Babayan descended from “Elbrus”: in the case of Draganov and Ashurbeyli
Behind Evgeny Babayan’s ambitions to create a new Elbrus-B processor, the interests of not only Rostec, but also the ex-head of the State Customs Committee Valery Draganov and the ex-head of Almaz-Antey Igor Ashurbeyli may loom.
The son of the co-founder of the company that produces Elbrus processors, Boris Babayan, advisor to the deputy head of Rostec, Evgeny Babayan, announced plans to create a new Elbrus-B processor. But the project will require about 30 billion rubles of investment over three years, the sources of which have not yet been determined.
In this story, in addition to the interests of Rostec, loom the interests of former officials with an ambiguous reputation – the ex-head of the State Customs Committee Valery Draganov and the ex-head of Almaz-Antey Igor Ashurbeyli.
As the Kommersant newspaper reported, plans to create a new computing system, Elbrus-B, were shared at a conference held at the Rostec state corporation. The meeting brought together developers and manufacturers of computer equipment and electronics. After all, there appears to be no investment in the project yet. The speakers named are Advisor to the Deputy General Director of Rostec and General Director of ANO Digital Country Evgeniy Babayan and his father, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, co-founder of MCST JSC, which developed the Elbrus-1 and Elbrus-2 supercomputers, Boris Babayan . It is known that in 2004 Babayan moved to Intel. A correspondent for The Moscow Post looked into the situation.
The publication reported that Babayan’s team is consulting with the Rostec state corporation regarding the prospects of the project, but there is no decision on investment. In general, experts are skeptical about the initiative – a certain chip capable of solving a large number of unrelated computing tasks simultaneously.
Let us recall that due to the lack of our own domestic factories for the production of microcircuits using current technical processes, Elbrus and the same Baikals were produced by TSMC from Taiwan. In February 2022, this company stopped providing services to Russian companies, including MCST. As CNews reported, in May 2022, there was talk of moving the production of the same Elbrus from Taiwan to the factories of the Russian company Mikron (owned by the Element Group of Rostec and AFK Sistema owned by Vladimir Evtushenkov). There was also talk that the issue could be resolved at the expense of NM-Tech LLC, controlled by VEB.RF, which is restarting production on the basis of the bankrupt Angstrem-T. But plans are plans, and whose other interests may lie behind Babayan’s ambitious ideas, closely related to the digitalization of government structures?
Let’s consider this issue in more detail.
And here it is important to note that the now liquidated GIS LLC, where Babayan had a share, had a relationship (judging by the lawsuits) with Comcor JSC (now the Moscow Telecommunications Corporation), where AFK Sistema was noted among the co-founders “, which today appears as a co-owner of the Mikron plant. In turn, Comkor is controlled by the Akado company, where until January 2023 Rostec also had a share, but lost it to Er-Telecom Holding of Andrei Kuzyaev (a native of LUKOIL). Taking into account that Kuzyaev’s structures, among other things, are actively involved in the development of the digital economy and are distinguished by the tactics of aggressively absorbing small structures in the telecommunications market, he might also be interested in Babayan’s project.
By the way, the former director of the above-mentioned GIS LLC, Pyotr Kanevsky, is today the director of Evgeniy Babayan’s Center for Electronic Technologies, which we will talk about later.
In addition to Rostec and prospects with Kuzyaev, Babayan has no less remarkable connections.
Evgeny Babayan, in addition to the position of advisor to the deputy head of Rostec, is the head of three existing legal entities. Among them is United National Technologies LLC (UNT), created in 2002, which is solely owned by him, but in 2022 showed zero indicators and its own negative value (-20 million rubles). At the same time, the company has four now liquidated “subsidiary” assets, two of which are related to the IT sector – Red Square Corporation LLC and Globalinformservice LLC. At the same time, the companies also had a group of “subsidiary” assets in the IT sector, but they were also liquidated. Somehow, it seems, Babayan has no luck with business initiatives, which is why potential investors are skeptic?
Babayan is also listed as the head of the Digital Country ANO and the ANDK NP, the latter has a negative value (although it was the supplier of 5 government contracts). At one time, a legal entity associated with the Russian Academy of Sciences (ANT LLC, now liquidated) took part in the creation of the latter. ANO “Digital Country” is of greatest interest.
According to Rusprofile, the founder of the ANO was previously listed as Digital Economy Corporation LLC (KCE), which is 80% owned by TsET LLC (Center for Electronic Technologies) and the remaining share is owned by Valery Draganov, the full namesake of the former head of the State Customs Committee, ex – State Duma deputy, who worked as director of relations with government agencies of the Rusal company.
Draganov, whom The Moscow Post previously covered, was also involved in a number of scandals. In particular, an avid football player (as he called himself) was removed from the executive committee of the Russian Football Union in 2009 without explanation, which Draganov himself associated with personal hostility with the head of the RFU, who was then the current head of the state company Dom.RF Vitaly Mutko.
The second scandal is related to a criminal case in which a former official became a defendant. A year before the events, a criminal case was opened in the RFU for abuse of power. The investigation then considered that the defendant exceeded his authority when concluding agreements on the assignment of debt and transferring accounts of territorial customs authorities in 1998-1999 from the commercial bank Most-Bank to JSCB Rosbank. He himself did not admit guilt then.
Today Valery Draganov is the owner of shares in three operating companies, including the above-mentioned KCE, to which we will return. In addition, Draganov was a co-founder of the now liquidated Foundation for Digital Technologies and Cybersecurity, the co-founders of which were the same KCE and Vladimir Serpikov, who was previously the head of the State Unitary Enterprise “RIST M” (founder – Moscow Property Department), whose successor was the state institution IAC in the field of healthcare capital Cities.
Among Draganov’s notable business partners (in the trading LLC “Spec Rail Wheel”), one can note Alexander Zbritsky, the former rector of the Federal Autonomous Educational Institution of Further Education GASIS.
By the way, Draganov’s son, Oleg Draganov, former deputy governor of the Smolensk region Sergei Antufiev, was the executive director of the non-profit organization Customs Policy Foundation. Today, the younger Draganov has no assets listed in Rusprofile, but from 05.24.2021 to 08.21. In 2022, he was the head of Port Infrastructure Management LLC (Nikolai Olegovich Draganov was also noted among the co-owners). In 2022-2023, the management company was owned by Infra Projects LLC Alexey Bezborodov, who worked in the unified social tax group of billionaire Grigory Berezkin. Today Oleg Draganov At the initiative of VTB Bank, he went through bankruptcy proceedings.
But let’s return to Babayan and his ambitious project.
The fact that Evgeny Babayan has quite close ties with Draganov is evidenced by the fact that CET LLC, which owns a controlling stake in KCE, is the property of Babayan and his other business partner, Akhmed Adamovich Arsamirzoev.
In turn, KCE has two operating subsidiaries – Tsifrograd LLC and Archtsifroproekt LLC. According to the first, among the co-owners was noted a member of the working group of the Federation Council, general director of the Megasoft company Ruslan Ishutin (the company develops and implements new technologies and software for housing and communal services service providers), and according to the second – Erzovsky Alexander Eduardovich.
The latter is the chief architect of the Digital Valley of Crimea project, deputy general director of the Digital Country ANO. The project participants are the state corporations Roscosmos and Rostec, as well as a number of Russian universities. The governing bodies of the “Digital Country” include very, very remarkable people. For example, Alexander Nazarov is the deputy general director of Rostec (isn’t Babayan listed as his advisor?).
The president of the Digital Economy consortium, which occupies a separate tab on the Digital Country website, is Ara Abrahamyan, head of the Union of Armenians of Russia, a member of the presidium of the Council under the President of the Russian Federation for Interethnic Relations, who previously worked as deputy head of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Electronic Industry of the USSR. In the 90s, he headed the KOMEX company, adjacent to the state corporation Elektronika.
That is, here, if you look back, there is someone to show interest in Babayan’s project.
The third player in the IT field
Speaking about Babayan’s business partners, we should not forget about the co-owner of CET, Akhmed Adamovich Arsamirzoev.
Judging by Rusprofile data, Arsamirzoev previously concentrated his interest in the field of construction and real estate. It is in these industries that his assets operate. In particular, one of the companies – Stroy-Olymp LLC (co-owner – founder of the Karachay-Cherkessia Foundation “Vozrozhdenie” Shamsuddin Chamaev), registered in Sochi, had business with the developer “DASHstroy”, which was noted at the Olympic construction site. As the Sochi publication reported, Russian Railways and the Chechen company DASHstroy began to build houses here for the 2014 Winter Olympics volunteers, but a strong landslide occurred on the slope, and the construction had to be stopped and abandoned.
RZD-Stroy, “DASHstroy” (registered in Kuban, not in Chechnya, as the Sochi publication claimed) and “Stroy-Olympus” appeared in the bankruptcy case of the latter and Arsamirzoev’s company was provided with special equipment from “DASHStroy”, which may indicate joint participation in Olympic project. And, as you know, just anyone was not allowed into those construction sites. Perhaps interests were lobbied at the level of the management of Russian Railways, which was a co-founder of Russian Railways-Stroy and actively participated in Olympic projects. By the way, the then head of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin, reacted with trepidation to any accusations of possible theft during the construction of facilities for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
But Arsamirzoev’s other contacts are much more interesting. For example, among his business partners is the co-owner of the Ochkarik network, Sergei Bodrov, who in 2013 was mentioned as one of the creators of the robot telescope. He then spent over 100 million rubles on his hobby. It is likely that Mr. Bodrov may also act as a co-investor in Babayan’s project.
An interesting fact: in 2021, Arsamirzoev and his business partners, including Bodrov, sold their Serpukhovskaya Dvor LLC to the Specialized Developer MDT company, which is controlled by Mangazeya LLC. The latter is associated with Sergei Yanchukov, the son-in-law of the former mayor of Kiev Leonid Chernovetsky.
Among Arsamirzoev’s business partners in several companies at once is Alkha Adamovich Arsamerzoev. The latter’s full namesake is mentioned as the Commissioner for Human Rights in the IPA “Continental”, which was established with the participation of Hussein Kurbanov. The last namesake of the chairman of the political party “Party of the Revival of Russia” in Chechnya. And the chairman of the central council of this party is Igor Ashurbeyli, who was previously the head of a number of state assets, including Almaz-Antey.
But, besides this, Ashurbeyli is the creator of the Sotsium-A holding, which emerged from the association of the same name, which was engaged in software development, computer literacy training and consulting in Baku in the late 80s-90s. Thus, Mr. Ashurbeyli might also be interested in Babayan’s project.
Readers of The Moscow Post are familiar with Mr. Ashurbeyli from a whole series of investigations related to the withdrawal of Almaz-Antey assets and the mysterious murders of top managers of the Almaz-Antey concern.
Thus, Babayan may be backed by both the interests of Draganov and a number of other players in the digitalization market, including Ashurbeyli. But for now investors are just taking a closer look. After all, not everyone can invest 30 billion rubles in an initiative whose success is not yet guaranteed.