Vladimir Yakunin

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Vladimir Yakunin
President of Russian Railways
In office
15 June 2005 – 20 August 2015
Preceded byGennady Fadeyev
Succeeded byOleg Belozyorov
Personal details
Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin

(1948-06-30) 30 June 1948 (age 75)
Melenki, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Russia)
ProfessionDoctor of Political Sciences

Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin (Russian: Владимир Иванович Якунин; born 30 June 1948) is a Russian businessman and close Vladimir Putin confidant. He was president of Russian Railways from June 2005 to August 2015. He has the federal state civilian service rank of 1st class Active State Councillor of the Russian Federation.[1]

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.[2]

Early life[edit]

Yakunin was born in Melenki in Gus-Khrustalny District, Vladimir Oblast.[3] In 1972, Yakunin graduated from the Leningrad Mechanical Institute where he studied aircraft construction, and specialized in engineering and the maintenance of long-range ballistic missiles.[4] 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.[5]


Between 1985 and 1991, Yakunin was part of the Soviet diplomatic mission to the United Nations, becoming the Mission's First Secretary in 1988.[6]

He served in the KGB during the Soviet era.[7]

In the early 1990s, he 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.[8][9][10]

Yakunin was the president of Russian Railways from 2005 until 2015.[7]

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.[11]

Yakunin is 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.[12]


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.[13][14][15][16][17][18] 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'.

Sanctioned by the UK government in 2022 in relation to Russo-Ukrainian War. [19]

Retired from Russian Railways[edit]

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.[20]

Personal life[edit]

His son Andrey Yakunin owns property in the UK.[21] Andrey ran a UK-based venture capital firm: Venture Investments & Yield Management LLP.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "О присвоении квалификационных разрядов федеральным государственным служащим". Decree No. 21 of 10 January 2003 (in Russian). President of Russia.
  2. ^ Weaver, Courtney (20 March 2014). "EU and US sanctions list: profiles of the targets". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  3. ^ "www.russiamonitor.net". Archived from the original on 13 May 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  4. ^ Russian Railways. Executive management
  5. ^ Politician from Russia, Vl. Yakunin
  6. ^ "Антикомпромат. ЯКУНИН". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  7. ^ a b Deutsche Welle (www.dw.com). "Sanctioned Putin ally Vladimir Yakunin granted German visa | DW | 21.08.2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  8. ^ How the 1980s Explains Vladimir Putin. The Ozero group. By Fiona Hill & Clifford G. Gaddy, The Atlantic, 14 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 January 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Владимир Прибыловский, Юрий Фельштинский. Операция "Наследник". Главы из книги". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  11. ^ Vladimir Yakunin Elected as Chairman of UIC Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Vladimir Yakunin, Founding President of the WPF "Dialogue of Civilizations"". Archived from the original on 4 August 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Treasury Sanctions Russian Officials, Members Of The Russian Leadership's Inner Circle, And An Entity For Involvement In The Situation In Ukraine". US Department of the treasury.
  14. ^ "Executive Order - Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine". The White House - Office of the Press Secretary. 20 March 2014.
  15. ^ "Ukraine-related Designations". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN)". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  17. ^ Shuklin, Peter (21 March 2014). "Putin's inner circle: who got in a new list of US sanctions". liga.net. Archived from the original on 7 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  18. ^ President of The United States (19 March 2016). "Ukraine EO13661" (PDF). Federal Register. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  20. ^ "СМИ связали отставку Якунина с заявкой его сына на британское гражданство". РБК. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  21. ^ a b "Sanctioned Russian oligarchs found sanctuary in Britain". The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (en-GB). Retrieved 15 March 2022.


  • The Treacherous Path: An Insider's Account of Modern Russia (Biteback Publishing Ltd, 2018) [ISBN 978-1-78590-301-4 hard bound]

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