Vladimir Yakunin

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Vladimir Yakunin
Vladimir Iakunin.jpg
President of Russian Railways
In office
15 June 2005 20 August 2015
Preceded by Gennady Fadeyev
Succeeded by Oleg Belozyorov
Personal details
Born (1948-06-30) 30 June 1948 (age 71)
Melenki, Soviet Union (now Russia)
ProfessionDoctor of Political Sciences

Vladimir Ivanovich Yakunin (Russian : Владимир Иванович Якунин; born June 30, 1948 in Melenki, Vladimir Oblast) is a Russian public figure, businessman and former president of Russian Railways (June 2005 – August 2015). In 2012, he was elected chairman of the Union of Railways (UIC) a position he held until 2015. In March 2014, he was placed on the US State Department's list of Russian officials and businessmen sanctioned in the wake the annexation of Crimea. [1] After stepping down as head of Russian Railways, he has continued to be engaged in public work as a founder and president of World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”. In October 2015, he started work on creating an international think tank focused on the search for solutions to help de-escalate tensions across the world. DOC Research Institute was launched in July 2016 in Berlin.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Melenki, Vladimir Oblast Town in Vladimir Oblast, Russia

Melenki is a town and the administrative center of Melenkovsky District in Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located in the Meshchera Lowlands on the banks of the Unzha River, 150 kilometers (93 mi) southeast of Vladimir, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 15,206 (2010 Census); 16,344 (2002 Census); 18,340 (1989 Census).

Russian Railways state-owned company in Russia

Russian Railways is a Russian fully state-owned vertically integrated railway company, both managing infrastructure and operating freight and passenger train services.


Early life

Vladimir Yakunin was born in Melenki in Gus-Khrustalny District, Vladimir Oblast. [2]

Gus-Khrustalny District District in Vladimir Oblast, Russia

Gus-Khrustalny District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the sixteen in Vladimir Oblast, Russia. It is located in the south of the oblast. The area of the district is 4,370 square kilometers (1,690 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Gus-Khrustalny. Population: 44,883 (2010 Census); 50,813 ; 58,748 (1989 Census).

Vladimir Oblast First-level administrative division of Russia

Vladimir Oblast is a federal subject of Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Vladimir, which is located 190 kilometers (120 mi) east of Moscow. As of the 2010 Census, the oblast's population was 1,443,693.


In 1972, Yakunin graduated from the Leningrad Mechanical Institute where he studied aircraft construction, and specialized in engineering and the maintenance of long-range ballistic missiles. [3]

Yakunin's career began in the State Institute for Applied Chemistry in Leningrad, where he worked from 1972 to 1975. In 1975, he joined the Soviet Army. [4]

Between 1985 and 1991, Yakunin was part of the Soviet diplomatic mission to the United Nations, becoming the Mission's First Secretary in 1988. [5]

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international co-operation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It was established after World War II, with the aim of preventing future wars, and succeeded the ineffective League of Nations. Its headquarters, which are subject to extraterritoriality, are in Manhattan, New York City, and it has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193.

In the early 1990s, Yakunin owned a dacha in Solovyovka, Priozersky district of Leningrad region, on the eastern shore of the Komsomol'skoye lake on the Karelian Isthmus near St. Petersburg. His neighbours there included Vladimir Putin, Andrei Fursenko, Sergey Fursenko, Yuriy Kovalchuk, Viktor Myachin, Vladimir Smirnov and Nikolay Shamalov. On November 10, 1996, together they set up the co-operative society Ozero covering their properties. [6] [7] [8]

Dacha seasonal or year-round second home

A dacha is a seasonal or year-round second home, often located in the exurbs of Russian-speaking and other post-Soviet countries. A cottage or shack serving as a family's main or only home, or an outbuilding, is not considered a dacha, although some dachas recently have been converted to year-round residences and vice versa. In some cases, owners occupy their dachas for part of the year and rent them to urban residents as summer retreats. People living in dachas are colloquially called dachniki (дачники); the term usually refers not only to dacha dwellers but to a distinctive lifestyle. The Russian term is often said to have no exact counterpart in English.

Leningrad Oblast First-level administrative division of Russia

Leningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia. It was established on August 1, 1927, although it was not until 1946 that the oblast's borders had been mostly settled in their present position. The oblast was named after the city of Leningrad. Unlike the city, the oblast retains the name of Leningrad.

Karelian Isthmus isthmus

The Karelian Isthmus is the approximately 45–110 km(30–70 mi) wide stretch of land, situated between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga in northwestern Russia, to the north of the River Neva. Its northwestern boundary is the relatively narrow area between the Bay of Vyborg and Lake Ladoga. If the Karelian Isthmus is defined as the entire territory of present-day Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast to the north of the Neva, the isthmus' area covers about 15,000 km2(6,000 sq mi).

On December 12, 2012 in Paris, the International Union of Railways General Assembly appointed Yakunin Chairman of the Union. He was unanimously reappointed on December 3, 2014 and continued to serve as head until his retirement. [9]

Yakunin is also President of the World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations", an International NGO registered in Vienna, Austria, which he co-founded with C. Kapur of India and N. Papanikolao from Greece/USA. Before it was transformed into a DOC research Institute, World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" was an initiative to link people from different backgrounds, civilizations, traditions and religions. It organizes the annual Rhodes Forum on Dialogue of Civilizations. [10]

Social activities and charity


On March 20, 2014, the United States government issued sanctions in response to what it saw as the Russian government’s role in ongoing unrest in Ukraine. The Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN) imposes a travel ban to the United States, the freezing of all Yakunin’s U.S. assets, and a ban on business transactions between American citizens and corporations and Yakunin and any businesses he owns. [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] The Australian Government announced on 19 March 2014 that it would impose a sanctions regime in response to the Russian threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Vladimir Yakunin was placed on Australia’s DFAT consolidated list on 19 June 2014, described as a ‘close personal and financial associate of Vladimir Putin’.

Retired from Russian Railways

In August 2015, media reports said Yakunin has retired as head of Russian Railways, but in October, further reports suggested he had been dismissed. Russian and British media have alleged that Yakunin’s dismissal was a direct result of his son Andrey Yakunin’s decision to apply for UK citizenship. [19]

See also

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