Suppliers with an accent

To counter the non-patriots, the Russian Guards purchase the US-made vehicles through Cypriot offshores.

The Russiangate keeps reporting about what the Rosgvardia (the Russian Guards) buys to counter the “fifth column” and to protect public order. Anastasia Khlopkova collected information about who supplies the sound weapons, armored vehicles, arms and bullets for the Guards.

Nothing imported, or

“It’s better if the state orders are implemented by the national companies rather than the foreign ones”, Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said in July 2014 when signing the government decree about ban on import of the foreign-made vehicles via the state purchase system.

The PM added that the ban would be enforced only when the Russian producers were able to compete with the foreign companies in terms of quality and price. The state structures had failed to entirely erase import from their wanted lists.

The Rosgvardia has been unable to equip itself with the Russian vehicles too. The Guards’ command stresses that its principal objective has been countering those who undermines political stability in the country. On June 27, first deputy director of the Guards Sergei Melikov said that the Rosgvardia would secure safety of the Russian citizens “at far reaches”. Since spring 2017, the Guards has been assimilating the Russian car industry.

The Oreltekmash PJSV, a producer of the special vehicles, supplied the Rosgvardia with nine vehicles on 94.3 mln rub in April 2017. This is the company’s largest order in two years: in 2014 the plant signed a contracts with the Interior ministry worth 199.4 mln rub.

Among the Oreltekmash shareholders there were the US Scientific Capital (37.31%) and the Berkshires Finance (34.9%) which owned the shares via the Orlikom JSV.

The Avolom car group (Avilon AG JSV, Moscow) signed four contracts with the Rosgvardia worth 283.8 mln rub. For example, the Guards bought 11 minivans for 36.5 mln rub and 78 vehicles for 103.8 mln rub, without elaboration.

In total, the car dealer signed 1712 state contracts worth 21 bln rub from 2011 to June 2017. Before supplying the Rosgvardia, the company had worked with the Interior ministry. Their last contract was finalized in February 2017: the company supplied a motorbike “designed for police” for 27.8 mln rub.

The company has been believed to be the major supplier of the Mercedes vehicles for various state structures, such as the Rosneft, Presidential administration and Federal Guard Service. The Avilon’s owners have been in the US jurisdiction.

Russian Cypriots from America

The owner of the Avilon AG has been a US-based New York Motors Corp of Alexander Varshavsky. According to the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Varshavsky along with Vladimir Putin’s cousin Igor Putin is a member of the BOD of the Termosteps-MTL company.

In 2010 the information leaked that the US Daimler company had bribed the officials from 22 countries. In Russia, the role of the Daimler’s middlemen played Varshavsky’s structures. But the Daimler pleaded itself guilty and consented to reimburse the US budget with $185 mln in exchange for closing the investigation. The names of the bribe-takers thus remained undisclosed.


The Avilon AG has the roots in Cyprus. Until March 2016, the company had been named The Avilon Capital LLC; it had been a property of the Cypriot offshore The Avilon Capital Limited until 2014. By 2015, the Avilon Capital became a property of two other Cypriot offshores, the Avilon Ag Limited and Avilon Holdings Limited.

The Azur Ltd (est. in 2011 in Moscow) also had been transferred from the Avilon Capital to the Avilon Holdings. The organization dealing with property lease and management has been transferred to the Pioner development company LLC in January 2016. Recently, the developer bought a land plot in Moscow’s Western district. The Pioner plans to join the renovation program launched by the Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin and has already offered 200 apartments in exchange for the buildings to be razed. The developers rely on the old connections and support of the Moscow city Duma member Oleg Soroka, who has led the Pioner for five years.

Russian billionaires and the “Russija”

The Rosgvardia has supported the domestic industry purchasing the Ural and Kamaz vehicles. It ordered 105 VHF radio stations from the Yaroslavsky radio plant for 44.8 mln rub. One of the plant’s owners has been the RTI Sistemy JSV associated with the AFK Sistema by billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov.

The Guards signed the contracts on supply of 140 Kalashnikov submachine guns for 27.1 mln rub, 1023 semi-automatic guns (46.5 mln rub), 500 AK-105 for 12.3 mln rub and 500 AK-104 for 10.8 mln rub.

The Kalashnikov holding is a property of the Rostech state corporation and the TransKomplektHolding LLC (est 2006). The latter belongs to a member of the Aeroexpress’ BOD Alexei Krivoruchko and billionaires Andrei Bokarev and Iskander Makhmudov. They are the shareholders of the Transoil LLC, one of the Russia’s largest railroad logistic companies transporting oil products.

The Ulyanovsk cartridge plant won two tenders worth 20.8 mln rub and Tula cartridge plant won two more contracts (29.8 mln rub) on supplying the Rosgvardia. The two plants have common key owners.

In February 2017, the information leaked that Igor Rotenberg (senior son of billionaire Arkady Rotenberg) had bought 46.176% of shares in the Tula plant from Alexei Solovov. Solovov’s structures the Soyuz-Patron LLC and the Stolichnaya equity company ZAO own the key shares in the both plants. The Soyuz-patron has been Solovov’s property while the Stolichnaya equity company belongs to Valentina Gaposhkina and Natalia Kurt. The both companies share the phone number.

Alexei Solovov’s brother Yuri had been the director of the Souyz-patron until April 2016 and set up contacts with the Italian partners. The owner of the Italian Fratelli Tanfoglio S.N.C. Tanfoglio Massimo established the Tanfoglio Russija LLC in Moscow in 2011. In turn, the company established the TT-Oruzhie LLC together with the Tula cartridge plant. The TT-Oruzhie existed in 2011 to 2015, with Yuri Solovov as its director.

Left to right: Dmitry Streshinsky, Nikola Bandini, Massimo Tanfoglio - founders of the Arsenal Firearms company, a new player in the global arms market, photo by

According to the Russian media, Alexei Solovov has some relation with the case of a former senator and General director of the Stroiinvestinzhiniring SU-848 LLC Sergei Popelnikov accused of embezzlement of 1 bln rub. His enterprise signed contracts with Venezuelan authorities over building of a Kalashnikov rifle production plant. Popelnikov had transferred money to his commercial structures but failed to fulfill the contract. The equipment for the plant should be supplied by the Tula cartridge plant. The Ulyanovsk plant had also participated in the Venezuelan deal.

Solovov’s enterprises should supply equipment for the Venezuelan partners in 2008 but did not implement the agreements.

In August 2016, Moscow’s Meshchansky district court convicted Alexei Solovov to three years of suspended term for a fraud committed by an organized group. In 2015, the brothers Solovovs disbanded the TT-Oruzhie.

Only for cronies

Major General of the interior troops, a member of the Russian veterans council Ravil Kalimulin went in for business ten years ago. In partnership with Andrei Bryzgalov (founder of the Uniskan company in Novosibirsk) he established the radio navigation production company Polus-ST LLC in 2006.

The company’s permanent contractors have been the Gazprom and the regional divisions of the Russian Border department. Now the Rosgvardia has been added to that list, it ordered the Radiobarier-MF reconnaissance equipment worth 6.7 mln rub in April 2017.  

Saratov SpetcMashInvest LLC won a 21.3-mln-ruble contract on reparation of the Ural vehicles. In 2009 in the city of Engels near Saratov, then-member of the city council Alexander Shinkarenko registered that enterprise, along with Vladimir and Elena Shinkarenko.

Alexander Shinkarenko belongs to the close circle of the former governor Dmitry Ayatzky (who became an aide of the chief of the Presidential administration in 2006).

In summer 2016, the Saratov state inspection scrutinized the SpetsMashInvest. The company had been owed (for April-May 2016) 4.6 mln rub in salary arrears to its 121 workers. The administrative cases had been opened against the General director and the company. By now, the company owes 9.4 mln rub to its 109 workers.

Shield of the Shopot system, photo by

Moscow’s supplier of the Rosgvardia, the ASB Plus LLC, won a tender on delivery of 50 Shepot kits. It belongs to a Doctor of Engineering Mikhail Antselevich, the author of the book “The methods and means of anti-terror important state objects protection”. For the Shopot, the Rosgvardia paid him 86.7 mln rub. The Shopot is a non-lethal acoustic weapon using the infrasound frequencies.

In 201, Antselevich along with Grigory Shcherbakov patented the “device for acoustic impact on a breaker”. Though it was designed to fight the rodents, the device can well be used against humans.

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