How Syria’s ruling families flouted sanctions and amassed wealth in Russia
Moscow has been a steadfast ally of the Assad family since their rule began nearly 50 years ago, and Vladimir Putin has forged ever stronger ties with Damascus since 2015
Moscow/Beirut — On a bend of the Moscow river glitters a glass and steel monument to Russia’s oil and gas-fuelled economy and growing global swagger. Dominating the capital’s skyline, the city district’s skyscrapers have multiplied in recent years as money has poured in, dwarfing the Stalin-era Seven Sisters that were once Moscow’s tallest structures.
At the heart of the ostentatious neighbourhood sits the City of Capitals complex, a two-towered skyscraper that was once the tallest in Europe before it lost that crown in 2012 to London’s Shard. Tenants include the Russian offices for the likes of Diageo, the beverages multinational, Italian fashion group Calzedonia and top Russian banks. Neighbouring towers house government ministries, five-star hotels and the country’s wealthiest business people.