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Ivan Ignatyevich Savvidis (Russian: Иван Игнатьевич Саввиди; born 27 March 1959[2] in Santa Gruzino, Tsalka District, Georgia), is a Russian (Caucasus Greek) businessman and politician. Savvidis is one of Russia's wealthiest men and was a member of the Russian Parliament, closely linked to the president Vladimir Putin.[3]

Professional biography

After serving in the Soviet Army,[4] Savvidis was educated at the Rostov State University of Economics in Rostov-on-Don.[2] In the 1980s and early 1990s, Savvidis was employed in various positions at the Don State Tobacco Factory.[4] In 1992, the tobacco factory was privatised and renamed CJSC Donskoy Tabak; in the following year Savvidi was appointed as its General Director.[4] Savvidis and his wife, Kyriaki Savvidi, are now formally the majority shareholders of Donskoy Tabak, the largest Russian tobacco company.[5]

Between 2002 and 2005, Savvidis was President of FC Rostov. Since 2005, Savvidis has been Chairman of FC SKA Rostov-on-Don.

As of 10 August 2012, he had acquired ownership of the Greek football team PAOK[6] and entered the Forbes list of the richest people in the world.[7] Savvidis paid all of the club's debts to the Greek State, an amount that totalled at €10,886,811.[8]

In 2013, Forbes listed Savvidis as the 30th wealthiest Russian businessman in the world.[9] In February 2013, he took over the management of the Macedonia Palace in Thessaloniki.[10] In the same year he purchased 82% of the Greek tobacco company SEKAP.[11]

He has 19% of Mega Channel and in 2017 his Dimera Media company acquired the Pegasus Publications, which includes the newspapers of Ethnos and Imerisia.[12] On 11 August of the same year, he bought the E Channel (Greece) from businessman Philipos Vryonis and the market agreement was ratified on 21 August 2017.

Political career

Savvidis was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Rostov Oblast in 1998 and 2003. In 2003, Savvidis was elected as a Deputy in the State Duma; he subsequently served as the Deputy Chairman of the Budget Committee and Taxes. In 2007, Savvidis was re-elected as a Deputy in the State Duma as a member of the party United Russia led by chairman Vladimir Putin, serving until 2011. He served as a member of the Committee International Affairs ,[4] as coordinator of Interparliamentary Relations with the Hellenic Parliament[4] and as Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Russia-Belarusian Union.[13]


On March 11, 2018, during the PAOK–AEK football match at the Toumba Stadium and after PAOK had a goal ruled out for offside in the 89th minute, Savvidis entered the field with his bodyguards and tried to take the team off the pitch. He later appears that he was carrying a pistol in a holster when he entered the pitch. The Greek Super League was subsequently suspended indefinitely.[14][15][16][17]
Personal life and community service

Savvidis is married to Kyriaki Savvidou and has two sons, George and Nick Savvidis.

Savvidis is President of the Federation of Greek Communities of Russia,[18] and was a key figure in pushing for the newly created region by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad in the Black Sea countries.


Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" IV degree (21 February 2008) - for achievements in legislative activity, strengthening of Russian statehood and the development of Rostov-on-Don[19]
Order of Honour (13 December 2003) - for labor achievements and many years of diligent work [20]
Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" II degree (6 September 1999) - for his contribution to the socio-economic development of the city of Rostov-on-Don, and in connection with its 250th anniversary [21]


Order of Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow II degree (2009)
Order of Saint Seraphim of Sarov III degree (2011)[22]
Orthodox Knight of the Holy Sepulchre by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Public organizations

Medal "Patron of the Year" - for the revival of Russian culture and the Rostov-on-Don region (1999-2009)


"A few words on our company". SEKAP. Retrieved 24 August 2017. "In 2013, SEKAP entered the Donskoy Tabak family and in July of the same year it was acquired by Ivan Savvidis"
"Саввиди Иван Игнатьевич" [Savvidi Ivan Ignatievich]. State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012.
"Putin's Wealthy Ally behind Sole Bidder for Bulgartabac". Novinite. One Click Media Group. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
"Иван Саввиди" [Ivan Savvidis]. Savvidi.ru. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012.
"Smoke Clears as Laws and Marketing Shift". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
Ανακοίνωση ΠΑΕ ΠΑΟΚ (in Greek). paokfc.gr. Archived from the original on 7 January 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
iefimerida.gr (2013-02-15). iefimerida.gr (in Greek). Missing or empty |title= (help);
PAOK FC (12 May 2015). Πληρώθηκαν τα χρέη, 14.15 ο Ιβάν στην ΦΑΕ! [Debts were paid, 14-15 Ivan to FAE!]. OLAPAOK (in Greek). 24 Media Group. Archived from the original on 21 May 2015.
"Ιβάν Σαββίδης: Ο 30ός πλουσιότερος Ρώσος" [Ivan Savvidis: The 30th Highest Russian]. Ta Nea (in Greek). 24 August 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
Pegasus Interactive. "Ivan Savvidis changes 'Macedonia Pallas'". Ethnos. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
"Savvidis was aware of the problems when he bought SEKAP".
"Η είσοδος του Ιβάν Σαββίδη στον Πήγασο" [The entry of Ivan Savvides to Pegasus]. Naftemporiki (in Greek). 27 July 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
"Парламентское Собрание Союза Беларуси и России / Главная страница". www.belrus.ru. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
Press, Associated (2018-03-11). "Greek game interrupted after 'armed' owner protests decision". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
"Greek Superleague - PAOK vs AEK: PAOK president takes gun onto the pitch to remonstrate with the referee - MARCA in English". MARCA in English. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
Downes Jr, Wally (2018-03-12). "PAOK president Ivan Savvidis invades Greek match against rivals AEK Athens – appearing to carry a PISTOL". The Sun. The Sun..
"Greek Super League suspended after PAOK Salonika president invades pitch with gun". BBC Sport. 2018-03-12. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
"SAE - Ivan Savvidi re-elected President of the Federation of Greek Communities in Russia (AGOOR) / World Council of Hellenes Abroad". en.sae.gr. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
"Presidential Decree on February 21, 2008 №   233".
"Presidential Decree of 13 December 2003 №   1485".
"Presidential Decree on September 6, 1999 №   1172". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
DECR Communication Service (24 July 2011). "Состоялся торжественный акт по случаю 65-летия Отдела внешних церковных связей Московского Патриархата" [A solemn act on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate]. The Russian Orthodox Church (in Russian).

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