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6. MMC Norilsk Nickel
6. MMC Norilsk Nickel
When the world's largest nickel and palladium producer chose former Russia tourism chief Viktor Strzhalkovsky as its new CEO, the privately owned company moved a little closer to the Kremlin - Strzhalkovsky is a former KGB officer and crony of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Not everyone was happy with the decision: United Company Rusal, Russia's largest aluminum producer and a major shareholder in Norilsk Nickel, has openly censured the new hire, Norilsk's environmental record and the company's board. Strzhalkovsky in turn has announced plans to buy back $2 billion worth of Norilsk stock.

NEXT: 7. SeverStal
Last updated September 09 2008: 7:49 AM ET
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