Russia

Aleksey Navalny: Russian Political Dissident Picked For Aeroflot Board

Navalny's home was ransacked by police barely two weeks ago, and he spent 15 days in jail in May. So why did the government support his appointment to the board of Aeroflot, Russia's largest airline?

Aleksey Navalny at a protest in Moscow (Mitya Aleshkovskiy)
Aleksey Navalny at a protest in Moscow (Mitya Aleshkovskiy)
Aleksandr Panchenko

MOSCOW - Political blogger and activist Aleksey Navalny joined the board of Russia's largest airline, Aeroflot, this week.

Navalny has been one of the driving forces behind the protest marches against Vladimir Putin and his party, and has been arrested several times in the last few months. Early June, his apartment and office were extensively searched by police, in connection with an investigation into the clashes between protesters and police during the May 6 protest. He is well known as a political blogger and anti-corruption activist, but has never held a high-level position at a public company.

Navalny's candidacy was backed by Aleksander Lebedev, the outspoken head of a large Russian bank that owns 15 percent of Aeroflot. He also had the support of 70 percent of the stockholders, including the Russian Federal Property Management Agency. Support from the state agency is only possible with the support of the Russian government.

Navalny became one of 11 members the Aeroflot board. Russia's largest airline had $4 billion in revenue and 312 million profits in 2011. Last year, members of the board of directors received compensation of around $500,000 each.

Lebedev explained that the company needed to improve the efficiency of its corporate procedures. He said that he considers Navalny a very effective worker, and that he would be valuable to the company as a board member: "He will act on behalf of all stockholders, as well as the government stockholders."

On Twitter, Navalny wrote: "Fly Aeroflot." He also said that he would do "as usual, protect the rights of minority shareholders and the company's interests." He stressed that he had been supported by two international consulting groups who provide minority stakeholders with voting recommendations.

Read the original article in Russian

Photo - Mitya Aleshkovskiy

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Society

Germany's Legendary Clubbing Culture Crashes Museum Space

The exhibition “Electro” in Düsseldorf is an unlikely tribute to a joyful and uninhibited club culture, with curators forced to contend with limits of a museum setting ... and another COVID lockdown.

A woman with a "Techno" tattoo in front of the famous Berghain

Boris Pofalla

DÜSSELDORF — The last party at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin lasted from Saturday evening until Monday morning. On the first weekend of December, some clubbers lined up for nine hours outside the former power plant – and still didn’t make it past the doormen. A friend said that dancing in the most famous techno club in the world on its last evening was like landing a spot in the last lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic on 14 April 1912.

It is surely a coincidence that the first comprehensive exhibition charting the 100-year history of electronic music in Germany opened in the same week that nightclubs across the country were forced to close. It wasn’t planned that way, but it’s like opening an exhibition about the cultural history of alcohol the day after the introduction of prohibition.

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