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"Alexandre's revolution"

European Internet Network

October 15, 1999

By Rod Pounsett, Editor

Amid the gloom, doom and disaster which seems to dominate headlines about Russia and the Russians it's heartening to spotlight a young Russian who's instigating a universally beneficial revolution. Sadly this particular revolutionary has had to make his latest pitch for fame under the protection of political asylum in the United States.

By all standards Alexandre Konanykhine was a entrepreneurial wunderkind in his teens. By his mid twenties he'd taken Russia's emerging market economy by storm and made himself a cool $300 million. He even had enough spare cash to donate $10 million to Boris Yeltsin's campaign to win the presidency. That was while Alexandre was still a favoured son of mother Russia and had faith in the Yeltsin establishment. Before dark forces in Russia, including corrupt KGB officers, drummed up charges alleging the young banking and property tycoon was guilty of a whole bagful of wrong doings, including embezzlement from his own banks and illegally gaining a visa to the United States. Allegations which so hoodwinked the authorities in the United States, that they had the young Russian thrown in jail. Alexandre used up what was left of his fortune, after the Russian twighlight establishment had confiscated most of it, in legal battles in a bid to prove he was innocent and that he'd been railroaded by corrupt Russian officials and gullible authorities in the United States. Eventually, in 1997, the verdicts against him were reversed and he and his wife, Elena, were granted political asylum in the United States.

Now Alexandre, who was studying to become a rocket scientist before his leap into big business, is bouncing back with vengeance. He's set up a company in New York, called KMGI.com Inc, which has developed a bundle of internet tools and skills which are set to revolutionize the way firms sell themselves and their products on the internet. KMGI is producing what they've called "Webmercials" - TV style animated commercials which make banner ads seem as dated as wall posters. And they also produce similarly dynamic Web Presentations. The magic comes from KMGI's imaginative use of Flash technology from Macromedia. They've combined vector-based graphics with streaming technology to deliver full screen, high impact, animation and graphics along with audio and interactivity. The really clever bit is the way their designers describe an image with succinct mathematics rather than specifying each pixel. This means they can produce miniature files-typically 25Kb- which deliver a punchy audio visual message in just a few seconds.

The cost cutting implications for advertisers' budgets are impressive. KMGI say Webmercials can be produced for a fraction of the cost of a full blown conventionally produced TV commercial.

It also looks like being the long awaited answer for web site operators who've been concerned about the relatively low impact attractiveness of banner ads. "Banner ads are so boring," says KMGI president Alexandre. The Webmercials are already attracting big buck advertising spenders in the United States and KMGI is about to go global.

Whatever the truth about his past the now 33 year old Alexandre Konanykhine looks as thought he's onto a legitimate business success with KMGI's products. So I doubt, provided no more dirt is thrown his way, that it will be too long before Alexandre has regained his fortune and accrued a lot more.

And I'm sure Alexandre also hopes the dark forces in Russia can keep their jealousy and vindictiveness under wraps this time round.

Visit Alexandre's revolution at: kmgi.com

Russian Immigrant
Russian Banker

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Media About Alex

Washington Post:
Konanykhin, one of the first Russian millionaires after the fall of the commies, left in 1992 and was granted asylum here in 1999. He's built a very successful Web advertising business in New York City. He had been chosen "New York Businessman of the Year." "As such, you will be honored and presented with your award," NRCC chairman Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.) said, at a "special ceremony" April 1. " President Bush and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger are our special invited guests.
Alex Konanykhin controlled Russia's largest commercial bank in the 1990s
Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Konanykhin was a whiz-kid physics student who became a pioneering Russian capitalist in early 1990s, building a banking and investment empire valued at an estimated $300 million all by his mid-20s. He was a member of President Boris Yeltsin's inner circle.
World Economic Forum:
How transparency can help the global economy to grow. By Alex Konanykhin. Countries around the world spend an estimated $9.4 trillion a year on procurement – 15% of global GDP. Indeed, UN figures estimate that public procurement can account for 15-30% of GDP for many countries. However, according to the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 10-25% of the value of public contracts is lost to corruption.
The Baltimore Sun:
Business whiz kid.
Russian Bill Gates.
The Times:
By the time he was 25 he was one of the most important figures in post-Communist Russia. But in 1992, while on a business trip to Hungary, Alex Konanykhine was kidnapped.
The New York Times:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation notified Konanykhin that Russian organized crime figures had paid to have him killed.
CBS "60 Minutes":
Alex Konanykhin didn't only have KGB after him… He had the FBI, the Justice Department, even the CIA all on his case, as a favor to the Russians, part of a deal to allow the FBI to keep a bureau in Moscow.
Los Angeles Daily Journal:
Representing himself through much of the process, Konanykhin managed to convince an immigration judge of an alleged INS and KGB conspiracy and cover-up. Following the court's admonishment, the INS agreed to drop all charges and also pay $100,000..The judge also ordered an investigation of the Justice Department. In separate actions, Konanykhine subsequently won multimillion dollar libel judgments against two Russian newspapers. A $100 million lawsuit against the Justice Department is pending, alleging perjury, fraud, torture and witness tampering by U.S government officers on behalf of the Russian Mafia.
Profit Magazine:
Imagine you are a teenage physics genius who quickly amasses a $300 million empire of real estate and banking ventures, has dozens of cars, six hundred employees, several mansions and two hundred bodyguards—but you are nonetheless kidnapped by those you trusted, threatened with torture and death, and have your entire empire stolen from you one dark night in Budapest. You escape with your life by racing through Eastern-block countries and flying to New York on stashed-away passports—only to have the KGB and Russian Mafia hell-bent on your hide and the U.S. government jailing you and conspiring to serve you up into their clutches. All this before your 29th birthday. Sound like a Tom Clancy thriller? No. . . just a slice in the life of Alexander Konanykhine.