Yakunin, the oligarchs and the reconstruction of Ukraine before the end of the war

Yakunin, the oligarchs and the reconstruction of Ukraine before the end of the war

In the purge of Russian oligarchs, The Insider today published a contribution about Vladimir Yakunin. Yakunin former KGB officer, working for Russia in the UNO in the USA, afterwards business man and selfproclaimed inventor and builder of the Russian World Trade Center in St- Petersburg, chief of the Russian Railway, close friend to Putin, creator of the Dialogue of Civilizations (DoC) with relations to ultranationalist groups and a network from Russia Today to the social media in the West, is now focus of oligarch- bashing. Especially one point is flawed in the persepption of The Insider: “Astonishingly, he is almost the only one of Putin’s inner circle who has not yet been subjected to EU sanctions.”

“The Pool. How Yakunin siphoned off billions of dollars from the Russian budget and laundered them in Europe

Anastasia Kirilenko

8 July 2022

The Insider continues its series of articles about Vladimir Yakunin. In the first part, we told how that KGB officer had been connected to the mafia and the scams of the 1990s, firmly linking him to Vladimir Putin. In this part, The Insider describes how Yakunin became the holder of the state corporation’s “pool”, collected through kickbacks for government contracts and transferred offshore through the “Moldovan laundromat”. The total damage to the Russian budget from the theft of taxpayers’ money amounted to more than $20 billion. After the unprecedented theft from Russian Railways became public, Yakunin was forced to resign, but he is still in the Kremlin’s payroll, as he spends some of the money stolen from the budget to promote Kremlin propaganda in Europe. Astonishingly, he is almost the only one of Putin’s inner circle who has not yet een subjected to EU sanctions.


“Almost”. First the fact that only a third of Russian oligarchs are sanctioned by the EU and the USA, as they deliver the West with strategic raw materials- beyond gas and oil- that cannot be replaced soon. Secondly, more oligarchs have still close relations with Putin: „Almost“. Or is the Insider report about Yakunin which was already in Bellycat reported before, some sort of signal—not only to the EU. Would Putin kick out Yakunin as a scapegoat or stick to him to eternity. The former Bellycat report about Yakunin and his time at the Russian Railways as railway entrepreneur ( If you want to go by train in Russia, better bring your own railwaytracks with you!),  Dialogue of Civilizations and the life of his strawmanson in Little Russia in London and in London never seemed to be a probem for Putin and Yakunin.And Yakunin never made a secret of of his life, if you read his book „Treacherous Path“, But it may be that Yakunin´s DoC thinking was in a line with Putin and the nationalist Russians and was common sense and their “thinking” and “one spirit” and “The Russian soul” as Novorussija and Eurasia. If there would be a change of mind in Putins thinking he could have distanced himself from Yakunin by a corruption campaign or poison him or critize him for the ideologyof the DoC. Íf Yakunin was the “almost only member of the inner circle“ which was not sanctionded by the West, his expropriation could serve as a signal. Better let Yakunin pay and send him to Den Hague, even if he might be bancrupt? Because of his ideological  thinking, Yakunin is not shunned by the Russian elite, who also do not avoid the Ukraine war, Eurasia  and all imperial claims to a great power, yes, they are rather brothers in spirit and in arms, „one spirit“, especially since he also had character strengths such as creative accounting bookkeeping, the Russian Politicians, oligarchs and Soviet veterans and nostalgics  are familiar and were with the over-fulfilment of plans in the Soviet empire. In addition, Yakunin was member of the KGB like Putin and most of the Silowkis in the palace. But there will be fewer places in the probably sinking boat, unless you switch to full mobilization and a war economy. Perhaps the Ukrainians would see Yakunin as a pawn sacrifice and the first unofficial signal from the Kremlin that, like other oligarchs, he could be made to pay for the reconstruction costs unless he is not bancrupt. But the EU already said that it is difficult to expropriate Russian oligarchs for the construction. The rule of law and the legal system would prevent such an attack on the private property. Capitalism fucks itself, but not its ruling class for the moment being.The reconstruction conference in Lugano pledged 30 billion euros for the reconstruction of Ukraine, with state of war destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure of at least 750 billion euros at momentperfect investment . Especially since it is the rule that promised contributions at donor conferences then pay in real terms just a quarter to half of the amounts promised. Scholz says a Marshall plan is needed. A German diplomat once said to me: When German politicians get stuck, they propose a Marshall Plan. Accompanying this is a report on ZDF, which shows all the advantages of Ukraine as a perfect investment location: low wages and a low-tax country, many skilled workers, many startups, cultural enrichment, the granary of the world, LNG, etc. , especially since Selensky claimed that after the arrival of the heavier weapons with the autumn offensive, the war will be over in winter and Ukraine will then become the „most modern, democratic and economically strong state“ within the EU. The ESC and The EU candidate status would mean that Ukraine is already inside the EU. Totally wrong: It is a candidate status and nobody in Western Europe really wants Urkaine, the West Balkans and other nationalistic- poverty and mafia economies in the EU. Association and Global Gateway okay, but not membership. Maybe the East Europeans like the idea as this would then be a East-EU , but Macron as Melenchon prevents this while Le Pen would be the Frexit and the end of the EU and the rest of West Europe is also against the next expansion of the EU as they still have to pay for the Euro crisis beyond Corona costs, Ukraine war , energy price explosion, inflation, reconstruction of climate changed areas of climate catastrophes, etc. And everybody knows that Ukraine is not such a democratic state, but likes Bandera and is more like PiS- Poland or Orban- Hungary or Erdogan.And bancrupt because of its oligarchs and politicans.

But Selensky also emphasized at the donor conference that reconstruction must begin now and before the end of the war. Well, let’s hope for the best and also for state and private investors for Ukraine and that the Russians will not destroy every newly invested plant right at the beginning, if anyone will invest. But we know that the Russian fire flames fronts are rolling on. In addition, nothing came of the „operational break“ Putin proposed after Luhansk. This barrage of fire and destruction of all civilian, military and infrastructural inventory will continue until autumn, when Sensky will then announce a counter-attack. Perhaps then a computer nerd scene and alternative start-up scene as a lone fighter in the Latte Machiato Internet cafe cospaces will provide the appropriate cover and the favorite urban warfare defence fighters atmosphere which Spencer´s Manual for the Defence of cities proposes. . Perhaps Yakunin will then also pay for it. And maybe if he does, the Eurovison Song Contest will be performed in Mariupol in 2023- or worst case: Kiev.

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