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On the eve of the Christmas holidays, there was a rumor that allegedly from the White House an unwritten order was received about the undesirability of officials appearing in elite alpine resorts. But neither the prohibitions, nor the financial crisis could scare off Russian high-ranking tourists from the resort of Courchevel. The correspondent spent her holidays observing how Senator Igor Kamenskaya sings, the head of the United Russia Central Executive Committee Andrei Vorobyov is skiing, and the ex-Minister of Finance of the Moscow Region Alexey Kuznetsov, who is on the international wanted list, is shopping at Hermes store.
The Forbidden fruit
Before the New Year, rumors went through Courchevel chalets and hotels. Allegedly, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin strongly discouraged a Russian official from appearing at the resort. The officials still came to rest, but they reacted nervously to the increased attention to them. It seemed that, in ski helmets and masks, statesmen would gladly go to restaurants. Although, for example, Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO, quietly dined between the slopes in the Chalet de Pierre mountain restaurant. But the head of the CEC of “United Russia” Andrei Vorobyov, as soon as he realized that he was recognized, tried to hide. State Duma deputy, chairman of the committee on construction and land relations Martin Shakkum appeared at the birthday of the son of the chairman of the board of directors of Absolut Bank Alexander Svetakov, whom he celebrated at the Anapurna hotel.
But the main Christmas phenomenon was the trinity: the president of the Russian Olympic Committee Leonid Tyagachev, the president’s affairs manager Vladimir Kozhin and the FSO director, Army General Yevgeny Murov. The vacationers who recognized them could not hide their surprise. And they joked that the officials are not on vacation, but on a business trip – they adopt foreign experience. Mr. Kozhin, together with General Murov, showed himself to the light in the company of fashion designer Valentin Yudashkin and President of the ARTPEC cultural fund Alexander Dostman. Another surprising phenomenon was the spouse of one of the latifundists of Courchevel, the president of RIGroup, Jeanne Bullock, the former Minister of Finance of the Moscow Region Alexei Kuznetsov. Now he is wanted. But his wife, they say, this year, in spite of everything, bought another Courchevel hotel – “Prolong”. In a fur coat up to heels, Mr. Kuznetsov was seen in the Hermes store for a selection of purchases.
Russians planted a pig
This year Russian cuisine came to the French Alps. Christmas charity dinner was arranged by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of RESO Insurance Company Sergey Sarkisov with his brother – co-owner of the company Nikolai Sarkisov. Guests were invited to two o’clock in the afternoon on the terrace of the Bengeri restaurant near the Byblos hotel. All who came met vodka “Capital Elite”. To vodka relied fat with onions and thinly sliced Borodino bread brought from Moscow. To Baltic sprats, cold smoked mackerel Crystal and Dom Perignon champagne was served. But the main dish was borsch, cooked according to the recipe of the mother-in-law of Sergei Sarkisov. She herself strictly monitored the observance of proportions. True, the beets were not in the borscht, and rather it resembled cabbage soup. In the process of division of labor, Mr. Sarkisov’s wife, Yulia, was personally pouring soup-borsch on plates and carefully watched so that each guest would get a decent-sized piece of meat on a plate. The second was pancakes with red caviar and calf sausages with boiled potatoes. Guests, among whom were the deputy head of Rospechat Vladimir Grigoryev, senior partner of Fleming Family and Partners Mark Garber, senator and head of Rusagro Vadim Moshkovich, were full and praised the hosts. One of the last to arrive was lunch, chairman of the board of directors of the E4 energy group, Mikhail Abyzov. Everyone immediately began to recall the barbecue party he had arranged the day before. Mr. Abyzov was not too lazy and brought milk pigs with him from Russia. As participants in the transportation of pork across the border explained, the piglets are not ordinary, but from the Tver region from the governor Dmitry Zelenin. Despite such high patronage, they were stuffed with buckwheat porridge and baked. Among the participants there were even proposals to combine the holiday of the Sarkisov borsch and Abyzov’s pigs. The last to attend the charity feast was Sergei Bozhko, a member of the Sibneft-Resource board of directors. He did not get soup. Moreover, he did not have his faithful companion in foreign trips of the co-owner of Kalinka Realty, Leonid Krongauz. This year he preferred Switzerland. “I am sad without him,” Mr. Bozhko complained, eating his sausages. The following year, Sergei Sarkisov promised to have dinner right under the Christmas trees on the side of the mountain.
Officials did not lag behind businessmen. The governor of the Tver region Dmitry Zelenin also arranged themed nights for friends. True, he nourished the guests more and more with an intellectual product. With the help of pianist Yuri Rozum, a musical evening took place, in which singer Alexander Malinin also participated. In addition, almost every evening in the chalet of Mr. Zelenin, a large company played the mafia. Only at Christmas, Dmitry Zelenin had to fly to Moscow in the evening, allegedly on call from the Kremlin.
The musical evening was presented to the guests of the Lezarel Hotel by the senator from the Krasnoyarsk Territory Igor Kamenskaya. He won the final victory after several years of war with the hotel administration. As you know, Mr. Kamenskaya is endowed with musical talent. But before, he only managed to perform a few songs, sitting down at the piano in the hotel lobby. The administration of the hotel rigidly suppressed prolonged singing. But this year, an agreement was reached in advance. Among the grateful listeners were businessman Leonid Bilunov, chairman of the board of directors of Interros holding company Andrey Klishas, owner of the Burevestnik club Andrey Boyko, senator Vadim Moshkovich. All the empty seats were occupied, Igor Kamensky was vigorously applauded, and he performed in a row the entire traditional repertoire from Time Machine to Waltz-Boston. The most violent joy was caused by the song of the robbers from the animated film “Bremen Town Musicians”. The lines “We do not want to live differently” and “We go to the edge” gathered gathered singing along the choir, clapping and stomping. I listened to music and businessman Alexander Mamut, vacationing in the same hotel with his son Nicholas. Meanwhile, one of the guests received an SMS from ONEXIM CEO Dmitry Razumov stating that the party that began at Le Cav club has nothing to do with Mikhail Prokhorov and his company. This was another Courchevel intrigue. Everyone, as usual, was waiting for the legend of this city to appear, but Mr. Prokhorov never showed up. But his spirit was everywhere. The entrepreneur’s adventure stories were embellished and retold, overgrown with fables.
Mr. Kamenskaya finished singing, and Alexander Mamut and his comrades decided to take a short trip to Le Cave. There was a huge crowd in front of the club, and face control officer Pavel Pichugin and one of the organizers of the party, Dmitry Fedorov, who were standing at the entrance, said that there were already three fights with the Russians. Despite the Christmas night, inside was held, oddly enough, a pioneer party. A poster with a pioneer badge hung in the center, and guests wore red ties around their necks. The repertoire was also appropriate: in a row they performed “Yellow Tulips”, “I Remember White Wallpaper, Black Utensils. / Two of us in Khrushchev, who are we and where are we from?”, The group “Viagra” was replaced by Zemfira, and her Philip Kirkorov.
At the same time, at first it was proposed to buy a box at the club for € 40 thousand, then the price was reduced to € 10-15 thousand, and for friendship they went for € 5 thousand. One of the central tables was occupied by the president of Avtoline company Nikita Muzyrya. He arrived in a romantic mood and did not dance. But the head of the ESN group, Grigory Berezkin, ex-member of the board of directors of Mirax Group Aleksey Adikaev, managing partner of Night Frank Stanislav Tikhonov did not leave the dance floor. The deputy head of Rospechat Vladimir Grigoriev walked his daughter Daria, the president of the Unik group of companies Boris Belotserkovsky and his wife Nika bowed to Alexander Mamut. They spent time with a loyal friend of Baltinvestbank’s president, Yuri Rydnik.
One of the last in the club appeared the chairman of the board of directors of Forward Media Group Polina Deripaska. Her father Valentin Yumashev and his wife Tatyana chose to stay at home, and Mrs. Deripaska joined the company of Alexander Mamut. They chatted midnight. In general, Mr. Mamut, even in the noise of a nightclub, kept his mind clear, and after three in the morning he enthusiastically supported a conversation about modern literature, praising Victor Pelevin and Vladimir Sorokin.
The traditional Millionaire Cup, organized by New League, was due to begin in the morning after a stormy Christmas night. Well-wishers from Moscow, however, persistently offered to remove the word “millionaires” from the name and name the competition “Cup of Courchevel lovers.” By the appointed time for the start of the competition, only the main organizer of the competition, Dmitry Svishchev, appeared on the slalom track. An hour later, the guests still gathered, even the participants gathered. Everything that happened evoked a sense of déjà vue among the regulars of Courchevel. The only unexpected thing was the appearance of the managing director of RUSNANO Andrei Trapeznikov with his four-year-old daughter Maria. The flirty blue-eyed girl turned out to be a universal favorite and, as usual, took full advantage of this advantage. Another loving father who was ready to endlessly mess with children was Vladislav Filev, co-owner of Siberia Airlines.
In general, over the years, the tournament gradually mimicked from the Cup of millionaires to the Cup of heirs. The grown-up children of Russian businessmen rode in the “adults” category. In the category of “children” – the younger generation. Parents, however, came mainly to cheer for the children. Alexander Zhukov brought his son Boris to the competition (he took sixth place), the seventh went to the son of the head of Interros Vladimir Potanin Vasily Potanin. Mom Natalia Potanina came to root for him. The youngest daughter of the head of the ESN group of companies, Grigory Berezkin, Arina, took fifth place. The father arrived to support his daughters, despite the fact that he spent the whole night in a nightclub. The sons of the president of CJSC United Metallurgical Company Anatoly Sedykh Vlad and Dmitry were left without prizes. But the second place went to the son of actress Svetlana Metkina and businessman Michel Litvak Alexander Litvak. He asked for a microphone and said a homework: “Although I did not take first place, I dedicate my victory to my mother, she has her birthday today.” The guests applauded.
The eldest daughter of Vladimir Potanin, Anastasia, took second place in the women’s race. The alignment of forces has not changed since last year. 15-year-old Sonya Berezkina overtook Anastasia by a split second and was in first place. The chairman of the board of directors of the Russian Product company, Olga Mirimskaya, came to root right away for the three children participating in the Cup – Natalya, Arkady and Ilya Golubovichi. Alone, only the wife of the Senator from the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Pochinka, the head of the Kuban branch of Raiffeisenbank Natalia Gribkova, drove into the Millionaire Cup. Her husband spent time in the company of younger children. Vacationers could watch how, on one of the days of the winter holidays, Mr. Pochinok leads his two little sons to Place de la Croisette. At the same time, the youngest son was clearly tired and whimpering, but Mr. Pochinok was adamant and did not respond to whims. During the movement, the senator tried to explain to the children how to cross the road. “Stop and look left,” he explained. But since cars stop in France even earlier than pedestrians approach the zebra, the lesson had no clear example. Mr. Pochinok stopped and looked at the cars, and the drivers looked at him.
Family values manifested themselves during this winter vacation not only in parental care, but also in marital relations. Despite all the secular gossip about the breakup, Svetlana Meshchaninova spent the evening with Alexander Zhukov and his twin sons. The company was businessman Alexander Shustorovich with a girlfriend. In bowling, the restaurateur Stepan Mikhalkov tried to beat his son. Co-owner of the Agro-industrial company Vladimir Zubkov watched their game with a pleased smile. There were rumors about the gap between the owner of the showroom “Li-Lou” Oksana Bondarenko and her husband, businessman Vladimir Tsyganov. But the couple together bought food in the supermarket and literally beamed with care for each other. The owner of the Podium boutique chain Polina Kitsenko also appeared in Courchevel with her husband. True, this year she avoided noisy parties.
Even the Director General of the National Reserve Corporation Anatoly Danilitsky and singer Slava, despite the gossip of the yellow press, spent time together, albeit in a very peculiar way. After 23 p.m., food was removed from the tables in the bistro near the Le Grange club, and dances started right on them. Those who were detained hot, were forced to rescue the escalope from the heels of the companions. On the central table, Glory wriggled already. Given the length of her shorts, the guests decided that the singer lacked only a pole. Do not be embarrassed by her suddenly playing the Russian anthem. Under it, Mr. Danilitsky climbed onto the table. But he spent the entire first part of the performance of the hymn on climbing the table with the help of stylist Vlad Lisovets. On the adjacent tables danced a member of the board of directors of Mirax Group Dmitry Lutsenko and general director of Citizen K magazine Arkady Reichshtein. For one night, the director of the Mirax-Montenegro company, Vyacheslav Leibman, jumped into a restaurant from Budva to Miami.
Another place was chosen by Moscow public for table dances – the restaurant “Via Feratta” next to the club “Le Cav”. One evening it was played by DJ Smash. Here the guests went up to the tables rather because of the lack of free space on the floor. So, the TV presenter Eva Lanskaya, and also unexpectedly darkened TV presenter Ulyana Tseytlina, turned out to be difficult to recognize with dark hair color. Promoter Andrei Fomin was dancing in a knitted sweater with deers and a peaceful smile. A day later, the co-owner of Capital Group, Vyacheslav Doronin, spent time with friends in the same restaurant, along with fiancée Naomi Campbell. They also represented a complete love idyll. The couple stayed at the Prolong Hotel, and they were often greeted by walkers in the fresh air.
The atmosphere of the resort of Courchevel really contributed to romantic walks, the days were sunny and the nights were stellar. It is difficult to find such a cozy and polished city not only in Russia, but also in Europe. And the French categorically refused to lower prices for services, knowing that people with a broad Russian soul would travel here, despite all the financial problems and bans.