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The Karlovy Vary kleptocracy guide

Jan 31 2017

When communicating with Czechs we often hear that Karlovy Vary is a Russian city, and 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.

Russia

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 transferred his Czech company to his daughter, who became the 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 the 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.

Ukraine

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.

Azerbaijan

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.

Kazakhstan

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”

Others:

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.

 

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.

Russia

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 transferred his Czech company to his daughter, who became the 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 the 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.

Ukraine

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.

Azerbaijan

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.

Kazakhstan

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”

Others:

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.

 

Free Russia Foundation Condemns the Kremlin’s Decision to Annex the Occupied Territories of Ukraine and Preparations for Mobilization in Russia

Sep 20 2022

On September 20, 2022, the occupation authorities of the self-proclaimed republics “LNR” and “DNR” and other occupied territories of Ukraine, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, hastily announced that they would hold “referendums on joining Russia” in the near future. The authorities of the “LNR” and “DNR” added that the vote will take place as early as this week, from September 23 to 27, 2022.

On the same day, the Russian State Duma introduced the concepts of “mobilization,” “martial law” and “wartime” into the Russian Criminal Code. The deputies voted for the law in the third reading unanimously — all 389 of them. Now voluntary surrender, looting and unauthorized abandonment of a unit during combat operations will result in imprisonment.

From the first day of the war unleashed by Putin’s regime and its allies against independent Ukraine, Free Russia Foundation, which supports Russian activists, journalists, and human rights activists forced to leave the country because of direct security threats, has condemned the crimes of Putin’s regime against independent Ukraine. We respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states and consider human life and freedom to be of the highest value.

The forthcoming “referendums”, mobilization, and martial law are a collapse of the whole system of “Putin’s stability,” the illusion of which the Kremlin has been trying to maintain since the beginning of the full-scale war with Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is preparing to blatantly violate international law once again and launch an attack on democracy and freedom in Ukraine and Europe. Any statements by the Kremlin that residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine want to become part of Russia are false.

Three decades ago, the Ukrainian people proclaimed the independence of their state. Since 2014, the world has seen that Vladimir Putin has undermined Ukraine’s sovereignty and any attempts at anti-war protest in Russia through military force, repressive legislation, false statements, and massive state propaganda. Despite all the suffering inflicted on Ukraine, Putin has failed to achieve this goal: Ukrainians continue to show fortitude and determination to defend their country at any cost, and Russian anti-war resistance continues despite repression.

We consider any attempts to tear away Ukrainian territory through so-called “referendums” categorically unacceptable and call on state institutions and international human rights organizations to join the demand for an immediate end to the war and the liberation of the occupied territories. Any war brings suffering to humanity and endangers peace. We will not allow a totalitarian dictatorship to prevail and we will continue to fight for Ukraine’s independence and Russia’s democratic future.

Free Russia Foundation announces the appointment of Vladimir Milov as Vice President for International Advocacy

Sep 01 2022

September 1, 2022. Washington, DC. Free Russia Foundation announces the appointment of Russian politician, publicist, economist, and energy expert Vladimir Milov as FRF Vice President for International Advocacy.

In her announcement of Vladimir’s new role, Natalia Arno, President of Free Russia Foundation, remarked: “I am delighted to welcome this distinguished Russian civil society leader to our team. I am certain that Vladimir will become our force multiplier and make a profound contribution to FRF’s mission, including strengthening civil society in Russia, standing up for democracy defenders who oppose war, both inside and outside the country, building coalitions and mobilizing supporters. Vladimir Milov’s professional skills and extensive experience in human rights advocacy will help us come up with effective and innovative approaches to combat the authoritarian regime and repression that the current Russian government has unleashed against citizens of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.”

Vladimir Milov was born on June 18, 1972. From 1997—2002 he worked in government agencies, more than 4 years of which were in senior positions, from assistant to the Chairman of the Federal Energy Commission to the Deputy Minister of Energy of Russia.

Vladimir Milov has bravely and publicly called out the authorities for monopolizing the economy, and encroaching into public and political life of Russian citizens. Milov’s profile as an opposition leader rose thanks to his joint project with Boris Nemtsov. The report titled “Putin. Results,” condemned the activities of the Russian government during Putin’s presidency. In 2010, Mr. Milov headed the Democratic Choice movement, which later served as the basis for the creation of a political party with the same name.

In 2016, Mr. Milov became an associate of the unregistered presidential candidate Alexei Navalny. On May 11, 2017, he began hosting a weekly segment on the economy, “Where’s the Money?” on the NavalnyLIVE broadcast on YouTube.

In April of 2021, he left Russia for Lithuania amidst persecution of Alexei Navalny’s organizations. In February of 2022, he categorically condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On May 6, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice added Vladimir Milov to the list of media outlets considered as “foreign agents.” Vladimir Milov is a regular guest expert for the world’s leading media outlets — CNN, CNBC, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal.

Kara-Murza faces a new charge as the Kremlin cracks down on its opponents

Aug 04 2022

Russian pro-democracy politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who’s been in jail since April for allegedly spreading “disinformation” about the Russian military, now also stands accused of “carrying out the activities of an undesirable organization,” which names Free Russia Foundation in the newly filed charge.

Free Russia Foundation, unconstitutionally designated as an “undesirable” organization by the Russian government in June 2019, did not organize an event on political prisoners in Moscow in 2021. FRF does not have any presence or programs inside Russia. Additionally, FRF has never conducted any work in the State of Arizona.

FRF strongly condemns the new charges brought against Vladimir Kara-Murza by Russian authorities and demands the dropping of all charges against him and calls for his immediate release.

“All actions of the Kremlin directed against Russian opposition politicians and activists have nothing in common with establishing the truth. They are instead aimed solely at getting rid of opponents of Putin’s regime,” FRF President Arno stated.

Free Russian Foundation and Boris Nemtsov Foundation launch “Russians for Change” fundraising campaign

Jul 25 2022

Russia is not Putin. We are Russia.

We aim at sharing this message with our friends around the world — therefore, in cooperation with Boris Nemtsov Foundation we are launching “Russians for Change” fundraising campaign.

We are going to be telling the stories of active pro-democracy anti-war Russians who have not lost their hope. US nationals also participate in this campaign: Francis Fukuyama, investigative journalist Casey Michel, and alumni of Boris Nemtsov Foundation media school.

Thank you for your donation:

The Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom honors the political legacy of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian liberal opposition politician assassinated in Moscow in 2015. It promotes freedom of speech and education along with the vision that Russia is a part of Europe.

Free Russia Foundation is starting to document cases of abduction by the Russian army of Ukrainians for the International Criminal Court

Jul 13 2022

In the temporarily occupied territories of the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, in addition to the killing of civilians and horrific destructions carried out by the Russian army: a severe violation of the norms of international law in the form of abduction of Ukrainians into the territory of Russia has been taking place.

Prior to being interned, Ukrainians are placed in so-called “filtration camps” where they are subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.

All these actions violate the Hague Conventions and constitute an international crime.

We plan to collect information about such abduction cases, put it in written pleadings, and submit them to the International Criminal Court.

If you have been subject to abduction (internment), please, fill in the form via the link.