Exclusive: Putin’s ex-wife connected to multi-million-dollar property company

MOSCOW (Reuters) – the wife that is former of president Vladimir Putin helped produce and today supports a foundation that has a historic Moscow home creating huge amount of money from renters, a Reuters study of home documents has discovered.

The building had been renovated with assistance from associates of Putin, additionally the income that is rental compensated to a personal business owned by someone whoever title is equivalent to the maiden title of Putin’s previous spouse, business documents reveal.

The lease originates from Volkonsky home in main Moscow, that was an aristocrat’s house in pre-Soviet times and it is now owned by The Centre for the Development of Inter-personal Communications (CDIC). Lyudmila Putina aided put up the non-commercial foundation, according to a report in state newsprint Rossiiskaya Gazeta and two sources whom worked because of the center. Lyudmila had been Putin’s spouse from 1983 until their divorce or separation, that has been established in 2013.

The building blocks was made in 2002, as well as in September 2006 Rossiiskaya Gazeta described Lyudmila as being a “trustee” associated with the company. In an meeting aided by the newspaper that 12 months, she utilized the word “we” when speaking about the building blocks, and three sources presently knowledgeable about the foundation’s work stated Lyudmila supports a literary award and publishing supply that the building blocks runs.

The CDIC has workplaces in Volkonsky home, but most associated with the building is let down to renters, including two state that is big, papers reveal.

The renters spend lease to business called Meridian, which can be 99 % owned by a company called Intererservis, business and home documents evaluated by Reuters at the beginning of might revealed. Intererservis, based on a state register of business entities, was wholly owned since 2014 by a lady called Lyudmila Alexandrovna Shkrebnyova – that is the maiden title of Putin’s wife that is former.

Reuters had been struggling to find documents confirming that Shkrebnyova and Putin’s ex-wife will be the exact same individual. But other connections, besides the title, point out the previous first woman and also the owner of Intererservis being the exact same individual. A past general manager of Intererservis ended up being Olga Alexandrovna Tsomayeva. Several Russian news reports make reference to her since legitimate scandinavian bride websites the sis of Putin’s previous wife. Tsomayeva could never be reached for remark.

An old friend and judo sparring partner of Putin, until the Shestakovs divorced in 2013 in addition, the other 1 percent of Meridian is owned by Tatiana Shestakova, who was the wife of Vasily Shestakov. Shestakova, whom additionally helped create the CDIC, based on the continuing state registry of business entities, could never be reached for remark.

The Kremlin home division supervised the renovation focus on the Volkonsky home in Moscow’s Vozdvizhenka Street, in accordance with documents that are rental by Reuters, although the building no further belonged into the state during the time.

A supply active in the renovation stated Lyudmila Putina, then nevertheless the elected president’s wife, visited Volkonsky home to examine the task. “We all knew that the (Kremlin home) division had been constantly overseeing the method, ” said the foundation, who talked to Reuters on condition of anonymity. “When Mrs Putin made an examination see, they immediately shut along the entire of Vozdvizhenka Street. ”

The Russian bank VTB, among the current renters in Volkonsky home, alone pays a lot more than $2 million in annual lease, in accordance with a tender document posted for a federal federal government internet site in 2015.

Reuters ended up being struggling to establish the total earnings Meridian gets from leasing away area within the Moscow home or exactly what its smart towards the CDIC foundation. The company’s reports for 2015 show profits of 225 million roubles ($3.89 million), but don’t reveal in which the cash goes.

Reuters desired remark from Meridian additionally the CDIC, via letters, phone calls and visits, but received no response. The Kremlin press service failed to answer questions regarding the president’s former spouse.

The plans seem to fit a pattern in Putin’s Russia, whereby people near the elected president take advantage of agreements, loans, funds or assets from state enterprises or entities closely from the Kremlin. Reuters has formerly reported how Putin’s son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov, became a billionaire after marrying a child of this president by acquiring a large stake in a number one Russian gasoline and petrochemicals business. Reuters additionally reported just exactly how Shamalov acquired a significant home in Biarritz, France, from a detailed associate of Putin.

Artur Ocheretny, described in Russian media as Shkrebnyova’s new spouse since 2015, could be the president for the administration board associated with CDIC. In 2014, after a low-profile job operating a seafood company as well as an event-organizing business, he too became the master of a form of art Deco property in a suburb of Biarritz, in accordance with neighborhood sources. Their property is projected by auctions become well well worth about 6 million euros.

Ocheretny didn’t react to a ask for comment passed away to him through the CDIC.

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The building at 9 Vozdvizhenka Street is recognized as the Volkonsky home as a result of its previous owner General Nikolai Volkonsky, the grandfather of writer Leo Tolstoy. A popular poet, wrote some of his works there in the 20th century, Sergei Yesenin.

This site that is historic later on owned by the Russian Foreign Ministry, based on a 1992 presidential decree finalized by Putin’s predecessor. By 2005, home documents reveal, it had passed away up to a physical human anatomy called the Centre when it comes to growth of the Russian Language, which later changed its title into the Centre for the developing of Inter-personal Communications.

Reuters ended up being not able to establish about what terms the language center acquired the building. The agency that handles state home, Rosimushchestvo, would not react to Reuters questions regarding the building.

The house was at need of renovation, and around 2005 major refurbishment was performed. The president’s allies stepped in to aid. The Konstantinovsky Foundation, that has been put up right after Putin became president to displace the Konstantinovsky Palace near Putin’s indigenous St Petersburg, supplied help that is financial relating to its web site. The president usually makes use of the palace to host international leaders.

Vladimir Kozhin, who from 2000 until 2014 ended up being mind associated with Kremlin home division, ended up being in the board associated with the Konstaninovsky Foundation during the right time the renovation work had been performed on Volkonsky home. Kozhin stays from the board, which includes one or more other associate of Putin onto it. Neither the Konstantinovsky Foundation nor Kozhin, that is now an aide that is presidential taken care of immediately demands for remark.

Yelena Krylova, a spokeswoman when it comes to Kremlin home division, stated she had no given information regarding the department having been active in the renovation.

1st period of work ended up being finished by 2005, in accordance with home papers, and soon after a additional flooring ended up being added. Natalia Samover, a historian whom campaigned up against the addition, told Reuters: “The building has lost its historic look. We not any longer have actually the Volkonsky home, we now have an eyesore half a kilometer through the Kremlin. ”

Volkonsky home now has 5,288 square meters of living area readily available for lease, based on the continuing state home register – a location slightly bigger than the White home in Washington D.C.