Putin’s former teacher becomes billionaire

Vladimir Litvinenko, the Rector of the St. Petersburg Mining University under whose leadership Vladimir Putin defended his Ph.D. thesis in 1997, has become a dollar billionaire, writes Vedomosti.

"Litvinenko's declarations reflect only a small portion of his fortune. This year, the rector became a dollar billionaire, having raised his shares in one of the world's largest fertilizer producers, Fosagro, in April to 19.35% of shares. As of last Friday, the value of this package amounted to 59.9 billion rubles ($ 1.01 billion)," the report said.

The newspaper claims that the rector of the St. Petersburg Mining University received his first shares in the company for supporting the Yukos affair.

Litvinenko has headed the list of highest-income rectors of Russian universities for many years running, the newspaper notes. In 2016, Litvinenko declared an income of 195.5 million rubles ($3.26 million USD), while the income of the person ranked after him, the rector of the Russian Academy of Science, Vladimir Mau, earned 64.5 million rubles ($1.85 million USD).

Among the assets owned by Litvinenko or attributed to him and his family are firms specializing in the production of cross ties and fertilizers, as well as woodworking. In addition, it was reported that Litvinenko owns elite real estate in St. Petersburg. The case on tax violations against Yukos was initiated in 2003. After that, the company went into bankruptcy, and its property was sold at auctions. The major part of the assets was received by the Russian state-owned company Rosneft.

In December 2016, the Belgian court refused Russia's request to lift the arrests on the Yukos case.

  Putin, Vladimir Litvinenko, Yukos

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