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Tatyana Bakalchuk – Corruption and Illegal Ties Exposed (Update 2024)

Tatyana Bakalchuk is a dangerous Russian businesswoman. She needs to be sanctioned by multiple authorities but even when there is a war going on, she hasn’t faced any consequences for her illegal ties.

The following points will help you understand the situation further:

Who is Russian e-commerce tycoon Tatyana Bakalchuk?

tatyana bakalchuk

About Tatiana Bakalchu

Russia’s biggest internet retailer, Wildberries, was founded by Russian businesswoman Tatyana Bakalchuk. She started the business in 2004, it has expanded into a billion-dollar enterprise, making it one of Russia’s most prosperous e-commerce businesses.

Tatyana Bakalchuk owns Wildberries

While on maternity leave in 2004, Bakalchuk, who had previously worked as a teacher, launched Wildberries with just a four-person team and $700 in funding. The business now has over 10,000 employees and brings in over $5 billion in annual revenue. With aspirations to expand, Wildberries currently operates in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Talking about the criticism faced by Tatyana Bakalchuk- Throughout her career, Bakalchuk has come under fire, and Wildberries has also come under fire. The business practices of the firm are one of the main criticisms. The company Wildberries has been charged with participating in unethical business practices, including not paying suppliers on time. In one instance, Wildberries reportedly threatened to have the sellers’ products removed if they didn’t agree to a 25% discount on their goods. 80 civil cases were filed against Wildberries as a result of the scheme, but the company’s stance emphasized the value of business acumen and successful deals.

About Wildberries

Tatyana Bakalchuk launched the largest online retailer in Russia, Wildberries, in 2004. With more than 48,000 workers, they provide services in 15 other nations in addition to Russia, including Armenia, Belarus, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United States, and Uzbekistan. 37,000 brands of apparel, shoes, cosmetics, home items, toys, gadgets, books, jewelry, cuisine, and much more are available at Wildberries. On average, the business processes 750,000 internet orders per day.

Did You Know?

E-commerce started in the UK in 1979, by entrepreneur Michael Aldrich. As he invented electronic shopping. Whereas in the year 1969, two electrical engineers from Columbus, launched CompuServe, that marked the entrance of USA in the commercial market.

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Wildberries declared the beginning of operations in the US in 2021; however, the project has since been abandoned, as evidenced by the fact that the website us.wildberries.ru now redirects to the Russian version. Although Wildberries had a presence in Ukraine, it stopped conducting business there in 2021 as a result of Ukrainian sanctions against both Wildberries and Tatyana Bakalchuk.

Ukraine slaps sanctions on Wildberries of Tatyana Bakalchuk but the EU doesn’t

Ukraine imposed sanctions on Russia’s biggest online retailer Wildberries and its founder Tatyana Bakalchuk, the richest woman in Russia, on July 23, and also her husband Vladislav.

A proclamation issued by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky prohibits Wildberries, which launched its online store there in September, from conducting business there for the subsequent three years.

Also, Tatyana Bakalchuk, her husband Vladislav, and several Wildberries department heads are prohibited from conducting business in Ukraine due to the sanctions.

Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s minister of culture and communications, stated that these sanctions are “another measure trying to purify Ukraine’s information space from Russian encroachment” two days before Zelensky signed the proclamation. He verified that things that seemed to be Russian propaganda were sold by Wildberries. Also, the retailer offered Russian soldier uniforms.

When Wildberries launched in Ukraine in September, there was pushback. The Ukrainian government forbids the sale of merchandise bearing Soviet insignia and the likeness of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Many Russian businesses and individuals have previously received sanctions from Ukraine for endangering the country’s security. The largest online shops in Russia, such as Yandex, Litres, Ozon, and Labyrinth.ru, are all restricted in Ukraine.

Ukraine also blocked the Mail.ru Group and the VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social media platforms in 2017.

On July 26, the Ukrainian Wildberries website was still operational and taking orders. According to the YouControl database, it hasn’t yet dissolved its Kyiv subsidiary which was established in 2014.

According to the Wildberries website, Meest is responsible for delivering its products in Ukraine; however, the company informed the Kyiv Post that shipments have already ceased. The Apple App Store in Ukraine now offers the Wildberries app, but it is inoperable when downloaded.

According to Fedir Virin, partner at the Russian analyst Data Insight, closing Wildberries’ operations in Ukraine “is unpleasant, but not too noteworthy.” The director of Infoline-Analytica, a different Russian analyst, Mikhail Burmistrov, claims nonetheless that “the sanctions won’t impede the company’s logistics and the expansion of its worldwide operations.”

Less than 5% of Wildberries’ total revenue comes from sales outside of the United States. The corporation conducts business in seven nations in addition to Ukraine: Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.

32,000 individuals are employed by Wildberries globally as of right now. With a $14 billion market cap, Wildberries overtook competitors to become Russia’s largest retailer in 2020. The business made $3 billion in revenue the year before. 7 million individuals visit its website every day.

The business was started by Tatyana Bakalchuk in 2004. According to Forbes Russia, she has a net worth of $13 billion, making her the 13th richest person in the nation and the richest woman in Russia.

In contrast, Rozetka, the largest online shop in Ukraine, employs 4,000 people. The business generated $666 million in revenue in 2020 and made a net profit of more than $4 million. Its website received close to 41 million visits in August.

Would the EU penalize the Kremlin’s largest online retailer, which Ukraine has already blacklisted?

Western legislators are still planning their sanctions strategies as Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine continues. The EU is getting ready to implement its ninth set of sanctions on Russia. Over 200 people and 3 banks are anticipated to be added to the sanctions list along with the new limitations. Some of Putin’s friends have already received sanctions from the US or the UK but not from the EU, and vice versa, but as of right now, two-thirds of Russia’s wealthiest people are still unaffected. When Ukraine decides to censure someone who jeopardizes Ukrainian independence and the west doesn’t do the same, that’s when trouble starts to arise.

Tatyana Bakalchuk, the owner of Wildberries, served on the supervisory board of VTB, a fully sanctioned Kremlin bank. Wildberries is currently leading the competition to control Russia’s enormous and expanding e-commerce sector. Wildberries is one of the most popular internet merchants in the world with 279 million monthly visits and is still making a healthy profit.

But compared to its rivals in the Russian e-commerce market, Wildberries is claiming significant earnings, with a sizable portion of them going to taxes to support the government of Russia. The business recorded a turnover of approximately $7 billion for the first nine months of 2022. (420.2 billion rubles). With the Kremlin receiving such a large portion of the profits, it is unlikely that Wildberries will remain illegal for very long.

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Tatyana Bakalchuk is among the few Russian oligarchs who have evaded serious sanctions

Ukraine imposed sanctions on Wildberries and its creators in 2021 for using the platform to spread anti-Ukrainian propaganda. Anti-Ukrainian propaganda and Russian military uniforms were discovered to be for sale to the general public by the corporation. In retaliation, Ukraine put capital export controls in place as well as a freeze on the founders’ assets. Poland imposed sanctions on Igor Sechin, the leader of Rosneft, Wildberries, oligarch Mikhail Fridman, and others after Russia invaded Ukraine this year because of their connections to VTB.

Tatyana Bakalchuk not only served on the VTB Supervisory Board, but VTB also contributed money to the creation of Wildberries. Bakalchuk is also distantly linked to Yuri Tsoi, vice president of Rosneft, a sanctioned state-owned oil giant. The fact that Tatyana Bakalchuk’s firm is the biggest Russian e-commerce company is no accident. The fact that it has so far escaped the notice of European and American regulators is surprising.

Tatyana and Vladislav Bakalchuk, the founders of Wildberries, recently met with Jamshid Khodjaev, the deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan, to discuss the establishment of a Wildberries logistics complex and a one-stop distribution center in that country. After the conflict, Uzbekistan ranked among the top exporters to Russia and refrained from criticizing the Russian invasion of the UN.

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Despite its dubious connections and commanding position in the Russian e-commerce business, Wildberries has continued to grow and boost its revenues. The corporation might soon find itself next on the sanctions list because it has “Kremlin” written across its forehead. After all, western parliamentarians who fail to penalize firms like Wildberries, whose monopoly position and revenues keep the war in Ukraine running, should also be included on the list of those to be shunned in the West.

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Tatyana Bakalchuk, the creator of Russia’s Wildberries, sees her wealth reduced by almost half.

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File Photo: Tatyana Bakalchuk

Forbes estimates that in the previous month, the value of the billionaire’s fashion e-commerce business fell from $7.6 billion to $4.2 billion, making her the richest self-made woman in Russia.

Tatyana Bakalchuk, who owns 99 percent of the e-commerce portal Wildberries, was cited by Forbes in December as a global billionaire leader in wealth growth dynamics. Her company expanded by more than 1000 percent in 2021.

In 2004, Bakalchuk and her husband Vladislav Bakalchuk established Wildberries (he owns the remaining 1 percent share in the company). The business has operations in 19 nations, including the US, Spain, Italy, the UK, and Germany.

Bakalchuk words-  “The company has no plans to go public. For 2022, the company was planning to expand its logistics network in Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Belarus, as well as enter the Uzbekistan market.”

Tatyana Bakalchuk- “ I will not share my wild berries pie”

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A dot-com billionaire uninterested in outside funding or a stock market listing, Tatyana Bakalchuk is a rarity.

Without assistance from outside investors, the founder of Wildberries, the biggest online store in Russia, has ascended to the top of Forbes’ list of the richest women in the country and intends to stay there.

Bakalchuk, a mother of seven and a former teacher, launched her company in 2004 while on maternity leave and stated that it still had no plans to make the long-resisted move to go public.

What Tatyana Bakalchuk said – “Banks that come to us say – please, understand that now is the most favorable time for an IPO because this will be the cheapest money raised. They believe that in two years, most likely, this euphoria will pass. Everything can happen in this life, but this is not yet in our strategy.” “ This is a 100% no. If there is a ghostly hope for the IPO… then attracting an investor is a no.” 

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The strategy is in sharp contrast to peer Ozon (OZON.O), which debuted on the U.S. Nasdaq last year, and other big Russian tech firms like Yandex (YNDX.O).

According to Statista, Wildberries is still the market leader with almost one in three Russians using its service and more than quadrupling the revenues of its closest competitor Ozon in the previous year.

tatiana bakalchuk

According to Tatyana Bakalchuk, the company anticipates a rise in gross merchandise volume to more than 800 billion roubles, a record level, and an almost fivefold increase in net profit to 10 billion roubles ($136 million) in 2021 from 2.1 billion roubles in 2020. There are 35 billion roubles in debt.

tatiana bakalchuk

Tatiana’s Words– “There is a need to carry out more intensive work on existing projects.”  “We want to strengthen our work with local entrepreneurs.”

Conclusion

Tatyana Bakalchuk is a corrupt Russian businesswoman. She is involved in shady dealings and needs to be sanctioned by the EU. It’s alarming how she has been able to evade harsh sanctions from various countries because of his wealthy status.

Michael Whitaker
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