Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska is financing a dog shelter’s effort to stop the culling of strays as the Olympics begin, says the NYT.
Thousands of stray dogs live in Sochi, and government authorities say they are wild and dangerous. That is why, according to animal rights activists, authorities have ramped up efforts to exterminate them ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony.
From the NYT:
“We were told, ‘Either you take all the dogs from the Olympic Village or we will shoot them,’ ” said Olga Melnikova, who is coordinating the rescue effort on behalf of a charity called Volnoe Deloe (roughly, Good Will), which is financed by Oleg V. Deripaska, one of Russia’s billionaire oligarchs.
Deripaska has already used his resources to finance the Olympics to the tune of $US1.38 billion, according to Forbes. He is the CEO of Basic Element, an investment holding company with investments in everything from metals (especially aluminium) to airports. The Sochi airport, in fact, is one of his main contributions to the Olympic project.
Forbes estimates that Deripaska’s net worth at $US8.5 billion.