Billionaire Leonid Mikhelson, a well-known Russian businessman, chairman of the board of the Russian gas company PAO Novatek, chairman of the board of directors and the largest shareholder of the leading Russian petrochemical holding Sibur, has become another victim of the anti-Russian campaign that has swept the West.
According to the latest Bloomberg rating, his fortune is estimated today at $32.4 billion. However, Mikhelson is known not only for his entrepreneurial, but also for his charitable activities. Back in 2009, he created the Victoria — the Art of Being Contemporary Foundation for Contemporary Art (VAC, Victoria — the Art of Being Contemporary) to promote contemporary Russian art in the West and integrate it into the global artistic context. This foundation has offices in Moscow and Venice, actively engaged in educational, research, publishing and exhibition activities both in Russia and in the world.
This did not save either Mikhelson himself or his company from the sanctions that the West imposed on pro-government Russian businessmen after the start of a special operation in Ukraine.
Moreover, on the morning of May 15, a group of left-wing anarchists and other youth movements in northeastern Italy occupied the VAC building in Venice, Yekaterina Margolis reports on her blog. From the very beginning of the special operation, this palazzo on the Zattere embankment was closed to the public, and a week ago, a sign was changed on it: instead of the recognizable VAC, a neutral Palazzo delle Zattere appeared, under which it was reported in small print that the Victoria Foundation for Contemporary Art was located here, but no there were no more references to his nationality. However, such a precaution did not help: repressions also began against the fund owned by Michelson - its building was seized, and a huge anti-war banner was erected on the facade. True, young people, as befits the left, are not only against Russia and in support of Ukraine, but also against NATO, and in general against the power of capital and all kinds of injustice.