High-Profile Corruption Cases in Russia
The real estate of Governor Poltavchenko – Russiangate
Russiangate found out that the family of St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko owns real estate in the northern capital, in the Moscow Region and in Plyos. The overall cost of the family’s real estate items is estimated at 100 million rubles. Judging from the Governor’s and his wife’s income, they would have to save at least for 20 years to buy all this.
Murders of gays in Chechnya – Novaya Gazeta
In April, Novaya Gazeta reported on the mass arrests and killings of gays in Chechnya. Even members of the local muftiat, including well-known influential religious figures close to the head of the republicб Ramzan Kadyrov, as well as two well-known Chechen TV hosts, were detained. These people did not demonstrate their sexual orientation, the security forces learnt about it through the “word of mouth” or through torturing other detained homosexuals. Later the newspaper published the stories of the survivors. They told that there is a secret prison in Argun where suspects in homosexuality are kept.
Private military company Vagner and the company of “Putin’s cook” Prigozhin – Fontanka
In June, Fontanka wrote about the company Evro Polis associated with businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is known as the “Putin’s cook.” The company signed a five-year agreement with the Syrian government on the liberation and protection of oil and gas fields from the Islamic state (recognized in Russia as a terrorist organization and banned). For this, Evro Polis should receive a quarter of the oil and gas produced in Syria. All the costs of the company are also to be reimbursed. Prigozhin's companies are also linked to PMC Wagner, which also operates in Syria.
Sergei Matvienko’s investment grab-it-zation – Russiangate
The investigation by Russiangate – mother gives, the son gets: when Valentina Matvienko was the Governor of St. Petersburg, the company of her son received land plots and buildings for investment projects. Ten years later, everything became the private property of Matvienko, Jr. For this, they even erased the pond from the official documents and violated the contract terms multiple times.
Theater financing – Transparency International
In October, Transparency International – Russia issued an investigation on the management of Russian theaters with the title “How heads of state theaters pay their own fees.” It says that at least 14 art directors, including Oleg Tabakov, Nadezhda Babkina, Konstantin Raikin and Oleg Menshikov receive state contracts from their own theaters.
General Petukhov in Miami – Transparency International
Transparency International – Russia found out that since 2010, the former Deputy Head of the Russian MIA’s Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, Anatoly Petuhov, has invested more than $ 38 million in real estate in Miami, where he has lived for about seven years. In the US, he bought a condominium for $ 3 million, an office space for his development company for $ 3.2 million and two mansions for $ 7.9 and $ 7 million. Moreover, the General has an apartment in Moscow and a private house in the village of Kurkino. The cost of the latter can reach $ 2 million. Next to him lives the former prefect of the South-West Administrative District of Moscow, Viktor Kozlov, who gave Petukhov 3.6 sq. m. of land, which is considered a protected territory. It is difficult to establish where the General got such money from. Petukhov's former business partners are suing him in the United States, claiming that he illegally siphoned some of the funds from Russia and laundered money in the state of Florida.
He is not your Dimon – FBK
In March, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) issued an investigation called He is not your Dimon about the funds associated with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The organizations stand in the names of his friends, for example, his classmate and the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Gazprombank, Ilya Yeliseyev. The villa in Plyos, the manor in Rublyovka, the cottage in Psekhako, the plot of land in Utrish, Olginka and the village of Maslovo near Moscow, the Anapa vineyards, the Count's palace, converted into apartments with car lifts, agro-business and yachts are all serviced from the single center. The Prosecutor General's Office did not check the data from the investigation, but Yeliseyev, mentioned there, who owns the fund Sotsgosproekt and billionaire Alisher Usmanov, filed lawsuits against FBK and Navalny on protection of honor and dignity. The court took their side, obliging the Anti-Corruption Foundation to remove a certain part of the investigation and publish a retraction.
How the Ingush Center “E” turned out to be a gang of sadists and extortionists – Mediazona
In June, Mediazona publish a material about the Ingush Center “E”. Murders, torture, concealing crimes, blackmailing – local operatives have been through it all. The case made its way to court; some of the defendants have already been punished.
Who bought Maltese passports – Transparency International
In December, the website of the Russian branch of Transparency International published an investigation about Russians who bought Maltese passports (the state grants citizenship for cash contribution to the local economy). It turned out that about a thousand Russians, including top managers of state companies and deputies, used the opportunity. Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galicia, who was killed in October, was covering this issue. She was one of the first who identified people who bought passports and paid attention to the fact that the sale of citizenship constitutes a large part of the local officials’ illegal income. Shortly before the murder, the last work of the journalist about the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat and his two assistants was published. Galicia said that they were involved in the sale of passports, and the company of Muscat's wife received money from the daughter of Azerbaijani President Leila Aliyeva. Tens of thousands of people participated in the action in honor of the deceased.
The Paradise Papers – International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
In November, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published an investigation based on documents obtained through a leak from Appleby, which records offshore companies around the world. The leak became the largest after the so called Panama Papers. Novaya Gazeta worked with papers in Russia. The publication issued several materials: a text on the preparation of the investigation and the activities of Appleby, a list of Russian citizens using its services (businessmen Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov, State Duma deputies Vladimir Blotsky and Alexey Ezubov, lawyer Nikolai Egorov and first deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov) , a story about the incomes of Igor Sechin’s ex-wife, a material about the schemes through which Russian entrepreneurs leave taxes, etc.
Moscow propaganda factory – Lapshsnimalochnaya
In September, Lapshesnimalochnaya published a text about the Moscow regional media. The City Hall keeps its eye on the content of the publications that it sponsors, even despite the fact that there are almost no independent local media outlets in the city. Every week, a 40-page document comes to the editorial offices with instructions on what exactly and how to write. Sobyanin should be mentioned in a note exactly three times – this is an iron rule. The city budget allocates 19 billion rubles annually for local media.
Who earns on the renovation program– Meduza
In August, Meduza told who earns the Moscow program of renovation. The business is profitable: the City Administration has already spent more than 70 billion rubles. Tatar officials, military managers and Chechen businessmen are among the contractors.
Croatian business of “Putin’s masseur” – Investigations Management Center
IMC found out that Konstantin Goloschapov – the so-called “Putin’s masseur” and the founder of the Russian Athos Society – became a Croatian citizen and built an estate there for € 39 million and avoided taxes.
How America found out about Russian hackers – The Bell
The Bell published an article on how the FSB Colonel Sergey Mikhailov, who was detained within the case of state treason, and his three friends were related to the leak of information about attacks on the servers of the US Democratic Party – at least, according to sources familiar with the defendants. These hacker attacks fired up the most high-profile scandal about Russia's interference in the American elections began.
Who ordered an attack on journalists in Ingushetia – Russiangate
Russiangate learned that in the village of Djalka, the Gudermes District of Chechnya, the streets named after Delimkhanov and Geremeyev intersect. And State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov was probably involved in the attack on the bus with journalists and human rights activists, which occurred on March 9, 2016 on the border of Ingushetia and Chechnya.
How Arkady Rothenberg avoided the sanctions – Municipalny scaner
When the US sanctions against Arkady Rotenberg came into force, the businessman came up with a clever scheme: two of his trustees manage his companies in Europe and buy expensive real estate for their influential partner.
An investigation on how IEs receive state contracts worth of billions –RBC
Individual entrepreneurs in Russia are far from being just small and micro-businesses. RBC discovered ten IEs, who have been receiving billion contracts from the state for five years.
Where did the Buk come from? – Bellingcat
In June, a team of researchers at Bellingcat found and verified the photographs of Buk, an anti-aircraft missile system, from which a passenger plane of Malaysian Airlines was shot down. It turned out that the SAM is probably Russian.
Mikhalchenko’s assets were transferred to Murov, the former head of the FSO – Sobesednik
In November, the publication Sobesednik wrote about how the assets of the former “24-hours Governor of St. Petersburg”, Dmitry Mikhalchenko, went to former head of the FSO Murov. His family received land in the village of Ovsyanoe near St. Petersburg, shares in companies and other wealth. Murov left the FSO “at his own accord” – after it became clear that the FSUE ATEX, subordinated to the FSO, entered into state contracts with the company Baltstroy. The investigators call these two case “the restorers’ case” and “the Novo-Ogarevo case”.