Sochi’s Condemned Stray Dogs Are Being Saved By A Russian Billionaire

Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia’s richest men, has built a shelter above Sochi.

1. Deripaska was upset that thousands of strays were being put down by authorities after a pest control company was handed a contract.

Denis Balibouse / Reuters
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2. So he took it upon himself to build these dog shelters in Baranovka near Sochi.

Ints Kalnins / Reuters
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3. He told the BBC: “My first dog I found in the street of my village, the tiny village [where I grew up].”

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4. “It was a very close friend for five years.”

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5. Stray dogs had been attracted to Sochi by the huge number of construction workers there.

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6. After one interfered with rehearsals for the opening ceremony and another bit a child, an extermination company was called in.

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7. The company’s director described the dogs as “biological trash”, and there was outrage.

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8. There were estimates that up to 7,000 dogs were killed using poison and traps.

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9. Deripaska is the boss of the biggest aluminium company in the world.

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10. So far he’s managed to save 140 dogs, and a number have been successfully rehomed.

Ints Kalnins / Reuters

UK readers might also remember him from 2008, when he was involved in the “yachtgate” scandal with Lord Mandelson and the then-shadow chancellor George Osborne.

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Alan White is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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