Original title: Was the ex-wife's cross-border debt collection and Putin issued a high-priced ticket. Is Russia's richest man throwing 13 billion yuan enough to "extinguish the fire"? Source: Shangguan News
Summary: Can he still "seeking wealth and wealth" as he did in the past, I am afraid it will be a question mark
The US$2 billion fine allowed the richest man in Russia to escape temporarily, but he can still I am afraid that it will be a question mark whether to "seeking wealth and wealth in danger" as in the past.
A "largest oil spill in history" in the Arctic Circle, how much does it cost to "settle"? Russia's richest man, Vladimir Potanin, gave out 2 billion U.S. dollars (1 U.S. dollar is about 6.5 yuan).
In May of last year, this environmental protection incident that shocked the world made Putin very angry. The local “Blood River” photos were posted on the Internet, like hell on earth and people’s grievances. boiling. If the river of blood can be "whitewashed" with US$2 billion, Porta would rather ask for it.
Potanin served as Russia’s first deputy prime minister from 1996 to 1997. He is currently the world’s largest nickel producer Norilsk Nickel Company’s President, has long occupied the position of the richest man in Russia. He has spent most of his life in politics and business, and he knows the importance of "pouring money and avoiding disasters."
Ordinary people in Russia hate Potanin’s wave of wealthy people who made their fortune by privatizing state-owned assets, but Potanin does not seem to be that “disgusting”. He is keen on charity and has a good relationship with the government. He was known as a "supporter and close friend of Putin" and was once widely loved by the public.
However, can you win the world by being a human being? Obviously, some things can't be solved by money...
"Northern City" oil spill
Norilsk in Siberia, Russia is a veritable "city of the north".
This city with a population of 170,000 is located more than 400 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. After the rich nickel, copper and other metal minerals, the prisoners who were sent to work in the Gulag Islands built this "city with the highest latitude in the world" here.
On May 29 last year, a very serious oil spill occurred in the local Norilsk Nickel Company, which is owned by Potanin .
A thermal power plant owned by the company leaked about 20,000 tons of diesel oil. The polluted area was as high as 180,000 square meters. The pollutant concentration exceeded the standard by tens of thousands of times. The soil, lakes, and rivers of China have caused serious pollution.
This is known as the most serious oil spill in history, and it is the direct cause of Potanin’s $2 billion bankruptcy.
It is reported that at the beginning of the leak, Norilsk Nickel tried to solve it through its own efforts. However, as the severity of the leak got out of control, the Russian government Received the notice days later.
Although Putin declared Norilsk a state of emergency at the first time, the situation is irreversible.
According to the estimates of Russian environmental groups, it will take 5-10 years to clean up this oil spill, and it will cost at least US$1.5 billion.
DisasterWhen the disaster just happened, there were shocking videos circulating on social media. A local netizen used a plastic bottle to scoop a bottle of water in the river, put it on the ground and put it on fire, and it immediately ignited a raging flame. In the background of the entire video, the river is blood-red, like a deep hole drawn on the forehead of the earth.
In fact, the ecological environment of this city, which has been mined and polluted all the year round, is already very fragile. As early as 2016, local residents had revealed to the media that the river was blood red.
It is reported that a year’s mining of local nickel mines will extract about 500 tons of copper and nickel oxide, and at the same time emit 2 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. The life expectancy of local residents is also 10 years less than the national average in Russia.
This oil spill has undoubtedly made the local environmental situation worse.
At present, the questioning of Potanin and his company in Russia is far from over. Some environmental protection organizations and reporters have tried to rush into the Norilsk nickel mine. When I checked it out, I was thwarted. However, under the intense media attention, I believe that the mystery of Potanin and his business empire will one day be unveiled.
Being an "innocent and magnanimous" oligarch
Potanin spent 2 billion US dollars, which some people interpreted as " Some people think that Putin “slapped Potanin on the face”.
According to the Forbes 2020 Global Rich List, Potanin’s wealth is US$19.7 billion. Although US$2 billion is not a small number, it is the most for him In other words, it is not a fatal blow.
If you look back at Potanin’s family history, you will find that compared with his thrilling past, the current small storm is really not worth mentioning. Probably this is the reason why he was still as stable as he was when he received a US$2 billion fine.
In 1961, Potanin was born in a family of diplomats in the former Soviet Union. His father served as a foreign trade official of the former Soviet Union in Turkey and New Zealand.
Different from the background of other Russian oligarchs from scratch, Potanin has had high-quality educational conditions and strong network resources since his birth.
At the age of 17, Potanin attended a luxurious banquet hosted by rich New Zealanders with his father. This grand scene gave him a shock of values And the shock, the idea of "Rainbow Rich" was deeply buried in my heart.
In 1983, after graduating from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations majoring in international economics, Potanin took over his father’s business and came to work in the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, he began his business.
Relying on his father’s political-business relations and his own business talents, Potanin earned his first pot of money in 1995: Helping with "loan for shares" The government resolved the financial dilemma. This move resulted in a large number of state-owned assets being "acquired" at low prices, becoming huge assets in the hands of a few people, and the Russian "oligarch" was born.
Relying on Potanin’s strategy of "loan-for-share", Russia temporarily got rid of the financial difficulties in the early days of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. From 1996 to 1997, Potanin served as the first deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation.
During that period, Potanin went smoothly in the political and business circles. He set foot in the financial industry, founded the United Export-Import Bank, and made a strong entry into Russia's import and export trade. Afterwards, many fields such as petroleum, machinery manufacturing, and construction and real estate saw Potanin's presence, and a huge "oligarchic empire" began to take shape.
After the chaotic “acquisitions”, losses, and repeated struggles in the early days of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, in the late 1990s, Russia formed the “Seventh The “big oligarchs” control politics, economicsEconomic, cultural, financial and other fields.
But Potanin defended himself, claiming that he was not like other oligarchs who were intricately connected with the underworld, but had always maintained "innocence and magnanimity."
Is it the king of destruction or the savior?
At a time when Potanin’s career was in full swing, Putin came to power in 2000, ushering in the era of the "oligarchs" of the eradication and suppression.
At that time, the share of state-owned enterprises in the main industries was only about 4%. For national security considerations, Putin was eager to increase this share.
Potanen, with a keen political sense, knew that the crazy "oligarch era" was coming to an end, so he immediately complied with the situation: those oligarchs gradually lost their destructive Influence, and I will not lose my positive influence. The implication is that he has drawn a clear line from other oligarchs and will continue to make contributions to the country and society.
Unsurprisingly, Putin turned his attention to Potanin just after dealing with another oligarch Gusinsky.
The prosecutors questioned the privatization process of the Norilsk Nickel Mine: State-owned assets were “sold at low prices” by Potanin that year. The clever Potanin showed his favor to the government and "obediently" paid 140 million U.S. dollars.
After that, Potanin began to "say goodbye" to the past and cleanse his oligarchic image.
Charity is the best way to reshape the image. In 1999, Potanin founded the Vladimir Potanin Foundation. In the last 15 years, the foundation has provided scholarships to more than 25,000 students, provided financial support to more than 2,000 teachers, and sponsored all of Russia 206 museums.
Even the Norilsk Nickel Mine, which was previously criticized by the Russian prosecutors, has been “washed out” by the positive image created by Potanin.
For a long time, both inside and outside Russia have attributed Norilsk’s development to Potanin. The average monthly salary of workers here can reach $1,000, which is much higher than the Russian average. From the deserted land where production was withered and the people's livelihood deteriorated decades ago, to the current vigorous vitality, all these changes were once regarded as the "blessings" of Potanin.
However, it can be seen from this major oil spill that Potanin’s company is likely to have another face in the sun. Behind the "brilliant" image may be years of damage to the environment.
Deeply trapped in a “expensive divorce case”
Potanin is proud of both political and business circles, but he is in private life. The good and the bad are mixed.
Since 2014, Potanin, who lives in Russia, was accidentally involved in a "largest divorce case in British history."
His ex-wife Natalia received a $8.5 million divorce fee after the marriage broke down. However, a year later, he made a new request : Evenly divide Potanin's $14 billion property. Compared with this amount, US$8.5 million is a fraction.
Due to the huge amount of money, the lawsuits between the two sides have been suspended until recently.
Natalia said that she has chosen to live in the UK since 2016 because the British legal system can give her a fairer divorce judgment. It is almost impossible for Russia to obtain a fair judgment."
Natalia's worries are not entirely unreasonable. Potanin's private life has always been "unrestrained". As early as 2011, he gave birth to a daughter with his subordinate Ekaterina, and another son not long ago.
Compared with complex and chaotic emotional relationships, Potanin’s education of his children is relatively successful.
Especially his eldest daughter Anastasia Potanin is very proud of him. She not only owns a Russian music TV station and major media such as "Women of the World" magazine. , Is still a cool girl who loves sports.
Anastasia has represented Russia in winning the water motorcycle championship 4 times and is also talented in skiing. It is said that the father built an indoor ski trail in a mansion worth 7 million pounds (about 63.4 million yuan) in Moscow to help his daughter train.
After being injured in a training session, Anastasia turned to the field of sports management and became a "military officer" beside her father.
Since the 1990s, Potanin has built a heavily-funded ski resort in Rosakuta, Sochi. In 2007, the full-fledged Anastasia saw the business opportunities of the Sochi Winter Olympics. On the one hand, he suggested that his father lobby the government to prepare for the third Sochi Olympic bid; on the other hand, he vigorously increased investment in Rosa Kuta from the original 3. 100 million U.S. dollars jumped to 2 billion U.S. dollars, making it a first-class ski resort.
The 2014 Sochi Olympic Games was held as scheduled, and Anastasia really made a lot of money for her father.
Potanin regards the eldest daughter as the jewel in his palm. In 2008, he also spent US$100 million to build the giant superyacht "Anathalia", which shows the weight of his daughter in his heart.
However, in 2010, Potanin suddenly announced an amazing decision: After his death, he would only leave $1 million for his children and donate the rest of his wealth.
Many people are puzzled about this, but Potanin said meaningfully: “If you want to help your children or anyone else, give him $1 million . If you want to ruin him, give him 1 billion."
Whether it’s 1 billion will ruin the child, or 2 billion will return word of mouth, Potanin seemed to believe in the power of money.
However, for this most serious oil spill in human history, he seems to have overlooked the bottom line in people’s hearts.
At present, although the US$2 billion penalty has temporarily brought this matter to an end, it does not mean the end of the liquidation. With the collapse of the image of the richest man in Russia, whether he still has the same origins as before, I am afraid there will be a question mark.
Column editor: Qin Hong
Text editor: Song Hui
Title image source: Xinhua News Agency
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Label group:[Seven oligarchs]