2017 In Review: Officials’ Children in Russiangate’s Investigations
Children of Russian officials are often called heirs of the current political elite. They can replace their aging parents at their posts. Some have made their careers thanks to the connections of parents, others simply enjoy life. For a year, the Russiangate editorial staff has been looking into what Russian officials’ children are doing and how they earn.
The daughter of the chief special-service agent: swimming, surfing, Bali
Sergei Naryshkin is director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Agency and a longtime Putin friend, since the KGB times. His connections in the higher echelons of power came in handy for his daughter Veronika Naryshkina. At the university, she received a special presidential scholarship. Then, Veronika took part in the privatization of a four-room office apartment of her father. At the age of 22, Veronika has already become the leader of the Russian youth swimming team, after which she headed the adult team. Since the end of 2016, Naryshkina holds the post of vice-president of the Moscow Swimming Federation and is entirely focused on herself. According to her Instagram, while her father is under sanctions, Veronika goes to Las Vegas for holidays and flies to Bali to catch a wave several times a year.
Sergey Ivanov’s son: banks, insurance and diamonds
Sergei Ivanov is also from the KGB. He has worked in intelligence for a long time, served as Russia's defense minister and was once considered a probable successor to Putin. The son of Sergei Ivanov, also Sergei, managed to make a brilliant career before his father's resignation. He can be called one of the most “talented” managers in Russia. On the career ladder, his father's connections pushed him up. Already at the age of 24, Ivanov Jr. became vice-president of Gazprombank, and three years later – Deputy Chairman of the Board of this bank. At the same time, he joined the board of directors of nine different companies. At 31, he is the Chairman of the Board of Management of the SOGAZ group, then, he worked as vice-president in the Sberbank, and at the age of 37, Ivanov became president of the diamond mining company ALROSA. Interestingly, the heads of state corporations have always left their at their own accord to make room for the son of Putin's friend.
“I was helped a little in my life.” The fate and career of Sergei Lavrov's daughter?
Yekaterina Lavrova received a good education, not in Russia. She first went to an elite school in New York, then, entered Columbia University and defended her master's degree at the London School of Economics. However, after her father gets appointed as the foreign minister, Lavrova returns to Moscow and focuses on art. She works for various auction houses, and later opens her own business, where she acts as an intermediary between collectors and artists.
Lavrov's son-in-law, Alexander Vinokurov, is a successful businessman who became the one thanks to the help provided by his father-in-law. At 31, because of his proximity to power, he headed the investment division of Alfa Group. Now, Vinokurov is engaged in pharmaceutical business. He opens a network of pharmacies, produces medicines and works closely with a subsidiary company of Rostech.
Good dad, bad dad: the story of Shuvalov and his children
First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov is the father of four children. Two of them reached adulthood and immediately received a share in the family wealth. The family owns hectares of land in the Moscow Region, as well as foreign real estate.
His son studied at the UK's elite college, served in the army, owned family assets and even bought a private jet. It was that very business jet that Shuvalov rented from his son to transport corgi. In 2017, the eldest son of the Vice-Premier began to transfer all assets to his 19-year-old sister, who dances at the Bolshoi Theater. Through offshore companies, Maria Shuvalova owns real estate, as well as the same “Corgi jet.”
Profile: what does the son of ex-ombudsman Astakhov do?
Anton Astakhov studied at a private Orthodox school-boarding house called Retro. At the age of 17, he has already started earning on the stock exchange, entered the St Clare's College of Oxford, and then continued his studies in several European universities in the US and Europe.
At 23, Astakhov returned to Russia and immediately became a partner of his father. He once drove through the streets of Moscow with a flasher and drunk and caused an accident. He bought shares of banks, which then began to serve the office of the Commissioner for the Children Rights, Pavel Astakhov. After that, he got carried away by the fight against pedophilia and in fact created the movement which he called “Turn the pedophile in.” The organization acts just like Tesak’s Restrukt. It provokes people on social networks, and then sends their data to law enforcement agencies. For the combating pedophilia, Astakhov won a presidential grant.
Sobyanin’s daughter – what does she do?
At 24, Anna Sobyanina became the co-founder of the company сфддув Focus-Group. With her involvement, the firm received major state orders. The company decorated a meeting room for the Russian president at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the reception house and a negotiation room for the Defense Ministry. Also, the list of her clients includes the bank Rossiya and the insurance group SOGAZ. All the contracts the company received without a competition. After a year of work in Focus-Group, Sobyanina got an apartment worth about 100 million rubles in the center of St. Petersburg.
Turchak, son of Turchak: the story of one undervalued family
The story of the former governor of the Pskov Region, Andrei Turchak, is quite interesting as well. It turned out that his father was going in for judo in the same club where Putin and the Rotenberg brothers would train. In the 1990s, he worked closely with the future president in St. Petersburg, then, he built a successful business and became a billionaire.
When Turchak Jr. turned 20 years old, his father took him to work in his company called Leninets. During those eight years, Turchak managed to become vice-president of this company and received the award as the best young businessman of Petersburg. His determination is also noted by the authorities. In 2005, he became the head of the Young Guard of United Russia. Two years later, Turchak was elected deputy of the Pskov Region, and two more years later Medvedev appointed him Governor of the region.
The life of a daughter of a mine owner, where miners are striking: “Papa Boss”
At the gold mine in the Trans-Baikal Territory in the fall of 2017, 500 people were laid off, and none of them received proper payments. The dollar millionaire and Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Chelyabinsk Region Konstantin Strukov is the owner of the mine. While the miners went on a hunger strike, his daughter wrote songs about his father's wealth and shot expensive clips in Dubai.
Who is in the game?
The daughter of the Defense Minister, Ksenia Shoigu, is the leader of the project called Race of Heroes. This is a military sports game, organized with the support of the Russian Defense Ministry, which is headed by Ksenia's father, Sergei Shoigu. The project is also financed by such large state-owned companies as Sberbank, Rosneft, Gazprom and RZhD, as well as the Akhmad Kadyrov Foundation. The Ministry of Defense, in turn, allocates military equipment for conducting military sports games.
Putin’s glamorous allies
Dmitry Peskov, the Press Secretary of the Russian President, also helps his children. His daughter Yelizaveta has studied in a boarding school in France since she was 12 years; a year of study in the school costs several million rubles. Then, she went to study at the Paris Business School. In June 2017, she became Adviser to the President of the Association of Entrepreneurs for the Development of Business Patriotism Avanti, financed by a businessman close to Kadyrov.
The elder son of Peskov, Nikolai, works as creative director of Fight Nights. The co-owner of this fight club and the company is Peskov’s friend Ziyavudin Magomedov, who is on the list of the richest people in Russia. Peskov’s two younger minor sons live with their mother in England. Despite this, they have already two apartments in Russia, and one apartment in France in their ownership.
Sergei Matvienko’s investment grab-it-azation
Valentina Matvienko was the governor of St. Petersburg for almost eight years. During this time, the company of her son Sergei was leased non-residential premises and plots, which then it privatized for pennies. New governor of St. Petersburg, Georgy Poltavchenko, apparently had nothing such a seizure of the city’s real estate. Thus, Petersburg lost real estate for a total of 8.4 billion rubles. The investigation into this issue, came in two parts (the first and second).
Family nest: what do the Governor of St. Petersburg and his family own?
When the son of the Governor of Petersburg was only 20 he, a mere student, bought a house with a land plot in Plyos. In the very Plyos, where there is a house for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s duck. How a sophomore was able to earn several million to buy such a property is unclear. A year later, in 2007, Alexei Poltavchenko became a co-owner of an apartment in St. Petersburg with an area of 155 sq. m.