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Russian founder of Hedonism Wines raises £4.5 Million for Ukraine

Published:  29 March, 2023

London-based Russian entrepreneur, Evgeny Chichvarkin, has financed more than £4.5 million worth of medical purchases for the Ukrainian people subjected to Vladimir Putin’s illegal war. 

The founder of Hedonism Wines on Davies Street (number 3 in Harpers 50 Best indies), Evgeny Chichvarkin began purchasing medical supplies for Ukraine at the end of February 2022 as tensions between Russia and The West escalated. By March 2022, Chichvarkin launched the EC Project (the Project), where others were invited to join his efforts and cover large invoices for the purchase of medical aid.  

The Project has since started helping Ukrainian hospitals and military units, working with a number of charitable foundations including Vidchuy in Ukraine, and Common Ground in Latvia, and with high-profile volunteers such as Tata Kepler, who has been a volunteer on the Ukrainian frontlines since 2014.

Chichvarkin and his team have made 12 trips to the border of Ukraine and into Ukraine itself delivering the purchased supplies, which include more than 12 tonnes of medications, nearly 20,000 CAT tourniquets, 5300 pharmaceutical kits, hundreds of armour vests, as well as two armoured vehicles and a further two new SUV cars to the medical brigades.

Born in St Petersburg, then Leningrad, Chichvarkin founded the largest Russian mobile phone retailer, Euroset, making him the richest man under 35 in Russia. The net worth of the business was estimated at $1.6 billion, however, after he became the target of criminal persecution from local officials and the Russian State, he sold his company for a cut price of US$400 million and fled to the United Kingdom. He has since fought extradition and now lives in exile in London where he openly supports democratic causes in Russia and its periphery by funding opposition parties and issuing scathing public critiques against Putin and his followers.

Commenting on the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine, Evgeny Chichvarkin, said: “For many years I have campaigned to warn the world of the danger of not stopping Putin’s Russia waging war against non-existent enemies, and the danger of conducting business in Russia, you only need to look at Mikhail Khodorkovsky story, or indeed the tragic case of Sergei Magnitsky to see that.

“What is happening in Ukraine is devastating. As Putin continues to wage his illegal war, we must all come together and do what we can to help. The Ukrainian people have been faultlessly brave, who would have thought that a year on they would still be defending their homeland so successfully? I only hope that by doing our bit at The EC Project, we can help save as many lives as possible and the sovereignty of Ukraine.”