On Board the Russian Dissidents’ ‘Kleptocracy’ Bus


Originally published by Vice News.

It was the British version of a Hollywood celebrity homes tour.

A group of Russian activists, commentators, and dissidents rented a luxury bus in London on Thursday to hold the inaugural “kleptocracy tour” — a drive around some of the properties owned by Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh businessmen and oligarchs with what organizers claimed are questionable sources of income.

VICE News was invited on the excursion a month in advance, but the set-off point remained a secret until the day before — it was eventually revealed as Victoria Embankment, opposite the Ministry of Defense. Upon boarding, passengers were given a printout of a Monopoly-style board with pictures of the properties of men including Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich, former Kazakh secret police chief Rakhat Aliyev, Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov, and former Russian senator Andrey Guryev, who owns the £300 million ($435 million) colossal Witanhurst House, a London property second in sizeonly to Buckingham Palace.


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