Profile: The Son of the Infamous Ombudsman
Anastasia Khlopkova studied Anton Astakhov’s life from his Orthodox school "Golden Age," to trading on the US stock exchange, to finally the fight against pedophiles in Russia and his presidential grants.
ASTAKHOV’S GOLDEN AGE
In his early years of school, Anton Astakhov spent his time with Russia’s golden youth. No the wealthy ones who spent their parent’s fortunes in bars and clubs, but rather an Orthodox school where he was "brought up in the spirit of historical ideals of the XIX century." Until 2005, the eldest son of the lawyer, showman and ex-plenipotentiary of the president of Russia for the rights of the child Pavel Astakhov (from 2009 to 2016 - ed.) studied at the private Orthodox boarding school Retro.
"The general destruction of moral values, lack of spirituality, atheism led the creators to return to the ‘golden age’ of Russia, to try to analyze why in the century before last in Russia there were often people who amaze us today with their almost unbelievable honesty, nobility and warmth of feelings," - Retro’s school mission states on their website. One of the reasons for creating Retro and "leaving the state system" was the "lack of normal school funding." ;
The price for such an education learning of foreign languages and the foundations of Orthodoxy cost more than 400,000 rubles (tuition fees are now 480,000 rubles). Later Anton Astakhov complained in an interview that he only learned how to speak English properly when he went to an American school, which he studied at for a year. "I believe that I only spoiled my language in Russian schools. When I began to travel to America, I began to speak normally. "
With high marks and good English Anton left Russia in 2005 to study economics at Oxford University, St Clare's College (cost per year - £ 17.7 thousand). Afterwards he then continued his studies in London at Metropolitan College.
"Anton graduated from school with a medal and secretly sent the documents to Oxford College. And he, a 17-year-old boy, went to study in England. Not to do nothing, wasting father’s money but to get a good education," Pavel Astakhov said in an interview to the magazine “7 days” in 2009. According to him, Anton was already trading on the stock exchange and earning money.
In 2009, Anton entered the European School of Economics (New York). The cost of the master's program was € 45 thousand per year. Prior to that, he had worked in a development holding company of Astakhov-Sr.'s acquaintances. "The bosses were amazed and in a week trainee Anton was promoted to be assistant to the president of the holding," his father admired.
In total, Pavel Astakhov has three sons: Anton, Artem and Arseny. The middle son Artem, graduated from the “Golden Section” in 2010, a private school with international programs and in-depth study of the English language. The cost of one year is 490 thousand rubles. He received his higher education at MGIMO.
Ex-children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov opposed the adoption of Russian children by Americans in 2012 and he supported the corresponding "Dima Yakovlev’s law."
"In America, there are ranches where parents give their foster children to get rid of a child who they did not get along with," Pavel Astakhov said in 2012 about Russian children suffering on the other side of the ocean.
Somewhere at the same time, the eldest son Anton shared in a secular interview about what he was doing in the “dangerous” United States.
"When I studied in America, I really liked that the university was located on Wall Street. This is the only university on this famous street. And my friends were all brokers and traders there. Yes, I'm a trader, not a broker, " Anton shared.
Anton returned to his native Russia in 2011 and immediately became an assistant to the Commissioner for Children’s Rights, that is, his father. At that time he had just turned 23 years old. Together with his father, he went to children's correctional institutions.
"For children it is often better to be there than at home in the conditions in which they live. On their own free will, they often turn out to be worse (conditions, - auth.) than in those to which they fall when they get to the institutions of the UFSIN," the Anton reasoned in a television interview.
In April 2012, Anton had a car accident while drunk in the center of Moscow, on Tverskaya Street while driving a BMW with government special number plates and flashers. The inspector of Road Patrol Service informed the court that at the scene of the accident Anton staggered and smelled of alcohol. He also refused to take a breathalyzer test. His lawyers tried to delay the verdict for as long as possible, but the court still deprived him of his driver's license for 18 months.
Instead of punishment, Pavel made his son a partner. In June 2012 he became a member of the founders of the non-state educational institution "Legal Center of Pavel Astakhov".
In 2014, Anton purchased a 9% stake in the Regional Development Bank. Then in that year, the bank began to "serve the office of the Commissioner for the Rights of the Child, accumulating donations to families with children in the southeast of Ukraine, as well as to keep accounts of the Sevastopol Treasury." Anton sold his RDB shares on October 9, 2015, and in November the Central Bank withdrew the license from the bank.
In 2015, Anton purchased shares of Ankor Bank (9%) and Zerich (9.7%) and immediately became president of Ankor Bank, which is controlled by the chocolate factory owner Andrei Korkunov. In March 2017, the Central Bank of Russia stripped the bank of its license. In the Arbitration Court of Tatarstan, there was a lawsuit from the Central Bank and the National Bank of the Republic on the bankruptcy of Ankor.
According to Anton, he owned Zerih shares only for a few months. "I helped the bank build up a number of processes and take anti-crisis measures. I came out of this investment with a small profit,” Anton Astakhov said in commentary to RBC. After February 2016, Zerich bank ceased to issue deposits.
PEDOFILES AND SATAN’S WAY
"In principle, I am against censorship on the Internet. First of all, social networks should engage in self-cleaning, self-regulation. I am for self-regulation, because these are the organizations that are able to do this very effectively, better than policemen, prosecutors or a judge," Pavel said, expressing his opinion on Internet safety.
In the spring of 2012, Anton, together with partners, established the non-profit partnership "Monitoring Center for the Detection of Dangerous and Legally Banned Content" ("Monitoring Center"). The organization launched the "Safe Childhood" project, a federal project to combat the violation of the rights of minors and the All-Russian Volunteer Movement on Counteracting Violence Against Children "Turn over the Pedophile."
How do they find and turn over pedophiles? Activists write to the alleged "seducers of minors" on social networks, and then they transfer all the data to law enforcement agencies and publish posts with photos about these people on the website "Turn over the pedophile". In 2016, the project won a presidential grant for 6.2 million rubles. In 2017, the "Monitoring Center" will receive two presidential grants totaling 14.2 million rubles.
The owners of the Monitoring Center are Anton Astakhov, assistant to the Minister of Health of Russia Nikita Odintsov, the founder of the largest REG domain registrar Philippe Gross and Anna Levchenko, the head of the Voronezh branch of the Nashi movement (created by the Russian president's administration), blogger and public assistant of the commissioner for rights of the child. Levchenko supervises the project "Turn over the pedophile."
The "Monitoring Center" has a strong support, the organization is a part of the founders of the association "National Monitoring Center for Assistance to Missing and Affected Children." It consists of the "League of Secure Internet," connected with the Orthodox oligarch, chairman of the board of directors of GC "Tsargrad" and the general producer of the television channel "Tsargrad TV" Konstantin Malofeev.
TV presenter Vladimir Soloviev advertised the project "Turn over the pedophile," saying the activists are fighting "the way of Satan." Pavel Astakhov, who in 2015 approved of the marriage of the 46-year-old head of the police department of the Nozhai-Yurt district of Chechnya, Najud Guchigov and 17-year-old Louise (Kheda) Goilabieva, also supports the project.
Novaya Gazeta wrote that Guchigov had put an ultimatum to the Goilabiev family: either she would become his second wife voluntarily, or he would do it by force.
"There is an earlier emancipation and sexual maturation in the Caucasus, let's not be hypocrites. There are places where women are already wrinkled at the age of 27, and by our standards they look like 50-year-olds," Pavel said on that occasion.
CLEANING THE INTERNET
Anton Astakhov (@TonyRussia, Anton Ast) is inactive on social networks, his last posts appeared in 2015. On his page there are no personal photos and his profile photo is that of a shark. The only personal information listed is the names of his educational institutions. However, his business partners are more active on the Internet.
"It happened so that we are actively studying the European and American press and social networks in the past few months. I was surprised to see that several our partners, mostly from the Baltic countries and the USA, are actively promoting the term ‘Russian invader.’ Insulting term? No, not at all. The cynical and incredibly direct and unprincipled behavior of our international partners in achieving their goals has long ago created an invisible shield among us, Russians, including me,” - Anton’s partner Nikita Odintsov wrote in a Facebook post in April 2014.
Odintsov and Astakhov established LLC Modernization in 2011 (it was liquidated in September 2016). The company engaged in legal activities and accounting. The "Monitoring Center" was opened in 2012.
With the initiative of the Ministry of Communications, the "Monitoring Center" and OJSC "Tattelecom" founded the "Net Net", which was headed by Nikita Odintsov. In the same year, Odintsov joined the Coordination Council under the President of Russia for the implementation of the national strategy for children for 2012-2017. In June 2015, Nikita Odintsov was appointed Assistant to Minister of Health of Russia. He deals with issues of IT and communications, information security. He his brother Ilya Odintsov management of "Clean Internet."
The brothers Nikita and Ilya Odintsov are on the President's Council for Economic Modernization and Innovative Development (i-Russia.ru). In the group "i-Russia.ru" on the social network "Vkontakte" people discuss e-government, how to save Russia and how to modernize the countryside.
Astakhov, Jr. is listed among the founders of two more companies involved in the development of websites, LLC Institute of Modern Internet Technologies and LLC New Information Technologies. The first company was founded in 2013, Astakhov owns it together with Alexander Lapshin, a deputy director of the Information Technology and Communications Department of the Russian Ministry of Health. The second one has been operating since 2016 and belongs to Astakhov and Stanislav Pigulsky, the head of the financial control department of PJSC Gazprom Neft.
OOO Additional Reality (registered in 2015) is responsible for the development of computer software. It is owned by Anton Astakhov (15%), Tula LLC Laboratory 24 (62.5%) and LLC Ajax (22.5%).
Laboratory 24 won 10 state contracts for 15.9 million rubles. In 2011, the company made, filled and technically provided the work of the new site of the state Kremlin palace for the Russian President's property managers for 1 ruble.