A rogue's gallery of 17 of Eastern Europe's richest, most politically connected oligarchs

Albania's Shkëlqim Fusha likes to hide in the shadows, but his cousin, Tirana chief prosecutor Petrit Fusha, is implicated in a massive corruption scandal whose cover-up involved assassinating a 17-year-old boy — in what is surely an unrelated coincidence, Tirana is where Fusha has made billions in no-bid city contracts.

Armenia's Gagik Tsarukyan — the billionaire former professional arm-wrestler (!) — founded the Prosperous Armenia Party and chairs Armenia's Olympic Committee. He owns companies across the region, from liquor titans to arms dealers.

Azerbaijan's Anar Mammadov is the son of former transport minister Ziya Mammadov, himself an oligarch looter; Mammadov the Younger used daddy's money to set up lobbying firms in America.

Ostpol's rogue's gallery has thirteen more of these fine fellows, with thumbnail biographies written by the journalists who literally risk their lives to cover them.

"Delyan Peevski is an MP in the Bulgarian parliament from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) group, the so called "Turkish minority party". But he is rarely seen at his parliamentary desk. Delyan Peevski is obviously not just any parliamentarian. He is now officially the wealthiest Bulgarian politician. For a long time he was hiding his economic interests behind offshores, officially declaring only one old Opel car. His assets are evaluated at more than $1 billion. Peevski's power is based on his control over the media and his influence inside the judicial system. We have been reporting on his wealth and shady ownership for years, while being smeared and attacked by his media empire and the institutions he controls."

Atanas Tchobanov is an editor and co-founder at Bivol.bg, an investigative journalism platform, aimed at investigating corruption and organized crime issues mainly in Bulgaria. He also participates in trans-border investigations alongside the partners from OCCRP and n-vestigate.

17 Oligarchs Who Are Shaping Eastern Europe [Natalia Sergheev & Christian-Zsolt Varga/Ostpol]

(via Beyond the Beyond)