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Russian tycoon Lebedev sells airline for 1 rouble

Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev announced Thursday he had sold his Moscow-based airline Red Wings for a symbolic 1 rouble (32 US cents) after it was grounded following a fatal crash of one of its Tupolev jets. "Yes, I have signed documents on selling 100 percent of Red Wings to a group of investors for 1 rouble," the billionaire known for his criticisms of the Kremlin wrote on his blog, without revealing the identity of the buyers.

Russia suspends liberal billionaire's airline

Russia suspended on Friday the operations of Red Wings, controlled by liberal billionaire Alexander Lebedev, after the company's passenger jet crashed in December killing five of its crew members. The state air transport agency said it was suspending the company's operations because Red Wings was experiencing financial problems which precluded it from ensuring proper maintenance of its fleet. "Red Wings is experiencing a deficit of financial resources to ensure the current operations," Rosaviation said following a probe into the airline after the December 29 crash.
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