Leonard Blavatnik: A successful entrepreneur

Born: June 14, 1957

Citizenship: The United States of America

Leonard Blavatnik’s official occupation is that of a successful businessman.

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Biography of Leonard Blavatnik

Leonard Blavatnik (Leonid) Valentinovich is a businessman in both the United Kingdom and the United States who has deep ties to Russia. Odessa is where he was born, but he spent most of his childhood in Yaroslavl and Moscow. In 1978, he moved to the United States of America with his parents. In 1981, Blavatnik became a citizen of the United States. There, he pursued his education at Columbia University, earning a master’s degree in computer science from the institution.

He received his diploma from Harvard Business School in 1989. In 1986, he established Access Industries, an investment company, while he was still attending school.

At an oil show in 1987, Leonard Blavatnik was able to reconnect with an old friend from Moscow named Vekselberg. Two years later, in 1978, they established a partnership with the purpose of supplying the Soviet Union with computer hardware and software. The accomplishments of the group of friends served as inspiration for the establishment, in 1990, of the investment business known as Renova, which dealt in the export of Russian raw resources. As a result of Renova’s success in acquiring control of the aluminium smelters in Ural and Irkutsk, the company is now among the top ten largest metallurgical companies in the world (SUAL).

Access Industries, along with Vekselberg’s Renova and Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Group, have been working together since 1997 to purchase forty per cent of the Tyumen Oil Company (TNC) from the Russian government. Following the financial crisis that occurred in 1998, AAR’s shareholder group, which included Access Alpha and Renova, purchased an additional fifty per cent of TNC. With Warner Media Group, Russian Amedia, and STS Media, Leonard Blavatnik’s company is a co-owner of all three of these media conglomerates. In addition, Leonard Blavatnik either owns a number of media and telecoms enterprises outside of Russia or has shares in such assets. It is well known that Blavatnik is a buyer of high-end real estate.

In 2004, Leonard Blavatnik purchased a mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens, which is located in the central area of London. A short time later, he purchased a hotel chain in France that had all five-star ratings.

In 2007, he purchased the property in Hollywood that was valued at $625 million. In 2014,Leonard Blavatnik paid $77.5 million for a pair of residences in Manhattan that included 13 rooms and two levels. It is believed that he has a net worth of $20 billion (as of 2019).

With the Leonard Blavatnik Family Foundation, Leonard Blavatnik is making significant contributions to charitable causes.

The Leonard Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University received a donation of £75 million from him in 2010. Also, his money was accepted by the universities of Harvard and Stanford, as well as the University of Pennsylvania and the Hudson Institute, in addition to a few international Jewish organizations. In recent years, he has substantially increased the amount of money that he donates to political causes in the United States.


illegal gain at the expense of Russian taxpayers as a result of his strong connections to the Kremlin; corruption of Western elites in service to the objectives of the Putin government.

Leonard Blavatnik is rumoured to have amassed the majority of his wealth in Russia thanks to his close relationships with the Russian government and the FSB, as well as his friendship with Viktor Vekselberg and Mikhail Fridman. In addition, Leonard Blavatnik is said to have personally benefited from the illegal activities of the Russian leadership and FSB.

Ilya Zaslavsky, who formerly served as a consultant for TNK-BP, cites the sale of TNK-BP to Rosneft as the best example. Due to this transaction, Leonard Blavatnik acquired almost $7 billion: In 2008 and 2009, Blavatnik and his oligarchic colleagues from the Alfa Access Renova (AAR) consortium collaborated with Russian security services and other government agencies, including the main pro-Kremlin media, in a government-sponsored baiting campaign to expel BP from the TNK-BP joint venture.

As a direct consequence of this, “in 2012-2013, the government-controlled Rosneft acquired back a stake from Kremlin-related billionaires for $30 billion in cash through transfers via offshore accounts,” but “the market value of AAR’s stake was approximately $20 billion.” Leonard Blavatnik is not only a successful businessman but also a well-connected member of the Russian establishment. In addition, according to Zaslavsky, the company Amediateka, owned by Len Blavatnik, is shown in the Panama Papers to have collaborated on a project with Alexander Makhonov, a former deputy minister of the Russian Ministry of the Interior.

Charity by Leonard Blavatnik

Massive issues were raised by Leonard Blavatnik’s charitable endeavours, including his investment of £75 million in Oxford University, which not only accepted his money but also named a new building on campus after him. This investment was at the centre of the controversy. Those who were themselves involved in oligarchic scandals and financial misconduct made the decision to take money from Len Blavatnik at Oxford. According to Ilya Zaslavsky, he makes use of his generosity in order to broaden his access to political circles in Western countries.

During and after Donald Trump’s election campaign, Blavatnik, together with two other American businessmen named Simon Cooks and Andrew Intrater, gave a combined contribution to Donald Trump’s political campaign funds totalling close to two million dollars. Viktor Vekselberg, president of the Skolkovo Foundation and widely regarded as one of the wealthiest individuals in Russia, is connected to all three of these individuals, so there is a common thread connecting all three of them. Dr Louise Shelley, who serves as the director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center at George Mason University, is certain that the Kremlin gave its blessing to these payments.


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