UPDATE: Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s Nephew Takes Control Of Seized Danone Assets In Russia

Image of Danone facility in Lyubuchany, Moscow.

Image of Danone facility in Lyubuchany, Moscow. Credit: Danone Россия/Creative Commons Attribution 2.5

UPDATE: Wednesday, July 19 at 4:57 pm

Yakoub Zakriev, the 32-year-old nephew of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been announced as the new general manager of Danone in Russia after its assets were seized by the state.

His appointment was confirmed this Wednesday 19 in the Spark-Interfax database, which lists the main legal information relating to companies in Russia, according to BFMTV.

In a Telegram post on Tuesday evening, Akhmed Dudaye, the Chechen Minister of Information, Akhmed Dudayev, announced that Zakriev had been: ‘appointed general manager of Danone Russia’.

Kadyrov is a close ally of Vladimir Putin and had installed his nephew previously as mayor of Grozny. He was subsequently made Chechen Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture.


Monday, July 17 at 0:37

Russia announced this Sunday, July 16, that it was taking control of all assets in the country that belonged to the French company Danone.

When the invasion of Ukraine was launched in February 2022, the brand initially chose to stay in the country. Subsequently, in October of the same year, it announced the withdrawal of its ‘dairy and plant-based products’ unit.

All that remained in the Russian state was dan one’s infant nutrition production. The logical consequence of this disengagement was the acquisition of assets by the Russian State, which took over the activities of all Western brands.

Danone was established in Russia in the Autumn of 1992

The presence of the French industrialist in Russia dates back to the Autumn of 1992 when it was among the first multinationals to set up in the country.

As a result of today’s action by the Kremlin, tens of thousands of shares belonging to a Russian subsidiary of Danone have been placed ‘temporarily’ under the control of the Russian state government agency Rosimoushchestvo.

Last October, the company announced that it was looking for a buyer for its activities in Russia, but did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Reuters news agency.

In March 2022, Danone had around 8,000 employees in Russia

Danone had around 8,000 employees in the country in March 2022. ‘For the time being, we are maintaining our activity of production and distribution of fresh dairy products and infant nutrition, in order to meet the essential food needs of civilian populations’, it attempted to justify at the time.

In detail, today’s decree specified that 83,292,493,000 shares of ‘Danone Russia’, owned by the ‘Produits Laitiers Frais Est Europe’ group, had been placed under the control of the Russian State, along with 85,000 other shares belonging to the ‘Danone Trade’ group.

The French giant had previously specified that this withdrawal operation could ‘lead to a depreciation of up to €1 billion’ in its accounts, according to latribune.fr.

Under the brands of Danone, Danissimo or Prostokvashino, Danone markets milk and yoghurts in Russia. In 2010, the group bought 57.5 per cent of the number two Russian dairy products, Unimilk, which had a 21 per cent market share and 25 factories.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com