Assets of Aleksander Uss, the richest governor in Russia, and his family
The fortune of the Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Krai is estimated at 1.5 billion rubles ($23.2 million). Aleksander Uss had never worked in business structures – he is a career governmental official. Still, in 2018, Uss became the richest regional head in Russia: his assets include mansions in the metropolitan area and Sochi, a luxurious residence not far from Krasnoyarsk, apartments in Moscow, and a business empire officially owned by members of his family. All this wealth is masterfully concealed – but sometimes its elements pop up.
According to the income and asset declaration of Aleksander Uss, Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Krai, in 2018, he became the wealthiest regional head in Russia with the official income of 221 million rubles ($3.4 million). It is necessary to note that the absolute record set in 2011 by Vladimir Gruzdev, then-Governor of the Tula Region, – 3.7 billion rubles ($57.3 million) – still remains unbroken. The declaration of Aleksander Uss states that he has inherited 193 million rubles ($3 million), out of the 221 million ($3.4 million), from his mother. Maria Fominichna Uss died in 2017. The governor does not disclose the origin of the wealth possessed by the 89-year-old lady. Supposedly, Aleksander Uss used to acquire expensive belongings and other assets in the name of his mother to avoid the need to declare those.
Other sources of income include two monetary rewards totaling 2.4 million rubles ($37.2 thousand), dividends generated by shares in the Consumer Services Center in Krasnoyarsk (5.5 million rubles ($85.2 thousand)), and a ‘gift’ in the amount of 11.8 million rubles ($182.8 thousand). In addition, the governor has 28 bank accounts storing in total 638 million rubles ($9.9 million).
Consumer Services Center in Krasnoyarsk
In 2016, the total income of Aleksander Uss was 24 million rubles ($371.8 thousand), in 2015 – slightly more than 28 million rubles ($433.7 thousand), and in 2014 – 32 million rubles ($495.7 thousand). At year-end 2018, he has declared an income of 22 million rubles ($340.8 thousand). Prior to becoming the regional head, Aleksander Uss was the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk Krai for more than 19 years – and this was not a profitable position at all.
In 1976, Aleksander Uss has graduated from the Law Faculty of the Krasnoyarsk State University. Served internship in the Tomsk State University, graduated from the post-graduate studies there, and wrote a Ph.D. dissertation. Later, he became an assistant professor at the Criminal Law Department of the Krasnoyarsk State University. In 1993, Uss finished his research career and joined the politics – he was elected a Deputy of the Evenk Autonomous Region and started working in the Legal Department of the Krasnoyarsk Municipal Administration. Two years later, he became a deputy of Valery Zubov, then-Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Krai. In 1997, was elected again to the Parliament of the Krasnoyarsk Krai; was a member of the Council of the Federation twice. In 1998, became the perpetual Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk Krai. Uss had run for governor several times – but unsuccessfully. In 2017, he was appointed the Interim Acting Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Krai and then won the elections with 60.19% of the vote (the voting turnout was 28.94%).
The long list of assets belonging to the governor and his family hasn't changed much in the last several years. Uss has 4 land lots with a total area of 224 thousand square meters, a residential home with a living space of 324 square meters, 4 country homes, an economic facility, and a Land Rover Range Rover vehicle. Governor's wife, Lyudmila Uss, has earned some 19 million rubles ($294.3 thousand) (to compare, a year earlier, she has earned over 50 million rubles ($774.5 thousand)). She owns Land Rover Range Rover and Lexus GS 300 vehicles, a Silver motorboat, a Silverado 31А inflatable boat, and a trailer – as well as 3 land lots with a total area of 75 thousand square meters, a residential home with a living space of 1074 square meters, 2 apartments 160 square meters in size each, 4 garages and parking spots, and a number of nonresidential structures.
Unfortunately, no photos are attached to the declarations – so, it is difficult to imagine all these assets. Furthermore, not all belongings are listed in the official documents. The regional branch of the Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation estimated the assets belonging to the Krasnoyarsk Governor at 1.5 billion rubles ($23.2 million) and showed them to the public.
The primary residence of the governor is a home in the pine forest not far from Krasnoyarsk worth 120 million rubles ($1.9 million). Uss purchased it back in 2012 – at that time, he was the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk Krai. Interestingly, the home is located near the official governor’s residence – Sosny (Pines) – built 50 meters from the high bank of the Yenisei River and overlooking famous Stolby State Nature Reserve.
The mansion belonging to Uss is equipped with a helicopter pad and a pier
He also has a mansion with a living space of 775 square meters on Vinogradnaya street in Sochi. According to Cian.ru real estate portal, this property is currently offered for sale – but the year of its construction and living space do not match the information provided in the registry. Therefore, the authenticity of this ad is questionable.
Residential community is Sochi where Aleksander Uss owns a mansion
Ad published on Cian.ru: the property address matches the address of the home belonging to Uss
In 2009, Aleksander Uss purchased a land lot 47.3 thousand square meters in size in Akulinino village, Moscow region, and became a neighbor of Gleb Yakunin, then-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Russian Railways, Transneft President Nikolai Tokarev, and Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov. Vedomosti newspaper wrote in 2013: "Aleksander Uss had no intention to establish useful connections when he was buying this land. Only after the closure of the deal, he became aware that his new neighbors include many famous people. He had met with them only once – at a general meeting of the partnership”.
Home of Aleksander Uss in Akulinino
This lot is still listed in the governor’s declaration. A mansion and other structures have been erected there. The cost of the land alone is some 200 million rubles ($3.1 million).
Aleksander Uss owns an apartment in Molochny lane in Moscow. Anatoly Serdyukov, ex-Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, and Evgenia Vasil’eva, artist and ex-Head of the Property Department of the Ministry of Defense, live in the adjacent building. The market value of the property officially belonging to Lyudmila Uss is some 450 million rubles ($7 million).
Building in Molochny lane
The governor’s family has one more apartment in Moscow. In 1999, the Executive Office of President Boris Yeltsin has donated to Aleksander Uss, then-Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, a residence on Prechistenka street. In December 2008, he transferred this property currently estimated at 54 million rubles ($836.5 thousand) to son Artem Uss.
Building on Prechistenka street
Uss junior also owns an Audi A8 and a Porsche Cayenne; their total value is some 10 million rubles ($154.9 thousand). Sometimes, Artem Uss crosses into the dedicated lane and gets tickets for this.
Artem Uss has graduated from the Law Faculty of the Siberian Federal University and runs a law firm. In addition, he is in charge of the representation office of Bering Capital Partners Company offshore fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands (he is named Artem Aleksandrovich Ussa in corporate documents). This fund owns a share in KrasnoyarskLesoMaterialy (KLM) Group, the largest timber processing enterprise in the Siberian region. Its other shareholders are professor Andrei Karpov, General Director of KLM Group and advisor to Aleksander Uss, and governor’s wife Lyudmila Uss. The enterprise has been a beneficiary of the state support program since the governorship of Aleksander Khloponin.
“Currently, the company is driven to bankruptcy for the benefit of a group of companies belonging to Aleksander Yazykov, a trusted aide of the governor’s son. The governor’s son is going to become the sole proprietor of the timber processing complex via his confidant,” – journalists report.
Artem Uss is the head of Swiss company SAA Swiss Avia AG. He also co-owns, jointly with Lyubov’ Orlova and Olga Shanina, San Diego and Don Diego hotels in Italy. Orlova is a cofounder of Imeni Lope de Vega Limited Liability Company owning Byuzimskaya hunting lodge in the Balakhta district, Krasnoyarsk krai, – the governor uses it for hunting and recreation purposes. Anna Shanina owns, via Cedrik Interprises Ltd. offshore company, 40% of shares in SibCoal Limited Liability Company – the largest coal pit in the region.
“This is how Aleksander Uss and oligarch Andrei Mel’nichenko have divided the coal business in the Krasnoyarsk krai,” – journalists say.
Governor’s niece Oksana Uss is the wife of Krasnoyarsk Prosecutor Aleksander Leizenberg. Their son Evgeny Leizenberg studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia; this is one of the top 100 universities in the world. The education cost, including accommodation, is $65 thousand per year – while the total income of the Krasnoyarsk Prosecutor and his spouse is only 3.6 million rubles ($55.8 thousand).
Krasnoyarsk Prosecutor Aleksander Leizenberg
Family ties with a prosecutor make it possible for the governor to avoid inconvenient questions about his multimillion fortune. It is necessary to note that Aleksander Uss had never worked in business structures – he has always been a governmental official. In 2018, in anticipation of the Winter Universiade, his subordinates had concealed real Krasnoyarsk behind the ‘great Siberian wall' of fences and presented to the guests a ‘Potemkin village' with buildings covered by banners, felled spruces instead of live trees, and lawns covered by polyester batting instead of the real snow, which is so deficient in Siberia.