воскресенье, 18 декабря 2011 г.

Moonshine tycoon and Oleg Deripaska’s right-hand man, linked to hostile takeovers


With his fraudulent development business close to collapse, Sergei Polonsky makes last desperate attempts to save himself from the debt quagmire. Polonsky has recently renamed his company for the second time. In March 2011 Mirax Group was renamed Nazvanie.Net, now the company’s name is Potok Beskonechnost (Everlasting Stream). Sergei Polonsky, who is no longer a solvent businessman, held talks to win support of officials and shadowy businessmen. Having his company one step from business failure, that was a difficult task. No one is able to save Mirax, except for a man who used to be Oleg Deripaska’s assistant in Basic Element holding. His name is Stanislav Karabut. No surprise that Polonsky and Karabut has found each other. Our investigation has found out, that Karabut and Polonsky used the same financial scheme to defraud investors. They asked for prepayments for the flats in the houses, which were under construction, and then appropriated the money, using “everlasting stream” of lies to cover up the fraud.

So meet the man who will probably take over Polonsky’s assets. Stanislav Karbut is a member of what Sergei Polonsky calls a “council of elders” - a group of influential figures protecting his fraudulent business schemes (the group also includes Andrei Kostin from VTB and presidential advisor Arkady Dvorkovich). Karabut is a second man in Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element. He was barred from entering the US on the grounds he was linked to Russian mafia.

Stanislav Karabut has gained notoriety after ripping off thousands of co-investors in Stroiintercomplex, a Mirax Group counterpart in Southern Russia. He promised local authorities that he would finish the developments, his company had started, but in the end stripped the company of the most valuable assets, leaving people without flats or hopes they would ever get their money back. Before Stroiinercomplex, he ruined Rospechat, Russian successful newsagents’ chain. And before Rospechat he was a moonshine dealer, selling illegal spirits with a group of crooks, whom he now calls “business partners”.


In 1991 Stanislav Karabut and his brother Pavel set up a cooperative company called Engineer-89. Despite its name, the company was engaged in half legal wholesale of beer and strong spirits. The person who helped Karabut brothers was a Ter-Grigoryan.

“The activities of Stas [Stanislav] Karabut and his friend Kostya [Konstantin] Vragov were not even murky, they were totally dark. They paid the suppliers, customers and lessors with solid cash, without keeping the books. They did not pay taxes. The employees received backdoor salary. They saved on the staff. They hired people and then sacked them. It was terrible! Everyone understood it could not last for ever,” says a victim of Karabut, who dealt with him at the time.

“Karabut and Vragov would close a company as soon as tax authorities or police interfered to probe into it, and then they would set up another company that used absolutely same schemes. They did not pay debts. Their companies owed to suppliers and lessors, as well as customers, who prepaid their orders. It was impossible to get money back”.

In the 1990s Karabut founded the following companies: Antero, Stroun, Russian-American Company, West LTD, Orient LTD, Valkyrie, Avintekh, Ristar+, Invest and so on. Karabut and Vragov also operated a dozen of front companies that left behind an enormous debt. The couple of crooks had a person to design a legal framework for their activities. It was Alexei Plotnikov, a co-founder of Ristar+. But very soon he exhausted his talent. In the late 90s the police of Moscow region opened a criminal case against Plotnikov. He was accused of the charges under Article 327 of the Criminal Code, i.e. forgery of documents and stamps. After he fled, the court issued an arrest warrant and a few years after he was locked down.


Reg. no., given to the entity by MRP: 105866

Full name: Risatar+ Limited Liability Company

Short Name: Ristar+

Registered at: 14/Jan/1997

Registered in: S32

Type of company: LLC

OKPO classificatory code: 45167766

Tax authority: [28] Soth-Eastern Circuit Cheremushkinskaya

Post Code: 117437

Address: Main Office, 31/3 Akademika Volgina Street, Moscow

Telephone: 9306346

Director: Grigorenko A.A.

Authorized Capital Stock: 10,000,000 roubles

Bank account: Yakimanka Bank, settlement account no. 6467318

Founders: 1 legal person and 3 natural persons

Staff: 0

SOOGU code: 7794

SOATO code: 293566

KOPF code: 65

KSF code: 16

Key activities: supplying

The data was verified at: 30/Jan/1997


Current Status:

Industry Classification Standard: 71100

Industry Classification Standard: 71200

Industry Classification Standard: 71500

Industry Classification Standard: 80400

Industry Classification Standard: 81200

Industry Classification Standard: 84500

Industry Classification Standard: 84300

Industry Classification Standard: 72200


Registration Certificate no. BI 7956 issued 30/Jan/1997


*** Founders - Legal persons ***

Name: Klin Kombinat JSC

Reg. no.: 0

OKPO classificatory code: 36506554

Type of the founder: legal person registered in another city

Post Code: 366720

Address: 3, Fabrichnaya Street, Nazran

Type of company code: 0

Assessed contribution share: 0

Assessed contribution: 0

Including cash: 0

The data verified 30/Jan/1997

Status: Active


*** Founders - Natural persons ***

Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Karabut Stanislav Valentinovich

Passport: XXVIII-MYu 569046 issued by 134 Moscow police dep. 17/Jun/1981

Post Code: 111111

Address: 11/2-44, I. Babushkina Street, Moscow

Assessed contribution share: 0

Assessed contribution: 0

Including cash: 0

The data verified 30/Jan/1997

Status: Valid


*** Founders - Natural persons ***

Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Vragov Konstantin Mikhailovich

Passport: XXIX-MYu 558031 issued by 120 Moscow police dep. 01/Jan/1982

Post Code: 111111

Address: 6/1-26, Kedrova Street, Moscow

Assessed contribution share: 0

Assessed contribution: 0

Including cash: 0

The data verified 30/Jan/1997

Status: Valid


*** Founders - Natural persons ***

Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Plotnikov Alexei Nikolaevich

Passport: I-LB 639537 issued by Solnechnogorsky District (Moscow region) police department 21/Sept/1996

Post Code: 111111

Address: 2a/3, Tsentralnaya Street, Solnechnogorsk-2, Moscow Region

Assessed contribution share: 0

Assessed contribution: 0

Including cash: 0

The data verified 30/Jan/1997

Status: Valid





First Name…..ALEXEI


Date of birth…..1960/05/07

Passport series…..01LB

Passport no…..639537

Place of birth…..KUYBYSHEV Kuybyshev Region


Data verified…..2003/09/17

Place of birth…..CHEBOKSARY Chuvash ASSR


Passport…..01-LB 639537


Wanted Fugitives List

Initiator: Solnechnogorsk (Moscow Region) police dep. (GUVD for Moscow Region)

Category: Fugitive

Warrant issued: 13/Feb/2001

Last seen in: Klin (Moscow Region)

Charges: Article 327.2

Must be arrested if caught


A source told Rumafia.com that Karabut and Vragov used their companies to wholesale moonshine. The number of cash and carry wholesalers they operated skyrocketed, and the couple set up a holding company, which coordinated the activities of legal and front companies. This company was called Russian Company. Vragov was a financial director, whereas Karabut chose to become a “chairman of the board of founders” (very much alike Sergei Polonsky, who holds a post of “chairman of the council of shareholders” in his kingdom of 150 offshore companies).

At a certain point in time, Vragov and Karabut decided to expand, and bought Zagorodny Distillery near Ryazan, a native city of Vragov. Now they could produce their own spirits. Vragov became a chairman of the board, Karabut member of the board. The partners began to earn some real cash. Hundreds of rail tank cars, carrying illegally produced spirits, headed from Ryazan to every destination in Russia, first of all to the North Caucasus. A few years after Vragov and Karabut bought the distillery, the FSNP (tax authority) got alarmed and initiated a probe into two businessmen. A whole chapter in the report, prepared by the FSNP at the time, is dedicated to the activities of Vragov and Karabut.

“In 1995 the tax authorities in the field of alcohol market unmasked so called pseudoexport or fake export scheme. The scheme involved forging customs papers. In fact the goods did not even reach the Russian boarders and were sold inside the country. Sometimes the goods were imported, but only partially with the bulk of it sold in Russia. The scheme included a number of middle companies which made it complex and difficult to detect”.

“For instance, the investigative department of the FSNP directorate for Ryazan Region opened a criminal case no. 199272407 into what appeared to be fake export deal. Zagorodny Distillery AOOT stroke a deal with Lithuania’s Noroklis. The distillery committed itself to supply the Lithuanian company with 8172.3 decilitres of ethanol. In fact, the cargo did not reach Lithuania. It was unloaded in the Moscow region. The distillery used tax privileges (lower rate of excise duties and WAT) for the goods, aimed at export. The deal to sell methanol to local companies was thus disguised as an export deal. In the end, the ethanol was sold in black market”.

The police opened dozens of investigations of the cases, which involved illegal spirits produced by Zagorodny Distillery. According to the FSNP, the police in Dagestan opened a criminal case no.08/14-155 after the agents detained a few tank cars with unregistered alcohol. Karabut and Vragov were suspects in such cases, and they paid a lot of money in the form of bribes to escape punishments.


===Road Police Moscow 2006 Administrative Offence===


Date: 05/Sept/2001

Surname: KARABUT


Patronimic name: VALENTINOVICH

Date of birth: 29/Jan/1965

Vehicle registration number: B463BB77


Region: 0

District: 0

City: Moscow

Street: Babushkina

Building: 11/2

Flat: 44


Karabut and Vragov sold the majority of the production of their distillery to North Ossetia, the “motherland of moonshine”. This explains the fact that the next step in Stanislav Karabut’s career was his joining Baltorg OOO in 2003. Baltorg was the largest wholesaler of Baltika Brewery. And Baltika was headed by Taimuraz Bolloev, an Ossetia native. Although the officials of Baltorg used to say that their company was a daughter of Baltika, in fact Baltika had nothing to do with it. Baltorg was a shadowy company, which Baltika, “brewery no.1 in Russia”, owned by Danish Carlsberg, used in its half murky deals.

The following people were the founders of Baltorg: Stanislav Karabut, Bolloev’s friend Isa Kharsiev, a businessman from Ingushetia, linked to the mafia, and Aleksandr Totoonov, now a deputy chairman of the government of North Ossetia. There was one more founder - Arkady Edziyev. But he did not succeed. After leaving Baltorg, he dealt in cars and then looked on the internet for a job with “at least $2,000 a month”.

According to a source, Baltorg was involved in the same schemes as Karabut and Vragov’s previous companies. But now the fraud was large-scale.

In 2004-2005 Stanislav Karabut was a director general of Baltika-Moscow OOO, then he joined oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element.



Unified State Registration for Legal Persons 2010 02


Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Karabut Stanislav Valentinovich

Assessed contribution: 1000 roubles

Legal Person Name: BALTORG OOO

Basic State Registration number: 1037705023070

Registered at 27/Mar/2003


Baltorg OOO, Basic State Registration Number: 1037705023070, VATIN: 7705492675, terminated its activities after a merger in October 2008



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Kharsiyev Isa Akhetovich 


Assessed contribution: 4500 roubles



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Totoonov Aleksandr Borisovich


Assessed contribution: 3500 roubles



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Karabut Stanislav Valentinovich


Assessed contribution: 1000 roubles



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Edziev Arkady Albertovich


Assessed contribution: 1000 roubles




Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Kharsiyev Isa Akhetovich 


Assessed contribution: 4500 roubles



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Totoonov Aleksandr Borisovich


Assessed contribution: 3500 roubles



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Karabut Stanislav Valentinovich

VATIN: 772803182242 

Assessed contribution: 1000 roubles



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Edziev Arkady Albertovich

VATIN: 770100973984

Assessed contribution: 1000 roubles



Despite having high position in Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element, Karabut continues setting up murky cash-and-carries together with Vragov. Now he uses his wife, Irina Sergeevna Karabut, as a front man.


Basic State Registration number: 1037705023070

VATIN: 7733503784

Full name of the legal person: Klinskoye Beer Limited Liability Company

Short name of the legal person: Klinskoye Beer LLC

The company’s name: Klinskoye Beer Limited Liability Company

Valid: 22/Aug/2003-23/Dec/3002


Registered at 22/Aug/2003


-Address of the legal entity-

Valid: 22/Aug/2003-23/Dec/3002

Address: 125362 Russia building 18, Svobody Street, Moscow

Telephone: 9390410



Registration Number: 1037739833361

Registered at 21/Sept/2003

Type: registered as newly established

Licence no: 77 N 005968032

Registration body: Inter-district tax authority no.39 in Moscow


Registered at 22/Sept/2003

Type: reregistering

Registration body: tax inspectorate of the tax ministry no.33 in North-Western District of Moscow


Registered at 21/Sept/2003

Type: the documents sent to another registration body

Registration body: Inter-district tax authority no.39 in Moscow


-Authorized capital stock-

Valid: 22/Aug/2003-23/Dec/3002

10000 roubles


-Affiliated natural persons-

Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Vragov Konstantin Mikhailovich 

Status: Founder

Assessed contribution: 3400 roubles



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Karabut Irina Sergeevna 

Status: Director General



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Ilyichev Vladimir Petrovich 

Status: Founder

Assessed contribution: 3300 roubles



Family Name/First Name/Patronimic: Karabut Irina Sergeevna 

Status: Founder

Assessed contribution: 3300 roubles




Until recently the shadowy wholesalers had a parent company called Klin Kombinat, and a number of front companies, including Logistics Center, Evraservis, Extrim, Vostok-distribution, Klinprodbaza, Linkor etc. Although criminal 90s passed, the companies used the same methods: payments in solid cash, tax evasion, backdoor salary etc. They also used to put the company’s debt on a employee, when he or she enrolled to the company.

From time to time, the companies disappeared, leaving behind enormous debt. In 2009 all companies, operated by Karabut and Vragov, announced they went bankrupt. Karabut and Vragov opened new ones. Now it is Smart Logistics System LLC that operates the holding. The founders of the company are Irina Karabut, Konstantin Vragov and a shadowy businessman Igor Kuyda.

Kuyda used to be on board of the number of oil refineries, rare-earth metals and magnesium companies. He has been linked to organised crime groups and embroided in scandals. The police suspected him of contract killings. It is likely that Kuyda introduced Karabut to Oleg Deripaska.  


Organization name:   SMART LOGISTICS SYSTEM, LLC

Registration no.: 1055011322915

Tax identification no.: 5003055261/500301001

Current State: Active 20 July 2005

Registration date: 20 July 2005

Information on registration: Federal Tax Service Moscow region Interdistrict Inspection № 14;


 (Р11001) Legal Person Establishment (valid entry)

Registered at: Federal Tax Service Moscow region Interdistrict Inspection № 14

Registration no.: 1055011322915

Registration date: 20 July 2005;


Unified State Register of Companies information on registration with taxation authorities (valid entry)

Registered at: Federal Tax Service Moscow region Interdistrict Inspection № 14

Registration no.: 2055011323024

Registration date: 20 July 2005;


Key activities:   

Agency in wholesaling (for a fee or on a contract basis);

Agency in wholesaling of construction materials;

Agency in wholesaling of furniture, household wares, hardware, etc.;

Agency in wholesaling of food ware;

Agency in wholesaling of drinks;

Agency in wholesaling of pharmaceutical, medical, perfumery products, including soap;

Agency in wholesaling of paper, paper products;

Retailing of food ware, including drinks and tobacco;

Retailing of pharmaceutical, medical, perfumery products and cosmetics;

Retailing of clothing;

Retailing of furniture and household wares;

Retailing of construction materials;

Retailing of stationary products;

Retailing of nonfood consumer goods;

Retailing of household cleaning products, wallpaper;

Cargo vehicles;

Cargo transportation;

Product storage;

Other transportation-related activities;

Transportation management


Legal form of organization: Limited Liability Company


Address: 1А, Vokzalnaya Ulitsa, Vidnoye, Leningrad district of Moscow region, 142700

Permanent executive body address


Natural persons acting on behalf of the company:



Russian internal passport: 45 04 714479 ISSUED on 14 April 2003 by OVD Dorogomilovo Moscow ADDRESS: 2, PLOSHCHAD POBEDY, building 2, apartment 386, Moscow, 121293



Number of individual founders: 3


 Individual founder (1): KARABUT, IRINA SERGEYEVNA

Stock (RUB): 13200

Russian internal passport: 45 04 714479 ISSUED on 14 April 2003 by OVD Dorogomilovo Moscow ADDRESS: 2, PLOSHCHAD POBEDY, building 2, apartment 386, Moscow, 121293

Individual founder (2): KUIDA IGOR ANATOLIEVICH

Stock (RUB): 13200

Russian internal passport: 45 00 453582 ISSUED on 30 January 2001 by OVD Prospekt Vernadskogo Moscow ADDRESS: 85, ULITSA UDALTSOVA, building 1, apartment 131, Moscow 119607;


Stock (RUB): 13600

Russian internal passport: 45 06 301670 SSUED on 14 August 2003 by Akademichesky district OVD South-West District UVD, Moscow ADDRESS: 6, ULITSA KEDROVA, building 1, apartment 26, Moscow, 117292


Additional Information:                   


Authorized capital information *******************************

 Authorized capital: 40000


Information on the Legal Person *******************************

Registration no.: 1055011322915

Registration date: 20 July 2005

Registered at: Federal Tax Service Moscow region Interdistrict Inspection № 14



In Basic Element Karabut was entrusted with many unofficial projects. In particular, for a long time he supervised activities of the company in the south, first of all in Krasnodar region. In 2006-2008 this region was in the focus of Basic Element business interests and the company did much to establish relations with the local authorities. Karabut’s activities had the following results.

Karabut joined Rospechat JSC board as Basic Element representative and became the chairman. First of all, he paid attention to the development of the southern regions. In 2010 30 members of Rospechat Krasnodar branch, which had an annual turnover of 1.5 billion rubles, wrote a statement to DEB at the Ministry of the Interior. In the statement they pointed out that Karabut ensured that the position of Rospechat local branch head was filled with Nikolai Cherkashin, and that his "right hand" was Sergei Krupetsky, who was freed after serving an 8-year prison sentence for taking bribes only recently.

They were responsible, as Rospechat employees claimed in the statement, for the fact that a single year deficit (in fact - the stolen proceeds) from sale of printed matter amounted to 2 million rubles. Another 9 million rubles were stolen thought irregularities in paying the VAT and 10 million rubles were spent on some projects related to furniture manufacturing.  A couple of million disappeared in the purchase of kiosks, etc. Moreover, all these expenses and budget gaps are approved by Moscow office.

Another Karabut’s project in the region was funding the football club Kuban. Stanislav Karabut joined the board of FC Kuban, and before the 2007 season it was announced that the team would receive extremely high funding it had never had before and thus would nearly be able to play in Premier League. In December 2007 Karabut’s activities in Kuban revealed arrears of wages and transfers exceeding $ 30 million, salary defaults for players reaching six months. The team was saved from bankruptcy with great difficulty. Clearly, without Karabut.

Basic Element deputy director’s major project in Krasnodar region was the "assistance" to interest holders in Stroyinterkompleks, a southern analogue of Sergei Polonsky’s Mirax Group. Management of the company had collected money from people for their apartments in the buildings under construction. Only some of the buildings were finished, after which it became clear that all shareholders funds were gone. Deceived co-investors began to arrange meetings and pickets, and to block the streets. In short, they became quite a problem for local authorities.

Basic Element was asked for assistance. Deripaska, the CEO, agreed, but in return the businessmen demanded a number of sites for future construction. After receiving consent, Basic Element sent Stanislav Karabut to work on the project. In 2007 he personally signed an agreement stipulation the participation of RAINCO group of companies (a subsidiary of Basic Element) in the project for its completion. In this regard, local police lifted arrests on Stroyinterkompleks property and assets on the initiative of Evlanov, Krasnodar head.

Results of Karabut’s "assistance" to co-investors are the following. RAINCO did not even try to obtain permission for further construction of the buildings. When Stroyinterkompleks lease of land with unfinished buildings expired, RAINCO did not extend it. RAINCO concluded a new agreement with the co-investors, in which their legal rights were seriously violated. In particular, the document had no specified date for the completion of construction.

As a result, interest holders cannot register their agreements with justice department. Two RAINCO subsidiaries, namely Ru development and Geo-resource, signed contracts with Stroyinterkompleks for legal, consulting, accounting, and other services. Since Stroyinterkompleks simply had no money, it accumulated a great debt to the RAINCO subsidiaries, and therefore a second bankruptcy procedure was initiated for the company that already was bankrupt. To cover the debt to RAINCO subsidiaries they used shopping complex Kontinent with the adjacent territory, one of Stroyinterkompleks few unencumbered assets which at the time had no arrest on it. None of the buildings was completed and none of the co-investors received their apartments.

At the same time in March 2008 as part of agreements with Basic Element, Karabut signed an agreement with the leadership of Krasnodar to implement two projects in the downtown. The first concerned the resettlement of residents from emergency dilapidated houses, demolition of such houses, and construction of office and hotel complex. The second concerned construction of an office building.

That is, the local authorities fulfilled their promises. And Karabut literally gutted the already financially ravaged Stroyinterkompleks, left co-investors empty-handed, did not complete a single project, and then in 2009 Basic Element announced its pull-out from the project because ... region authorities allegedly failed to fulfill their promises. All this triggered a new wave of unrest and protests in Krasnodar. Local police department started pre-investigation probes into RAINCO. Now it is Sergei Polonsky who drew Karabut to solving problems with unfinished buildings. It is clear what fate awaits co-investors in Mirax Group projects. See the story of Krasnodar real estate co-investors.




Attorney General of the Russian Federation

 Governor of Krasnodar Region

 Prosecutor of Krasnodar Region

 Head of Krasnodar Municipal District

 Western District Prosecutor

Kirichenko S.V., Investigator of OVD Investigative department under GU MVD of Russia in Southern Federal District


On behalf of thousands of Stroyinterkompleks LLC defrauded interest holders our Action Team requests a re-audit of financial activities of the company’s investor, RAINCO, concerning all matters stated in the appeal made on 11 April 2009.

 In connection with Stroyinterkompleks LLC for the second time initiating bankruptcy proceedings scheduled for court hearing for 25 November 2009, we believe the bankruptcy to be intentional and thus falling under Art. 196 of the Criminal Code, as on 20 January 2009 the first bankruptcy proceedings forced upon us in 2006 were terminated through settlement agreement.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the investor sold in the first place the most valuable asset of the company, namely Trud stadium; funds allocated for the completion of our houses were misused. As of today, not a single building has been completed and the firm has accumulated millions of debt.

Currently bankruptcy process engaged another asset, Kontinent copmlex, which the company has already started to sell privately. The completion of the houses we have invested in is now out of the question.

We kindly ask you to give legal assessment of RAINCO illegal raider actions against Stroyinterkompleks and to protect the constitutional rights of defrauded shareholders.


21 November 2009


The Russian Federation Prosecutor’s Office

The prosecutor's office in Krasnodar region, Krasnodar,

39, Sovetskaya Ulitsa, Krasnodar, Russia, 350063, tel. 268-50-01, fax 268-26-47


On № 7/1-402-2010, 18 June 2010 


The State Duma of the Russian Federation forwarded your statement on Stroyintrekompleks LLC illegal activities and other issues to the prosecutor's office. The statement has been reviewed.

It is established that the Arbitration Court of Krasnodar region ruled on 20 January 2009 to terminate bankruptcy proceedings for Stroyinterkompleks LLC, which carries out the construction of apartment buildings using co-investment program, in connection with reaching the settlement agreement on 19 December 2008. The court assessed the settlement agreement in terms of compliance with the norms of applicable law, as well as with the interests of the debtor, creditors, and other parties involved in the bankruptcy case.

The Arbitration Court of Krasnodar region had received statements from Stroyinterkompleks LLC creditors with appeals to recognize the company bankrupt, which are currently pending.

Prosecution authorities in the region are currently conducting a probe into Stroyinterkompleks aimed at verification whether the company complied with the legislation on insolvency (bankruptcy) when initiating bankruptcy proceedings.

Information contained in the statement concerning the illegal sale of Stroyinterkompleks LLC assets and the company’s share in the group of companies RAINCO, as well as illegal actions by E. Z. Kesati, Sinitsov, M. E. Afanasiev, D. Y. Mikhailenko, contributed to the change of founders of the company, provides grounds for conducting checks under Articles 144 and 145 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code that are currently carried out by Krasnodar Regional Department of the Interior. Previous court rulings have been canceled.

Enclosed please find copies of the documents you have sent with the statement.


Enclosed: 51 pages.


Karsnodar Region Prosecutor L. Kh. Korzhinek


Baturin’s claims for Inteco purchase rejected


The Arbitration Court of Moscow City has rejected Viktor Baturin’s suit against Elena Baturina and Inteco Closed JSC.

Mr Baturin claimed he had the right to purchase the company. On 7 December BINGroup co-owner Mikhail Shishkhanov bought 100% of shares of Inteco Closed JSC, Patriot Closed JSC and all sub-companies, operated by Inteco. Shishkhanov bought 95% of shares. Sberbank Investments acquired the remaining 5%. The price the purchasers paid for Baturina’s assets is not revealed. However it might have been lower compared to the initial price tag of $1.2 billion, taking into consideration an enormous debt Mrs Baturina had to pay.

Mr Baturin claimed that he owned 25% of shares of Inteco, which gave him the preference to buy the company in the first place. The plaintiff proved that Mr Baturin acquired only 1% of the shares from Baturina on 28 May 2002, but then he conceded the shares on 20 March 2006 and later on Baturina retrieved them. The court established that Mr Baturin’s evidence was false.

On 23 December the same court hears one more suit filed by Mr Baturin who claims the deal to sell Inteco was illegal.

RIA Novosti

Details revealed about Chechen leader passion for horses


For long, horses have been a Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s passion. Kadyrov pays millions to keep his stable of the thoroughbreds and race them.

One of his first acquisitions was Established Gold, which he purchased for a reported $300,000. And it was nothing compared to $10 million he invested into building a brand new racing course in Grozny, main city of Chechnya. The hippodrome, built within a short period of time, was completed right in time to celebrate Kadyrov’s 31st birthday in 2007.

In 2007 Kadyrov spent a reported $4 million to buy Gitano Hernando. He paid the same price for Sweet Ducky, which U.S. officials barred from racing.

It is difficult to say how many horses are there in Kadyrov’s stable. Reports say about 50-55 horses, most notably: Bankable, Mourilyan, Gitano Hernando, Sweet Ducky, Baritone, Established Gold, Hergibas, Storn Chipaza, Royal Quiet, Galtan, Dorian Crown, Khwarazm, Bronze Canon, and Mikhail Glinka. According to sources, Kadyrov has been licensed to race in the UK, UAE, South Africa, Australia and Hong Kong.

Keeping one horse costs something from $1,800-$3,200 a month. This includes wages to trainer and vet, forage, trimming and so on. If we assume Kadyrov has 50 stallions and spends only $1,500 a month on each, it will give a sum of $75,000 a month or $0,9 million a year.

It is rather expensive to race a horse either. If a stallion competes in London, the round trip will cost $10,000. Taking horse abroad means paying for quarantine, paperwork, forage and so on. This will add $3,000. The trip to the USA, or Australia will cost several times more.

Kadyrov’s official salary is slightly less than $4,500 a month, or $54,000 a year.

His stallions sometimes win large prizes. For instance, Gitano Hernando came sixth in Dubai World Cup this year, bringing Kadyrov $200,000. However, the leader of Chechnya said that all money, except payments to the trainer and jockey, went to a Chechen-based charity. Named after Kadyrov's father, Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation is chaired by his mother.


Germany Steps Up Russian Money Launder Probe


German prosecutors indicted five men, including four German banking executives, on charges of laundering $150 million for a former Russian telecommunications minister in one of the highest-level criminal probes of a Russian official outside Russia.

The indictments follow a six-year investigation into allegations that four current or former Commerzbank AG executives and a Danish lawyer assisted former Russian telecommunications minister Leonid Reiman in selling telecommunications assets he allegedly controlled in offshore companies, while concealing who the true owner was.

From 1996 to 2001, the German bank held the telecom assets in trust for a Danish lawyer, Jeffrey Galmond. Prosecutors contend Galmond acted as a front for Reiman, who, they say, had converted telecom businesses from state ownership to that of a number of foreign companies that Reiman allegedly set up and controlled after the collapse of communism in the 1990s.

The probe has continued for years. In 2006, prosecutors closed a parallel investigation against then-Commerzbank CEO Klaus-Peter Müller, saying they didn't find evidence of criminal behavior on his part. In January 2008, Commerzbank accepted a Frankfurt civil-court verdict that ordered the bank to pay €7.3 million ($9.6 million).

None of the indicted present or former Commerzbank officials responded to requests to comment.

Prosecutors said in a statement that they are continuing a parallel investigation into Reiman, one of the highest-level Russian officials to face a criminal probe outside of Russia. The former minister has repeatedly denied allegations of money laundering and said he didn't own the stakes in telecommunication assets under investigation.


Two top figures in Kommersant sacked over journalism ethics


Kommersant publishing house owner and oligarch Alisher Usmanov has fired the holding’s CEO Andrei Galiev and editor-in-chief of Kommersant Vlast weekly Maksim Kovalsky after they published materials, relating to the State Duma elections.

Gazeta.Ru quotes Alisher Usmanov, who has never interfered in the editorial policies before, as saying that the materials in question “are comparable to hooliganism”. Kommersant published offensive remarks, targeting prime minister Vladimir Putin.

In November 2011 Roman Badanin, the deputy editor-in-chief of Gazeta.Ru, which is also a part of Kommersant holding, resigned after he refused to post a commercial banner of the ruling United Russia party.

Director general of Kommersant publishing house Demiyan Kudryavtsev has also asked for a resignation. The issue will be addressed at the next meeting of shareholders.

Deputy editor-in-chief of Kommersant Vlast Veronika Kutsyllo said that the staff had expected changes in the editorial board, because Usmanov for long had been dissatisfied with the work of the journalists.


Will Golikova be shown the door?


The police in St Petersburg have arrested a top official of the country’s public health ministry. Natalia Tochilova headed a high-tech medical equipment department. The police say she is linked to so-called CAT scanners case.

Tochilova allegedly acted in the interest of a private company, supplying two overpriced CAT scanners to Turner Children Orthopaedics Institute - St Petersburg-based state research center and hospital. Tochilova’s arrest deepened the health ministry corruption scandal. The question arises: could Tochilina devise a scheme to supply the state hospital with overpriced medical equipment without minister Tatiana Golikova’s consent?

According to the reports, the ministry has recently stroke over 170 CAT scanners supply deals, under which the state paid $7.5 billion for the equipment. The official’s kickback is estimated to reach $55 million for a single contract. The police opened over 2,500 administrative cases and 15 criminal cases, involving fraudulent CAT scanners supply contracts.

Corruption affects the work of the ministry from top to bottom, according to sources. The Prosecutor General has publicly accused the ministry of collusion with the suppliers of medicine.

The head of scandal-hit ministry is rumored to retire in nearest future. Viktor Khristenko, Golikova’s alleged political godfather and husband, is said to leave his post in the cabinet of ministers to join the Commission of Euroasian Union, a counterpart of the EU Commission. His new post will make him less influential figure, Khristenko says.

The Moscow Post

Vekselberg embittered without veto


Viktor Vekselberg and Leonid Blavatnik’s SUAL Partners can sue Oleg Deripaska for breaching a shareholders’ agreement. Deripaska’s United Co. RusAl is reported to have overridden the objections of other shareholders in planning to sign a long-term contract to sell 80% of its export of aluminum to Glencore International Plc., which owns 8.75% stake in RusAl. The board of RusAl approved the contract in November.

RusAl exports about 70% of its aluminum, which will give Glencore control of more than half of the company’s sales, according to Rumafia.

SUAL Partners, which holds over 15.8% of the aluminum producer, vetoed the deal with Glencore on grounds that RusAl, headed by Oleg Deripaska, who owns 47.41% of its shares, made a contract offer to
Glencore without tender or bidding from other traders. In accordance with the shareholders’ agreement, Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Group, which holds 17.02% stake in RusAl, also vetoed the deal, despite the company’s initial wish to approve it. On the contrary, Deripaska’s company breached the shareholders’ agreement by approving the deal.

The contract between RusAl and Glencore has not been signed yet, and so far the deal has not infringed damages on RusAl shareholders. However, SUAL has announced its concerns. The parties will try to resolve the conflict, according to internal procedures. If it is not done until the end of December, SUAL Parners will bring the case to the court.


вторник, 6 декабря 2011 г.

Yabloko inspired by a landslide in London


For the first time in recent years turnout at the Russian State Duma elections in the UK exceeded 2 thousand voters and was as high as 2,208 people. 1,745 voted in the embassy in London, 307 in the trade mission in London, and the rest of 156 people in the consulate general in Edinburgh.

With the votes counted in all three polling stations, Yabloko garnered 906 votes (41%), the Communists 436 votes (19.7%), Just Russia 348 votes (15.8%), United Russia 233 (10.6%), and nationalistic LDPR 159 (7.2%). Yabloko is wildly seen as a party of impoverished intelligentsia, which uses the rhetoric of social democrats and is in favour of market economy.

In Russia Yabloko enjoyed more moderate support. The party garnered far less than 7% of votes, which gives a party representation in the State Duma. The party leaders said they were ready to contest the State Duma results.

“Without doubts, we will contests the outcome of the elections. We are getting ready to take steps. We will announce what we are going to do next after the official results of the elects come through,” said Grigory Yavlinsky, co-founder of Yabloko.

He said that the party had serious reasons to disagree with the results. Yavlinsky added that Yabloko would continue working despite the defeat.

“The support of voters tells us that we have to continue our work, regardless of the figures they will give us tomorrow in the morning,” said Yavlinsky, referring to the official announcement of the results.


Saving swindler Glukhovskoi


An agent of Royal Thai Police reported that there was an Interpol wanted Russian criminal living in the country, Rumafia.com reports. The police put him under surveillance. Matching his photograph with the information from the Interpol Wanted Fugitive List, the police identified this individual with Russian native Aleksandr Glukhovskoi.

Glukhovskoi was put on Interpol wanted list for fraud and forgery after Moscow’s Ostankinsky Court issued an arrest warrant against him.

Thai police detained Glukhovskoi for not carrying an identity on him and reluctance to give his name. The detainee was transferred to Nathon, the main city of Samui island, and handed over to the officers of the Immigration Bureau.

Two lawyers turned up at bureau, saying they were representatives of the detainee. They presented a RF foreign passport with the visa of Thailand, issued at the border with Cambodia. The passport was that of 41-year-old Aleksandr Matveev, not 44-year-old Aleksandr Glukhovskoi. The police suspected forgery, and asked Russian consulate to validate authenticity of the passport and help them identify the detainee. The consulate reaction was “unexplainable”, the police of Thailand said. Russian diplomats refused to cooperate and advised that the police asked Russian Prosecutor General’s Office through diplomatic channels.

Unable to validate the authenticity of the passport, which the lawyers claimed was authentic, the police set free Aleksandr Glukhovskoi. After 48-hour detention he was released and departed in unknown direction.

Russian consul in Thailand Andrei Dvornikov refused to comment on the information about alleged Aleksandr Glukhovsky’s detention.


среда, 30 ноября 2011 г.

Legal eagles are requested to stay out of Mirax


Moscow offices of two international legal firms, Herbert Smith LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP, have received a letter from non-commercial partnership for protection of the rights of co-investors in Fort Kutuzov residential development project, Russian business news TV channel RBK daily reports. Fort Kutuzov co-investors asks legal firms to stop assisting bankrupt billionaire Sergei Polonsky's Avanta OOO in negotiations over debt restructuring of NAZVANIE.NET company (former Mirax Group).

In 2005 Avanta OOO struck a deal with FCSR Closed JSC, under which Avanta invested into FCSR residential development project called Fort Kutuzov in Moscow in exchange for the housing premises when the development is completed. In 2010 FCSR terminated the deal, says chairman of FCSR Petr Ivanov.

Co-investors believe that Avanta can not act as a guarantor of the debt of NAZVANIE.NET because «the company owes over 5.7 billion roubles (142.5 million euros) to private investors who made pre-payments for their flats». In their view, the lawyers devises a «legal framework» to make Avanta unliable for its debt obligations.

«Contact Mirax Group for comments», RBK daily was told by Herbert Smith CIS LLP. Later on Herbert Smith said they had not received the letter.

Latham&Watkins were unavailable for comments. Asked by RBK daily correspondent, the secretary refused to put him through to a person in charge.

Dmitry Uchitel, chairman of the partnership for protection of the rights of co-investors in Fort Kutuzov, told RBK daily that the letter had been sent first-class and the copy of it was available on the internet. «If they say they haven't received it, they are stretching the truth,» Uchitel said.

«If facts of unethical conduct come throught, the firms are likely to face expulsion from the International Bar Association at most. Membership in the IBA gives status to the firm. They can spoil their reputation and lose clients. But it will happen if the case receives publicity and not here, but in London», said Yuri Nikolayev, head of Moscow's Nikolayev and Partners firm.

The copies have been sent to the Prosecutor General's offices and the IBA in order to see whether the actions of the foreign law firms are honest.


Baturin held for forging promissory notes


Viktor Baturin was detained on Monday by Moscow police on charges of huge fraud after chief investigative directorate within GU MVD for Moscow opened an investigation into what appears to be a crime under Article 159.30 and 40 of the RF Crime Code, i.e. attempted large-scale


Baturin is reported by Rumafia.com to have been arrested in his Moscow office. Baturin, who is the brother-in-law of former Moscow mayor, is suspected of an attempt to sell forged promissory notes of Inteco-Agro and Inteco company to a British investor for 5.5 billion roubles ($180
m). Earlier a note of Inteco was called by Rosagrolising company to cover for buying gricultural machinery and cattle, but it turned out that the note was fake. It took time to clear things up with the note, and the police did not announce Baturin's detention.

By Russian law Baturin can be held in custody for 48 hours only, but it is likely that the court will issue an arrest warrant against him. The investigation into Baturin is led by the same police unit which probed into the recent real estate scam.


Yusufov denied Medvedev’s link to Bank of Moscow takeover


Former advisor to the RF president Igor Yusufov denied allegations made by former president of Bank of Moscow Andrei Borodin. Borodin is quoted as saying that Yusufov bought Borodin’s stake in Bank of Moscow on Medvedev’s orders, in a move he described as politically motivated.

“In the situation surrounding Bank of Moscow I acted on my own initiatives and did not receive any instructions. I firmly believe that the former banker is now trying to make it look like as if there was politics in the case. I would not believe a word of a suspect in the major criminal case, who is wanted by Interpol,” Yusufov said.

Yusufov said that when he had told Borodin about “establishing the financial empire for a young man” he referred to Vitaly Yusufov, his son, not president Medvedev.

“I am not going to establish an empire, but I am glad to support business projects of my son and ready to share with him my expertise,” Igor Yusufov said.

After state-run VTB bank took over Bank of Moscow it emerged that there was a significant hole in its assets. It received a huge bailout from the state.


Khodorkovsky’s associate wants leniency without repentance


Former head of Menatep Group Platon Lebedev, jailed to 13 years in prison for embezzlement of large sum of money from selling oil and money laundering, has appealed against the legal provision requiring convicts to plea guilty before asking for parole.

Lebedev appealed to the Constitution Court of the Russian Federation, demanding that certain articles of the Penitentiary Code be considered unconstitutional. According to the Article 175.1 of the Code, convicts can apply for parole after pleading guilty and covering damages, at least partially. Lebedev submitted request for parole, but a court rejected it, ruling that he had not pleaded guilty and had not covered the damages voluntary. Lebedev’s lawyers say that he has never pleaded guilty and that the demand for such a plea goes against his constitutional right not to testify against himself.

Earlier the court rejected a complaint against Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s guilty verdict. Lebedev and Khodorkovsky were found guilty of embezzlement of money from selling 200 million tons of oil and tax evasion.

Lawyers of Lebedev said to Russian Mafia (rumafia.com) that they understood that even if the Constitution Court ruled in favour of Lebedev, a lower court might again reject his request.


Former Bank of Moscow heads wanted by Interpol


The former head of Russia's fifth largest lender, Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, and his former deputy Dmitry Akulinin have been put on an Interpol wanted list.

Russia earlier placed international arrest warrants for the two men, but the Interpol warrant is likely to make it harder for them to escape arrest.

Borodin, who together with Akulinin held 20.3 percent in the bank, did not want to lose his shares but in spring he finally gave up and sold his stake to businessman Vitaly Yusufov, the son of former Russian
Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, who in turn sold the stake to VTB.

Borodin claimed the bank's takeover was "political" and ordered by Medvedev in order to establish state control of the bank. Both the presidential administration and Yusufov denied Medvedev's involvement.

RIA Novosti

2 oligarchs face prison after defrauding Snoras and Krajbanka


Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov was arrested in the UK on Thursday after Lithuanian prosecutors issued extradition warrants against him. Antonov is accused of asset stripping of Snoras bank.

Sources claim that one more Russian billionaire might be linked to the scam.

In recent times Antonov cooperated with Polonsky who helped him to cover the fraud up. Real estate tycoon Polonsky mortgaged his Moscow incomplete developments, transferring to Snoras the rights over the flats that belong to other people. At first Polonsky and Antonov thought they had orchestrated a perfect scam. A few years ago Antonov moved almost all Snoras’ liquid assets, $400-500 million worth, to foreign accounts. He disguised the fraud under a series of loans which the bank allocated to front companies with no real asset backing. For current banking operations Snoras solely used money from the deposits of legal and natural persons of Lithuania. The bank’s billion dollar worth assets existed only on paper. Snoras’ books stated the following assets as belonging to the bank:

-          expensive securities (in fact worth nothing at all);

-          money in the accounts of foreign banks (these banks are owned by Antonov and in truth have no money from Snoras in their accounts);

-          money in the accounts of offshore companies to which Snoras gave loans (the companies are controlled by Antonov and have no assets).

When Lithuanian banking regulators got alarmed by Snoras’ activities, Vladimir Antonov’s father-in-law and former KGB officer Viktor Yampolsky introduced him to Moscow developer Sergei Polonsky. In Russia everyone knew that Polonsky was a bankrupt.

The talks between Polonsky and Antonov took place in England and Switzerland. The deal was mutually profitable. Polonsky pledged his Moscow developments, which are under constructions, to secure Snoras’ loans to offshore companies (i.e. to secure stripped assets). Antonov received more or less valuable assets for the banking operations, whereas Polonsky got rid of annoying co-investors in his developments and Moscow authorities who wanted the have the developments completed.

A source that took part in the negotiations told Rumafia.com that Antonov and Polonsky had planned that Snoras would begin legal actions in Russia to seize Polonsky’s property. The process would be painful and take a long time, because the property was left as a pledge with the depositors of Snoras, citizens of Lithuania. According to the written commitments, if Snoras won the case, Polonsky would have a share from reselling the developments in Moscow and a share from selling Swedish car manufacturer Saab, which belongs to Antonov. Polonsky also had the option to get his property back if he cleared debt in time.

Polonsky and Antonov were happy. As he did it before, Polonsky dumped co-investors and partners and moved assets to Europe. Antonov filled in the financial hole in Snoras. But the plans of the couple of crooks were in tatters when the Lithuanian authorities decided to probe into the bank. Tired of Antonov’s scams, Lithuania put Snoras under involuntary state administration on 16 November.

Our source said that Polonsky was literally infuriated when he heard the news. He approached Antonov on the phone and told him that Antonov had “let him down” and “cheated” on him and urged Antonov to pay back.

The anger of Polonsky is quite understandable. Surely, he will get nothing from Snoras. What makes things worse he now faces legal prosecution.

On 22 November Polonsky met Antonov in London and demanded he give his money back, at least partially. But it was too late. On 23 November Scotland Yard arrested Antonov over Lithuanian extradition warrant. Lithuanian police began investigation into asset stripping of Snoras. The investigators have already seized paperwork concerning unsecured loans. They have also obtained documents pertaining to Polonsky. Their careful examination will show that Polonsky was paid by Antonov to cover up asset stripping scam. Polonsky deceived representatives of Snoras saying that the developments he left with the bank as a pledge were completed and not liable to any obligations from the third parties. In fact it was co-investors who funded the buildings works. The co-investors are true co-owners of the building.

In banking terms Polonsky is an unscrupulous pledgee and, thus, legible to legal prosecution in almost all countries. In legal terms Polonsky’s actions can be classified as unsecured loan scam and fraud.

Our source said that Polonsky was afraid of legal prosecution. Should he travel to a European country he might face Antonov’s fate, i.e. arrest and extradition to Lithuania. Polonsky can not enter Germany after the appeals of defrauded co-investors in his projects. Now, after Antonov’s arrest, the USA might levy sanctions against him. Polonsky expected to receive his share from Antonov’s selling his stake in Swiss carmaker Saab to a Chinese company. But Saab’s controlling owner American GM corporation blocked the deal. The Americans did not want to see the Chinese get Saab’s smart technologies. Antonov was barred from entering the US and blacklisted by the US security services. As a person interested in the deal, Polonsky could face the same sanctions. 

Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com

2 oligarchs face prison after defrauding Snoras and Krajbanka



Former mayor vs future prime minister


The Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department questioned last week former mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov as a witness in a case, involving huge misappropriation of state funds by the Bank of Moscow. In the past the ousted mayor seemed to have no problems with the law, but the situation changed dramatically after Luzhkov’s remarks, containing harsh criticism of incumbent president Dmitry Medvedev. Rumafia correspondent found out that it was former minister of finance Aleksei Kudrin and western political advisors who induced Luzhkov into making unreasonable statements.

A few months ago a source in the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department told Rumafia that the police did not have plans to interrogate Luzhkov about headlines-breaking Bank of Moscow case. “Concerning Luzhkov, we haven’t received orders from the top. His testimony is not crucial, and we are not going to summon him for questioning. We are not probing into the city-sponsored bailout to rescue Bank of Moscow, but into the fraudulent loan that the bank gave to Elena Baturina’s companies. Her testimony is very important, but she does not respond to the summons,” the source said. However, in an interview to foreign media Luzhkov tackled thorny subject of Dmitry Medvedev’s policy.         

In October mayor told the Radio Liberty that Medvedev would be “very weak” as a prime minister - Medvedev is expected to become prime minister in March 2012, when former president Putin will return to his post. “Medvedev would make as inefficient prime minister of Russia as he was a president,” Luzhkov said. Next day the Investigative Department summoned him for questioning.

There is a delicate aspect of the situation. It is Russia’s Investigative Committee that leads investigation of such important cases as that of Bank of Moscow. The head of the Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, is considered Vladimir Putin’s protégé. However the investigation into the troubled bank is led by the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department. Not long ago the department got a new director - Valery Kozhokar, Dmitry Medvedev’s university friend.

Dmitry Medvedev and Yury Luzhkov have never got on well. Being the mayor of Russia’s capital, Luzhkov considered Putin to be a true ruler of the state and treated Medvedev disrespectfully. A source in the Kremlin told Rumafia that Luzhkov relied on Putin’s support and had guarantees from the prime minister. Situation surrounding Khimki forest put Luzhkov on thin ice. He openly opposed Medvedev’s standpoint, causing anger of the president. Medvedev sacked Luzhkov in autumn 2010. Putin did not help Luzhkov out. “Luzhkov has never been in Putin’s close circle. Not once he let Vladimir down,” the source said.

For a time being the ousted mayor stopped criticizing Medvedev, but in October he continued getting at the president. He joined forces with another official who fell out with the Kremlin - former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin.

Here the situation is even more serious. Our source in the Kremlin said that Kudrin always disliked Medvedev. At the beginning of the 90s Kudrin was a first deputy mayor of Saint Petersburg, whereas Medvedev worked as a lawyer for a notorious local company called Ilim Pulp. Future president of Russia was a protégé of Saint Petersburg mayor Sobchak and Kudrin had to cooperate with him. Kudrin looked down on the underling. The time passed, and the underling became president, whereas Kudrin was a minister, though a prominent one. Kudrin never opposed Medvedev, but from time to time he showed his disagreement with him. According to the Kremlin insider, Kudrin had an agreement with Putin: if Putin decided to return to the presidential office, the finance minister would be promoted to the prime minister.

On 24 September the ruling United Russia party held a congress. Addressing the party, Putin and Medvedev announced that the former would run for the presidency in 2012, while the latter would become a prime minister. “A month before the conference it became clear that Putin would get back to the job of president. However no one expected that they would swap jobs, and Medvedev would be a new prime minister. It surprised everyone in the Kremlin. Neither Timakova, no Gromov [Medvedev and Putin’s spokesmen], no other people close to Putin or Medvedev had not been aware of the announcements,” the source said.

Aleksei Kudrin was surprised more than others, for he dreamt about the office of the prime minister. A few days after the conference he made a statement about Medvedev in Washington, saying that he disagreed with Medvedev’s economic policy and did not see himself in Medvedev’s cabinet. Medvedev fought back immediately, demanding that Kudrin resign right away.    

Putin held out a helping hand to Kudrin, but his help was partial. He let Kudrin leave the cabinet, but said that Kudrin would get a job offer after Putin’s return as a president. “Kudrin was sacrificed in order to prevent Medvedev against ill-conceived steps before the elections. Anything for a quiet life, that is Putin’s strategy,” said a source close to Putin.

A source close to the ousted mayor told Rumafia about the meeting between Luzhkov and former finance minister. Kudrin told Luzhkov that the relationships in the tandem were not as bright as they appeared, and Medvedev would not be a prime minister for long. Kudrin added that he might become a prime minister in the time to come. And of cause Kudrin told Luzhkov all the nasty things about Medvedev.

Luzhkov decided that the meeting was a signal to act, but before he acted he hired political consultants.

According to our source, Luzhkov has been using services of a team of political consultants, who emigrated from the USSR back in the 1970s. They helped Luzhkov to build sustainable relationships with the authorities of Austria. Luzhkov and Baturina feel at home in that country. The consultants analyzed the situation and prepared a report. According to them, Putin will disagree with Medvedev’s policy and will have to rule the government himself. Putin will not want to execute the duties of both president and prime minister, which will put an end to Putin-Medvedev alliance. Medvedev will lose his post quickly. 

Luzhkov calculated that criticizing Medvedev he would gain political scores. He has placed his bet on Putin, whom he does not criticize. That is why his comments on Medvedev appeared in the media. Very soon we will see whether the ousted mayor is right in his choice.     

Alexey Gordon, Rumafia.com

среда, 23 ноября 2011 г.

Former Bank of Moscow heads wanted by Interpol


The former head of Russia’s fifth largest lender, Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, and his former deputy Dmitry Akulinin have been put on an Interpol wanted list.

Russia earlier placed international arrest warrants for the two men, but the Interpol warrant is likely to make it harder for them to escape arrest.

Borodin, who together with Akulinin held 20.3 percent in the bank, strongly opposed the acquisition but in spring he finally gave up and sold his stake to businessman Vitaly Yusufov, the son of former Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov, who in turn sold the stake to VTB.

Borodin claimed the bank’s takeover was "political" and ordered by Medvedev in order to establish state control of the bank. Both the presidential administration and Yusufov denied Medvedev's involvement.

RIA Novosti

Baltiysky Zavod saw no real change of management


Control established by the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) over Baltiysky Zavod belonging to Sergei Pugachev’s entities, is in fact, only on paper.

In the framework of the case concerning foreclosure of Baltiysky Zavod shares, the Bank of Russia filed a petition to court to replace the head of the plant and to permit the plant to conduct a transaction without the approval of the board of directors. The bank explained its appeal to court claiming the current situation to be an obstacle to proper functioning of the plant. The relevant authorities are unable to manage the plant, since certain kind of transactions lie within the exclusive competence of the board of directors, and it is not possible to hold a meeting to make a decision.

This means that no effective control has been established over Baltiysky Zavod after its shares were transferred to USC. Although already about a month ago the authorities reported a change of management. At that time deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak announced that Andrei Fomichev, who had been the head of Baltiysky Zavod since October 2008, resigned as CEO, handing his powers by proxy over to Valery Venkov, acting CEO from USC.

According to the Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), next week the plant was promised a contract worth 3 billion rubles to construct supply vessel for Gazflot.


Saint-Petersburg Bank main shareholder may face distrainment


Vitaly Arkhangelsky, the founder of Oslo Marine group, appealed to the British Virgin Islands court to subject to distrainment foreign property of Aleksandr Saveliev, the major shareholder in the group, Saint-Petersburg Bank president and the owner of 28% of the shares.

The Court has compelled the banker and other defendants, including the bank, to provide information about their accounts and assets worth 4 billion rubles. In addition, the court requires Saveliev to come to an agreement with Arkhangelsky concerning his weekly expenses if they exceed 7,000 dollars. If defendants fail to meet the court’s requirements, they will be arrested when crossing the border.

According to the Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), it was already on 9 November 2011 that British Virgin Islands court ruled to arrest the property of the banker at the suit filed by the businessman.


Lithuania takes over Convers Group owner Vladimir Antonov’s key bank


Lithuania’s banking regulator has suspended operations of Snoras bank, the 5th largest in the country, appointed a temporary state administrator and announced its plans to takeover 100% of the lender’s shares.

The government discussed the situation surrounding the bank, and the president made a statement. The Lithuanian central bank acted after it emerged that some of the bank’s assets were of worse quality than it had been expected.

The bank declared some foreign securities, worth of 290 million euros, as assets, which the investigation showed did not exist.

Antonov has swapped bad assets of Snoras for Sergei Polonsky’s former Mirax (now Nazvanie.net) frozen development projects in Moscow that have high liquidity. The move enabled Polonsky to siphon off most of the money of defrauded shareholders and creditors into his foreign accounts. It is now a headache of Russian and Lithuanian authorities to fix the problem.

The debt, which Nazvanie.Net has declared, is $45 million, but in fact it exceeds this figure and amounts to hundred millions of dollars.

Antonov has been involved in a number of financial scams before. He has always had problems with banking regulators. His Conversbank and Conversbank-Moscow were barred from participating in deposit insurance scheme, run by the Russian government, and the U.K. Financial Services Authority denied Snoras permission to operate in Britain, because “the bank would be unable to cooperate with the FSA in open and constructive manner”.

The scam was very simple. Antonov bought or set up banks - for instance, he acquired Lithuanian Snoras and Russian Investbank. The banks borrowed money from individuals and private companies for high interest. Antonov moved accumulated money into various projects of his own. He owned a lot of financial institution that enabled him to keep afloat, moving funds from one institution to another in order to fill in financial holes, if the problems occurred.

The scam worked until 2010, when it became obvious that Snoras and Investbank were on the verge of insolvency and even minor economic instability could have defrauded tens of thousands of people. The situation was even more dangerous in Lithuania. The hole in the bank’s balance sheet amounted to $100 million. The money was moved to the accounts of front companies in the form of unsecured loans. Antonov found no other way out, than to bring notorious Sergei Polonsky into his business.

By 2010 Polonsky and his Mirax Group had already gone bankrupt. The debt of his companies was estimated from $600 million to $1 billion. Former oligarch dreamt about saving at list part of his wealth and moving the assets abroad. He was open to any proposals, including that of most suspicious nature. This was common ground for talks between Antonov and Polonsky. They discussed the scam first in London, than in Antonov’s private chalet in Switzerland. The sides discussed the details of large-scale fraud.

Under the agreements reached by Polonsky and Antonov, Snoras swapped the securities of front companies for the ownership rights over developments, run by Mirax Group in Moscow (Dubrovskaya Sloboda, Mirax Park and Kutuzovskays Milya residential complexes, and Federation tower in Moscow-City business centre). Through his connections in the Staff of the Russian Federation President Polonsky received permission to strike share pledge agreements with the third party - the front companies, which Antonov had used to move money from his bank. After all, Polonsky sold his developments and got money, which had been siphoned off from Snoras.

The money of defrauded shareholders and creditors of Polonsky’s Mirax filled in the financial hole in Snoras. Now the bank owns a few objects in Moscow, which are despite being under construction are above all real and liquid, unlike the securities of the front companies.

Polonsky has also benefited from the scam. Antonov committed himself to move large sums of money to offshore companies controlled by Polonsky. Antonov planned to resell Saab and other assets. He negotiated with the Chinese about the deal, according to the inside information. In the end, Polonsky has moved his most profitable assets abroad and they are under control of Snoras’ shareholders and depositors, who lent money to Mirax Group on the security of the Mirax Moscow’s developments. If Moscow authorities, or Russian creditors of Nazvanie.net decide to take over the developments of Polonsky, they will have to infringe upon the reights of the EU citizens. After all, Mirax got loans at unpresidentally low rate - just 7% a year. In 2010 reliable lenders gave loans to Polonsky at the rate of 20-30%. If Mirax Group owner decided to bail out his objects in Moscow he would do it easily. Such option is a part of the agreement between Antonov and Polonsky.

In a nutshell, co-investors of Polonsky’s Mirax Group and Moscow authorities face a long struggle with the member of the EU, whereas Antonov and Polonsky are very happy with the success of their scheme.


Lebedev’s libel suit against Kommersant turned down


Moscow’s Court of Arbitration has turned down 11 million roubles ($370,000) defamation suit, filed by businessman Aleksandr Lebedev’s National Reserve Bank, or NRB, against Kommersant publishing house.

Lebedev wanted to sue journalist Vladimir Trifonov and Darya Yurisheva for the article titled NRB Returns Income to Shareholders, published in Kommersant daily on 4 March 2011.

NRB claimed that the article in Kommersant contained information “damaging for the reputation of the bank”. NRB brought the libel action, demanding that Kommersant pay 10 million roubles in damages to the bank and 1 million to Lebedev, and publish a refutation. Earlier the plaintiff said that Irina Kireeva, chairman of the board of Russian Capital bank, had been accused of siphoning assets, and NRB had nothing to do with the fraud scheme.

The representative of Kommersant said that the plaintiff’s claims were “ungrounded”, because “there was no defamatory information in the fragments [of the article] in question”. In October the Court of Arbitration dismissed two libel lawsuits, filed by Lebedev against Kommersant. NRB lost another libel suit against Kommersant publishing house on 7 November. The bank sought 10 million roubles in damages.


Deripaska would have had a strike… Shvidler says in London’s High Court


Evgeny Shvidler, Abramovich’s right-hand man and former president of Sibneft, gave testimony before the UK High Court in London. He told the judges of his role in striking purchase agreements for Rusal assets and buying Sibneft oil giant. Boris Berezovsky’s lawyer struggled to show that in every agreement signed Abramovich and Shvidler, like Badri Patarkatsishvili and Berezovsky, were partners or parties to a contract. It emerged from Shvidler’s testimony that he had never been Abramovich’s full partner.

The court heard about the loans-for-shares scheme, under which Oil Financial Company or NFK acquired state-owned Sibneft. For two times Berezovsky was a chairman of NFK. “He was appointed twice,” Shvidler said. According to him, Berezovsky did not run the company, but to sign a contract he had to have a position in NFK.

Asked what happened with the income he received from selling the share in Rusal, Shvidler said that he partially used it to buy soccer players for clubs.

The court was presented with a skeleton agreement, signed among others by Shvidler. The agreement is dated 10 February 2000 and relates to the acquisition of the aluminium assets by Abramovich. Later on the assets were merged with the rest of Deripaska’s aluminum empire. Shvidler said that although in the agreement his name appears along with other purchasers, Abramovich and Patarkatsishvili, he signed the agreement only because he was a negotiator. “If I had not signed it, it would have looked like suspicious,” he said. He also explained why he had signed a merger agreement with Oleg Deripaska. Shvidler said that in fact there were only two parties in the deal, Abramovich and Deripaska.

Shvidler also told the court of the meeting of Deripaska with Patarkatsishvili, Abramovich and Berezovsky, which took place at Dorchester hotel on 13 March 2000. Shvidler said that this meeting was not to discuss the merger of aluminum assets. “I know that it is not good to joke in such manner but if Deripaska had thought that he had had a meeting with Rusal partners, he would have had a stroke!” Shvidler said, most probably referring to Berezovsky.

Berezovsky’s layer failed to make Shvidler show that his client owned a share in Sibneft. However it emerged from Shvidler’s testimony that he had been just a manager, not a business partner of Abramovich. “I have received the salary only. For 5 or 6 years Abramovich paid for my way of life, as he did for that of other managers. He paid for my holidays and cruises. In 1998 he gave me and my wife a house as a gift”


General Khorev saw nothing criminal


Moscow police investigators have questioned Andrey Khorev, former first deputy head of the Department of Economic Security (DES), on charges of illegal possession of a Lefaucheux revolver that was found in a luxury apartment and was a gift to his father by a person involved in cases of bribery. The General argues that the gun can not be used for criminal purposes since it is a collectible antique gun.

Police department of the Central District of Moscow has held a questioning of Andrey Khorev, the dismissed Major-General of the Ministry of the Interior. Police investigators instituted a criminal case under Art. 222 of the Criminal Code (illegal possession of weapons) due to the fact that in the apartment number 31 in the elite residential complex Dom na Smolenskaya Embankment on Maly Novopeskovsky Pereulok they found an unregistered Lefaucheux gun manufactured in 1854 and four pin-fire cartridges. This apartment is a gift to the General's father, the military academy instructor Victor Khorev, by Anastasia Kagan, the wife of Maksim Kagan, a former Interior Ministry official who was involved in a high-profile case of extortion and bribery. The apartment has not been registered as property of Khorev, Sr., and is used by his son by proxy from Anastasia Kagan. It was his data that the police found in the visitor's book of the residential complex. Inside the apartment the police found only property belonging to the General.

According to the Russian Mafia website (rumafia.com), during the interrogation Major-General said he saw nothing criminal in the fact that his father had been presented an elite apartment. According to him, Anastasia Kagan thanked his father, who had helped her to defend her Ph.D. research and became her mentor in her work with securities. It is this version that was earlier voiced by Maksim Kagan, who is now wanted. However, it is reported that in 2008-2010 Kagan earned a total of about 20 million rubles. After paying taxes he could not have enough funds left to purchase the apartment the market value of which was over $ 2 million. When it was given to the Khorevs, the apartment had been altered and redecorated.

Sources say that Andrey Khorev asked to consider the found revolver not as weapons but as antiques. Ostensibly the revolver can not even be used to shoot, otherwise it may fall apart. He also said he did not consider the discovery of the gun to be grounds for criminal prosecution. Investigator did not bring forward any charges against the General.





In October 2011 the price of Saint-Petersburg bank shares rose by a record 40% prompted by negotiations around the possible purchase by businessman Yuri Kovalchuk, who is among people closest to the future president Vladimir Putin. This is not the only major achievement of the bank’s management. Rumafia correspondents revealed that bank’s executives were behind the transfer of Oleg Pipchenkov, an investigator with the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (RF IC), from St. Petersburg. Pipchenkov led the investigation of high-profile cases and it was him who brought about the imprisonment of Vladimir Barsukov, "shadow governor" of St. Petersburg.

Until recently Oleg Pipchenkov was in a special position in the IC and in fact was a direct subordinate of Aleksandr Bastrykin, RF IC head. Bastrykin did not give him much personal attention. But he really liked how Pipchenkov dealt with incarceration, which was exactly what the Russian government ruling tandem required from Bastrykin. And it is especially so because St. Petersburg is a native city for both Putin and Medvedev. In this city Pipchenkov exercised his powers in full.

“He is a real watchdog, in a good sense of the word,” told our source in the intelligence services. “You let him loose and point a target, and he gets them all. In our case, Oleg sent to jail all persons involved in high profile cases, regardless of whether they were guilty or not and if so, to what extent. They were all offered to cooperate with the investigation. And only then officers began to really look at who should face charges and who should not.”

Bastrykin was glad to see authorities send to jail scores of defendants in cases connected to Barsukov, murders, or raider attacks (like the one on Frunzensky Fruit and Vegetable Warehouse when among those sent by Pipchenkov to the detention facility there were even several officers of St. Petersburg UBOPs, that is, directorates for organized crime counteraction), department stores, and cafes. After all, it was the IC that was mentioned in relation to bringing order to the city.

Pipchenkov understood what support he had and so he disregarded everyone in the IC only with the two exceptions made for the two leaders, Bastrykin and his deputy, Vasily Piskaryov. He despised all other agency staff and could openly care less for what they told him. For example, he consistently told Dovgy and Markelov, former chiefs of the Main Investigative Department of the IC, and Shchukin, the current one, to mind their own business. This lasted until Pipchenkov jumped over his head and got involved in an issue that would do no good for Bastrykin, but that could bring many troubles.

When investigating the cause of Frunzensky Fruit and Vegetable Warehouse takeover, Pipchenkov began to probe into the activities of Vladislav Piotrovsky, the then acting chief of St. Petersburg and regional police, who enjoyed the support of Governor Valentina Matvienko, but was dismissed from the Ministry of the Interior in summer 2011. The takeover was incriminated to St. Petersburg UBOP head Vladimir Sych and kingpin Mikhail Sliozberg nicknamed Misha Kupchinsky. Pipchenkov began to investigate the activities of Kupchinsky in detail and found that in the early 2000s the kingpin worked closely with Saint-Petersburg Bank.

In particular, he participated in "custom" hostile takeovers of a number of entities. For instance, he was involved in the raider takeover in the result of which the bank got control over Arsenal JSC. Pipchenkov's investigation team looked closely into the circumstances of Arsenal takeover. That was when the first sign of the future transfer came about. In January 2010, on suspicion of taking bribes, police arrested a Pipchenkov’s group investigator, Andrey Grivtsov. He was immediately asked to testify against his boss. Bastrykin preferred to turn a blind eye on this and gave the go-ahead to investigate the case against Grivtsov. The case was assigned to the IC in the CFD, which is headed by Dmitry Zagorodnev. Pipchenkov, who is not exactly careful about what he says, immediately accused Zagorodnev of working for the criminal world, calling him names using swear words. Since then Pipchenkov and Zagorordnev would not even say hello to each other.

Despite the loss of a team member, Pipchenkov’s group continued its inquiry into Arsenal. In autumn 2010 a number of those involved in the case, including businessman Oleg Rifert, agreed to cooperate with the investigation. Police arrested Mikhail Sapego, board chairman of the company and a Saint-Petersburg bank protégé. The financial institution found itself in a troublesome situation. But the bank owners, including its leader Aleksandr Saveliev, have connections with Valentina Matvienko, who is now Federation Council chairman, and with a number of federal officials.

As a result, this spring Pipchenkov saw the second sign when Oleg Rifert refused to cooperate and claimed to have allocated money for treatment of investigator Buev and purchase of the car that is used by Pipchenkov. Bastrykin, head of Russia's Investigative Committee, unexpectedly decided to probe into this statement and for a time suspended Pipchenkov and Buev from work. By the time they returned, the fate of the RF IC head’s "personal inspector" was sealed.

According to Rumafia sources in intelligence agencies, Aleksandr Bastrykin is a very suspicious person. When he was offered to head the State Ministry of the Interior in the Central Federal District, Bastrykin put together a team of St. Petersburg officials. Many of them held good positions and did not want to go to Moscow. But Aleksandr was able to convince them. First of all, by promising that work at the State Ministry of the Interior in the CFD can be considered temporary and then after it they would be transferred to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, that was about to be established at the moment.

“Among those who went to the capital with Bastrykin there were Dovgy and Schneider. They began to insinuate that some staff members were pursuing their personal goals, that someone said something against Bastrykin.” As a result, when Bastrykin was appointed chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, he took there only Dovgy, who became head of IC under the prosecutor’s office Main Investigative Department, and Schneide, who became assistant to head of IC under the prosecutor’s office. As for about a dozen people from his original team, Bastrykin did not bother to fulfill his promises.

Then Aleksandr Bastrykin had another insinuator, Vladimir Maksimenkov, who was seconded from the FSB. He spoke of a conspiracy, which Dovgy was allegedly preparing to release Kumarin from custody. And also, that Dovgy allegedly planned to take Bastrykin’s place. As a result of these intrigues Dovgy was not only fired from his job, but also found himself behind bars. Then Bastrykin was told similar things about Maksimenkov. And he too was forced to leave the Investigation Committee. A similar fate was awaiting Bastrykin’s "personal inspector" Oleg Pipchenkov.

According to our source in the security services, Bastrykin was consistently told that in the case of Arsenal Pipchenkov was not acting as the head of RF IC watchdog, but was promoting interests of certain people who were aiming at not only hurting the bank, but also at spoiling relations between Aleksandr Bastrykin and businessmen linked to Putin. By that time Yuri Kovalchuk, a friend of Putin and the owner of major Russia media assets and of another big bank, Russia, expressed his interested in buying the bank. As a result, managers and owners of the bank skillfully used their connections to deprive Pipchenkov of support. Aleksandr Bastrykin first began to doubt his investigator, and then, as was in the case with Dovgy, was disappointed in him.

Aleksandr Bastrykin was harsh about removing Pipchenkov from St. Petersburg. He had it arranged as a shift in staffing in connection with the reform of the RF IC. In accordance with the reform, investigators of the Investigative Department should strengthen federal districts department. As a result, most of the investigators were transferred from Pipchenkov’s second Main Investigative Directorate division to the third. When Pipchenkov was left with only two subordinates, Nikolai Shalaev and Andrey Bazhutov, it was announced that the entire second division was transferred from St. Petersburg department to the RF IC in the Central Federal District, that same unit headed by Zagorodnev, a personal enemy of Pipchenkov. Now the former "private investigator" of Bastrykin is investigating just one minor case.

As for the investigation concerning Arsenal takeover, it was transferred to the North-West Department of Investigation of the Investigative Committee of Russia, where it is slowly dying, and most definitely will soon be closed.

Thomas Petrov, Rumafia.com

суббота, 12 ноября 2011 г.

Bykov testified in a crime boss trial


The Court of the Krasnoyarsk Region heard yesterday Anatoly Bykov, former head of the KrAZ (Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Plant), now deputy of the regional legislature. Bykov testified as a witness of defence in a trial of Vladimir Tatarenkov (aka Tatarin), a crime boss accused of murdering 3 people. Bykov said that he knew the defendant well and had doubts about him being guilty.

Court hearings began later than scheduled, due to icy road conditions, which impeded the transfer of the defendant to the court. While waiting Anatoly Bykov was talking to the lawyers and strolling through the corridors of the court building. Bykov had to attend the session of the regional legislature and was allowed to testify before the other witness.

The lawyers of Tatarenkov called Anatoly Bykov in his defence. According to the investigators, Bykov’s car was destroyed by explosion in 1994. Bykov survived the attempt on his life, but failed assassination triggered murder of Aleksandr Naumov and Kirill Voitenko, “eliminated” at Tatarenkov’s order. Bykov did not confirm this version. He said to the judge that he had never talked to Tatarenkov about the assassination, neither had his friends. The lawyer asked Bykov whether he had ordered a murder of someone related to the assassination. Bykov answered in the negative and added that he did not suspect anyone.

Bykov said that he had met Tatarenkov at the beginning of the 1990s through people with whom he had played sports. He confirmed his acquaintance with murdered Naumov, saying he knew he had been a business owner. Bykov said he had never met Kirill Voitenko.

Bykov said he had doubts about the accusation raised at Tatarenkov. “He is on trial, because he managed to survive. In the 90s a lot of people pointed at Bykov and Tatarenkov, but now in London, as you can see, they testify about what really happened in the region and in Russia and who stood behind that process,” he said referring to Boris Berezovsky’s $5.5 billion suit against Abramovich, heard by London High Court.

Vladimir Tatarenkov is accused of organising criminal group and committing a number of murders in 1994. He took part in the gangster war for aluminium assets in the Krasnoyarsk region and Khakassia, the investigators believe. Tatarenkov was arrested in Germany over illegal carrying of weapons, and then he was extradited in Russia. He is accused of the crimes under Article 209.1 and 102 of Russia’s Criminal Code (“gangsterism” and “murder in socially perilous way”). According to the investigators, he organised killing of three people: crime boss Vladimir Mustafin and businessmen Aleksandr Naumov and Kirill Voitenko.


Back from London Luzhkov loses two defamation lawsuits


The Court of Moscow’s Savelovsky district on Wednesday rejected a libel suit by former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov against LDPR partly leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The same day Luzhkov lost another defamation suit, now against Life News publication. The verdicts coincided with Luzhkov’s return to Russia from lengthy stay abroad and with his statements that he was ready to answer prosecutors’ questions concerning ongoing probe into troubled Bank of Moscow.

Luzhkov filed a lawsuit against Zhirinovsky for his allegations of rampant corruption in the office of the mayor made on 20 April 2010 during the State Duma session when prime minister Vladimir Putin delivered his annual report. Zhirinovsky said that Luzhkov’s office was a “Moscow mob”, and that he sold most lucrative chunks of municipal property to foreigners, “preparing his retreat”, and puts pressure on the judges. Zhirinovsky also said that only the companies patronized by the mayor could win municipal contracts. The LDPR leader handed a folder with allegedly incriminating documents to Putin. The former mayor demanded that Zhirinovsky paid 3 million roubles ($100,000) and apologised for his allegations.

Zhirinovsky said at the trial that he would not renounce his accusations. He said that during Luzhkov’s term as the mayor the problems accumulated in Moscow. The year was not enough for Sergei Sobyanin, new Moscow mayor, to fix them. Aleksei Melnikov, the former mayor’s representative, said that the politicians should be criticized but the assessment of their action should be objective and sensible. He added that Zhirinovsky’s statements were “beyond the pale” and tarnished the reputation of Luzhkov.

Judge Tatyana Adamova ruled in favour of Zhirinovsky. Earlier the same court upheld Luzhkov’s suit against Zhirinovsky and ordered him to pay 500,000 roubles ($16,000), but the Supreme Court overturned the verdict.

The other case was heard in Moscow City Court. Moscow’s former mayor was seeking compensation from Life News on-line publication for the article claiming Luzhkov had extorted $750 million bribe from president of Bank of Moscow Andrei Borodin. On 3 August 2011 Savelovsky Court judge Tatyana Adamova ruled that the article contained not facts, but the assumptions and dismissed the libel court. On Wednesday Moscow City Court upheld this verdict.

Both trials took place the day Luzhkov arrived in Moscow after a long stay abroad. The interior ministry investigative department summoned Luzhkov for questioning in a corruption inquiry regarding the Bank of Moscow. The investigators launched an inquiry into a deal under which the bank lent 13 billion roubles ($413 million) to murky real estate firm, Prime Estate. The ministry said that Luzhkov would be put on the international wanted list if he did not come to questioning.

On 28 September 2010 president Dmitry Medvedev dismissed Luzhkov over “loss of trust” in him. A year later Sergei Naryshkin said that Luzhkov had been sacked for “over-the-top” corruption and poor city management. The former mayor has filed a lawsuit against Naryshkin and seeks 1 million roubles ($33,000) as compensation. He said that the authorities pushed at him by summoning him in Moscow. Luzhkov will be questioned on 15 November.

Until recently Luzhkov had reputation of a person who never loses lawsuits. The most peculiar case he won was a lawsuit against marginal politician and controversial writer Eduard Limonov. Luzhkov sued him for the statements claiming Luzhkov “controlled” courts.