Marat Oganesyan settled construction issues on meetings with crowned thieves 

Marat Oganesyan settled construction issues on meetings with crowned thieves
Marat Oganesyan lobbied interests of Moscow-based semi-criminal builders Photo: The CrimeRussia

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation is finally going to ask some questions to Marat Oganesyan, the former Vice Governor of St. Petersburg. As is known, he has been accused of embezzlement of 50 million rubles allocated for installation of video equipment on Zenit Arena stadium. However, according to CrimeRussia sources, this is not the only matter the investigators would like to discuss with the former functionary. Most of all, the enforcement structures (as well as the municipal administration) are concerned about huge advance payments provided to contractors as per directions of the Vice Governor and totaling some 1.5 billion rubles.

Henchman in Smolny Palace

Today, the law enforcement authorities know almost everything about Marat Oganesyan. According to some sources, a dossier against him has been produced several years ago. And the current questions of the special services are rather formal: whom, how much, and which way? The troubles started for the Vice Governor back in September 2015 when the power brokers – and not only them – have understood: Marat Oganesyan is running not just shady, but totally thievish operations. (It is necessary to note that this revelation occurred even before the famous video showing a convention of thieves in the Bochka (Barrel) restaurant in Moscow.)

Оганесян на воровской сходке

Person looking like Marat Oganesyan at the convention of thieves 

Even prior to his appointment, in March 2013, the questionable biography of the future senior construction functionary of St. Petersburg was available on many Internet portals. The media had openly warned: a representative of the Moscow criminal society has infiltrated the Smolny Palace. A dealmaster and fixer. Henchman of the clan headed by Aslan Ded Hasan Usoyan. The story of embezzlements during the reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theater and Mariinsky Theater had been provided as a glaring example of his operations. The journalists described in detail how the construction costs had increased to 34.4 billion rubles for the Bolshoi Theater and to 19.1 billion rubles for the Mariinsky Theater.

The career of Marat Oganesyan has skyrocketed when he became a member of the inner circle of Eduard Asatryan (also known as Edik Tbilissky and Osetrina (Sturgeon Flesh), a famous crowned thief. Asatryan was an old-time associate of Ded Hasan, the king of the Russian criminal world. Jointly with Razmik Asatryan (a relative of Edik Tbilissky), Oganesyan has founded several construction companies. Almost immediately, without any prior construction portfolio, these companies started getting profitable contracts, including governmental ones, from the Moscow-based Administration for Reconstruction and Development of Unique Objects State Unitary Enterprise. The friendship with Ara Abramyan, leader of the Armenian community in Moscow and concurrently a friend of Yuri Luzhkov, then-Mayor of Moscow, allowed Marat Oganesyan to lay his hands on large-scale construction contracts.

Abramyan assisted the henchman of Moscow crowned thieves to get the post of the Head of the Directorate for Construction, Reconstruction, and Restoration Federal State Institution of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. This was the beginning of Oganesyan’s stellar way into the construction business of St. Petersburg.


In the period of 2004–2010, Oganesyan was the Head of Soglasie (Accord) State Corporation that included several construction and IT enterprises. Its best known projects were: the Moscow International Business Center Moscow City and reconstruction of historical buildings in the Moscow Kremlin. Then Marat Oganesyan was the Head of the Directorate for Construction, Reconstruction, and Restoration Federal State Institution of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. In 2011, he worked in the Northwestern Directorate for Construction, Reconstruction and Restoration. In 2013, was appointed the Vice Governor of St. Petersburg for Construction. In fact, he was controlling operations of the Committee for Construction, Committee for Transport Infrastructure Development, Committee for State Control, Use and Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments, Committee for Investments, Governmental Construction Supervision and Expertise Service, and Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture. After the scandal with the video recorded in the Bochka restaurant in 2015, Oganesyan had to leave this post. Later he was a Vice President of Rossiisky Capital Bank and supervised construction projects of SU-155 company.

Build, steal, seize

After the seizure of the Smolny Palace by Marat Oganesyan, a harsh expansion of Moscow-based semi-criminal construction companies has started in St. Petersburg. Having an annual budget of 80 billion rubles at his disposal, Oganesyan has brought a team of Moscow managers to the St. Petersburg municipal administration – and they started awarding governmental contracts to Moscow-based companies with questionable reputations. Today, many people say openly that all construction issues in St. Petersburg used to be resolved not in top corner offices, but at conventions of thieves in law. The Moscow criminal society used to decide what to build and where – and how to gain maximal profit from this. In fact, all achievements of Oganesyan in the sphere of reconstruction involved companies affiliated – one way or another – with Moscow criminal authorities. 

The two years during which Marat Melsovich was the Vice Governor of St. Petersburg had been marked by high-profile financial scandals. In March 2012, the Chamber of Audit announced that, according to its estimations, 290 million rubles have mysteriously disappeared from the budget during the reconstruction of the Mariinsky Theater. A few months before his resignation, operatives of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation have come to the Committee for Construction. They were looking for money that had disappeared during the construction of a municipal policlinic – Marat Melsovich was interested in new developments as well.

It is not a secret that, being the Vice Governor, he was the Head of the Commission for Amendments to the Master Plan that examined applications from construction companies. The whole developers’ society of the city was dependent on positive resolutions of this commission. Still, Oganesyan failed to establish close friendship with developers – except for billionaire brothers Vanchugov who duly appreciated all the newly-available opportunities, even with the increased cost of lands after their re-zoning into a different category. It cannot be ruled out that the recent arrest of one of the brothers was somehow related to charges currently laid against the former Vice Governor.

Machinations of Marat Oganesyan: 

1. The Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. The cost-overrun was 9 billion rubles. 

2. The Mariinsky Theater. The cost-overrun was 1.5 billion rubles; 260 million rubles disappeared without a trace. 

3. The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory. The cost-overrun was 3 billion rubles.

4. The Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater. The cost-overrun was 2.7 billion rubles.

The Moscow criminal authorities had Napoleonic plans to seize major municipal state unitary enterprises in St. Petersburg through Oganesyan. It is known that these institutions do not report their incomes to anybody (which causes legitimate questions and indignation from the Deputies of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly – the CrimeRussia).

The key infrastructural facilities were intended to be seized by the Moscow criminal magnates. Marat Oganesyan planned to gain control over the following state unitary enterprises: Vodokanal, Petersburg Metropoliten, Metrostroy, etc. Henchmen of crowned thieves had to be appointed to key posts in these state unitary enterprises. The Vice Governor expected to perform his blitzkrieg using the Chamber of Control and Accounts. The scheme was simple: henchmen having economic education are infiltrated into the selected institution. Upon getting access to internal information of the state unitary enterprise, the double agents transfer it to the Vice Governor, who, in turn, shares it with the Chamber of Control and Accounts. The inspectors of the chamber look for any discrepancies and report those to trusted people in law enforcement authorities. Then a full-scale attack is being launched on the institution, and its management is removed (through dismissal or arrest in case of resistance). Then a new, trusted director is being appointed, and the lobbyists get access to the budget of the institution.


Feliks Karmazinov, the former Director of Vodokanal Federal State Unitary Enterprise 

The scheme seemed perfect, but during the first attack, the criminal magnates have encountered Feliks Karmazinov, Director of Vodokanal Federal State Unitary Enterprise. The attack has been launched in fall 2013 by Oganesyan and another Vice Governor – Lavlentsev. Loud statements had been made to the press, and the Chamber of Control and Accounts was preparing for the battle. But Feliks Karmazinov has shown himself an iron man. He used his own connections, and not only repelled the attack, but also contributed to the dismissal of Lavlentsev. 

Another attack was launched on the Committee for Transport Infrastructure Development headed by Dmitry Burenin. Its 40-billion-ruble budget was a lucrative piece of cake. The attack has started from reports and letters to Governor Poltavchenko – Oganesyan was asking to dismiss Burenin. According to our information, this was the first stage of the takeover of Metropoliten and Metrostroy state unitary enterprises. Metrostroy was of special interest for Oganesyan for its multibillion subsidies and extensive budget.


Georgy Poltavchenko, the Governor of St. Petersburg 

After this episode, the FSB has allegedly submitted to the Governor Poltavchenko a huge pile of documents and operative information stating that the plans of Marat Oganesyan and his crowned friends were on the verge of realization. The whole city could become a hostage to the criminal world. Then the scandalous video from the Bochka restaurant in Moscow has leaked online; it showed a person looking like the Vice Governor speaking with thieves in law. 

It is known that special services publicize operative records of convention of thieves very rarely. But in this particular case, all the details and faces have been shown. It cannot be ruled out that the enforcement structures have made this on purpose – to purge the municipal authorities from the corrupt official. 

Also, according to some sources, after that incident, Oganesyan has been totally ruined in the eyes of his criminal patrons due to the failed projects. He has been arrested just recently because he has no more protectors. Hopefully, Marat Oganesyan would share some secret knowledge with the investigators and provides name of those who have feasted on the construction of the long-delayed Zenit Arena.

Video: Thieves in law arrested during a convention in Moscow



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