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Charity boss says he saw no cash from Putin performance

Vladimir PutinThe man who put Putin on stage for charity is hitting back at claims that his glittering Hollywood-backed gala was all a big con.

Media reports this week have claimed that Vladimir Kiselyov, head of the Federation Fund did not fulfil his duties after the charity gala.
[image adapted from version at www.rferl.org bearing attribution to RIA Novosti]

But now the man behind the event, which was capped by a piano performance from the premier, has threatened legal action against media reports that money intended for childrens cancer hospitals disappeared.

No money was collected - Kiselyov

Kiselyov announced that no money was collected at the December gala in St Petersburg, which saw Putin, pictured above, tickle the ivories in front of a galaxy of showbiz stars.

"Suddenly, three months after the concert, one of the main claims in the media was to make public the amount of money gathered at the concert, and to tell where it was transferred," Interfax quotes Kiselyov's statement. "I will only repeat what I have said earlier: there was no collection of money at the event."

Kiselyov argues that during the gig the hospital's details were beamed on a large screen. "I repeat: not Federation's account number, but the account numbers of the medical organisations that need the help," he stressed.

He wrote that it is Federation's principle: the money is sent from the benefactors direct to those in need.

Kiselyov claims his fund is innocent

That principle, according to Kiselyov, means there can be no skulduggery in the accounts.

"We are consciously not accumulating money on our accounts to allocate them the way we see fit. We do not live on the benefactors' money, we do not pay our wages from the money aimed for the sick children, do not pay for our office, do not buy transport or property abroad."

As for the tickets to the event, Kiselyov claims that the fund gave up on the idea of selling tickets and mostly invited guests, friends and potential benefactors.

Kiselyov aims to sue publications and broadcasters that he thinks allowed some inappropriate statements about the event.

A bargaining chip in a big game

The fund organiser thinks all the media campaign against Federation is a part of some big game and other experts suggest it could be the early stages of 2012 election campaign.

"I understand perfectly that I could not bother fighting the attacks against me just because in the end I am not the final target of this dirty campaign," he wrote.

"It is a shame that health of our children is becoming a bargaining chip in someone's big game."

Kiselyov has recently announced that his fund fulfilled all its obligations after the concert last December.

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