Support The Moscow Times!

In the Spotlight

This week, Roman Ab­ra­movich’s teenage daughter reportedly moved into a starter home in London worth £4 million ($6.46 million), soon after calling off an engagement that had raised eyebrows in the British press.

Anna Abramovich’s new place in Belgravia is a mews cottage with three bedrooms, which is all you get for a few million pounds in such a chi-chi area. The house belongs jointly to Roman Abramovich and his ex-wife Irina, the London Evening Standard reported, with Anna describing it as “small and cozy.”

The same could not be said of Roman Abramovich’s own house. He must find football pitches too poky and claustrophobic because he is extending his mansion to 30,000 square meters, the newspaper reported.

The Daily Mail gasped in a biblical way that Anna Abramovich had shunned “her father’s many mansions” by moving into such a tight space.

Anna Abramovich had been living with her mother after splitting from her fiance, lawyer Nikolai Lazarev, it reported.

In a very unusual move for a British teenager, Abramovich got engaged to Lazarev at 18, when she was still at school, the Daily Mail reported in October, citing Abramovich’s classmates. It printed a rather unflattering picture of Lazarev, 27, cradling a tiny lapdog.

The Daily Mail described Lazarev as a “Muscovite,” although it added that he was educated at a British public school and university. But in June, it reported that the couple had parted in a mutual decision, quoting Abramovich’s spokesman. It cited a “friend” saying there had always been “something strange” about him, which apparently had been less evident when Lazarev stood to marry several billion.

Abramovich first became fodder for the British papers when her 16th birthday party reportedly cost more than $100,000. Reports said she wore a one-off designer dress and spent most of the time in a roped-off VIP zone with her most beautiful friends.

Model Naomi Campbell and her boyfriend, property developer, Vladislav Doronin this week sparked yet more rumors that they are going to get married.

The couple had a lavish firework display in Greece, telling guests that they wanted to celebrate a “little secret,” the Daily Star reported, calling Doronin “the Russian Donald Trump.” Although firework displays are not exactly rare events in the lives of rich Russians. More convincingly, it cited a guest as saying Campbell was wearing an “incredible ring.”

The wedding that got the most coverage in the Russian tabloids, though, was that of a couple who invited Elton John to sing at a palace outside St. Petersburg.

The couple marrying were a model who comes from Vladivostok, Yevgenia Slyusarenko, and Pierre Andurand, a Frenchman who heads hedge fund BlueGold Capital Management, Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote. Last year Reuters called Andurand a “kickboxing oil trader.”

The “uptight Englishman was unusually democratic,” Lifenews.ru said of John, amazed that he flew in wearing an unflattering Adidas tracksuit and walked down from his private plane without any guards.

Guests arrived for the wedding in carriages and watched John perform, now wearing a rhinestone-studded tailcoat, in the Yekaterininsky Palace’s throne room, KP reported. The warm-up act was Craig David.

Slyusarenko began her modeling career straight from school in Vladivostok but soon moved to Paris, KP reported, citing former catwalk colleagues from the FAST Model agency. She used to do billboards for the local cell phone operator Primtelefon, Express Gazeta reported.

The agency’s web site still has cheesily styled photos of “Zhenya” from those days, when she was just breaking through. She had already done a shoot for Russian Vogue, but her portfolio has her in dubious silk robes and leather jackets, posing in front of a chilly looking Sea of Japan.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.