The Karlovy Vary kleptocracy guide
When communicating with Czechs we often hear that Karlovy Vary is a Russian city, that the population is nearly 90% Russian. The locals have been calling this city “Ivanovka” for a long time, so The Municipal Scanner project decided to investigate how true this nickname is.
The project team checked all the addresses of Karlovy Vary through the Czech real estate registry and found the owners. Some objects are owned by legal entities and required additional verification from the Czech trade registry.
Here are our findings. Only about 50-60% of the city is Russian rather than 90%. Many of the names, in fact, are Russified versions of other nationalities, such as Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz. The project also looked into citizens with political connections, state contacts, and corruption charges.
Here’s the alternative guide to the city.
During the checks, the project team found that some real estate owners in Karlovy Vary also own property in Prague, Marianske Lazne, Rimov and other cities. We mapped them as well. In total, there are 238 objects on the map, which belong to 132 owners. These objects can be a house, part of the house, hotel or apartment. Each object has a link to the owner profile.
There are very different people in our guide.
The Mun. Scanner sent a statement to the prosecutor’s office regarding the Russian officials and deputies, who, in their opinion, are breaking the law and will update you as news comes in.
Alexander Postrigan – Head of the Klin district, a region of Moscow for 22 years (1992-2014). The Klin district is a hub for the gaming industry in Moscow’s suburbs. Igor Chaika, son of the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, promised to turn Klin into the “Salzburg of Moscow Region”. Postrigan has owned the company since 2006 and also owns an apartment in Karlovy Vary. His daughter and son in law have also acquired the four-star hotel “Venus” in Karlovy Vary. It was also found that their Czech business went ahead and in 2014 acquired a gorgeous resort in Slovenia, consisting of 4 four-star hotels.
Svetlana Tyagacheva – the wife of the former president of the Russian Olympic Committee and the head of the urban settlement Dedenevo of Moscow Region owns and operates a Czech company, which has an apartment in Karlovy Vary on its balance. According to Russian legislation, Tyagacheva violates anti-corruption restrictions.
A deputy of the Krasnodar Region’s Legislative Assembly of the United Russia party Alexander Fendrickov has been in the regional parliament since 2007. He and his wife bought their first apartment in Karlovy Vary in 2012 and a second in 2014. However, he did not indicate real estate in the Czech Republic in his anti-corruption declarations of 2014 and 2015.
The Torosyan brothers, Igor and George, own three multi-story buildings in the most expensive district of Karlovy Vary through a legal entity. Igor Torosyan is Chairman of the local branch of A Just Russia in the Tuapse region of Krasnodar Region and previously was a deputy in the Legislative Assembly. Georgy Torosyan is the deputy of the district council of the Tuapse district in the Krasnodar Region since 2008 from the party “United Russia”.
David Adamia’s family (Adamia is the Head of the St. Petersburg Governor’s Office) owns two apartments in Karlovy Vary. Adamiya transgressed the law, since he is already working as civil servant but continued to own and operate the Czech legal entities.
Former vice-governor of St. Petersburg Vasily Kichedzhi now acting as Rector of the Academy Stieglitz, owns an apartment next to the Old Town Square in Prague. He also is the owner of the hotel in Prague 4.
A United Russia deputy of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly Igor Vysotsky owns an apartment through his wife in the most expensive district of Karlovy Vary.
The Chairman of the Transport Infrastructure Development Committee of St. Petersburg Sergei Harlashkin owns an apartment in Karlovy Vary.
In 2013, a member of the Federation Council from United Russia, the head of the Interregional Coordination Council Vyacheslav Timchenko prudently transmitted his Czech company his daughter, who became a new owner. The company holds a cottage in the south of the Czech Republic on its balance sheet.
Vila Lutzow (built in 1854) in Karlovy Vary belongs to Gennady Lakhov, who headed transport department of Rosvooruzhenie in the 90s.
Artem Butov, the head of a group of military factories in the Tambov region, along with his relatives, owns an apartment in Karlovy Vary and Prague.
Iraida Landarenko and Tatiana Poroskun own apartments in Karlovy Vary. Both women are involved in the case of fraud for an interpreter for the judicial department in Moscow and the Moscow region. Iraida Landarenko, arrested in absentia, is wanted.
Abesalom Gulordava owns apartment in Karlovy Vary. Gulordava is a figurant of the criminal case of fraud with government contracts in Moscow, is on the international wanted list.
There is an apartment In Karlovy Vary owned by Yuri Bakanov, Chief Engineer at “Kubangazprom” whom the media called the author of schemes of Tsapkov gang money laundering in the village of Kushchevskaya.
Alexei Levin, who opened Putin’s monuments in 2015, is co-owner of the four-star spa hotel in Karlovy Vary. Another co-owner is the daughter of the late chief of the Moscow metro, Gaev.
The “Russian village” is legendary place in Karlovy Vary. There were many scandals connected with this place, as the owner cut down relict Slavkov Forest. In 2010, the owner changed and Russian-language media in Czech modestly wrote: “Now land has been passed into the hands of VikaS Trade, s.r.o., which is owned by the 74-year-old Muscovite Alla Smirnova registered in the “Russian village”. 80-year-old Alla Smirnova is the wife of Conrad Smirnov, KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov assistant. And her sons worked for a long time in team with Sergei Stepashin (director of the FSB, the Interior Ministry, the chairman of the Chamber of Accounts), engaged in the official Putin residence renovating in the early 2000s.
Several current and former deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine from the Party of Regions were detected In Karlovy Vary: Igor Sharov owns 4 apartments in Prague and Karlovy Vary, Vladimir Oleynik, who is wanted in Ukraine as well as Yuri Voropaev, Irina Berezhnaya.
Volodymyr Kozak, ex-Party of Regions MP and ex-Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine has an apartment In Prague.
Sergey Kharchuk, the deputy of Kiev city council from the “Self-Help” faction, owns an apartment in Karlovy Vary. However, he has not indicated ownership of the Czech company in his declaration.
Former Prosecutor of the Crimea Republic Vyacheslav Pavlov resigned at the beginning of the annexation and bought a stake in the Czech company in March 2015, which owns the hotel “Saint Michael” in the suburb of Karlovy Vary.
Azerbaijani elite have a long history of settling in Karlovy Vary. Even in 2012, OCCRP wrote about the diaspora’s assets in this city. A house that formerly belonged to the youngest daughter of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev is now owned by Mahir Rafiev – the chief of the Main Department of taxpayer service of the Azerbaijan Taxes Ministry.
Arif Pashayev, the father of Ilham Aliyev’s wife, owns an apartment and hotels in Karlovy Vary.
There are Apartments in Karlovy Vary owned by the Pashazadeh brothers. Allahshukur Pashazadeh is Grand Mufti of the Caucasus, Javanshir Pashazadeh is Azerbaijani MP since 2005. He is a member of the Standing Committee on Human Rights.
The Aliyev brothers own apartments in Karlovy Vary. Adil Aliyev is a member of parliament since 2005, Muarram Aliyev is Presidential Adviser on Defence of Azerbaijan.
Relatives of the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, put down roots in Karlovy Vary long ago. Kairat Boranbaev and Zelina Katranova own assets. According to publications in the media, Nazarbayev has repeatedly taken vacations in Karlovy Vary. Nazarbayev invited Leonid Kuchma to rest at the villa “Ahlan” after the “Orange Revolution”
The former Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, leader of the party “Ar-Namys” Felix Kulov left marks In Karlovy Vary.
Not only political but also economic swindlers find refuge in the Czech Republic. For example, Felix Ikonnikov – a famous member of the Russian financial pyramid MMM-2011, owns a house in the tourist center of Karlovy Vary.
More information on the Municipal Scanner project could be found here.