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Russian billionaires panicking after Forbes composed list of wealthiest Russians

Russian billionaires were upset with the recent publication by Forbes: they consider being too rich as disturbing and even dangerous.
They are also indignant with the criteria used by Forbes and think that the magazine and say that Forbes overestimated their wealth.

Prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of YUKOS company, is on the top of the list of the richest Russians.

"They found not the best timing. In our country, discussing personal wealth causes only stress", said one of the people from the list in a Vedomosti interview. This person strictly prohibited to mention his name.

"Being in such ratings makes you a target for law-enforcers", another billionaire says.

These concerns have certain grounds. After Forbes published the list of the richest Chinese businessmen, some of them were arrested. Chief Editor of Russian Forbes Vladimir Khlebnikov calls Russian businessmen to stay calm, “In China the rich are in a risky position in any case, whether we publish the list or not”.

Mr. Khlebnikov said that Forbes receives information of businessmen’s assets from interviews with the businessmen’s partners and people being close to their companies. “Businessmen do not often telli about their own business activities, but like to speak about the operations of other businessmen”, he said.

Meanwhile, vice-president of LUKOIL company Leonid Fedun ($7billion)  considers the criteria for estimating wealth “not real”, as the number of shares is taken and multiplied by their cost". He says that not all the shares, in fact, belong to him, he just can operate some of them without owning them, and his real wealth is much smaller than Forbes claims.

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