Posts Tagged ‘siberia


Mikhail Prokhorov enters politics… and gets a tax investigation

Was it a safe choice for russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov to enter politics? The giant womanizer is being sued by a Siberian region for tens of millions of dollars in allegedly unpaid taxes, just after he announced he was entering politics, reports said on Saturday.

The Lenosibirsk district of the Krasnoyarsk region of central Siberia is seeking two billion rubles (70 million dollars) from billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the RIA Novosti news agency and Kommersant daily reported.

The move comes just a month after Prokhorov, head of the Onexim investment holding with a reported fortune of $18 billion, unexpectedly announced he was going into politics and planned to lead the Right Cause Party.

Prokhorov is registered in the tiny Siberian village of Eruda and pays his taxes there.

The local branch of the tax service believes Prokhorov failed to pay taxes due to the Russian state on a transaction in Britain — in south Wales — in 2008, the deputy head of the regional anti-monopoly service Oleg Kharchenko was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

“As the Lenosibirsk tax inspectorate lacks an experienced specialist in the problems of south Welsh tax law, they asked the anti-monopoly service for help,” he was quoted as saying.

A source in the regional tax inspectorate told RIA Novosti that the issue had already gone to court.

Prokhorov was quoted on the sidelines of the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum as acknowledging the dispute but expressing confidence that he would win in court.

The entry of Prokhorov into politics sent a ripple of excitement through Russia’s political scene, though cynics pointed out that neither the billionaire nor his party have so far sharply criticised the Kremlin.

Kommersant underlined the coincidence of the timing of the case with the headline: “Prokhorov has now got into real politics.”

Russia’s former richest man Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 on suspicion of tax evasion, at a time when he was financing opposition parties. He was convicted twice and is not due for release until 2016.


Opposition wants to build a new capital… in Siberia

Western media are damn right! What Russia really needs is a swift of Power and opposition leaders to take office! Well, this was before the internationnly acclaimed Other Russia party unveiled its political program for Russia. And the first step of its government would be to… build a new capital city in Siberia! What about unemployment and social issues?

A few months ago, Other Russia, which was then only a conglomerate of opposition parties and not yet an unified platform, gained enormous international credit for demonstrating in Moscow against Putin/Medvedev “authoritarian regim”. Former chess master Kasparov was among the leaders which brought international attention to the movement.

So, everybody was impatient to discover the party’s program. What do they have in store for Russians? So far, nothing able to improve citizen’s daily life and stenhten global national economy.

Led by controversial writer and activist Eduard Limonov, the party held its founding congress in Moscow on July 10. The party says its plan would counter Russia’s tilt towards the West – as well as boost Siberia’s ailing infrastructure.

The program, published in the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta, also includes plans to eliminate red tape from Russia’s bloated government apparatus, and calls for wholesale reforms in areas as diverse as agriculture, housing, the army and the mass media.

Limonov, who once served time for plotting to raise an army to invade Kazakhstan, outlined “The Other Russia” he would like to see in a book of the same title published in 2008.

“Boys and girls will be taught to shoot from grenade launchers, to jump from helicopters, to besiege villages and cities, to skin sheep and pigs, to cook good hot food and to write poetry,” he explained, adding ominously that “Many types of people will have to disappear.”

He also suggested that Russia would need a “New God, possibly some Tunguska meteorite or an iron planet in the cold universe. Our god will be the one who gave us death. Maybe our god will be death.”