"Robson" is the king of Russia’s Black Sea coast 

"Robson" is the king of Russia’s Black Sea coast
Ruben Tatulian is the assistant of the Deputy Alexander Karelin

In Sochi not only nights are dark, but also business. Even in Soviet times, the city became famous for the fact that thousands of officials at various levels have been caught in abuses and corruption in the context of the sensational "Sochi-Krasnodar case" in the early eighties, which resulted in more than a thousand people being sentenced to a long imprisonment. The old generation of thieves, murderers and fraudsters was replaced by new even more brutal and corrupt ones, devoid of all morality which in Soviet times was still somehow present in the minds of the old school criminals.

So, Sochi is a resort city, a pearl, and the Olympic capital of Russia. But this is only the external facade…A beautiful facade, which hides the boundless realm of the criminal world. Insolent thugs got out on the surface and call the shots. Now, in Sochi there is no law, because now all the city is run by Ruben Albertovich Tatulian. He was born in 1969, is a Sochi native and a leading representative of the Armenian diaspora of the city. In fact, he is the shadow ruler of the Russian Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Currently, his interests extended to into the Russian Crimea, but more on that later.

Photo 1. Ruben Tatulian is the successor of the assassinated mafia boss Ded Hassan Photo 2. Robson and Ded Hasan
Подпись к фото Photo: open sources
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Ruben Tatulyan became criminals’ "underboss" and the successor of the murdered "thief in law" Ded Hassan. Having received the nickname "Robson", a former athlete of promotes the interests of the criminal world and the Armenian diaspora in all government agencies of the region. Many appointments of judicial staff and security officials do not take place without his approval.

Robson’s life journey in summary is the following. On December 8th, 1969 in Sochi in an Armenian Tatulian family a boy was born. His parents gave him Jewish name Ruben, which means "overseer". This name, as we now know, proved to be prophetic. The boy was obviously gifted physically, at the age of six he was playing football in junior sports school. When he was 16 years old, Ruben was playing as a forward for the Krasnodar Region team in the final of the USSR football tournament called the "Leather Ball". However, in the nineties, when he was 27 years old, in order to somehow meet his financial demands, Ruben was already involved in dealing of stolen cars through Abkhazia and started extensive communication with Abkhaz criminal world. Officially, he was, of course, listed in Youth Sports School "Labor Reserves" (now the "Youth of Russia" sports complex). At the age of 29, he was appointed as the commercial director of the "Pearl" football club. At the age of 31, Ruben has been elected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of a healing and resort travel complex "Vesna". Shortly before this event, Ruben (already nicknamed Robson) gets acquainted with a young "thief in law" Alik Minalian, known in a criminal world under the nickname "Alex Sochinsky".

ОАО Курортно-оздоровительный туристско-экскурсионный комплекс пансионат «Весна» 

Photo: The healing and resort travel complex "Vesna" OJSC (by sochiru.ru)

Alik Minalian lived in the Khosta District of Sochi and until his tragic death in 2009, was a "representative" of the authority Ded Hassan. Alik became a "thief in law" in the summer of 2000, he was crowned by Ded Hassan himself. After Alik’s coronation, Robson immediately got the chairmanship of the Board of Directors of the “Vesna” complex. That moment was the beginning of Robson’s criminal career.

Around the same period, the Moscow criminal Armenian Diaspora took an interest in the Sochi "entertainment" market. Its representatives wanted to invest in a local business. Ded Hassan belonged to this very Diaspora. Alik Sochinsky, being his "overseer" in Sochi, pulled his friend Robson in the upper strata of the criminal world and introduced him into their system as his assistant. And who knows how long this situation would have lasted, if suddenly Alik Sochinsky’s relationships with Ded Hassan, for no reason, began to worsen, which led to Alik’s "uncoronation" at the end of the year 2009. The initiator of the "uncoronation" was Armen Harutyunian, known as a "thief in law" Armen Kanevsky, the right hand of Ded Hassan and the leader of the largest OCG of all Russian south, whose henchmen are still resolve all issues, both in the Krasnodar and the Rostov Regions. Armen Kanevsky died in 2010 from a severe form of diabetes.

Robson immediately raised banner of the Sochi city “overseer” from Ded Hassan, however, solving security issues, Robson still had no impact on the financial life of the city. These issues were managed by the Robson’s best friend Robson, Kagosyan Eduard Rubenovich, known by the nickname Karas (Carp), who was also under Ded Hassan’s protection. He was married to Liana Viktorovna Syrtsova, the daughter of the "last of the Mohicans," the last Sochi entrepreneur Victor Syrtsov who in the nineties did not go under the protection of the OCG. However, in 2002, Victor Syrtsov gone missing, which allowed Karas, his son in law, to hand to Ded Hassan Syrtsov’s business empire in exchange for the post of managing of Hassan’s affairs. Carp managed the business really skillfully and by 2010, it had developed, according to some estimates, up to a total value of about 150 million US dollars. To protect their interests, Kagosian often turned for support of the authorities, including the judicial and law enforcement system. First, he got an ID of an assistant of the regional judge, and then of an assistant of the Russian Supreme Court judge. In turn, Kagosian and his wife Liana Syrtsova were very accommodating and entertained their high-ranking "friends" freely.

October 26th of 2010, in Sochi cafe "Aqua House" the two motorcyclists with machine guns firing about 20 shots killed Karas. After this unexpected event, Ded Hassan’s affairs started being managed by, as you’ve probably guessed it, Robson. Of course, this happened not so soon and not in such trivial way. After about two months, Robson and Liana were seen together in a pleasant atmosphere. Then, they began to appear together in public, not hiding the fact that they are in a relationship. Robson was getting into the remaining business Liana inherited from her husband more confidently and deeper and eventually became involved in its management. So he became the “oversser” and the manager of Sochi, on behalf of Ded Hassan, who, as we recall, in January of 2013, was shot in central Moscow.

Лиана Сырцова

Photo: Liana Syrtsova (open sources of the Internet)

It is noteworthy that, if the city of Sochi and the surrounding area was under the management of Ded Hassan’s protégé Robson, in Anapa the other member of the Armenian diaspora, also the "gray your" of all-Russian resort, and a protege of the same Ded Hassan Sergey Zirinov (Zirinyan) was in charge. According to unofficial information, both "overseers" were in close and friendly relationship and had an agreement on the division of influence in the entire region of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Together, they provided vacation for the high state officials, including Chief Justice of Russia Lebedev. It is worth noting that, in addition to real estate, Tatulian inherited communication skills from his predecessors, in particular, Kagosian’s and Syrtsvoa’s tradition of hospitality and making every possible effort to entertain VIPs visiting the city of Sochi. Among them there were such figures as Basil Voloshin (Chairman of the Moscow Regional Court) and the Chairman of the Investigating Committee Alexander Bastrykin.

According to unofficial information, in his Sochi garage Robson keeps a "Bentley" car designed specifically for high-ranking persons. There are rumors about a time when the "Bentley" was stopped by the local police for gross violation of traffic regulations. At that moment, there were women, one of whom was a close relative of the Chairman of the Russian Armed Forces. After the scandal was quickly smothered up, all the police, honestly officiating during the incident, were quietly dismissed.

Теневой управленец Анапы Сергей Зиринов

Photo: Anapa “overseer” Sergey Zirinov (open sources of the Internet)

Shortly after Ded Hassan’s murder, Sergey Zirin, the “overseer” of Anapa, was arrested on charges of forcible takeovers of enterprises and murders of unwanted businessmen. Perhaps, this combination of circumstances resulted in Robson becoming the sole manager of the most important strategic and resort zones of Russia. From now on, in and around the city nothing can be solved without his consent. Ruben Tatulian travels with an escort, consisting of armored vehicles and accompanied by a dozen guards armed to the teeth. It is worth noting that the number of his personal vehicle registration belongs to the diplomatic corps of the Republic of Armenia.

It will just suffice to mention the case in Sochi airport when Robson, unhappy that barrier on the territory of the VIP-parking opened too slowly, just rammed it in a diplomatic car? Videos of the event was discussed by the whole country, but no consequences for Ruben Tatulian followed. Neither the Russian Federal Security Service, nor other services did react, just turned a deaf ear to it. Staff of the CrimeRussia has repeatedly tried to get a comment from the Embassy of Armenia asking: "Does Tatulian have an Ambassador status?". But we did not get any intelligible answer. Meanwhile, an unofficial source told us that the status of "honorary consul", in particular, of Armenia, can be purchased for 50 thousand US dollars.

Два черных тонированных «Гелендвагена» потрясли сотрудников аэропорта хамством

Photo: The airport staff was shocked by loutish behavior of two black Mercedes-Benz G-Class cars with blacked-out windows (the CrimeRussia archive)

These events give a reason to think that Tatulian may have such power and influence that we, the ordinary citizens of Russia have no idea about. Such powerful influence of the Armenian criminal diaspora having the support of the Foreign Ministry of Armenia, can not but cause anxiety in the Russian FSB.

It is possible that there is a big game going on and it is not yet clear who will be the winner. They say that at the moment neither Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov, nor the new governor of Kuban Veniamin Kondratyev do not solve the problem without consulting with Robson.

There is no limit to the authority of this crime boss in Kuban, he had placed himself above the law by removing the Azeri and Georgian criminal diasporas from the competition and steamrolling their business. We can assume that he is intentionally allowed to do so in order to prevent the growing influence of the Chechen groups, relying on omnipotent Ramzan Kadyrov and engaging more and more into an open confrontation with a group of Armenian authority for spheres of influence. Thus, by the traditional heavy-handed methods, by the army of militants, ethnic Abkhazians and Armenians, Robson completes the phase of takeover of all major facilities in Sochi. According to unofficial information, Tatulian privately mentioned that his people were determined to take control of all the important sites and resorts in Crimea. Allegedly, he helped in every way possible to maintain stability in the region at the time of the annexation of Crimea to Russia, and now he is allowed to do what he is doing in consideration of it.

As for the official life of Ruben Tatulian (Robson), he is now a society, respected man, the Assistant of the State Duma Deputy Alexander Karelin, an entrepreneur, an athlete, the president of the Sochi Fight Federation (received an award from the Ministry of Sports of Russia for contribution to the preparation and performance of the national team to fight on London Olympics) and, of course, a philanthropist, an organizer of Emilia Kazandjian’s Fund’s charity balls (Monaco).

The sports complex "Vesna" is also operating: the future and current Olympians train there. In addition to "Vesna", Tatulyan owns real estate all around Sochi. Commercial properties with a total area of about 70 thousand square meters, of which the tenth is the first shopping center in the city modestly called 'The Tatulian" brings about 850-900 million rubles a year to its owner.

Photo 1. Ruben Tatulian standing by his shopping center “The Tatulian” Photo 2. "The Tatulian" shopping center
Подпись к фото Photo: Internet open sources
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And this is just the tip of the iceberg of Robson’s empire. "The talented Sochi entrepreneur Ruben Albertovich Tatulian is unstoppable", it is said in a laudative interview with, but as you know, nothing lasts forever, even high-ranking patrons.



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