Palaces, vineyards, villas, holiday homes, yachts, and more. Assets reportedly provided to Russian President Vladimir Putin by friends and oligarchs can now be linked to what appears to e an informal network that holds a massive amount of assets.
More than $4.5 billion in assets are being connected to the Russian president and linked through a common email domain name, LLCInvest.ru.
A digital paper trail appears to suggest that the array of homes, boats, and assets are being used by Putin, which according to available records, belong to or have been owned by other separate individuals or companies.
Email exchanges from September 2021 further suggest that individuals associated with some of the separate entities holding and managing the assets discussed day-to-day business problems in a manner in which it seems they were part of a single organization.
Experts in anti-corruption say that the findings raise questions as to whether there was a level of “common management.”
LLCInvest looks like a cooperative, or an association, in which the members can exchange benefits and property, according to the emails.
For nearly two decades, Putin has been accused of secretly accumulating vast wealth through proxies. The accusations have been fueled by a series of disclosures from leaks, including the Pandora papers.
Businessman Sergey Kolesnikov claimed a decade ago that he had been behind a scheme that allowed a group of Russia’s top oligarchs to pool billions into an investment fund for the benefit of Putin, who at the time was serving as prime minister.
Last month, the British government contrasted Putin’s “lavish lifestyle” with official Russian records, which listed “modest assets” like a small St Petersburg flat, two Soviet-era cars from the 1950s, a small garage, and a trailer.
Now the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Russian-language news site Meduza identified 86 companies and organizations whose representatives appear to use the common LLCinvest domain name.
It includes a billion-dollar palace on the Black Sea, acres of vineyards around the Geledzhik palace, the Igora ski resort, a villa outside of St Petersburg, and a wood-clad building outside of St Petersburg, and more.