Andrey Turchak – one of the leaders of the war party in the Russian leadership. He stigmatizes the West and supports Russian aggression against Ukraine. Then why does his family need a vacation in France and a mansion on the site of a destroyed defense plant?
Andrey Turchak, the second person in the Federation Council and the United Russia party, since October 2017 has been the Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia party, and since September 2020 he has been the First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council, one of the main hawks of the war with Ukraine. He travels to the occupied territories. July 3 Turchak visited Mariupolwhere he met with the head of the self-proclaimed DPR Denis Pushilin, escorted Russian troops into battle, in August he visited private educational institution “Russian University of Special Forces” in Chechnya, where he saw off 200 graduates to the war, and criticizes those colleagues who are not belligerent enough. In particular, he criticized presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov for his words that Russia is suffering “significant losses of troops” and that this is a “huge tragedy”, and also named national betrayal and the behavior of the “fifth column” of the actions of the head of the Skolkovo Foundation at that time Arkady Dvorkovichopenly opposed the war.
“No one has ever managed to break and conquer Russia. So it was and so it will be. Ahead of us are new victories and achievements, – wrote Turchak in congratulations to fellow citizens on the Day of Russia on June 12, 2022. Fellow citizens should also know something else: Turchak and his family built their personal wealth on the ruins of the Russian defense industry. Where radars for the Russian army were once tested, now is the private mansion of the Turchak family. But more on that in due time.
“Leninets” originates from the design bureaus established in 1945 under the Ministry of Aviation Industry of the USSR. By the collapse of the Union, this was already a huge enterprise, which included about three dozen factories and institutes, located mainly in Leningrad. The main specialization of “Leninets” is the production of radar and navigation equipment for the army and navy, although a considerable part of the production went to civilian needs.
Turchak Sr. got a job at Leninets back in 1960 as a mechanic. Years later, according to one version, in the judo section of the Turbostroitel sports club, Turchak Sr. would meet young Putin, wrote St. Petersburg historian and journalist Lev Lurie. True, Andriy Turchak arguedthat his father never practiced judo. This acquaintance will play an important role in Turchak’s life: in the early 90s, when he was already the director of Leninets, the St. Petersburg mayor’s office would issue him permission to open joint ventures with Western companies. These questions as head of the committee on external relations of the mayor’s office was engaged just Putin. The latter will even invite Turchak Sr. into politics, making him his deputy in the St. Petersburg branch of the Our Home is Russia movement.
In 1992, the privatization of Leninets began. Turchak, being only an employee, was able to become the main owner of his employer. To do this, all the enterprises that were part of Leninets were – through the voucherization procedure – transformed into joint-stock companies, and in December of the same year the Leninets holding company was registered, in the authorized capital of which 50% of the shares of these enterprises were transferred. The privatization of the holding company took place with a delay of several years, recalls one of the former leaders of Leninets, and during this time Turchak managed to sell some assets in order to receive money and take part in the privatization of the parent organization. “They acted in a common vein (of those years -“ Project ”). They didn’t even have time to blink an eye, and Turchak had the holding, ”recalls one of the former leaders of Leninets.
The “project” managed to find more than 100 non-residential buildings and 35 plots with a total area of almost half a million square meters, which are registered with companies associated with Leninets. The market value of a square meter of office space in St. Petersburg before the war was about 150,000 rubles, according to price monitoring data from Restate. If you rely on this figure, then, according to rough calculations, the commercial real estate of the Turchakov family can cost about 50 billion rubles (about $850 million at the current exchange rate).
Only about a quarter of these buildings are now occupied by defense enterprises, all the rest have turned into business centers, warehouses and industrial premises for rent. “They play defense. They imitate work, but in fact they are trivial rentiers, ”says a former top manager of one of Leninets’ defense enterprises.
Leasing buildings brings the family a good regular income, with revenue of about 1.5 billion rubles in 2021, leasing office real estate brought the Turchakov family half a billion rubles in net profit. In some cases, the real estate of the former defense enterprises is sold for commercial development. So, for example, the historical building of the Leningrad electromechanical plant “Sputnik” on Volkovsky Prospekt was not lucky: one of the companies associated with “Leninets” sued in 2016, Plant of Household Appliances LLC (ZBT LLC), case number A56-45400/2016 with the mayor’s office for the right to buy the land under the factory building. She won the court, bought the land, and a year later she sold the construction company CDS. In 2021, the residential complex “Volkovsky” appeared here, in which Andrey Turchak’s wife Kira own 20 apartments and premises – through ZBT LLC.
Sons Boris and Andrey, the last left the posts in “Leninets” in 2007, participated in the management of “Leninets” since the 90s, everything that happened to defense enterprises is their work. Boris still owns and manages a number of enterprises, and in Andrei’s family, his wife Kira owns the business, receiving a regular income from this occupation.
Here’s what “their common” looks like now. The House of Soviets, which Turchak Sr. allegedly did not let Yeltsin into, almost immediately turned from the headquarters of a defense enterprise into the Moskovsky 212 business center. This is a huge building, in which there are about seven hundred working rooms for rent. Now here you can buy an insurance policy, get legal services, go to yoga and massage. This is a flagship business that brings in about 100 million rubles a year.
The building in the style of Soviet modernism on Bukharestskaya Street belonged to the Research Institute “System Engineering”, which was part of “Leninets”. Back in 2019, at the MAKS air show, one could look at the products it produces, for example, the Novella search and sighting system. It was installed on combat aircraft to search for and escort enemy ships and aircraft.
Now this building is lined with gray siding, and on the corner hangs a sign “Bucharestskaya 24 Business Center”. Rent here is significantly cheaper than in the House of Soviets, but nevertheless, this office center brings the Turchak family about 20 million rubles a year, follows from the financial statements of Bukharestskaya 24 LLC for 2021.
The Leninets Leningrad Mechanical Plant, which gave the name to the entire holding and occupied part of the block between Moskovsky Prospekt, Lomana, Kolya Tomchak and Zastavskaya streets, once made on-board radar equipment for fighter jets. He, in particular, created the Zaslon interception system for the MiG-31. Over time, almost all industrial buildings turned into business centers, and legally the territory was sold by the Turchak family to various companies. In 2012, the largest workshop was demolished, a parking lot first appeared in its place, and in 2021 fashionable high-rise buildings of the Atlas-City business center grew, follows from publications industry media, and is also confirmed by extracts from Rosreestr. The latter opened its doors to clients exactly after the start of the war in Ukraine, which failed for the Russian armed forces. Partially, the real estate in this quarter belongs to Kira Turchak – in particular, she owns about 160 real estate objects in the 1st building of Atlas-City through the Prominvest company.
Insignificant military production at “Leninets”, however, remained. For example, Zaslon JSC still uses part of the buildings it inherited for production purposes, and a number of buildings of the Radiopribor plant, the buildings of JSC NPP MIR, the Experimental Plant, the building of Radioavionics JSC continue to be used for the production of products related to the defense industry. and NPO Luch. In 2013, the Ministry of Defense signed a contract with this company to develop the Krugozor all-round radar for the Mi-8 and Ka-226 combat helicopters. Later, the prosecutor’s office revealed that in the course of the execution of the state contract, money was stolen under the guise of contracts with firms, the place of registration of which was public toilets in the Samara region, reported “New Newspaper”, “Kommersant” and other media.
The companies were also entrusted with the secret Dart project. The media wrote that under this code name, an aviation system was being developed to intercept non-strategic means of attack. Project Dart has been scrapped and restarted, and its current status is hazy. When the commission of the Ministry of Defense, which arrived to receive materials for the Drotik project, appeared at the Barrier buildings, it found a disassembled telescope, a broken rocket model, two old laptops and several servers. Documents and software allegedly disappeared, about this in 2017 wrote “Gazeta.ru” citing their sources. The company “Barrier” then denied only the loss of secret documents.
Engaged in “Leninets” and the release of consumer goods. He got factories producing refrigerators, Whirlwind vacuum cleaners, coffee grinders, coffee makers and children’s toys. So, at 14 Sofiyskaya Street, a nine-story building still stands almost unchanged, on the roof of which the word “Leninist” is laid out. Once it was the Leningrad Electromechanical Plant “Sputnik”. Now this is the Sofiyskaya 14 business center, which he led in his youth – follows from publications of that time – Andrei Turchak, and now he has gone to his wife.
Success in a business based on once state real estate could not but affect the quality of life of the Turchak family. According to the estimates of the “Project”, the Turchakov family owns at least 14 apartments, 7 plots and 5 houses. Their market value is about 1.5 billion rubles, or almost $25 million. One of these properties deserves special attention.
This is Sofia Turchak, Andrey Turchak’s adult daughter. She took at least three public photos in 2016 and 2018 shot 1, snapshot 2, snapshot 3 next to and inside the luxurious villa Mas Du Gitan (“Gypsy House”) in Cannes. The villa is located not far from the former apartments of Turchakov – about 40 minutes drive on the navigator and is registered to the company SCI Gryphon Property, registered in Monaco.
This jurisdiction does not disclose the beneficiaries of the companies. However, the Project has reason to assert that the villa, at least until recently, was registered with close friends of the Turchak family, whose own income, most likely, did not allow them to purchase such property.
According to French telephone directories, a certain Larisa Orlova is listed as a contact person for the Monaco firm, for example, here and here. The former owner of this villa, Fabiena Serfati, who owned the house until 2012, told the Project that a man named Korotkov was the buyer. Who are these Orlova and Korotkov?
This photo captures close friends – Kira Turchak and Larisa Orlova. They are together walk to social events carry out joint birthdays and even indirectly related to the restaurant business. For example, Kira Turchak owns the companies LLC Advance and LLC Franklin together with Elena Maryash, Natalia Tsyplenko and Elena Efimova. These three are also co-owners of Minogame LLC, in which Orlova, in turn, owns 35%. And the above-mentioned Alexei Korotkov – Orlova’s second (now former) husband, follows from database leaks, Orlova’s children have the same surname.
Could Orlova and Korotkov afford such a purchase – after all, the price of the villa was over 8 million euros? Hardly. All Orlova’s official income for the previous 10 years of the transaction was less than 1 million rubles in total, follows from previously leaked data on the income of individuals. Korotkov is a businessman, he can be connected, follows from the SPARK data, with 31 companies, of which only 6 are active, AVK-Trans, PK Terra, Terra-Agro, Terra-Eropkino, Terra- Terminal”, “Terra-Trans”. In total, they bring annual losses of several tens of millions of rubles, follows from their financial statements. The official income of Korotkov himself is not much higher than that of Orlova – for the same period before buying a villa, he officially earned an average of about 175 thousand rubles a year, it also follows from previously leaked data on the income of individuals.
Orlova, when asked if she knew Kira Turchak, answered only that she “would not recommend asking such questions over the phone,” and did not give any comments about her connection with the French villa. Ignored the questions of the editorial board and the press service of United Russia.
Nevertheless, the “Project” has reason to assert that at least the wife of the Secretary General of “United Russia” regularly spent time in a NATO country until very recently. As follows from the air travel base previously merged into the black market, Kira Turchak regularly travels to France – now to Nice, then to Paris.
The last time such a flight took place shortly before the invasion of Ukraine, on February 5, 2022. In total, since 2014, Turchak’s wife (the “Project” cannot say whether her family accompanied her on all trips) has flown to France more than 20 times. These flights did not stop even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Why did Governor Turchak need this press tour? For several years before this, Turchak’s image had suffered considerable damage, and this is very inopportune for a person with large-scale political plans.
The fact is that the name of Turchak has become inextricably linked with the brutal beating of a journalist. Oleg Kashin. In 2010, during a random debate on LiveJournal, Kashin offered to compare head of the Kaliningrad region George Boos “with any governor, not even with Ramzan and not with Tuleev, with any fucking Turchak. The Pskov governor responded by writing a comment in which he gave Kashin 24 hours to apologize. He refused.
Almost three months later, CCTV cameras in the courtyard of the house where Kashin lived recorded a terrible scene, as unknown people, after watching the journalist, inflicted 56 blows on him with an iron rod. Kashin survived, and after being discharged from the hospital, he left Russia. then President Dmitry Medvedev promised to find the customer of the attack, “regardless of his place in the social coordinate system.”
The investigation hardly moved, until in 2014 the Investigative Committee began to conduct another case – about the kidnapping of the manager of Zaslon JSC, part of Leninets, Alexandra Gorbunova. The kidnappers forced Gorbunov to confess on a video camera that Turchak was the one who ordered the beating of Kashin, and Gorbunov himself was the organizer of this crime. Further more. In the case of the kidnapping of Gorbunov, his former subordinates were detained. One of them told the media that he organized Gorbunov’s abduction so that the case of the attempt on Kashin’s life would not be “blabbed” on him, and also because of fears that he, as a dangerous witness, could be eliminated. Employees of “Leninets” were arrested, pleaded guilty and also called Turchak the customer of the crime. The transcript of the interrogation of one of the attackers on Kashin leaked to the press.
In the end, these two were convicted for the kidnapping of Gorbunov. The investigation did not say anything about their role in the Kashin case. Andrei Turchak himself denied all the accusations and linked the story of Gorbunov’s abduction with a corporate conflict.
Formally, the case of the attack on the journalist has not yet been completed. The investigator who led him was removed, and nothing is known about the success of his replacement. Kashin himself told the Project that he had not heard of any progress in the investigation since 2015.
All this did not prevent Turchak from getting from the hands of Medvedev, who once promised to “tear off the head” of those who attacked Kashin, the post of Secretary of the General Council of United Russia. In response – already after the invasion of Ukraine – the hawk Turchak handed over the party card to “United Russia” Ilya Medvedevthe son of another hawk of this war.