Yelena Baturina

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Yelena Baturina
Yelena Baturina.jpg
Yelena Nikolayevna Baturina

(1963-03-08) 8 March 1963 (age 58)
Moscow, Russian RSFR, Soviet Union (now Russia)
OccupationFounder of Inteco and Be Open
(m. 1991; died 2019)
Children2 daughters
RelativesViktor Baturin (brother)

Yelena Nikolayevna Baturina (Russian: Еле́на Никола́евна Бату́рина; born 8 March 1963) is a Russian billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist, based in London, and was married to Yury Luzhkov, mayor of Moscow (from 1992 to 2010), until his death in 2019.

She founded (1991) and for two decades served as president of Inteco, an investment and construction company. Her assets are now invested in Baturina's Investment Group.[citation needed] The Group's commercial activities cover a hotel chain[1] (in Ireland, the Czech Republic and Russia), a membrane construction and engineering enterprise (Germany), a renewable energy project (Greece, Cyprus and Italy), a development project (Cyprus) and investments in a number of real estate investment funds focused on residential and commercial construction and development in Europe and the US.

Baturina is the founder of the Be Open foundation.[2] According to Forbes, with a fortune of $1.2 billion, she was the richest woman in Russia, until Tatyana Bakalchuk overtook her spot in February 2020 with $1.4 billion.[3]


Baturina is a Moscow native who began working as a design-technician at the Frezer plant [ru] (where her parents worked) after graduating from high school.[4] She later got a degree, graduating from the Moscow-based S. Ordzhonikidze State University of Management in 1986.

  • 1980–1982: the Frazer plant, technician-designer, then senior design engineer of the Chief Technologist Department;
  • 1982–1989: Institute of Integrated Economic Development of Moscow, researcher; Russian Union of United Cooperatives, head of the Secretariat; the Mosgorispolkom Commission on cooperative activity, senior specialist.
  • since 1989 engaged in private business activities;
  • 1991–1994: LLP "Inteco", director;
  • 1994–2011: CJSC "Inteco", president;
  • 2006–2011: deputy head of the interdepartmental working group on the priority national project "Affordable and Comfortable Housing to Russian citizens", a member of the commission on the development of affordable housing under the President of the Russian Federation on the implementation of priority national projects and demographic policy.

Baturina met her future husband, Yury Luzhkov, in 1987 when they were both serving at Mosgorispolkom, a Soviet-era municipal commission. At the period of their co-working the relationships were purely professional. In one of her interviews Baturina remembers: "We never even thought about anything like that when we were working together, it all happened much later".[5] Baturina and Luzhkov married in 1991. The next year he became mayor of Moscow. In 2010 he was dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev amidst still unproven accusations of corruption and mismanagement voiced on state run television.[6] Yury himself had at one time been tipped to run for president, though he never did.

After her husband's dismissal Baturina moved to London. She explains the choice of the city by the fact that her two daughters decided to study in London[7]

In November 2010 Luzhkov gave an interview to the Telegraph newspaper stating that the couple was sending their daughters to study in London to protect them from possible persecution from the Russian authorities. He also said that a house had been bought in the west of the city for them and that he and his wife intend to visit them regularly.[8] Luzhkov also claimed that the Russian authorities were planning to break up Baturina's business empire and that the couple would fight the attempt: "We will not give up. My wife will battle for her business and for her honour and self-worth. That is for sure".[8]

In September 2009 The Sunday Times erroneously stated that Witanhurst, a large house in Highgate, North London, had been bought by Baturina, via an offshore front company. Baturina sued the papers owners, Times Newspapers, a subsidiary of News International. Times Newspapers apologized for the story and paid damages to her in October 2011.[9]

Baturina is one of many "Russian oligarchs" named in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA, signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017.[10] The report was "not a sanctions list," the US administration pointed out though. The US Treasury report just listed every senior member of the political administration at the Kremlin, and every wealthy Russian with a net worth of $1 billion or more. So it did not impose any effect on Baturina.[11]



In 1989 Baturina launched her first enterprise with her elder brother Victor, primarily dealing with computer software and hardware.[12] In 1991 Baturina founded her company, Inteco ("Inteko" (Интеко) in Russian), which focused on construction though it began as a plastics business. In 1994 Inteco purchased a plastic factory. In 1998 the company won the contract for producing 85,000 seats for Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow's largest stadium. The critics claimed that the decision was affected by Luzhkov as Mayor of Moscow, though Inteco stated that their price was 50% less than their nearest competitor's.[13]

In the middle of 1990s Inteco entered the construction business focusing on development of advanced materials and technologies for facade work, cement, brick and poured concrete construction, architectural design and real estate business.[14]

In 2001 Inteco acquired from a private person the controlling stake in one of the leading house-building factories in Moscow DSK-3. Following modernization the construction plant provided 500,000 square meters of housing per year. This acquisition, according to Baturina's interviews, became the starting point for the company's major construction activity. "DSK-3 is my first real step into construction. I had been viewing the market for a long time. I saw how quickly and dynamically it was developing, how many opportunities it was offering. Still the deal took place sort of accidentally. The lawyers of the former main owner’s widow came to me and said that some unfriendly entities were questioning her property rights and trying to simply rob her of her stake. And the frightened woman had decided to sell all the shares to Inteco on the condition that we defend her rights in court. We have successfully managed that and just like that, almost by accident, became the owners of the plant."[15]

At one point Inteco was said to control 20% of construction in the capital.[16] However, according to experts, quoted by media, from 2000 to 2010 of construction activities Inteco's share in the state order was no more than 2%. While the main contractors for the implementation of the Moscow government orders were construction companies MFS-6 (24.5%) Glavmosstroy (20.7%), SU-155 (13.7%) and MSM-5 (12.2%). In 2002 Inteco created a subsidiary "Strategy Construction Company", whose main objective was the construction of monolithic buildings. Such cement plants as "Podgorensky cementnik" and "Oskolcement", one of the largest cement producers in the central Russia, were also bought at that time.[17]

In 2005 Inteco sold its cement works for estimated US$800 000 to Eurocement Group in order to consolidate financial and administrative recourses that the company needed for the implementation of perspective construction programs.[18]

Shortly Inteco sold DSK-3, a producer of prefabricated buildings, as well and fully concentrated on the construction of monolithic housing and commercial real estate.[19]

Part of the proceeds from the sale of these assets were directed by Baturina to buying some high-yield "blue chips" of the largest Russian companies such as Gazprom and Sberbank. This step allowed the visionary businesswoman to later sell the shares in the crisis year of 2009 at a significant profit and return Inteco's earlier business development bank loans ahead of schedule, which allowed to keep the businesses afloat. The interest rate on loans at that time sprang up from 10.8 to 18 percent, which led to the ruin of a significant number of Russian developers.[20]

At the same time, as part of a new cement project, Inteco purchased Verkhnebakansky Cement Plant and the Atakaytsement cement factory located in the Krasnodar region.[21][22]

As of 2007, the company owned such entities as Inteko Plast (55%), Bistro Plast (50%), construction firms SK DSK-3 (100%), Styre (100%), Inteco CENTER (100%), Inteco Chess (Elista, 100%), Intekostroy (70%). The company also owned enterprises in the city of Sochi - Park (100%), The Matrix (100%), Sochi AO (75.58%), Horizont (50%), Selectioner (Belgorod region., 100%) and Uspensky Agromashplast (Moscow reg., Uspensky, 38%). Inteco Group also included Russian Zemelny Bank and trading house Moscow River involved in the supply of grain.

In 2007, the company's revenue, according to its own data, amounted to $1 billion.[14]

At the end of 2008, along with Gazprom and Russian Railways, Inteco was included into the list of 295 strategic enterprises of the country.[23]

In 2009, the company begins cooperating with an outstanding Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill as part of the programme aimed at creating fundamentally new systems for mass housing in Russia.[24]

In 2010 Inteco launched the construction of the second academic building for the Moscow State University named after Lomonosov.[25]

In 2010, Baturina was named one of the largest taxpayers in Russia, the taxes to the state budget for 2009 amounted to 4 billion rubles. As of 2009, 99% of the company is owned by Baturina, 1% is on the balance sheet of the Company itself. The project development portfolio is more than 7,000,000 square meters, the cement capacities exceed 0.6 million tons per year.[26]

At the end of 2010 Baturina sold its Russian Zemelny Bank (RZB) to foreign investors.[27]

The most significant completed projects of Inteco in Moscow (in the period of company Baturina's ownership) are: the residential quarter "Shuvalov" (270,000 square meters), the residential quarter "Grand Park" (400,000 square meters), the residential site "Volga" (400,000 square meters), the multifunctional complex "Fusion Park" with the "Autoville" - museum of unique cars from private collections (100,000 square meters), the Fundamental Library (60,000 square feet), and the academic building for Humanities (100,000 square meters) of the Moscow State University.[28]

After her husband's resignation Baturina starts selling her assets in Russia. The best offer was filed by Mikail Shishkhanov and Sberbank Investments. They bought the 95% and 5% shares of Inteco correspondingly.[29] The exact amount of the transaction was never disclosed, but the report of Sberbank stated that according to the experts that participated in the preparation of the deal, the market value of Inteco, its projects and structures was around 1.2 billion dollars.[30] The deal did not include the cement plants of Inteco. One of them was later sold to Lev Kvetnoy for estimated 17 billion rubles.[31]

Hotel business[edit]

The first development in the new hotel chain was the five-star Grand Tirolia Golf & Ski Resort, located in the heart of the Eichenheim golf club in Kitzbühel, Austria. Construction, which was completed in 2009, cost in the region of €35-40 million.[32] The hotel is located in the center of the golf club Eichenheim, together they make Grand Tirolia Golf & Ski Resort. In 2009 the hotel achieved honorary status as the "Home of Laureus" in Austria, and became the official venue for the annual ceremony of the prestigious international award that those in the field call the "Oscar" of sports journalism.[33] In 2018 the hotel was sold to the Austrian investor, presumably for €45 million.[34]

In 2010, Baturina opened the New Peterhof Hotel in Saint Petersburg, which received a number of architectural awards.[35] In 2012, following major reconstruction work, Baturina opened the Quisisana Palace in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Housed in a late 19th century building, the hotel combines elements of Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Gothic styles. The restoration of the historic building required significant investment.[36] The hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World association.[37] In 2013 Baturina opened the Morrison Hotel in Dublin, Ireland. She bought it from NAMA in early 2012 for €22 million.[38] The 138-room hotel on Dublin's Lower Ormond Quay has undergone a €7 million refurbishment.[39]

Morrison Hotel, Dublin[edit]

Acquired in March 2012 for €20 million, fully refurbished in 2013 for €7 million. 7 more rooms added in 2015 with an additional investment of €1.25 million. Currently, the hotel has 145 rooms, 5 conference rooms, a gym, two restaurants and a bar.

Reopened on 1 February 2013, under the DoubleTree by Hilton franchise. The hotel is in the top 10% of Hilton properties annually, according to Hilton Quality Assessments. The hotel employs 118 people.

Grand Tirolia Hotel and Resort, Kitzbühel[edit]

The first development in the hotel chain, located in the heart of the Eichenheim golf club in Kitzbühel, Austria. Its construction was completed in 2009. The hotel has 82 rooms of 9 categories, a spa with an outdoor pool, meeting rooms and conferences halls. In 2015, Grand Tirolia was named the best golf hotel in Austria, Golf Club Eichenheim - the best golf course in Austria. World Golf Awards was awarded to it in 2014 and 2015. In 2018 the hotel was sold to the Austrian investor.

Quisisana Palace, Karlovy Vary[edit]

Quisisana Palace is a restored 19th-century building turned boutique hotel with 19 guest rooms and suites, a restaurant and a wellness centre. It opened in September 2012. Quisisana was awarded Hotel of the Year 2014 by Czech Hotels Awards, and is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Association. The hotel employs 22 people.

New Peterhof, St. Petersburg[edit]

New Peterhof Hotel opened in June 2010 and has 150 rooms, 2 restaurants, 7 meeting rooms, and a spa. The hotel welcomes more than 15 thousand guests annually and employs 98 people.

Baturina has announced her intentions to the press to continue to expand her hotel chain. "In the future, we think of making up hotel clusters in those regions where we are already present. These are Ireland - United Kingdom, Northern Italy - Austria - Germany, the Baltic States - Russia - Kazakhstan," Baturina said in her interview to "Sobesednik".[40]

Development business[edit]

In late 2015, Baturina launched a development business in New York with an initial investment of US$10 million. The first set of commercial buildings she acquired is located in central Brooklyn, the third largest business centre of the city after Lower and Midtown Manhattan. The company is considering transferring the land they are located on to a category suitable for residential construction, so that a large-scale development project can be realised.[41]

In November 2016 Baturina's structures launched a construction and development project in Europe. Her company acquired a land plot on the coastline in a primary area of Limassol, Cyprus, intended for constructing high-end residential properties. The overall investment into the project will amount to EUR 40 million, and the completion of the construction is planned for 2021.[42][43][44]

Membrane Construction[edit]

In Autumn 2015, Baturina's structures became a strategic investor of Hightex GmbH, a global membrane construction company based in Rimsting, Germany, having acquired 75% of the company. Her involvement gave the project the necessary impetus to restructure its operations and future development. 25% of the company belongs to its founder Klaus-Michael Koch, one of the pioneers of membrane construction.

Hightex is a systems engineering company, which designs, fabricates and installs large area, light weight membrane roofs and façades worldwide, including cable and retractable systems. The membranes are typically used in roofs and façades for sporting stadiums and arenas, airport terminals, train stations, shopping malls and other buildings.

In April 2017 Hightex announced the launch of two new international projects in Qatar and the US. Hightex will be responsible for the membrane construction of the roof and façade of the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar. A total of 200,000 square meters of the stadium's roof and façade will be covered in a lightweight membrane structure. In the US, Hightex has been commissioned to install the membrane elements for the "Canopy of Peace" a 50-meter-high (160 ft) landmark in New Orleans.[45]

Renewable energy[edit]

Since 2014 Baturina's Investment Group has been developing a project to generate, use and market renewable energy in Europe.[46] The venture is responsible for the construction and commercial operation of solar parks in the south and south-east of Europe. The total investment into the project by Baturina's structures could reach €20 million in the coming year. Currently the company owns solar parks in the south of Italy and in Greece. The next acquisitions under consideration are in Greece and Cyprus. The company is developing a subproject that consists in applying the technology that allows saving the energy obtained from renewable sources, which constitutes a whole new system of wise energy consumption. Another trend within the energy project is constructing and servicing individual solar parks located mostly on the roofs of enterprises – the consumers of energy.[47][48]

In 2018 Baturina's enterprise has launched the first ESCO (Energy Services Company) project in Cyprus. The project consists in energy-consumption optimization at a client enterprise or a production. All the necessary technological decisions have been designed by Baturina's company in partnership with Cyprus company Energy & Beyond, the affiliated enterprise of GDL Green Energy Group. The first project realised will be the optimization of energy consumption at one of the largest manufacturers of meat in Cyprus, Paradisiotis Ltd. In 2019 the number of investments into the alternative energy sector and into the energy-efficiency increase will reach €40 million.[49]

Veedern Group[edit]

In 1999 Baturina became chairman of the Equestrian Federation of Russia, and in 2000 acquired the "Veedern" estate in the Suvorovka village of the Kaliningrad Region. Here she planned to revive two-centuries old traditions of horse breeding of the Trakehner horses.[50]

In 2011 the retired Yury Luzhkov took up the management of the estate. He conducted reconstruction of the historical buildings, launched a few innovative cattle-breeding and agricultural projects. Today the estate breeds, trains, rents and sells Hanoverian and Trakehner horses.[51]


In 2007 Viktor Baturin, Baturina's brother, with whom she founded Inteco, sued Inteco for US$120 million for wrongful dismissal.[52]

Allegations of Criminal Links[edit]

According to secret cables published by WikiLeaks, the US ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, reported allegations that Baturina had links to major criminal groups, particularly Solntsevskaya Bratva.[53] The full text of the cable makes clear that Mr Beyrle is simply repeating gossip and allegations conveyed to him by journalist Sergei Kanev. Beyrle writes, 'Kanev told us that Luzhkov's wife, Yelena Baturina, definitely has links to the criminal world, and particularly to the Solntsevo criminal group'.[54] Beyrle stated that her husband Yury Luzhkov sat on top of a "pyramid of corruption". "Luzhkov oversees a system in which it appears that almost everyone at every level is involved in some form of corruption or criminal behaviour," wrote Beyrle. "Analysts identify a three-tiered structure in Moscow's criminal world. Luzhkov is at the top. The FSB, MVD and militia are at the second level. Finally ordinary criminals and corrupt inspectors are at the lowest level." Beyrle also suggested that much of Luzhkov's business empire had been acquired using municipal finances to invest in "less than transparent" projects with former Soviet republics.[55] The couple denied the accusations as "total rubbish".[55]

Personal wealth[edit]

In February 2020, Forbes announced that Baturina's position as the richest woman in Russia was overtaken by Tatyana Bakalchuk, the founder of Wildberries, with a net worth of $1.4 billion.[3]

In the 2019 ranking of The World's Billionaires, Baturina with $1,2 billion remains for the 14th consecutive year the richest woman of Russia.[56]

In the 2018 ranking of The World's Billionaires, published by Forbes on 6 March, Baturina with $1,2 billion was for the 13th consecutive year the richest woman of Russia, and the only Russian female billionaire.[1]

Baturina is also the only independent self-made woman entrepreneur in the construction section of the Forbes list; she is number 55 of 56 self-made women billionaires who have built their fortune from scratch. Altogether there are 227 women on the list, over 75% of them have inherited their wealth from family.[1]

According to Forbes, Baturina's net worth was US$4.2 billion in 2008,[57] up from US$3.1 billion in 2007,[1] US$2.3 billion in 2006[58] and US$1.1 billion in 2004.[59] According to magazine Finans, her wealth fell during the credit crunch to just US$1 billion in February 2009, causing her to ask the Russian government for a bailout for Inteko.[60] Her wealth, as of 2012, was listed as US$1.1 billion.[1]

Baturina has a diverse portfolio. She owns hotels in the Black Sea tourist resort of Sochi, a hotel in Dublin through a private foundation in Austria, other hotels in Austria and the Czech Republic,[61] over 72,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Belgorod Oblast, and also a factory that produces a million cans of sweetened condensed milk each year.[59] But now all the assets except for the hotel in Dublin are no longer associated with Baturina.[citation needed]

2013 - 98th place, and $1.1 billion, still the richest business woman in the country.[62] In 2013 the Sunday Times included Baturina into the annual Sunday Times Rich List,[63] the list of the wealthiest people in Britain. The Russian entrepreneur took the 122nd 12th in the women list.[64]

Afterwards a few British journalists pointed out that if you discount the number of women who made the list due to "family wealth" (which they may have contributed towards to a greater or lesser degree), inheritance or divorce — the first self-made female richlister is Baturina.[65] "Money is like cement in construction. Money is not a goal but a means to reach the goal, the opportunity to do the things you want to do. The more money I have, the more large scale tasks I can solve. But I think you will agree that not everyone who owns a lot of money ever sets himself any tasks".[66]

Honours and awards[edit]

Baturina won the State Prize of the Russian Federation for Science and Technology in 2003. Inteco and its projects have won numerous awards and competitions, including: the "Russian Building Olympus" prize for "Architecture and Design Planning" (2008);[67] "Brand of the Year/EFFIE 2007"; national prize for "Construction and Real Estate" (2008);[68] International Star of Leadership award for quality at the 13th Business Initiative Directions (BID) international convention (Paris, 2009), "Company of the Year" national prize for business for "The Best Investment and Construction Company in Russia in 2009" (2009);[69] International Award for Technology & Quality (Madrid, 2010);[70] International Construction Award (France, 2011).[71]

In 2015 due to her public activity Baturina was selected an international ambassador for the WE-Women social initiative set up during the World EXPO in Milan. As an ambassador Baturina spoke of the need of state and public support for women balancing family and professional responsibilities.[72]

Community involvement[edit]

In 2006, Baturina was appointed Deputy Head for the inter-ministerial group under the national project "Affordable and Comfortable Housing for Russian citizens." Baturina was the only representative of the construction industry in the group. In connection to the project Inteco formed a special commission that was inspecting various regions in Russia in order to evaluate the state of the local construction enterprises, to determine the demand for construction materials and to collect demographic and sociological data. As a result, the commission developed the concept of the federal target program "Development of the construction industry". Later on, the Government of the Russian Federation based its "Strategy of development of building materials industry up to 2020" on that program.[73][74]

In 2010, Baturina became one of the first business leaders to provide support to the victims of fires in the Tula region. Among other projects, Inteco also fully sponsored a construction of a nursery school. In addition, Baturina addressed the leaders of other construction companies in Russia and urged them to follow the example.[75]

Support of sport[edit]


Inteco has sponsored Russian Open Golf Championship, one of the stages of the PGA European Tour, as well as provided assistance to members of the Russian junior team during their participation in international competitions. In addition, Baturina supported charity golf tournament for the Russian Federation President Cup and «Rotary Golf World Championship» in Kitzbühel, Austria.[76]

Equestrian sport[edit]

From 1999 to 2005, Baturina served as President of the Equestrian Federation of Russia. During this period, the Federation began arranging international competitions for young sportsmen, formed teams of riders of respective age categories that were qualified for participation in the European championships. In Moscow the Federation held multiple competitions, including the Moscow Mayor Cup, one of the stages of the World Cup.[77]

Baturina succeeded in raising funds for developing equestrian sport in Russia to the sufficient level for such competition. The sponsoring was directed not only to support adult tournaments, but to the development of youth and junior sports schools as well. Many equestrian sport bases underwent reconstruction, too.[78]

Arts and culture[edit]

"Russian seasons" in Europe[edit]

The first "Russian Season" organized by Baturina took place in Kitzbühel, Austria in 2008 - that was a celebration of Russian Orthodox Christmas with classical Russian musicians and Russian folklore ensembles. The following "Russian Seasons" were held not only in Austria but in several other European countries.[79]

Jazza Nova[edit]

Baturina organised the international music festival Jazza Nova in Kitzbühel, which featured headliners such as Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana, Liquid Soul and Brazzaville, "Turetsky Choir", Sergey Zhilin, etc. Entry was free of charge by invitation, which were distributed through public and charity foundations.[79]


Baturina is the founder of the charity foundation "Noosphere" designed to support education and to promote tolerance in society. It provides training courses, information and leisure centers, grant and scholarship programs. The "Noosphere" foundation is the initiator and one of the main organizers of the educational festival "Team of Tolerance" in Moscow.[80]

Noosphere implements an astronomic initiative 'Discovery within a Week' in London in cooperation with the Mayor's Fund for London.[81]

Housing charity[edit]

Baturina initiated a charity project called "Revival of Russian tradition of collective house construction". This project was to bring together business organizations, individuals and administrative workers in various regions of Russia in order to address the housing needs of people in dire need of better housing conditions. Within that project Inteco presented flats to a number of families in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don and Saint Petersburg.[82]

BE OPEN Foundation[edit]

In the recent years, Baturina has been realizing most of her philanthropic initiatives through the BE OPEN Foundation she set up in 2012. It is a cultural and social initiative which aims to become a bridge between the great minds of our time – philosophers, sociologists, designers, architects, artists, publishers, writers, businessmen and opinion leaders – and the promising new minds of the next generation through a system of conferences, competitions, exhibitions, master classes and art events.[83][84][85]

BE OPEN has been actively cooperating with the world renown designers, international brands, educational and cultural institutions, and state bodies in various countries of the world. Among them: the Government of India, Mayor of London and Greater London Authority, the Municipality of Milan and the EXPO Universal Exposition, and many others.

BE OPEN is currently working in close partnership with the Mayor's Fund for London, the Mayor's Office and GLA on a London youth employment programme titled "Creativity Works"[86] and being a Lead Partner in the London Curriculum[87][88] for Primary Schools programme. Elena Baturina served as a trustee for the Mayor's Fund for London from 2017 to 2019.[89]

In 2017 a City Pitch project was launched by Mayor's Fund for London in partnership with BE OPEN – the programme gives young Londoners an opportunity to plan and launch a social action project, whilst helping them to develop their leadership, project management and communication skills.[90]

In 2018, in partnership with  SBID (Society of British and International Design) BE OPEN held a national student competition named 'Designed for Business'  It was the first collaboration across the UK universities, and its aim was to specifically connect the students with their potential employers. Hundreds of students from 93 universities submitted their works to one of five categories: Product Design; Art & Design; Fashion; Interior Design and Interior Decoration.

The entries were judged by a panel of top names from the creative industries including key representatives from companies including Sebastian Conran Associates, Amazon UK, Christie's Education, John Lewis, Amara, HG Designworks and VitrA, as well as creative educators from a number of leading universities.

The student awards ceremony was held on 29 November 2018 in the Members' Dining Room at the House of Commons, London. The overall winner got the life-changing £30,000 provided by Elena Baturina, the category winners received £1,000 each.[91][92][93]

Maggie’s Centres[edit]

Mrs Baturina is a member of Maggie's London Board which is responsible for the coordination of all Maggie's fundraising activity in London. Maggie's Centres provides emotional and practical support to anyone with cancer and their family and friends through 18 Centres throughout the UK.[citation needed]

Reported association with Hunter Biden[edit]

In 2020, in the midst of President Donald Trump's reelection campaign against challenger Joe Biden, two committees of the majority-Republican US Senate jointly released a report which stated that Hunter Biden had received 3.5 million dollars from Baturina.[94] Baturina had wired that money in 2014 as payment for a "consultancy agreement" to Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC, which is a consortium combining the Massachusetts-based Thornton Group[95] and the investment firm Rosemont Seneca Partners; the latter was co-founded by Hunter Biden and others in 2009.[96] The consortium's current connection with Hunter Biden is not clear.[97]

Personal life[edit]

In 1991 Baturina married Yury Luzhkov. In 1992 their first daughter, Elena, was born, followed in 1994 by Olga. In November 2010 Luzhkov gave an interview to the Telegraph newspaper stating that the couple were sending their daughters to study in London to protect them from possible persecution by the Russian authorities.[98] It is understood that the family owns a home in the affluent Kensington area of London, purchased in 2013 through an offshore company domiciled in Gibraltar. The property, near Holland Park, was reported in 2018 to be worth at least £25 million.[99] In her interviews Baturina often said that she and Luzhkov were very lucky, as they still loved each other. She enjoys cooking his favourite dish, borscht, and claims that a traditional "Soviet upbringing" made a good housewife of her.[100]

Baturina has an older brother, Viktor Baturin, who is also a businessman. In 2007 Viktor Baturin tried to sue his sister's company Inteco for US$120 million for wrongful dismissal, but lost the case. Baturina has had no contacts with her brother since a public conflict on business issues that occurred in 2007 and resulted in mutual lawsuits, that later were settled.[52]

She is involved in a libel case against a former financial director for her brother. After failing to appear before a court in December 2019, the court declared Baturina a "fugitive".[101] The subpoena was rescinded in late January by Elista City Court.[102] Allegedly, the subpoena was issued under instruction from the A1 investment company as part of its financial claim to Elena Baturina.[103]

Hobbies and interests[edit]

Baturina enjoys horseriding, and has invested significant money into equestrian sport in Russia.[104][105] She owns the "Veedern" horse breeding estate founded in the 18th century. After a major reconstruction the estate is now successfully breeding Hanoverian and Trakehner horses.[105] Baturina has said: "You should put a man on a horse to see how he will behave in a team: will he become a leader or not, will he be a dictator or is he ready to compromise. Generally it is easier for men to handle horses. They have a strong hand and they can easily stop the animal. For example, Luzhkov can handle any horse".[104]

Baturina also enjoys mountain skiing, and it was the main reason for her setting up the first hotel of her chain in Tyrol.[106] She is also fond of golf which she plays together with her husband.[107]

She claims to own one of the largest private collections of Russian Imperial porcelain, preferring the porcelain of the era of Nicholay I.[108] In April 2011, Yelena Baturina donated about 40 pieces of art – a part of her collection of rare porcelain – to the "Tsaritsyno" museum in Moscow.[109]

Interesting facts[edit]

  1. 28-year-old Baturina and Luzhkov can be seen together as a cameo in "The Genius" movie (1991).
  2. Baturina thinks that her best acquisition is her private jet which saves her "lots of time and nerves".[40]
  3. In 2011, Baturina won a lawsuit against the British newspaper "The Sunday Times", which attributed to the Russian businesswoman the acquisition of Witanhurst estate in London, which is the second value after Buckingham Palace. As a result, the newspaper published a retraction and apologized.[110]
  4. On her husband's 75th birthday, Baturina presented him a seeder.[111]
  5. Baturina's favorite thing in her London office is a Vienna porcelain vase of the 19th century.[112]
  6. Baturina, unlike most wealthy people, claims that she is not going to surround her adult daughters with wealth and insists on them achieving success in life on their own. "I long ago declared to the children that I am supporting them financially only while they are getting education. When they graduate, they will start providing for themselves".[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Forbes profile: Elena Baturina". Forbes. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
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External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Irina Popova
First Lady of Moscow
Succeeded by
Irina Sobyanina