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May 23, 2014

Factbox: Russian bankers and their railway connections

By Stephen Grey and Douglas Busvine

(Reuters) – Every year state-owned Russian Railways does business worth billions of dollars with private sector companies. They include a number of organizations where Andrei Krapivin – a banker once described by Yakunin, head of Russian Railways, as an “old acquaintance” – has held board positions or share stakes. Krapivin is a large shareholder in Interprogressbank (IPB), a Moscow private bank. He and other senior figures at the bank have connections to Russian Railways as detailed below.

Andrei Krapivin * Director of Rusagrotrans from 2008, according to corporate documents. The company was founded that year with the approval of Russian Railways, according to its website, and is now Russia’s top grain shipper by rail, operating 30,000 rail cars. * Director of Transmashholding, a locomotive and railway carriage manufacturer, from 2008 to 2012. * Director of Freight One, which calls itself “the leading freight operator in Russia,” from 2007 to 2011. * Owner of 28 percent of IPB, according to corporate filings in December 2013.

May 23, 2014

In railways transactions, red flags and open questions

May 23 (Reuters) – Patterns of bank transactions relating to
Russian Railways described in a Reuters investigation show signs
of so-called suspicious banking activity, according to Russian
and U.S. financial investigators and consultants. But some
cautioned that the unusual activities, while meriting further
attention, don’t necessarily constitute illegal behaviour.

Courtney Linn, a former U.S. federal prosecutor, said the
payments to Russian Railways contractors and complex subsequent
transactions – described in a Reuters Special Report
– contain signals of possible money laundering
which, if they occurred in the United States, would likely
trigger an investigation.

May 23, 2014

Russian bankers and their railway connections

May 23 (Reuters) – Every year state-owned Russian Railways
does business worth billions of dollars with private sector
companies. They include a number of organisations where Andrei
Krapivin – a banker once described by Yakunin, head of Russian
Railways, as an “old acquaintance” – has held board positions or
share stakes. Krapivin is a large shareholder in
Interprogressbank (IPB), a Moscow private bank. He and other
senior figures at the bank have connections to Russian Railways
as detailed below.

Andrei Krapivin
* Director of Rusagrotrans from 2008, according to corporate
documents. The company was founded that year with the approval
of Russian Railways, according to its website, and is now
Russia’s top grain shipper by rail, operating 30,000 rail cars.
* Director of Transmashholding, a locomotive and railway
carriage manufacturer, from 2008 to 2012.
* Director of Freight One, which calls itself “the leading
freight operator in Russia,” from 2007 to 2011.
* Owner of 28 percent of IPB, according to corporate filings in
December 2013.

May 21, 2014

Special Report: Billion-dollar medical project helped fund ‘Putin’s palace’

MOSCOW (Reuters) – In 2005, President Vladimir Putin personally ordered up a vast program to improve Russia’s poor healthcare facilities. Five years later, authorities found that suppliers were charging some hospitals two or even three times too much for vital gear such as high-tech medical scanners.

Dmitry Medvedev, serving as Putin’s hand-picked successor at the time, went on national television to denounce the alleged scam. The perpetrators, he said, had engaged in “absolutely cynical, loutish theft of state money.” Medvedev instructed Russia’s top law enforcement agencies to make sure that “everyone who participated in this is seriously and sternly punished.”

May 21, 2014

Exclusive: Russian state project helped fund ‘Putin’s palace’

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A grand estate on the Black Sea, allegedly built for Russian President Vladimir Putin, was partly funded by taxpayer money from a $1 billion hospital project, a Reuters investigation indicates.

While the existence of the property is well known, this trail of funding has not been revealed before.

May 21, 2014

How Russian money flowed through banks in Europe

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Two Putin associates, Nikolai Shamalov and Dmitry Gorelov, struck lucrative deals to supply medical scanners and other gear for Russia’s state health program. Some of the proceeds from those deals, Reuters found, ultimately wound up helping to finance the luxurious mansion on the Black Sea popularly known as “Putin’s palace.”

The money trail is a convoluted one.

A UK-registered company owned by the two men, Greathill, received at least $195 million from sales of medical equipment to Russia.

May 21, 2014

Billion-dollar medical project helped fund “Putin’s palace”

MOSCOW, May 21 (Reuters) – In 2005, President Vladimir Putin
personally ordered up a vast programme to improve Russia’s poor
healthcare facilities. Five years later, authorities found that
suppliers were charging some hospitals two or even three times
too much for vital gear such as high-tech medical scanners.

Dmitry Medvedev, serving as Putin’s hand-picked successor at
the time, went on national television to denounce the alleged
scam. The perpetrators, he said, had engaged in “absolutely
cynical, loutish theft of state money.” Medvedev instructed
Russia’s top law enforcement agencies to make sure that
“everyone who participated in this is seriously and sternly
punished.”

Mar 1, 2014

The day Ukraine’s ‘Maidan’ lost control

KIEV, Ukraine (Reuters) – A World War Two movie set in Crimea was playing on a giant screen in Kiev’s Independence Square on Saturday when a politician stepped on the stage to break the shocking news.

Yuri Lutsenko, a former interior minister who had gone over to the protesters’ side to topple their country’s leader, said events in Ukraine had now moved beyond their control.

Feb 28, 2014

Ukraine leader’s son ran major business empire

KIEV, Feb 28 (Reuters) – On a street in ousted President
Yanukovich’s political stronghold, Donetsk, stands the imposing
headquarters of the Mako Group, a Ukrainian
banking-to-construction conglomerate.

The 20-storey block is modern but built in the decorated
style of the Stalin era and contains a hotel, restaurant, bank,
and Mako’s unmarked offices – all, according to residents,
belonging to Yanukovich’s eldest son Oleksander, 40.

Feb 26, 2014

Ukraine to seek international help to trace Yanukovich accounts, assets

KIEV, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Ukraine will urgently contact
international organisations with an official request to help
trace bank accounts and assets controlled by ousted President
Yanukovich and his allies, the acting prosecutor general said on
Wednesday.

Accusing Yanukovich and his aides of stealing “not millions
but billions” of dollars, Oleh Makhnytsky announced he had
ordered police and intelligence agencies to draw up a list of
foreign accounts held by Yanukovich’s aides and their
connections.