freedom.”

The earmarks of a Prokhorov-backed platform are emerging: Western-leaning, pushing free markets, free speech and financial transparency. “We want to bring back political competition that will create a competitive economy,” says Yevgeny Roizman, who, in addition to being a political ally, is also a forceful advocate for drug rehab centers.

Prokhorov’s party is fielding candidates for an escalating series of contests: regional elections; Moscow’s mayoral elections in 2015; Russia’s State Duma (parliament) elections in 2016; the race for president in 2018. “There is a lot of invisible but productive work being done to create the network the party will rely on later,” says Prokhorov. “We are in the so-called organizational stage, which is very, very important for future victories.”

There is also the task of reintroducing a billionaire as a serious political force to a cynical public. Many in the Russian liberal elite see the Civic Platform as a Kremlin-backed ploy to capture angry and alienated voters and politicians, says Alexander Kynev, a political analyst at a Moscow think tank. Prokhorov, he adds, “can be viewed as a candidate for some position in power,” and could be appointed to a government post in order to make unpopular decisions.

Prokhorov knows he has a high credibility hurdle. “If you don’t lie to people and you are honest and clear about how you made your money, you can look people in the eye and explain it to them,” he says. And you can promise them–credibly–that once you take office, you won’t have your hand in the till, “because stealing has become a very painful irritant for our citizens.”

So, in some quarters, has the constant demonizing of America. “When there is little between two countries economically and their entire relationship rests on politics, this is an extremely unstable situation,” says Prokhorov, who sees a bridge between the two countries in sports and culture (his foundation, run by his sister, gave $1 million to the Brooklyn Academy of Music last September). “Unfortunately, in Russian history the most effective method has always been to look for enemies. Well, I want to make us as many friends as possible.”

His friends in America seem convinced: “I don’t know the politics in Russia,” says real estate mogul Ratner. “But Mikhail has tremendous leadership skills. He’s very smart, has a sense of humor and he’s not afraid to make decisions–like Michael Bloomberg.” Nets swingman Jerry Stackhouse, a 17-year veteran who has played for eight different franchises, sees it similarly, voicing respect for a person he sees as determined to make whatever changes are necessary, including a recent coaching replacement, to “get it right.” “He’s an owner that’s not concerned about anything but building a winner, building a champion.” A determined mind-set as potent in politics as it is in basketball.

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/katyasoldak/2013/03/05/russian-billionaire-mikhail-prokhorov-from-oligarch-to-president/

Why Miami Is Becoming the ‘Russian Riviera’

27 Feb

Miami Waterfront Homes.

Miami Waterfront Homes.

On a recent afternoon, Miami real-estate agent Jill Eber is taking a Russian millionaire on a mansion-shopping trip.

“This is the Versace Room,” Eber says, walking into a vast living room of blue velvet sofas and gold French Imperial lamps. “It really makes a statement.”

The mansion, “Castello del Sole,” sits on an exclusive island on Miami Beach and has eight bedrooms, nine baths and a three-story foyer with fresco ceilings. The grounds include two yacht docks, a tennis court, guest villas, a five-car garage and a lagoon-style pool with over 100,000 gallons of water.

The asking price: $37 million.

“I like it,” says the Russian buyer, sliding on her Gucci shades as she admires the water views. “It’s a maybe.”

Click here to read the complete story

The Nets And Other Awesome Toys Of Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov

25 Feb

Prokhorov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has a pretty fabulous life.

The self-made billionaire from Russia is the 39th richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of $13.5 billion according to Forbes.

Americans got to know him last year, purchased an 80% stake in the New Jersey Nets, as well as 45% of their yet-to-be-built home in Brooklyn.

The billionaire, a bachelor, is a known playboy and adventurer who loves to throw around money.

He owns a yacht, though it makes him seasick, and once filmed daredevil stunts on a jet skiand hired a production company to set the spectacle to music.

Click here to read about the awesome life of Mikhail Prokhorov >

Funny Direct TV Commercial- Giraffe on Treadmill

25 Feb