Family of the head of Mosvodokanal Alexandra Ponomarenko manages in Germany the company Evanka Invest GmbH, which deals with real estate in Berlin. This is stated in the joint investigation der Spiegel, OCCRP, the Swiss RTS, as well as the French Le Monde and the Austrian Standard.
In June “Important stories” revealedthat Mosvodokanal (among other Moscow budget organizations) is recruiting contract soldiers into the Ministry of Defense as part of covert mobilization. Recruits are offered fictitious employment with the signing of a contract for military service and additional payments from the company.
Also Mosvodokanal released a videowhich describes how supposedly mobilized company employees are fighting in Ukraine, while the company itself purchases equipment for the military, including optics for weapons.
According to investigators, the son, daughter, stepson of the head of Mosvodokanal, as well as his partner Lyubov Komissarenko (Spiegel does not name her last name, but she has previously appeared in Russian media) manage luxury real estate in the German capital. In particular, they own the Upscale residential complex Riverside Square near Berlin Central Station. The land under this complex alone is estimated at 22 million euros.
Also, one of Ponomarenko’s sons owns a company that rents out apartments near Potsdamer Platz in the center of Berlin. Capital of Germany included in the top 10 most expensive cities in Europe in terms of housing rental costs and is going through a crisis real estate market with almost complete absence of vacant space.
On Evanka Invest GmbH website it is said that the company was founded by partners of “Ukrainian origin.” Spiegel writes that the company, the family of a Russian government official, claims that the majority of its shareholders and employees are native Ukrainians who suffer from Russian aggression and even provide housing to refugees.
Ponomarenko’s companion, Lyubov Komissarenko, was actually born in Ukraine. Journalists write that she met Ponomarenko in 2003 and already in 2006 started a construction business and selling water supply equipment. Business partner of Komissarenko, Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Housing and Communal Services Petr Biryukov. Since 2014, Komissarenko’s companies have received orders worth more than 200 million euros from Mosvodokanal and the public sector.
Based on calculations from the anti-corruption database Rupep, journalists found that the Ponomarenko family withdrew from Russia and reinvested the same amount – more than 200 million euros. The Berlin network of companies of the “Sewer Clan,” as German journalists call the Ponomarenko family, received about 50 million euros of this amount from 2016 to 2022.
From documents leaked by hackers to the darknet, investigators established that the Ponomarenko family withdrew money with the help of a little-known Swiss asset management company, Finaport. From these papers it follows that both after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and after the outbreak of a full-scale war, Finaport served clients from among the Russian “elite”. Thus, the company’s services were used by the former Minister of Communications of the Russian Federation and a former presidential adviser Dmitry Medvedev, Leonid Reimanand also a businessman Alexander Kondratenkovwhich in Russia accused of grand theft.
In internal Finaport emails, reporters found employees bragging about how easily they were able to follow up on suspicious clients’ financial transactions. The then CEO of Finaport, Helmut Schümperli, for example, wrote that the company needed 15–20 minutes to screen clients with “higher risks.”
Finaport documents also say that it was Komissarenko’s private assets that were used to finance the subsidiary company Evanka Invest. The Ponomarenko family has about $46 million in Swiss accounts.
Komissarenko told Spiegel magazine that she broke up with Ponomarenko and left Russia after the outbreak of a full-scale war. According to Ponomarenko’s partner, she is trying to sever economic ties with the Russian Federation and is bringing old projects to completion.
— There were rumors that it was being built by a big man from Russia. Either an official or a businessman. Expensive cars drove up to the gate. A man in a suit and a spectacular lady with children came out. We also wondered why they needed such a tower,” Eric Henri from Chemin de Magnanon street told Life.
Step by step, Life was able to identify the new landscapes. The local guesses turned out to be true: the owners of the mansions live in Russia. Facts indicate that the family of Mosvodokanal director Alexander Ponomarenko owns the property.
According to French laws, foreigners cannot register real estate in their own name; they need to register a company. The procedure is extremely unpleasant if you have something to hide. You will have to indicate all the data: date and place of birth, family names and even registration address. These documents are certified by notaries and posted in public registers. You can check them out Here. This is where the Ponomarenko family made a mistake. This is how Life learned a beautiful story about how an ordinary girl from a Ukrainian farm met a Moscow prince, became the largest partner of Mosvodokanal and the mistress of a French estate. But more on that later.
Ponomarenko has been managing this entire enterprise for the ninth year. Information about him is scarce. Born in Dzhankoy, Ukrainian SSR, he graduated from the institute in Moscow, in the 80s he got a job as an engineer at Mosenergo, in the 90s he rose to the head of the operational area, and in the 2000s he took the position of the head of the organization. Long divorced. He has a 39-year-old son, Maxim, and a 35-year-old daughter, Natalya. He is also an honorary energy engineer with the sign of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky “For Labor and the Fatherland” on his chest.
Komissarenko and Ponomarenko never officially got married, although they have been together for almost twenty years.
According to the French registry, SCI Anastasia is registered here. The abbreviation in the name indicates that it not only owns real estate, but also makes money from it. Life has familiarized itself with the constituent documents. The business was founded in 2016. It is owned by Lyubov Komissarenko, her son Andrei, as well as her minor children from Alexander Ponomarenko – 9-year-old Mikhail and 16-year-old Anastasia. The register contains information that Lyubov divorced her official husband shortly before Anastasia’s birth and since then has been living in a civil marriage in the same apartment with Alexander Ponomarenko.
The stated corporate goal of SCI Anastasia was to acquire the luxury residential complex Le Saint Pierre in Nice at 52 rue de la Buffa. This apartment building has its own Russian-speaking website, from which we can conclude that it was built for sale to our compatriots. For the apartments you will have to pay from €500 thousand to €1.5 million.
Both Theoule-sur-Mer and the apartments in Nice seem like a mere trifle compared to another French asset, Lyubov Komissarenko. Life discovered documents according to which back in 2009, Alexander Ponomarenko and his son from his first marriage, Maxim, registered a non-profit partnership for real estate management, Alexander et Fils (“Alexander and Son”) in France. They contributed €1 million to its authorized capital and the same hectare of land worth €500 thousand in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. In the constituent documents, the partners stated the goals: attracting a loan, development and construction of the territory. In 2016, Alexander Ponomarenko transferred his share to Lyubov Komissarenko.
Confirming the Alexander et Fils site in La Colle Noire turned out to be difficult: surveyors changed the boundaries, and the cadastral numbers were outdated. However, mansions with a copy of the Eiffel Tower have not gone away. Life received a cadastral extract for this property.
The one on the top left is from Alexander et Fils. The satellite image shows a large house, a parking lot, a swimming pool and a tennis court. In 2008, this place was an open field, and in 2013, a mansion was already being built here: three floors, a colonnade, a mezzanine, a mini-copy of the Eiffel Tower. The area of the site is almost 11 thousand square meters. meters. Such luxury costs €50 million.
The second palace is no less beautiful: the size of the plot is more than 11 thousand square meters. meters, the price can exceed €53 million. It is owned by a certain Alexander Yadoyan. This is a business partner of the head of Mosvodokanal Alexander Ponomarenko. According to the SPARK-Interfax database, they jointly control the companies Amalia, Mika Auto, and Somap. Previously, their joint ownership included the companies Line, Sodruzhestvo-YAP and Spetstrans Vesta. On social networks, Yadoyan looks like a man of modest needs: he is vacationing with relatives in Georgia, dreaming of a new Mercedes.
Lyubov Komissarenko also has assets in Slovakia. Her Bratislava companies KLP Development sro and Evanka sro have real estate worth €35 million on their balance sheets and bring the owner an income of €1.1 million a year. The essence of the activity of both companies is leasing offices at Hviezdoslavovo námestie 20.
Judging by foreign registers, in Moscow, Alexander Ponomarenko and Lyubov Komissarenko are registered in a high-rise building at 80 Michurinsky Avenue. Here they have an apartment with an area of 239 square meters. m. From the window you can see a landscape park and the Bolshoi Ochakovsky Pond. The price of such housing is about 50 million rubles. Lyubov still lives with his eldest son in an apartment of 257 square meters. m in the elite residential complex “Imperial House” in Yakimansky Lane, 6. Analogues are sold on the secondary market for 328 million rubles.
It seems that a prominent Moscow utility worker is hiding his relationship with Komissarenko. There may be a logical explanation for this: her companies actively win large tenders for government procurement, and Mosvodokanal is among the main customers. And this is a direct conflict of interest. In addition, a woman can be an asset holder.
The company PKO Invest owned a 33 percent stake in Laboratory Hemotest and brought in a net profit of almost a billion rubles at the end of 2020. This money went to the beneficiary – Natalya Ponomarenko, the eldest daughter of Alexander Ponomarenko. She also owns a 40% stake in the Troika construction group. Here, annual incomes are modest – only 74 million rubles.
Ponomarenko’s son Maxim controls the Yalta hotel Palmira Palace. Calculating income is problematic, since the business is not managed centrally, but through a network of disparate companies. Maxim also manages the Timokhovo-Salazkino Estate recreation park worth 0.4 billion rubles in Vidnoye near Moscow.
Ponomarenko’s ex-wife Nina Klestova, through the Victoria company, owns the Palmira Business Club hotel on Novodanilovskaya Embankment in Moscow. In 2019, it recorded revenue of 173 million rubles.
Lyubov Komissarenko owns the Optima-invest company, which controls eight construction companies in the Moscow region and three in Moscow. Income for 2019 is estimated at 400 million rubles. Among the constructed objects are the Novotomilino residential complexes, the May resort town, Novokraskovo, Oblaka and dozens of others. That’s not all. Lyubov also has a management company, DC on Smirnovskaya, which services nine houses and earns about 13 million rubles.
Life studied hundreds of government contracts that were won by companies associated with Alexander Ponomarenko and his entourage. As expected, most often the customer for their services was Mosvodokanal. In this way, tens of billions of rubles were spent. You can explore the most suspicious purchases in the gallery below.
An interesting story happened with Dialog LLC, the ultimate beneficiaries of which are Lyubov Komissarenko and Maxim Ponomarenko. This supplier won the auction for the improvement of Yunosti Square in Zelenograd. Work there began several weeks before the results of the competition were announced. The historical parapet made of cobblestones in the square was dismantled under the guise of an emergency water pipe relocation ordered by Mosvodokanal. On the information stand, Vector-F was listed as the general contractor. Under similar circumstances, the reconstruction of Khokhlovskaya Square in the center of Moscow began. The auction was also won by the Dialog company; work began long before the results of the competition were announced.
This story showed that among the leaders of large state-owned enterprises there are real billionaires who have provided a decent life for themselves and their families through their positions and access to budgetary flows, but few people know about this. A possible gap in the legislation is that the heads of municipal enterprises are not required to file a declaration of their income and property. This is very convenient for Ponomarenko and other top managers, because this way they do not attract public attention and interest from law enforcement agencies.
Alexander Ponomarenko is registered in Moscow, at Michurinsky Prospekt, 80.
Lyubov Komissarenko is registered in the same house, in the same apartment as Alexander Ponomarenko. Their common children, Anastasia and Mikhail, live with them.
An extract from the cadastre confirming that one of the French estates belongs to the company Alexander et Fils.
An extract from the cadastre confirming that the second French estate belongs to Alexander Yadoyan.