Putin Friend Bags at Least 21 Russian Olympic Contracts

The president’s boyhood pal scores lucrative contracts in Sochi
Putin: “The main issue is to be sure nobody steals anything” Photograph by Jock Fistick/Bloomberg

Arkady Rotenberg, the boyhood friend and former judo partner of black-belt President Vladimir Putin, already is collecting his winnings from 2014’s Winter Olympics. Rotenberg’s companies have been awarded at least 227 billion rubles ($7.4 billion) worth of contracts for the Sochi Games, according to figures compiled from corporate and government filings. That’s more than the entire budget for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, though it represents just 15 percent of Russia’s latest estimate for the event, which promises to be the most expensive ever.

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