Exposing the Kremlin Takeover: Increasing State Control in the Banking Sector

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Exposing the Kremlin Takeover: Increasing State Control in the Banking Sector

2nd December 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Over the 8 years that have passed since the appointment of the new head of the Central Bank of Russia, the Russian banking system has undergone many changes, including the role of the Central Bank. Russian economists and activists from Aleksey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation Vladimir Ashurkov and Nikita Kulachenkov have conducted a study that combines and evaluates all the reasons, processes and factors that have influenced the country’s banking system. From the creation of the ‘Megaregulator’ and governmentalisation of the banking sector, to the lack of liquidity and a two-fold reduction in the number of banks in Russia, Ashurkov and Kulachenkov chart what has happened in this key area and why.

All this is analysed in the newly produced report ‘Banking system in Russia in 2013-2020’ that The Henry Jackson Society is proud to present and discuss with its authors, and which you are invited to join.



Vladimir Ashurkov is the Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, led by Aleksei Navalny. A prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, Mr Ashurkov was granted asylum in the UK in 2015, from where he has continued to battle against corruption, including through ‘kleptocracy tours’ around properties owned by Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh elites.



Nikita Kulachenkov is a forensic accountant, investigator and political activist fighting against corruption in the Russian government. Since 2013, he served as a principal investigator at the Anti-Corruption Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Moscow and founded in 2011 by Alexey Navalny. Targeted by the Kremlin for his political work, Mr Kulachenkov was compelled to relocate to Lithuania, where he sought asylum. He continues to be politically active today including provision of part-time assistance to the investigations team at the Anti-Corruption Foundation.



Isabel Sawkins is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. She has a BA in Modern Languages at Durham University and an MA in Political Sociology of Russia and Eastern Europe at UCL. She is currently completing a PhD on Holocaust memory in the Russian Federation at the University of Exeter, funded by the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council). Isabel has presented her research at numerous international conferences. She has also published her findings in academic journals, as well as contributing to online media outlets. Isabel’s most recent accomplishment was the curation of an online exhibition about a Nazi death camp in occupied Poland.





On the 2nd of December 2021, Isabel Sawkins, a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, Nikita Kulachenkov, a forensic accountant, investigator, and political activist fighting corruption in the Russian government, and Vladimir Ashurkov, the Executive Director of the Anti-corruption Foundation, discussed the changes that the Russian banking system had undergone, including the role of the Central bank. The panellists discussed the research which is entitled Russia’s Banking System in 2013 to 2020, the purging of the banking sector, legislative changes, nationalism, and establishment of control. They also discussed the current model of how Russia is governed, where political and economic corruption go hand and hand. 


2nd December 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, England, SW1P 4QP
21-24 Millbank
Westminster, SW1P 4QP United Kingdom
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Vladimir Ashurkov, Nikita Kulachenkov


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