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Hunting For Russia’s Mega-Rich | Super Users

new efforts by u.s law enforcement to make russian oligarchs feel the pain of putin’s war friday italian authorities in the port of trieste seized the ship known as sailing worth about 578 million belonging to andre melichenko we’re joining with european allies to find and seize their yachts their luxury apartments their private jets we’re coming for you ill-begotten gain i use uh open source techniques to track russian oligarchs of vessels i think i have 25 just of the main ones the ones with the biggest yaks but there are so many for decades these oligarchs have sheltered their extraordinary and in some cases stolen wealth outside of russia in secret accounts and by acquiring vast amounts of real estate and other assets like yachts and private jets i’ve been trying to help getting the pressure up and moving the public towards pressuring the governments to act [Music] i do ozynt which stands for open source investigations and in this specific case and period i’m trying to attract the russian oligarchs the action vessels and votes it’s hard for me not to feel strongly about what’s happening in ukraine ukrainian officials say russian forces bombed a theater used as a shelter in mario paul intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime after all the destruction of the past three weeks i find it difficult to conclude the russians are doing otherwise i’ve always been actually sort of a fan of russia i love their culture unfortunately i also hate what the putin regime has been doing to it and obviously seeing this absurd war it’s hard to stand still and do nothing so i’ve been attempting to focus my skills into what i thought it would be at least at some level impactful some of these yachts can take millions of dollars a month just to maintain and they have to be maintained to preserve their value the boats are enormous amounts of money as opposed to stocks they are hard to crash their value is not going to be go down all the shoulder with the as the stocks of their company the bank account can be frozen neville in differential gear can be frozen but a york can be stored in a safe harbor if i have an 800 million dollars boat in dubai i know that even in worst worst-case scenario i can get 400 million dollars cash so it’s a rather important mean of preserving their fortune putin is thought to be one of the richest men in the world but proof is hard to find on paper while the kremlin claims he makes around a hundred and forty thousand dollars a year experts believe he’s worth billions and say that his real wealth is hidden in the accounts and assets of his oligarchs i have been tracking putin’s uh yacht since 2016. this is what the graceful looks like inside there’s a pool that can be converted into a dance floor an elevator that’s putin’s stateroom with a huge king-sized bed it usually stays in the black sea during the summer and it used to travel back to the mediterranean seat for maintenance either in barcelona or malta this year instead it headed to hamburg in september and while there was all this discussion about the crisis we continue to see signs of russian escalation including new forces arriving at the ukrainian border as we’ve said before we are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should vladimir putin decide to order it something strange that happened is putin was brought out in a hurry and it failed rapidly towards the closest russian waters which were in kaliningram it’s the last case where you want to go with a luxurious lesson running to kaliningrad was according to me very significantly it meant that putin knew that action probably been taken against this vessel it all centers on the collapse of the soviet union a small group of shrewd businessmen rushed in to take advantage of the privatization of massive state companies researchers estimate that in 2015 the hidden foreign wealth of rich russians amounted to around 85 percent of russia’s gdp vladimir putin the way he has farmed out his money is he holds it through different oligarchs oligarchs are very important because if they turn against putin putin is in trouble he needs them and he needs them to be happy since 2005 42 private vessels over 100 meters were built of these 40 to 14 were of russian oligarchs minichenko is probably though one of the biggest success stories in this list the italian authorities in the port of trieste seized the ship known as sailing yachty he went public in the day after harding against the war in ukraine so surely these sanctions have some effect they use open source techniques to track russian oligarchs vessels each vessel especially those over a certain size needs to have something that’s akin to a transponder it sends a small amount of data about its name its heading location and movements this data is completely free to intercept and radio stations on the ground will collect this data and use it to avoid collisions one of the best sources of data for vessels it’s a website called there is a fleetmon website plus the more democratic aspects of the tracking which it means ownership data registration data etc equals dot org i also developed some custom tools which allow me to track multiple vessels at the same time i’ve been interested in subject probably i started collecting data in 2016 basically referencing the data between various articles checking and verifying data with some databases of vessel ownership and i was slowly able to grow a list of oligarchs and yachts i’m putting that all together with graphics and something that would be easy to consume by the public and would be shareable on social media and hope detailed uh getting the attention of the public and getting the public to put some kind of pressure on the government looking at the general economics of the world you can see that russia is not a particularly rich country it is not a developed economy but absolutely almost one third of the biggest judge in the world belong to the ruling class russia’s billionaires control roughly 30 of the wealth within russia it’s quite telling of how much the russian population got robbed by the regime and the government if you go outside of moscow you can see extreme poverty and the lack of basic services their roads are terrible hospitals that aren’t working schools have no funding etc etc desolation and decay here but this has become an all too common site across rural russia more than 20 million russians are living below the poverty line and in contrast to these you see these oligarchs which own the biggest amount of yachts in the world which had a fleet of private planes which is impressive there is a huge contrast basically between this ruling class in russia and the regular russian people
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