Career and business interests
Pugachev made a fortune through shipyards and property deals. Between 1992 and January 2002 he was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Industrial Bank. On 26 December 2001 he was elected as a senator representing Tuva in the Federation Council of Russia. Pugachyov was described as "a member of Putin's inner circles" and a man "with strong financial and business ties to the hierarchy of the Russian orthodox church" by American think-tank the Jamestown Foundation. In 2006 he purchased Luxe.tv, which transmitted in western Europe, Asia and Russia, but the company was wound up on 15 October 2010 in Luxembourg. The May 2008 issue of Russian Forbes magazine listed him in its Golden Hundred of Russia's richest (Russians only) list at number 50, with an estimated fortune of $2 billion US Dollars.
On 31 March 2009 Sergey Pugachyov's investment holding company, Obyedinyonnaya Promyshlennaya Korporatsia (OPK), lost the rights to a major construction project for Red Square in Moscow after his property was handed over to a State structure. According to the Jamestown Foundation this failed project could be a sign of disgrace for Pugachyov.
On January 4, 2011, it was reported that Pugachev was dismissed as a senator ahead of the end of his term in April 2012 for failing to fulfill his responsibilities appropriately and for his long absence from the republic of Tuva, which he represented in the Federation Council. Along with his senatorial seat, Pugachyov lose his immunity from prosecution.
On 5 October 2010, official sources in Moscow stated that Pugachev's bank, Mejprombank (International Industrial Bank, IIB), had collapsed into insolvency due to fraud. On 30 November 2010, a Moscow court declared the insolvency of the bank. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into the intentional bankruptcy of the bank.
The President of Monaco's Olympic Committee, Albert II, is alleged by Robert Ellinger, his former intelligence adviser, to have accepted expensive gifts from Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, and from Pugachev, in return for voting for Russia to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Prince Albert is alleged to have received a dacha, a Polar trip, a fishing trip and a state dinner. Pugachyov is alleged to have enquired about receiving Monaco residency.
- Catherine Ostler, The English rose who ran away to Mongolia, her billionaire oligarch and a romance worthy of Tolstoy dated 2 July 2011 at dailymail.co.uk
- Agence France Presse, 21 October 2010
- New law paved way for senator’s dismissal RT, 4 Jan 2011.
- www.newsru.com ; www.vedomosti.ru ; www.gazeta.ru
- « Russian press / French embassy in Russia (3 february 2012) »
- Agence France Presse, 6 and 21 October 2010
- Agence France Presse, Moscow, 30 November 2010
- The Moscow News, 31 January 2011
- Prince took gifts from Russia in exchange for vote, says ex-adviser Independent, 12 December 2010.