At one point, Kamenshchik had about 800 armed men under his command. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev
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That's when two thugs stormed Kamenshchik's office and demanded all of his money.Kamenshchik, 49, said in an interview that after spending $3.5 billion over the last two decades to increase capacity 16-fold and lure airlines like Lufthansa and British Airways away from Sheremetyevo, he's embarking on another $1.3 billion expansion to double maximum traffic to 60 million passengers a year, about what Frankfurt Airport currently handles.Lehman concluded that Domodedovo, 45 kilometers southeast of the Kremlin, was by far the most promising venue, in part because it was surrounded by fields and not Soviet residential blocks.Growing – and protecting – a business required connections in those rough and tumble times, said Sergey Kapchuk, a former bureaucrat who helped Kamenshchik, a fellow native of the Sverdlovsk region in the Ural Mountains, solve some issues at Domodedovo.After that, the official, who had already met Kamenshchik, helped the young airport entrepreneur "on all fronts," Kapchuk said, without elaborating.By 2010, Kamenshchik had turned Domodedovo into the busiest and best-managed airport in Eastern Europe, according to U.K.-based Skytrax's annual rankings – yet few people outside the industry had ever heard of him. That would change in 2011, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the airport, killing 37 people and wounding almost 200 more.
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