Putin: My cellist pal buys and sells musical instruments

Putin: My cellist pal buys and sells musical instruments


norman lebrecht

April 08, 2016

Vladimir Putin has issued a robust defence of his cellist friend Sergie Roldugin, who is claimed to have stashed away two billion dollars in Panama.

‘Many creative professionals in Russia, probably half of them, are trying to do business and, to my knowledge, Sergei Pavlovich has been trying, too,’ Putin said yesterday at the People’s Front Media Forum in St. Petersburg.

‘What is his business? He is a minority shareholder in one of our companies, and he is making some money but definitely not billions of dollars. Nonsense, there is nothing of the sort,’ he said.

Roldugin spent his money ‘buying musical instruments abroad and has taken them to Russia… We always welcome such deeds, but he does even more. I know that he has been registering these musical instruments as property of governmental agencies for several months; for years, he has been organizing concerts, promoting Russian culture abroad, practically with his own money, without sticking out…. I am proud that I have such friends.’

sergei roldugin1

Newspapers that published the so-called Panama Papers have implicated Roldugin in hiding and laundering money on behalf of President Putin.


  • Musician says:

    100 million. Not 2 billion
    Still good business:)

  • Eddie Mars says:

    The latest Panama revelations are that the ex-PM of Ukraine, Julia Timoshenko, has more than $1 million dollars in offshore accounts that have been traced so far. There could be more.

    Readers will remember that domestic and industrial energy customers of Ukraine’s state monopoly supplier loyally and punctually made their monthly payments to Nafegaz, to pay for their metered supplies of gas. Yet when the time came for Naftegaz to pay its Russian partners for the gas provided… surprise! The money had all, mysteriously, gone! There wasn’t a single hrivnya left to pay the bills – yet all the customers had chipped in, and even received receipts.

    The Ukrainian government minister responsible for these funds was… yes, you’ve guessed! Julia Timoshenko!

    But do, please, keep pointing the finger at Putin, won’t you?

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Some of us might believe *they are both guilty*. Certainly the guilt of these Ukrainians does not prove the innocence of these Russians.