Russian billionaire donates £100 million to UK charity

Howard Lake | 16 November 2006 | News

Billionaire Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev has transferred his £100 million holding in a Russian aircraft leasing company to the Raisa Gorbachev Fund, the UK charity that helps Russian children with leukaemia. This is probably the biggest donation by a Russian to a charity.

The donation was made primarily to protest against the Russian government’s to absorb his company into a state-owned enterprise. Mr Lebedev told The Times: “I am giving this stake to charity. If the (Russian) Government mistreats the stake, they are mistreating Russian children with leukaemia.”

Mr Lebedev helped his friend and business partner Mikhail Gorbachev set up the charity in memory of the former leader of the Soviet Union’s wife, who died of leukaemia in 1999.

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