Ozero (Russian: О́зеро, lit. lake) (full name: дачный потребительский кооператив «Озеро», Dacha consumer cooperative "Ozero") is a dacha housing cooperative associated with Vladimir Putin's inner circle.
Dacha cooperatrive Ozero was instituted on November 10, 1996 by Vladimir Smirnov (head), Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Yakunin, Andrei Fursenko, Sergey Fursenko, Yury Kovalchuk, Viktor Myachin, and Nikolay Shamalov. The society united their dachas in Solovyovka, Priozersky District of Leningrad Oblast, on the eastern shore of Lake Komsomolskoye on the Karelian Isthmus, near Saint Petersburg, Russia. Prior to formal establishment of Ozero cooperative Vladimir Putin already acquired property on the banks of lake Komsomolskoye. Other group members bought up more land around this area and built a number of villas close to each other. A bank account (Settlement Account No. 180461008) linked to this cooperative association has been established which allowed for money to be deposited and used by all account holders. This mechanism allowed for wealth sharing among co-owners in accordance with the Russian Law on cooperatives.
By now, all members of Ozero cooperative have assumed top positions in Russian government and business and become financially very successful.
The table includes alleged net worth or annual compensation
|Ozero member||Full or Partial Ownership, Board Memberships, Directorships as of 2014||2013 Alleged Net Worth or annual compensation|
|Andrei Fursenko||Center for Strategic Research Northwest||Unknown|
|Sergey Fursenko||Lentransgaz subsidiary of Gazprom, Gasprom Gas-Motor Fuel||Unknown|
|Yury Kovalchuk||Bank Rossiya (and its subsidiaries), Center for Strategic Research Northwest||$1.4b net worth|
|Viktor Myachin||former Director-General of Bank Rossiya (until 2004). Since then CEO of the investment company "Abros" that is a subsidiary of Rossiya Bank. This investment company owns 51% of the Согаз , a big insurance company in Russia||Unknown|
|Vladimir Putin||President of Russia||see article Personal wealth|
|Nikolay Shamalov||Vyborg Shipyards, Bank Rossiya, Gazprombank||$500m net worth|
|Vladimir Yakunin||Russian Railways||$15m annual salary|
Some observers hint that the roots of Putin's to power may lie in Ozero camaraderie.
A bank account (Settlement Account No. 180461008) linked with Ozero cooperative society has been established in Leningrad Oblast' Bank. The specific financial transactions of the Ozero Cooperative are unknown. By law, any of the members would be able to deposit and withdraw funds for his own use. Karen Dawisha, director of the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at Miami University, concluded that "in Russia a cooperative arrangement is another way for Putin to avoid being given money directly, while enjoying the wealth shared among co-owners".
- 15 лет самому мутному «Озеру» в мире!, Novaya Gazeta (retrieved December 20, 2014)
- How the 1980s Explains Vladimir Putin. The Ozero group. By Fiona Hill & Clifford G. Gaddy, The Atlantic, February 14, 2013
- Who was Mister Putin? An Interview with Boris Nemtsov, Open Democracy
- Zabor Putina (Russian) By Rimma Akhmirova, Sobesdnik, September 14, 2010
- Dawisha, Karen (2014). Putin's Kleptocracy. Simon & Schuster. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-4767-9519-5.
- Dawisha, Karen (2014). Putin's Kleptocracy. Simon & Schuster. p. 338. ISBN 978-1-4767-9519-5.
- How the 1980s Explains Vladimir Putin, The Atlantic, February 14, 2013 (retrieved December 20, 2014)
- Dawisha, Karen (2014). Putin's Kleptocracy. Simon & Schuster. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-4767-9519-5.