COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Durov rejects Western funds’ offer to buy 5%-10% of Telegram with $30bn valuation
Belarusian government sees $2bn of withdrawals, issues $580mn worth of bonds in 2020
Lukashenko: I am no enemy of the people
One of Russia’s biggest wood product companies, Segezha could be Sistema’s next IPO
The volume of the Russian National Wealth Fund tops $183.93bn as gold overtakes dollar asset for first time
New Ukrainian VC firm QPDigital aims to invest up to $100 million in digital startups
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Most Ukrainians are optimistic about 2021 – poll
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Estonian premier quits after Tallinn development scandal
Top Centre Party official suspected of corruption in Tallinn real estate scandal
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
OUTLOOK 2021 Czechia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
Romanian tech entrepreneurs expand into banking sector
OUTLOOK 2021 Hungary
Hungarian government remains silent after Capitol riots
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank expects modest recovery for Europe and Central Asia in 2021
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
Slovakia to invest €1.2bn in digitisation
BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
Heavy flooding causes chaos in parts of Southeast Europe
Vodafone Albania plans €100mn infrastructure investments after AbCom merger
OUTLOOK 2021 Albania
Kyiv accuses Bosnian President Dodik of lying about icon gifted to Russian foreign minister
Bosnia’s real GDP contracts 6.3% y/y in 3Q20
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
ING THINK: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
OUTLOOK 2020 Bulgaria
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Zagreb Stock Exchange's Crobex10 index at highest level since March 5
OUTLOOK 2021 Kosovo
Arrera Automobili aims to launch Albania’s first supercar
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Moldova’s PM resigns to prepare the ground for early elections
Socialist lawmakers in Moldova scrap settlement on $1bn bank frauds
Montenegro’s new ruling coalition carves up top state jobs
OUTLOOK 2021 Montenegro
Vast tide of floating waste threatens Balkan hydropower plants
North Macedonia's manufacturing confidence indicator down by 8.5 pp y/y in December
OUTLOOK 2021 North Macedonia
Transparency International warns of high corruption risk in CEE defence sectors
Moldova fears flooding from Ukraine's planned Dniester hydropower plants
Romania’s industrial recovery paused in November
OUTLOOK 2021 Serbia
Slovenia’s government to release funds to news agency STA after EU pressure
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
Slovenia’s dire COVID-19 situation in 4Q20 caused second economic dip
Slovenia’s Eligma completes €4mn funding round
Turkish opposition leader lawsuit demands one lira from Erdogan, police probe “bald” interior minister posts
Akbank takes over Istanbul's Palladium Atasehir shopping mall
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
Armenia’s PM cautions conflict with Azerbaijan “still not settled” after trilateral meeting with Putin
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
Russia, Kazakhstan pushing for oil production increases on the back of coronavirus vaccine-fuelled oil price optimism
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Georgia’s political kingpin Bidzina Ivanishvili quits politics
Modern-day “Robin Hood” inspires Georgians drowning in debt
Iran’s navy conducts missile drill while analyst argues Trump even capable of nuclear strike in final days
TEHRAN BLOG: Who’s more credible? Johnson backing Trump’s Nobel chances or Iran applauding arrest warrant for US president?
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
OUTLOOK 2021 Kyrgyzstan
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
OUTLOOK 2021 Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s Makro positions itself for growth in a more competitive market
Download the pdf version
Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska has thrown his money and hands-on-management style into Russia’s fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic that is sweeping the world.
The coronavirus epidemic is now well rooted in Russia and in its exponential growth phase. Volnoe Delo, a charity founded by Deripaska, has been working in regions across the country to supply medical equipment, upgrade hospital facilities and support the elderly as Russia’s top businessmen increasingly embrace their corporate responsibilities to the society and country that made them so wealthy in the first place.
This is not Deripaska’s first encounter with a deadly virus. 2015 saw a breakout of the deadly Ebola virus in Guinea where aluminium producer Rusal, founded by Deripaska, has a major bauxite deposit. The virus infected a total of 29,000 people and killed 11,310 people – the largest and most lethal outbreak of the virus since it was discovered. The WHO classed the outbreak as a global threat.
Deripaska, then a president of Rusal, took personal charge of the fight to contain the killer virus and in less than two months had funded and built a $10mn epidemiological and microbiological diagnostic centre in Guinea’s Kindia province that is still there today.
Russian doctors were flown in to treat over 4,500 local residents who received free medical help. The Russian medics also trained 270 local medical personnel to establish a permanent facility to treat and contain future outbreaks. And the diagnostic centre in Kindia continues to train doctors to this day. Thanks in part to Rusal’s efforts the 2014 outbreak was halted, the contagion was contained within the region and a pandemic was avoided.
Now Rusal is facing another outbreak of a deadly virus in centres of its operations: Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Sayanogorsk, Bratsk, Achinsk and other Siberian towns. This region has always relied on Deripaska for support. It’s home to hundreds of thousands of people with high-quality healthcare scarce even in normal circumstances and state financing typically lacking.
Two weeks ago, the local press reported that Deripaska flew into the region and met with health authorities in Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk before going on to tour the local hospitals. It was later announced that he will finance the construction of seven hospitals for coronavirus patients as his first actions to contribute to the containment of the epidemic: two new hospitals in the Krasnoyarsk region, three in the Irkutsk region, one in the republic of Khakassia and one in his hometown of Ust-Labinsk in the Krasnodar region.
Deripaska’s Volnoe Delo foundation has already bought new ambulances and sent them to twelve Russian towns in Siberia and the Urals. The automobiles are produced by GAZ Group, Russia’s leading automaker and one of Deripaska’s holdings. They are capable of traveling off-road, fitted with modern medical equipment and special radio sets that are suitable for operations in remote areas.
The foundation has also bought over a million medical masks and other personal protection equipment (PPE) and sent them to over twenty towns in Siberia and the Urals as part of its campaign to tackle the pandemic.
“Volnoe Delo has also purchased 14 ventilators for a hospital in Ust-Labinsk. The foundation and the Faculty of Fundamental Medicine at Lomonosov Moscow State University have also launched a website with resources on how to treat respiratory diseases and ventilator use. The online project includes a series of video lectures in which one of Russia’s most senior intensive care specialists gives recommendations on how to care for patients with respiratory conditions and how to use a ventilator,” Volnoe Delo said in comments emailed to bne IntelliNews. Deripaska is also reportedly sourcing 250,000 COVID tests from China to bring to Russia.
According to Russian outlet Ko.ru, although Deripaska’s wealth has plummeted dramatically because of the US sanctions, he is spending the largest percentage of his fortune among Russia’s business elite to help fight COVID-19.
Meanwhile, last week, Rusal’s medical centre in Guinea’s received its first patient infected with coronavirus. He tested positive for COVID-19 and now remains in medical care. As of April 15, his condition is stable.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: