Archpriest of Moldavian metropole questioned by Federal Penal Correction Service in corruption case

Archpriest of Moldavian metropole questioned by Federal Penal Correction Service in corruption case
Gennady Tsurkanu Photo: ruchess.ru

Gennady Tsurkanu - with the assistance of Oleg Korshunov - received loans from Zhilkredit bank’s owner Anna Ribitskaya. Ribitskaya told Tsurkanu she had “visions of angels” who advised her to sell a tanker that was on the balance sheet of the bank.

Former head of one of the Moldavian metropoles’ branches, archpriest Gennady Tsurkanu, has been questioned in the corruption case related to a former deputy director of the Federal Penal Correction Service Oleg Korshunov, reports RBC. The archpriest told that long time, Korshunov assisted him in receiving loans related to commercial and goodwill projects in Anna Ribitskaya’s Zhilkredit bank, however subsequently “distanced himself from ordinary people.” 

Tsurkanu met Korshunov in Moscow’s Chaihona restaurant on Leninsky prospect in 2009. Common acquaintances - entrepreneurs in the field of fuel supply - introduced them to each other. In the archpriest’s words, subsequently, he from time to time contacted Korshunov requesting loans for implementation of various projects related, among others, to charity. 

“About a half a year after we got acquainted, he took me to Zhilkredit bank and introduced me to its President of the Board [Anna] Ribitskaya who was his old acquaintance and business partner. After I met Ribitskaya, I occasionally turned to the bank requesting loans.” The archpriest told. He noted that when the Zhilkredit bank’s owner, while providing a loan, received Korshunov’s approval. In fact, the latter was the archpriest’s guarantor. 

In the archpriest’s words, loan amounts ranged from 1 to 20 million rubles ($15.6 and $303.2 thousand, respectively). He always repaid the loan with nominal interest. On June 27, 2018, when he was being questioned - Tsurkanu’s debt accounted to 15 million rubles ($227.4 thousand). The archpriest noted that there was no contract tied up with the bank - Korshunov’s verbal confirmation was sufficient. After Korshunov became a member of the Federal Penal Correction Service, he continued being Tsurkanu’s guarantor in Zhilkredit. With that, Korshunov “strongly encouraged” Tsurkanu to repay and joked that of the archpriest was going to be arrested, he would give him “a cell with a small window.” 

Tsurkanu didn’t deal with the Federal Penal Correction Service, however - at Korshunov’s requests - “carried out christenings for Korshunov’s relatives, acquaintances, as well as a child of the first deputy director of the Federal Penal Correction Service, Anatoly Rudoy.” His testimonies state. 

Moreover, Korshunov asked Tsurkanu about “a certificate of ordination”, and he was not denied. In an interview with RBK, Tsurkanu specified that he asked the Metropolitan of Chisinau and all Moldova Vladimir to award the deputy director of the Federal Penal Correction Service for his assistance to a metochion of the Moldavian church in Moscow. “Once, he gave us 20 thousand rubles ($300); another time, he bought church plates. I wrote a report and asked the metropolitan to give him the medal in honor of 200 anniversary of the Moldavian church.” The archpriest said. 

Between December, 2016 and May, 2017, Korshunov called Tsurkanu 13 times requesting to pay back the loan to Zhilkredit bank - this appears from the archpriest’s testimonies and memorandum reports of the Federal Security Service that he was faced with during the interrogation. The archpriest noted that Korshunov “spoke with him in short accents, and it was outrageous.” In Tsurkanu’s words, after Korshunov became a member of the Federal Penal Correction Service, “he distanced himself from ordinary people, and disdained his acquaintances.” The archpriest said that the deputy director of the Federal Penal Correction Service was often late for meetings, and started riding Harley-Davidson

The owner of Zhilkredit bank Ribitskaya never contacted Tsurkanu straight-forwardly, because he was considered ‘Korshunov’s person’. In Tsurkanu’s words, when he met her in 2016, she talked about her visions. She allegedly met the Blessed Virgin and angels “who advised her to sell a tanker.” RBK specifies that it is about an Alexander Nevsky tanker that was supposed to be implemented by the bank till the end of 2016. When he met her for the last time, Tsurkanu advised Ribitskaya to contact a psychologist. 

Tsurkanu described Korshunov as “a pious person.” He noted that the reason they got acquainted was that Korshunov had to christen his granddaughter at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Subsequently, Tsurkanu helped Korshunov in pilgrimage to relicts that were brought to Moscow. The archpriest noted that he is sorry about what happened to the deputy director of the Federal Penal Correction Service. 

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