Vladimir Pavlovich Peftiev (Belarusian: Уладзiмiр Паўлавiч Пефцiеў; Russian: Владимир Павлович Пефтиев, born 1 July 1957) is a Belarusian businessman, investor and philanthropist.
Vladimir Pavlovich Peftiev was born on 1 July 1957 in the city of Berdyansk, Ukraine. He was educated in the Ukraine at the Institute of Railway Transport Engineers (currently Dnipropetrovsk National University of Rail Transport), graduating in 1979 with a diploma in electromechanical engineering. From 1979 till 1988 he worked with Belarusian Railway and then with Minsk Metro as chief engineer, following which in 1988 he began a career in private business.
Peftiev's business interests since leaving Minsk Metro have included technological development, special equipment and military exports, telecommunications, medical technology, IT- technology, and sports
- 1989–1992: regenerated polymer processing (Plastpribor, a cooperative)
- 1993–2012: export of special purpose equipment and technologies including military equipment (BelTechExport)
- 1998–2007: mobile phone services velcom, now owned by A1 Telekom Austria Group
- 1998–2015: data transmission (Delovaya Set/Business Network)
- 2006–present: telecommunications, real estate development, technological development (BT Telecommunications)
- 2007–present: interactive electronic games (ZAO Sport-pari)
During the past few years, Peftiev has disposed of some of his business assets, including his shareholding in BelTechExport and Delovaya Set, and restructured his remaining business interests. He now owns 31% of Sport Pari, with the remainder held by a company belonging to the family of well-known tennis player and 2012 Olympic Champion Maxim Mirnyi.
In 2011, after the wave of repressions that followed the 2010 presidential election in Belarus, the Council of the European Union listed Peftiev and his three companies BelTechExport, Sport Pari and BT Telecommunications as sanctioned entities. In the Council's decision, Peftiev has been described as follows:
[A] person associated with President Lukashenko and his family. Chief economic advisor of President Lukashenko and key financial sponsor of the Lukashenko regime. Chairman of the Council of Shareholders of Beltechexport, the largest export/import company of defence products in Belarus
Peftiev protested the Council's decision in the General Court of the European Union. The team that defended Vladimir Peftiev in court included world famous specialists in the field of human rights, including: professor of Yale University and former President of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Michael Reisman and former Director of International Law department of University of Bonn, General Director of the office of the Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl from 1992 to 1996, professor Rudolf Dolzer. At the end of October 2014, before the case had been decided, the sanctions were dropped by the EU Council. On 9 December 2014, the General Court of European Union decided in Peftiev’s and his companies’ favour, annulling the sanctions and ruling that the Council of the European Union and European Commission had made serious mistakes while evaluating Peftiev's business activities. That was mentioned by professor Dolzer in his interview on May 8, 2018 to Latvian newspaper “Dienas bizness”, in which he pointed out to the false information in the Internet that was used against Vladimir Peftiev, and namely with regard to illegal incomes of Mr. Peftiev, his Forbes rating, weapons exports to North Korea, Ivory Coast and China, his sponsoring of Lukashenko. The Council did not appeal the Court's decision.
The European General Court’s judgment of 9 December 2014 concerning Peftiev reads, in part (clause 149):
the Court held that [the sanctions involving Belarus] should be annulled in so far as they concern Mr Peftiev. By virtue of that annulling judgment, the annulled acts, in so far as they concern Mr Peftiev, are deleted retroactively from the legal order and deemed never to have existed … and consequently Mr Peftiev is deemed never to have been listed.
This decision of European General Court was left unattended by mass media. Moreover, various sources continued to publish disproved information that originated before or during sanctions, instead of deleting it from their servers according to the court’s decision. This was described by Professor Rudolf Dolzer in his article «Weeding Out Fake Journalism» for 10th issue of Forbes Georgia:
Notwithstanding this clear decision, published in 2014, many concerned Internet sources, including respected data information providers, have decided, for whatever reason, to ignore the highest European Court, and still today, in 2018, have on their servers the outdated, discredited information. Another aspect of fake news has come out. A portion of the media ignored the judgment of the European Court of Justice in favor of Mr. Peftiev, even though the original fake news underlying the sanctions had been published in virtually all media. While fake news was considered newsworthy, its refutation by the court went unnoticed by the same media.
Pevtiev was mentioned in the Bahamas offshore leaks in 2016: allegedly, he held three companies in Bahamas through an intermediary.
Science and technology
During his career to date, Peftiev has contributed research and development to a number of new technologies in mechanical engineering and medicine, of which fourteen have been awarded patents under his name. In his research and development work, Peftiev has cooperated with such Belarusian scientists as Vladimir Alexandrovich Katko and Sergey Vladimirovich Pletnev.
Peftiev supports a variety of social, cultural and religious-heritage projects.
In 1995, Peftiev founded a youth tennis club in Minsk which he financed and continued to support until 2011. The club helped to recruit highly qualified trainers for talented up-and-coming players, and provided financial assistance and a sports centre to promote national youth tennis. Peftiev was the main sponsor of Victoria Azarenka, Olympic tennis champion and former world No. 1, at the beginning of her career.
From 2009 to 2012, Peftiev also headed the Belarus Tennis Federation.
Peftiev's contributions to the preservation of Orthodox Christian heritage have been recognised with awards from the Orthodox Church. Since 1998, he has been a member of the Tutorial Board for construction of the Orthodox Church of All Saints and Innocent Victims in Minsk (under the aegis of the Belarusian Orthodox Church). He assisted in the construction of the House of Mercy in Minsk and is a leading sponsor of the Nikolsky Orthodox Church in Tonezh (completed 2015), built to commemorate the site of a Nazi atrocity.
During 2012–2015, Peftiev sponsored the mural paintings in St John the Baptist's Church of the Monastery of the Holy Ascension in Barkalabovo (Belarus) carried out by students and professors of the Monumental Art Department of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts in a team headed by Belarusian artist Vladimir Zinkevich.
Vladimir Peftiev is a Chevalier of Orders of the Russian Orthodox Church, a Chevalier of the Order of the Belorussian Orthodox Church, and has also been decorated by the Orthodox Metropolitan of Switzerland.
History and the arts
Peftiev has sponsored and in some cases co-authored a number of art and historical publications, chiefly in the historical series В поисках утраченного [‘In search of the lost’] by Belorussian historian Vladimir Lihodedov, volumes of which include:
- "Tadeusz Kosciuszko", on the political and military leader who contributed to the establishment of freedom and democracy in Europe and America, a copy of which was presented to the US Library of Congress on 4 July 2011 ISBN 978-985-458-218-4;
- "Belarus through the camera lens of the German soldier", on the period during WWI when part of modern Belarus was occupied by German troops ISBN 978-985-458-174-3;
- "Adam Mickiewicz", on the poet and patriot of Belarus, Poland and Lithuania ISBN 978-985-458-177-4;
- "Aleksander Nevsky", on the Orthodox churches built in European countries in honor of the Russian saint-prince ISBN 978-985-458-210-8;
- "State Bank of the Russian Empire in postcards, late 19th-early 20th centuries" ISBN 978-985-458-202-3;
- "Monuments dedicated to the Patriotic War of 1812" ISBN 978-985-458-230-6.
Peftiev has also co-authored:
- "The Patriotic War of 1812 in old cards and drawings", a commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the Russian Campaign of Napoleon I and the Russian Patriotic War of 1812 ISBN 978-985-458-231-3;
- "Equal-to-the-Apostles Duke Vladimir" (Святой Равноапостольный князь Владимир) ISBN 978-985-575-057-5.
In 2017 a book of maxims by Vladimir Peftiev titled "Maxims of a Man of Schemes" was published with a foreword by the British philosopher and author A. C. Grayling. The foreword says:
These striking, amusing and sometimes pungent aphorisms are so full of a certain kind of pragmatic wisdom that I am moved to quote Professor Higgins on Mr Alfred Doolittle: that the latter was "the most original moralist" that the former had encountered for many years. The hard truths of practical life are apt to wring from people of experience a view of how to navigate the maze of routes that lies between desire and success; it is not, invariably, a view for the faint-hearted or those persuaded more by Aristotle than Gordon Gekko; but it will certainly strike a chord with many who have ventured that maze, and will certainly provide a preparation – and for some a warning – to those planning or wishing to do so. No-one can fail to profit, therefore – in at least one relevant sense of that term – from these maxims, offered by one who has been all the way through that maze and back.
Peftiev’s contributions are helping to preserve the memory of Belarusian soldiers and fighters who fell in the Polish and Lithuanian uprisings of the nineteenth century, the Russian-French War of 1812 (the Patriotic War of 1812), and the First and Second World Wars. Thousands of unique artifacts, photographs, documents and letters have been collected so far, and in 2012 an exhibition at the Belarusian State Museum made many visible to the public.
Other publications supported by Peftiev in recent years have included books and albums of the work of Belarusian artists Vladimir Zinkevich, Alexander Slucky, Viktor Alshevsky, and celebrated ballet choreographer Valentin Elizarev.
In 1999, Peftiev's companies partnered with Elizarev and the French Embassy in Belarus to produce the ballet La Esmeralda (inspired by Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris) at The National Academic Grand Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus.
For several years, Peftiev's companies also sponsored the Yuri Bashmet International Music Festival in Minsk and the Belarusian vocal quintet Clear Voice.