Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev has always sung his own tune. Now the billionaire media magnate has jumped into the ring with anti-Putin activist and blogger Alexey Navalny, just as the Kremlin tightens the screws on dissenting voices on the internet.
Lebedev said on Wednesday that he would present Vladimir Putin, Russia's powerful president, with a new debit card designed to fight corruption. The gesture is an ironic one in a country where accusations of corruption and the accumulation of untold wealth continue to dog Putin and his close associates.
The card will be put out by Lebedev's National Reserve Bank and will put 1% of all purchases toward RosPil, a fund launched by Navalny to expose corruption inside the Russian government.
"I'd like to 'marry' this project with the authorities' official position, so that on the official level, the authorities support citizens' intention to finance the struggle against corruption themselves," Lebedev said in a statement posted on his website.
He added that he wanted "to approach Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] as a citizen, so he shows us all by example."
Navalny has risen to become one of the leading opposition figures inside Russia by focusing on exposing government corruption via his popular blog.... Source/Origin >> Read More