First Deputy Transport Minister Oleg Belozerov had been on the short-list of names of potential successors to Yakunin.
Rumor now says the Rotenberg brothers had lobbied for Belozerov.
“Arkady and Boris Rotenberg supported Belozerov’s appointment,” Vedomosti quoted a source close to the government as saying. “They wanted to enter the railway business.”
Whether or not there is any truth in this is unclear, though a 2012 report had linked Belozerov to the Rotenbergs.
Belozerov’s official biography is pretty typical. He graduated from University in 1992, but then there is a 6 year gap, and the description jumps to 1998 (after the Putin clan had officially left St Petersburg for Moscow). He held various positions in St Petersburg business and government, and is connected to quite a few important people in the St Petersburg clan, including Viktor Cherkesov:
The most interesting thing about the man is the following fact:
Belozerov received this when he was heading the Federal Agency of Motorways.
According to the Russian publication Fontanka:
“According to his official [income] declaration, in 2014, he earned 10.5 million rubles, and his wife earned 12.1 million rubles. The new president of Russian Railways owns a 214 square meter apartment… that he bought in 1997.”
Belozerov had only just been promoted to 1st Deputy Minister of Transportation in May of this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich oversaw the official transfer, in his capacity as the chairman of the board of Russian Railways:
Meanwhile, Yakunin has still not officially been moved to any post at all. There was a rumor yesterday saying that he would be made Ambassador to Lithuania due to some legal technicality that said a Senator must be a resident of his constituency for a minimum of 5 years. However, this has not been confirmed.