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Billionaire Prokhorov Quits Business for Politics
October 30, 2012 23:37

 Forbes’ list favourite Mikhail Prokhorov has finally unveiled his new party in a bid to challenge the status quo.

The billionaire announced he joins big politics full time, handing over the management of his assets to his partners at Onexim.

Prokhorov, 47, made this announcement on Saturday in the Russian Academy of Science, where his party’s first conference was held.


The Civic Platform is supposed to be the voice of the liberal, not-too-old, well-educated and progressive minds who are not satisfied either with the existing State Duma residents or any of the out-of-system opposition movements.

Here are some of Prokhorov’s ideas:

-       open to cooperation with any political force, except for nationalists,

-       not limiting itself to just left or right-wing conceps,

-       cutting down the number of Russia’s constituent parts from current 83 to 15-20, based not on ethnic majorities, but on economic grounds,

-       less state and more private initiatives,

-       focus on culture and healthcare,

-       closer economic ties with Europe to balance out against China and Americas.

His statement on the disbandment of republics set up around one ethnic groups has been lambasted by heads of several regions and the United Russia party, which called for a boycott of the Civic Platform during regional elections.

Not giving up

Prokhorov’s decision to set up a party follows two previous forays into politics. Ahead of the parliamentary election in 2011, he was poised to lead the Union of Right Forces, widely considered to be a Kremlin’s puppet but was dumped by the party’s congress, allegedly after falling out with Kremlin’s political mastermind Vladislav Surkov over the list of candidates.

In March 2012, he then ran for presidency and unexpectedly came third, winning a large share of vote in big cities.

Now the party plans to run in regional elections in 2013 and become a third power – a middleman between the ruling force and the opposition.


With some $13 billion in his coffers, Prokhorov's interests include a stake in aluminium giant Rusal, the U.S. Brooklyn Nets basketball team and the Yo-Mobile hybrid car project. His Onexim group owns 38 percent of Polyus Gold, Russia’s largest gold producer.

He is seen as the only businessman in Russia who was able to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis largely unaffected, because just three months before a crash on the stock market he sold his 25 percent share in Norilsk Nickel to Rusal. More info in the videos below and if you need some specific figures or stats, feel free to contact Russia-IC.

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Mikhail Prokhorov Russian business Russian politics Russian regions  

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