Leonid Nevzlin

Leonid Nevzlin

Leonid Borisovich Nevzlin (Леонид Борисович Невзлин; לאוניד בוריסוביץ' נבזלין; born September 21, 1959 in Moscow) is a leading Russian-born businessman who currently lives in Israel. Nevzlin is a former high ranking official in Yukos, the Russian oil firm. Russia is requesting his extradition due to the allegations in serious crimes including murder

Nevzlin have graduated Gubkin Institute of Oil and Gas in 1975. He worked for the Soviet Ministry of Geology. In 1981-1987 he was a software engineer in ZarubezhGeologia, an external trade organization of the then-Soviet Ministry of Geology.. In 1987 he met Mikhail Khodorkovsky and became a Deputy Director in Center for Scientific and Engineering Creativity of Youths at Frunzensky Raion Committee of VLKSM (Центр научно-технического творчества молодежи "МЕНАТЕП" при Фрунзенском РК ВЛКСМ)

In 1989-1991 worked as the President of Menatep Bank. In parallel he took Management and Marketing courses at the Plekhanov Institute. In 1991..1996 he occupied various high ranking positions at the Menatep Bank and Group Menatep. In April 1996 he became Vice President of Yukos at the time owned by Menatep.

Khodorkovsky participated in the Russian presidential election, 1996 helping to reelect Boris Yeltsin and was awarded Order of Friendship for his efforts. In September 1997-October 1998 Khodorkovsky served as first deputy general director of the Russian news agency ITAR TASS (keeping his Yukos positions). In April 1998 Nevzlin became the First Vice Chairman of Menatep board and in 1999 after the Bank Menatep's bankruptcy amidst the Russian financial crisis he became the First Vice Chairman of Yukos board.

From March to December 2001 Nevzlin served as president of the Russian Jewish Congress. He was a key player in Jewish historical and heritage research projects, including the establishment of the Moscow Jewish Cultural Center and the International Center for Russian and Eastern European Jewish Studies in Moscow. Moreover, Nevzlin contributed to numerous other Jewish educational programs developed in cooperation with World ORT, the Jewish Agency for Israel, where he serves on the Board of Governors, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

In November 2001 - March 2003 Nevzlin served as a senator representing Mordovia in the Federation Council of Russia. From June to November 2003 he worked as the Rector of the Russian State University for the Humanities.

In 2003 and 2004 Nezlin was in Forbes List of the 100 wealthiest people. His wealth was estimated in 2 billion dollars.

Activities in Israel

Since moving to Israel, Nevzlin has expanded his philanthropic work. His first project in Israel was the creation of The Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and Eastern European Jewry located at Jerusalem's Hebrew University; similar centers also exist in Moscow, Vilnius and Kiev. Nevzlin has also established the NADAV Fund in partnership with Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal , which supports projects in Jewish studies and education, Israel-Diaspora relations and Jewish peoplehood.

In cooperation with the Israeli government, Nevzlin created a relief fund in 2004 to help preserve Beth Hatefutsoth, the Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv, and was elected as chairman of its International Board of Governors. He also supports the Nevzlin Program for the Study of Jewish Civilization at Tel Aviv University. In addition, the NADAV Fund played a critical role in opening the International School for Jewish Peoplehood Studies at Beth Hatefutsoth.

Nevzlin is the author of books "Человек с рублем" ("Man with rouble"; coauthored with Khodorkovsky) and "Public Relations - кому это надо?" (Public Relations - who needs them).

Nevzlin was married thrice and has two daughters.

Sentence for alleged murders in Russia

In Summer 2003, Nevzlin moved to Israel due to allegation against Yukos officials in violation of financial and tax regulations (in October 2003 Khodorkovsky was arrested on those charges). In November 2003 Nevzlin acquired Israeli citizenship. On 15 January 2004 Russian prosecutors issued an International Arrest Warrant on Nevzlin under financial charges. Nevzlin name was often mentioned in the processes of Alexey Pichugin, the security chief of Yukos. Pichugin was sentenced to life imprisonment for four murders and four attempted murders. The processes on Pichugin was criticized as politically motivated and flawed. Nevzlin was named as the organizer of those murders. In July 2004 Basmanny Court of Moscow released Nevzlin's arrest warrant on murder charges but Israel refused to extradite Nevzlin to Russia. 15 February 2008 the hearings on Nevzlin case started in absentia. He is accused in organizing 11 murders and attempted murders. In August 2008 Nevzlin was found guilty of the murders and has received a life imprisonment sentence by a court in Russia.


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