Londongrad – Vast Wealth was Stripped from Russia by the Oligarchs, and Flaunted in London

In the 2000s, London became home to the Russian super-rich. Vast wealth was stripped from Russia by the Oligarchs, and flaunted in London through grandiose properties, ferocious legal disputes, private jets, mega-yachts, and ubiquitous bodyguards. Russian oligarchs made colossal fortunes after the collapse of communism, and London was the destination of choice to spend and protect their wealth. But the shocking killing of ex-KGB man Alexander Litvinenko in London with a radio-active element Polonium, and of Stephen Curtis, the lawyer to many of Britain’s richest Russians, sent shockwaves through the Russian community in London. Today I’m speaking with Mark Hollingsworth about how Russia’s wealth was harvested and brought to London, and how the UK’s institutions and legal infrastructure facilitated the laundering of these vast fortunes, many of dubious provenance. Mark Hollingsworth is an investigative journalist and author of 10 books, notably ‘Londongrad – From Russia with Cash, the Inside Story of the Oligarchs’ – published in 2010. He has also written biographies of Mark Thatcher and Tim Bell and acclaimed studies on MI5 and the Saudi Royal Family. He started his career working for Granada TV’s award-winning ‘World in Action’ programme and now contributes regularly to ‘The Times’, ‘Mail on Sunday’, ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Sunday Times’. His most recent articles about Russia are published in the Spectator. He is currently writing a history of the KGB.

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Londongrad – Vast Wealth was Stripped from Russia by the Oligarchs, and Flaunted in London | | The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it ~ Albert Einstein


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