Yevtushenkov on Arrests of Russian Businessmen: “This is Our Homeland”

Russian portal Slon.ru published a transcript of the interview with Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Russian businessman who enjoyed USD 9 billion of his worth before he was apprehended for participation in the allegedly illegal privatization of Bashneft oil company that the Russian Government seeked and managed to annul, apparently for the purpose of re-privatization (in lack of a better term for this uncanny process), this time by the state-owned Rosneft. The interview is interesting for Evtushenkov’s blase attitude to what certainly looks like a coarse extortion (not long before his arrest, Evtushenkov refused Rosneft’s offer to take Bashneft off his hands) and his complete resignation to the state of affairs in Russia. Asked about the frequent crackdowns on Russian businessmen including Viktor Vekselberg, Mikhail Slobodin (former CEO of a Russian mobile operator Vimpelkom), Mikhail Prokhorov, former director of Rosnano Leonid Melamed, owner of the Domodedovo airport Dmitry Kamenshchik (apprehended under ridiculous charges of gross negligence for failing to prevent the 2011 terrorist attack at the airport that left 37 people dead), Evtushenkov calmly replied: “What can I tell you? This is our homeland”. Perhaps this is a point that too many people in Russia tend to carry home.

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