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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.

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


Early lifeEdit

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


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]

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]

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 charityEdit

  • Chairman of the Committee of Trustees, Center of the National Glory of Russia and St. Andrew the First-Called' Foundation,[11] which fund Orthodox Church-related projects.
  • Chairman of Supervisory board, “Spread Your Wings” Children's Fund, established in 2007 to provide financial aid for orphansto children in state care, disabled and seriously ill children. His company sponsors the fund’s projects, including social adaptation programs for children in state care and those with disabilities, as well as adoption support.[12]


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 RailwaysEdit

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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Subscribe to read". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  2. ^ "". Archived from the original on 13 May 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  3. ^ Russian Railways. Executive management
  4. ^ Politician from Russia, Vl. Yakunin
  5. ^ "Антикомпромат. ЯКУНИН". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  6. ^ How the 1980s Explains Vladimir Putin. The Ozero group. By Fiona Hill & Clifford G. Gaddy, The Atlantic, February 14, 2013
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2007-01-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Владимир Прибыловский, Юрий Фельштинский. Операция "Наследник". Главы из книги". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  9. ^ Vladimir Yakunin Elected as Chairman of UIC Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Vladimir Yakunin, Founding President of the WPF "Dialogue of Civilizations"". Archived from the original on 2015-08-04. Retrieved 2015-07-20.
  11. ^ "Board of Trustees". Russkiy Mir Foundation. Archived from the original on 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  12. ^ "Open lecture "Global geopolitical and geoeconomical transformations: a big war or a big breakthrough" by V.Yakunin". LinkedIn.
  13. ^ "Treasury Sanctions Russian Officials, Members Of The Russian Leadership's Inner Circle, And An Entity For Involvement In The Situation In Ukraine". US Department of the treasury.
  14. ^ "Executive Order - Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine". The White House - Office of the Press Secretary.
  15. ^ "Ukraine-related Designations". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN)". Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  17. ^ Shuklin, Peter (March 21, 2014). "Putin's inner circle: who got in a new list of US sanctions". Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  18. ^ President of The United States (March 19, 2016). "Ukraine EO13661" (PDF). Federal Register. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  19. ^ "СМИ связали отставку Якунина с заявкой его сына на британское гражданство". РБК. Retrieved 2015-11-03.

External linksEdit