updated 1/25/2011 12:46:08 PM ET 2011-01-25T17:46:08

NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new series of articles in Russia! magazine will tell the story of the country's most important philanthropists. It begins with a profile of the foundation headed by Suleiman Kerimov, a business leader and member of the Russian Federation Council.

"A tradition of philanthropy is only just emerging," says Russia! editor Tatyana Foley. "Right now around 0.4 percent of the country's GDP goes to charity, but this figure is growing and major businessmen are establishing charitable foundations. These businessmen are extremely influential, and their charitable initiatives are even capable of influencing the country's development as a whole, so the issue of charity is of overarching significance. We are kicking off our new section with a profile of the foundation led by Suleiman Kerimov, who is attracting international attention thanks to the merger of Uralkali and Silvinit."

In 2010, Kerimov's foundation disbursed over $60 million, making it one of the most active and effective charitable organizations in the country. Kerimov, who owns assets worth $5.5 billion and is No. 136 on the Forbes Billionaires list, was born in Dagestan and now represents the republic in the Federation Council (Russia's upper house of parliament). His foundation supports social and infrastructure projects in the region, and Dagestan President Magomedsalam Magomedov has called Kerimov one of Dagestan's most important investors.

Some 37 percent of the foundation's budget, or around $24 million, was allotted to supporting schools and other educational institutions in 2010, including the repair and installation of computers at aging schools in Derbent, the creation of a school for gifted children, and other initiatives. At a recent meeting, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who has taken a particular interest in the development of Dagestan, commended the installation of computers at every school in the region, which was achieved thanks to help from the Kerimov Foundation.

The foundation also assists victims of disasters and terrorism. Dagestan is located in the Caucasus region, which continues to be unstable and witnesses occasional acts of terrorism. In 2010, the foundation distributed over $3 million to pay for medical treatment and help for victims of natural disasters and terrorism.

In addition, the foundation finances a national program for the development of freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Thanks to the foundation's support, the Russian team took first place at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Suleiman Kerimov was born in 1966 in Dagestan. He currently represents Dagestan in the Federation Council and is one of Russia's most successful businessmen. He is the owner of united Uralkali, one of the world's largest producers of potash fertilizers; the company Polyus-Zoloto (PLZL); PIK, a major Russian developer; the bank MFK; and other assets.

RUSSIA!, a quarterly, independent English-language glossy, offers the most original coverage of people, trends, ideas and events taking place in or around Russia. This and other articles are available to readers at www.readrussia.com.

Russia! Magazine is published by Press Release Group.

CONTACT: Tatyana Foley
         Russia! magazine
         tbf@readrussia.com
         +1 (917) 475 6452

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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