State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin is making billions of rubles off of hidden business interests, says a new investigation from Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK). In particular, the report traces a number of companies back to Volodin’s relatives, as well as expensive properties in Moscow, the Moscow region, and Saratov. The FBK also tallies up Volodin’s regular trips from the Russian capital to his home region on a super-expensive jet owned by the presidential administration. Meduza summarizes the investigation here.
Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) has published a new investigation that’s all about Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who is running for re-election to the lower house of parliament in September.
The investigation takes a deep-dive into business structures and real estate, which, according to the FBK, are linked to Volodin and his relatives.
The report cites documents stating that Volodin’s alleged wife, Yana Polyakina (who apparently changed her last name to Volodina in 2020) has purchased several pricey apartments in Moscow, as well as a mansion in the Moscow region. In addition, Volodin’s mother (Lidiya Barabanova) and presumed father-in-law (Yana Polyakina’s father, Yuri Polyakin) co-own a company called “Invest Holding.”
This firm and its subsidiary, “Invest Plus,” own a variety of expensive residential and commercial properties in Moscow and Saratov (including, for example, a historic building rented out to the Saratov regional branch of the United Russia party). What’s more, two companies that are co-owned by Invest Holding and Yuri Polyakin acquired the land rights to the “Moskovsky Zhirovoy Kombinat” — a historic fat and oil plant that shut down in 2013. According to the FBK, this property is now occupied by huge residential complexes.
The investigation also looks into Volodin’s regular trips to his home region of Saratov. As it turns out, he typically flies there on a Falcon 7X business jet with the flight number RSD4. This particular aircraft is adorned with the Russian flag and the word “Rossiya,” indicating that it’s owned by the Presidential Administrative Directorate and operated by the Special Flight Detachment “Rossiya,” which transports top government officials.
In 2020, the Saratov-based news outlet FreeNewsVolga reported on Volodin taking flights on a Falcon aircraft, but it cited sources claiming that the State Duma speaker had rented the plane. According to the FBK, renting a Falcon 7X to fly from Moscow to Saratov costs 18,000 euros (more than $21,000). By Team Navalny’s count, Volodin has made 50 flights to and from Saratov over the past year.
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