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Why Aren’t There Any Millionaire’s in Russia? I thought everyone got 1000 shares of RussPetrol?!

Moscow’s suburb for billionaires
By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
BBC News, Moscow

Most people in Britain are now familiar with the scruffy, boyish and invariably unshaven features of Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea football club, and Russia’s most famous billionaire.

This week we learned that Mr Abramovich is one of a growing list of hyper-rich Russians.
According to Forbes magazine Russia now has 60 billionaires.

A mile down the road, firmly back in Russia, I went to see Mrs Rima. The 75-year-old showed me around the one-room shack she built with her own hands.

She survives on a pension of £60 a month.

I asked her what she thinks of the rich people who live behind the high green walls.

“They’re all thieves,” she said. “All that money is stolen from the people.”

It’s a view millions of Russians would agree with. Fifteen years ago everything in Russia was owned by the state. Today a quarter of Russia’s economy is owned by 36 men.

From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Saturday, 21 April, 2007 at 1130 GMT on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.

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