The former president of the Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin, resigned from his post in late August after news leaked that his son received British citizenship, according to the TV network Dozhd, citing sources close to Yakunin.
According to these sources, Yakunin's son's acquisition of British citizenship was seen in Russian political circles as an "act of betrayal" in the "war against the West." Another reason for the ouster was reportedly how money was routed within the Russian Railways, about which the Federal Security Service and Federal Service for Financial Monitoring reported to Vladimir Putin.
Yakunin refused to comment to Dozhd about these rumors.
“The company continued to extort money, even when the President explicitly said ‘enough,’” a source told Dozhd, adding that several of the secret documents affiliated with the Russian Railways were provided by Western partners.
Yakunin headed Russian Railways from 2005 until August 2015. From 1985 until 1991, he served as the first and second secretary to the Soviet representative at the UN. He is currently on a US sanctions list for Russia’s annexation of Crimea. He is also known for his public political stances, conspiratorial view of world affairs, and writings on international relations.
The official reason for Yakunin's resignation in August was that he was moving to a new position elsewhere, though where exactly was never revealed.
Initial speculation following Yakunin's resignation was that he would join the Russian Senate as a representative for Kaliningrad, though he later decided not to run for office. There are unverified reports that he refused the position in the Senate offered to him, believing it to be beneath him.
Yakunin's son, Andrei, according to media reports, has lived in London for the past five years.