|President of Russian Railways|
15 June 2005 – 20 August 2015
|Preceded by||Gennady Fadeyev|
|Succeeded by||Oleg Belozyorov|
Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin
30 June 1948
Melenki, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Russia)
|Profession||Doctor of Political Sciences|
Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin (Russian: Владимир Иванович Якунин; born 30 June 1948) is a Russian public figure, businessman and former president of Russian Railways (June 2005 – August 2015). In 2012, he was elected chairman of the Union of Railways (UIC) a position he held until 2015. In March 2014, he was placed on the US State Department's list of Russian officials and businessmen sanctioned in the wake the annexation of Crimea. After stepping down as head of Russian Railways, he has continued to be engaged in public work as a founder and president of World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”. In October 2015, he started work on creating an international think tank focused on the search for solutions to help de-escalate tensions across the world. DOC Research Institute was launched in July 2016 in Berlin.
Yakunin's career began in the State Institute for Applied Chemistry in Leningrad, where he worked from 1972 to 1975. In 1975, he joined the Soviet Army.
In the early 1990s, Yakunin owned a dacha in Solovyovka, Priozersky district of Leningrad region, on the eastern shore of the Komsomol'skoye lake on the Karelian Isthmus near St. Petersburg. His neighbours there included Vladimir Putin, Andrei Fursenko, Sergey Fursenko, Yuriy Kovalchuk, Viktor Myachin, Vladimir Smirnov and Nikolay Shamalov. On 10 November 1996, together they set up the co-operative society Ozero covering their properties.
On 12 December 2012 in Paris, the International Union of Railways General Assembly appointed Yakunin Chairman of the Union. He was unanimously reappointed on 3 December 2014 and continued to serve as head until his retirement.
Yakunin is also President of the World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations", an International NGO registered in Vienna, Austria, which he co-founded with C. Kapur of India and N. Papanikolao from Greece/USA. Before it was transformed into a DOC research Institute, World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" was an initiative to link people from different backgrounds, civilizations, traditions and religions. It organizes the annual Rhodes Forum on Dialogue of Civilizations.
Social activities and charity
- Chairman of the Committee of Trustees, Center of the National Glory of Russia and St. Andrew the First-Called' Foundation, which funds Orthodox Church-related projects.
- Chairman of Supervisory board, “Spread Your Wings” Children's Fund, which was established in 2007 to provide financial aid for orphans, children in state care, disabled children, and seriously ill children. His company sponsors the fund's projects, including social adaptation programs for children in state care and those with disabilities, as well as adoption support.
On 20 March 2014, the United States government issued sanctions in response to what it saw as the Russian government's role in ongoing unrest in Ukraine. The Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) imposes a travel ban to the United States, the freezing of all Yakunin's U.S. assets, and a ban on business transactions between American citizens and corporations and Yakunin and any businesses he owns. The Australian Government announced on 19 March 2014 that it would impose a sanctions regime in response to the Russian threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Yakunin was placed on Australia's DFAT consolidated list on 19 June 2014, described as a 'close personal and financial associate of Vladimir Putin'.
Retired from Russian Railways
In August 2015, media reports said Yakunin has retired as head of Russian Railways, but in October, further reports suggested he had been dismissed. Russian and British media have alleged that Yakunin's dismissal was a direct result of his son Andrey Yakunin's decision to apply for UK citizenship.
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- The Treacherous Path: An Insider's Account of Modern Russia (Biteback Publishing Ltd, 2018) [ISBN 978-1-78590-301-4 hard bound]
- Vladimir Yakunin's blog
- Yakunin: Crowds do not define public will
- Putin Confidant Yakunin: 'Russia and the West Are Drifting Apart'
- Excerpts From the Interview With Vladimir Yakunin
- Q & A: Vladimir Yakunin
- Vladimir Yakunin, President of Russian Railways
- US accused of 'trying to destroy Russia'
- KFAS Interview : Vladimir Yakunin
- IBNA Interview: Vladimir Yakunin
- Former Kremlin insider expects 2-year economic downturn
- Modifying Russia according to Western patterns impossible — Russian Railways ex-CEO
- Russian Railways ex-chief sets up international think tank to 'reduce tensions worldwide'
- Message of UIC Chairman V. Yakunin on the occasion of the UN Climate Summit 2014
- Message by V. Yakunin, UIC Chairman, on the occasion of the UIC General Assembly, Portoroz, 27 June 2014
- Address by UIC Chairman Mr. Vladimir Yakunin June 2014
- Message by Vladimir Yakunin, UIC Chairman, on the occasion of the UIC General Assembly Paris, 3 December 2014
- Vladimir Yakunin: We should stop playing innocent September 29
- Under US sanctions, Russian patriot Yakunin speaks in Berlin
- For Putin Ally, U.S. Sanctions Only Add to Anti-Russia Conspiracy Theory
- Russia's Yakunin Blasts "Global Financial Oligarchy" on Ukrainian Crisis
- Vladimir Iakounine: "Nous avons besoin de garder un partenaire français dans Gefco"
- France 24, Business Interview
- Russian railway boss Vladimir Yakunin is trying to keep his company, country and President on track
- Victor J. Yasmann "Russia: Could Yakunin Be 'First-Called' As Putin's Successor?", Radio Free Europe, 21 June 2006.
- Yambaeva, Renata. The Railwayman Kommersant, 15 June 2005.
- An interview with Dr. Vladimir Yakunin. Helsinki Times, 7 November 2018/
- Kirilenko, Anastasia (16 December 2021). "From the KGB to Russian Railways: The Long and Winding Road of Vladimir Yakunin. Part 1". The Insider.