A Day with a Russian Billionaire

A Day with a Russian Billionaire


[MUSIC PLAYING] RYAN DUFFY: So with the
fall of communism came a lot of questions. Chief among them, when you’re
dividing up decade’s worth of state-owned assets,
who gets what? The short answer is
a very lucky few. In the early ’90s, private
citizens with the best connections to the powers that
be, we’re essentially just gifted a whole bunch
of previously state-controlled assets. It’s all best personified by the
Russian oligarchs, a group of super-powerful businessmen
who control a disproportionate amount of the country’s
wealth. We came to Moscow to see
how the 0.00001% live. [MUSIC PLAYING] RYAN DUFFY: We’re about to go
meet Sergey, who we’ve heard really enjoys a life
of real opulence. We’ve been flying over all this
land, and you’re like, OK, so when do we get
to Sergey’s place? And they’re like, this
is Sergey’s place. This entire fucking
place is Sergey’s. He owns pretty much the entire
north of Russia. Sergey Veremeenko is an oligarch
thought to have had connections to both the Russian
mob and the Putin government, who made his fortune
through coal, metals, and later banking. His 26-year-old wife, Sophia,
joined us for lunch. SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: Thank you so much
for your hospitality. Cheers. SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SOFIA ARZHAKOVSKAYA:
I saw like six bodyguards behind him. After we hung out, and had
coffee, and chatted, he stood up, and there was like
six bodyguards. Oh my god, who is this guy? SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SOFIA ARZHAKOVSKAYA:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: Really? Wow. SOFIA ARZHAKOVSKAYA: In 2006. RYAN DUFFY: I didn’t know. That changes the dynamic
of the table. I’ve never sat at a table with
a Mrs. World before. SOFIA ARZHAKOVSKAYA: Yep. RYAN DUFFY: That’s
amazing, in 2006? Wow. SOFIA ARZHAKOVSKAYA: It was
a huge scandal as well. RYAN DUFFY: So they thought
there was cheating or some backroom deals? SOFIA ARZHAKOVSKAYA: They were
saying right away that he was standing right there with the
gun, saying, you know, now put a crown on her. RYAN DUFFY: I assume that’s not
the case, right, Sergey? SOFIA ARZHAKOVSKAYA:
Of course not. He was surprised as
I am that I won. RYAN DUFFY: Right, but just
because he’s a powerful guy people would just assume that
the corruption, the word that gets thrown around
all the time. And that’s a very Western
perception of Russia, right? Is that business and finance is
very closely tied to, you know, corruption and that. How do you kind of stay
on top of that? SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [BELL TOLLS] RYAN DUFFY: After our caviar,
Sergey took us to view his collection of Russian
religious art. Valued at over $200 million,
it’s thought to be the largest in the world. So this is essentially one tenth
of Sergey’s collection of icons, housed here
at a private museum. Not at his main house. Just at one of the country
houses he has. He built a private museum. It’s stunning. SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SOFIA ARZHAKOVSKAYA: He’s the
favorite holy icon for the businessman to pray to. RYAN DUFFY: Why is this the
favorite of the businessman? SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: Should I be
concerned about the wolves and the bears that we don’t shoot? All right, vodka’s the answer. SERGEY VEREMEENKO: Let’s go. RYAN DUFFY: So in Sergey’s
down time, he’s an avid hunter. So much so that he this entire
estate of cabins out here where he hunts wild boar,
among other things. So he’s brought us out to
traipse through the snow and hunt some boar. But outfits are first
and foremost. And by hunting, Sergey meant
we’d be stationed in a heated hunting blind while his
bodyguards scattered bags of corn into a lit area that we’d
fire into with a sniper rifle. Not exactly sportsman like,
but a lot of fun. SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] [GUN SHOTS] SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
Congratulations. [SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: We’ve been
up for 48 hours. And we’ve been drinking
vodka since 2 PM. But Sergey says it’s time
to go to the sauna. So it’s time to go
to the sauna. We’ve got our hats. We’ve got our robes. SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: I don’t know what
that means, probably not good. SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: The saying in the
United States, Sergey, is it’s not gay if it feels good. How have things changed? Obviously, over the last two
decades, Russia has undergone dramatic changes. Where do you see this going? SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: Oh yeah. SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: This seems like
a really bad idea. SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: Oh! [LAUGHTER] Yeah! SERGEY VEREMEENKO:
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] RYAN DUFFY: Oh, Jesus Christ. SERGEY VEREMEENKO: Cheers. RYAN DUFFY: Cheers. Fuck all. [RUSSIAN MUSIC PLAYING]

100 Replies to “A Day with a Russian Billionaire”

  1. "There were 6 guards behind him, i just wanted to get some coffee with him"

    translation:

    he looked rich so i wanted to fuck him and make his money my money.

  2. My aunt is russian , as someone with a lot of russian family its funny how everyone always perceives in the west that russia is gangster and everyone get shot or poisoned or is evil. its no true at all.

  3. 1 hot gold digger, 1 fat bald ugly fucking oligarch and millions of hungry and poor russians thats the real russia story.

  4. Notice how all of the religious figures are darker. There were even darker depictions of Yeshua on the walls. Even the Vatican prays to and reveres the black mother and son.

  5. Interestingly, the guy has an early 1980s PhD in chemical engineering, and had some academic awards from the late 1980s.

  6. Sergey is a narrassacist! Thats why russia is so fucked up and juat about everyone is starving because he says corruption prospers in this country. Wow!fucked up

  7. I believe the more money you have the greater your responsibility is to feed the people, give them jobs. Not a personal museum worth 200 mill. Smh!!

  8. Russian oligarchs!so where is communism now ?oligarchs represent unequal distribution of wealth ,so communist leadership now cheating with their people by making wealth concentrate in few hands ,no more a welfare state?Why dont revert to democracy now let people choose their own representative and govt caring for them

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