U.K. crackdown on Russian oligarchs may spell the end for ‘Londongrad’

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The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and Russia’s economic crisis seven years later “encouraged people who had wealth to move it out of the country,” Tom Keatinge, the director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute, a London based think tank, told NBC News by telephone Thursday. London drew them because of its education system, excellent shopping and attractive visa regime that allowed people to move to the United Kingdom relatively easily, he said. It also had deeper capital markets than Europe. “If you’re going to be investing hundreds of millions, you’re going to be investing in a market that can accommodate that size of investment,” Keatinge added.