There are few people in our country who do not know who German Gref is. Having made a dizzying career and having a rich past, including a political one, the current head of Sberbank does not limit his activities to the fiefdom entrusted to him and is actively trying to influence the life of the country in which he lives.
German Oskarovich does not hesitate to bring his progressive ideas to the masses and does not shy away from loud and contradictory statements, from which some people have their hair on end. But why is a person who should be far from politics so eager to stick his nose into spheres that seem to not concern him? Why is he allowed to do this? And what has he already managed to do over the years?
Let's figure it out …
Let's start with history.
German Oskarovich Gref was born on February 8, 64 in the village of Panfilovo, Pavlodar region, Kazakh SSR. There is a discrepancy about how the fate of the current head of Sberbank developed further. According to one of the versions, after school, Gref entered the MGIMO of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but at the end of the first year he was expelled from the university. According to another version, Gref entered Omsk State University, but failed in the exams.
It is known for certain that the young Gref from 82 to 84 years old served in the Armed Forces, in the units of the so-called "prison" special forces of the Interior Ministry troops. The specialization of these troops is the escorting of prisoners, the search for the fugitives, the suppression of prison riots. Quite a specific specialization, don't you think? After this Gref was admitted to the workers' faculty of Omsk State University without exams. And then at 84, Gref entered the Faculty of Law, whose dean in those years was Sergei Baburin. There Gref began to actively show himself and quickly became a Komsomol organizer and head of the student operative detachment.
And this is where the fun begins. It was Baburin who recommended the young graduate as a graduate student, no less, and Anatoly Sobchak himself. So, German Gref came to the city on the Neva in 1990 to enter the graduate school of the law faculty. In his biography, it is said: "1990-1993 - graduate student of the Leningrad University." But as the head of the press service of the law faculty Viktoria Nasledova said: “There is no such person in the lists of defended graduate students.”
So he did not defend his thesis, but completely different doors were opened for him.
Already in 91-92, Gref was acting as a legal adviser to the Committee for Economic Development and Property of the Administration of Petrodvorets and St. Petersburg. And by the 94th year he became the first deputy chairman of the City Property Management Committee of the city hall. Also in the early 90s, another meeting takes place, which became the most significant in his career. Well, you guessed with whom.
According to some reports, at that time the young Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who had just returned from a business trip to Germany, worked as Sobchak's deputy, for whom Gref was writing his thesis. Putin himself supervised the university through the KGB.
According to others, Gref met Putin in 1991-92, when he already held a post in the administration of the Petrodvorets district of St. Petersburg. The point is not in this, but in the fact that this meeting later was not only of a business nature. For example, in 1996, Gref was one of the few who continued to communicate with Putin and helped him after he lost his post as vice-mayor of St. Petersburg.
This commendable foresight has borne fruit.
A little over a year ago, Gref was re-elected as the head of Sberbank for another four years.When meeting with Vladimir Putin, he reported that in January 2019 Sberbank earned 80 billion rubles in net profit. True, the profits received by Sberbank, for some reason, are directed not to investments within the country, but to the payment of astronomical dividends to non-resident shareholders who control almost half of the so-called “free shares” of the largest state bank of Russia. In just one year, more than 270 billion rubles were spent for these purposes, which is the absolute maximum.
But let's go back to the dashing 90s.
Privatization in the position of chairman of the City Property Management Committee of the St. Petersburg Administration, performed by Gref, proceeded as if by notes. It was at this time, according to Novaya Gazeta, that the future Minister of Economy became a defendant in several criminal cases.
In 1998 he was accused of accepting a bribe of 600 thousand dollars during the privatization of the Senny market, which was transferred to the new owner without a competition. The case was dropped after the murder of the only witness in the entrance of his own house.