Ivanov’s heritage. Deputy Minister of Defense transforms public not-for-profit organization into new Oboronstroy
Deputy Minister of Defense and socialite Timur Ivanov has a mansion in Uspenskoe village, Moscow region, next door to Alina Kabaeva – but he keeps this as a military secret. The land officially belongs to his wife – but Ivanov does not mention her in his income and asset declarations calling the spouse “Russian Federation”.
Beloved woman of general Ivanov
Timur Ivanov, a Deputy Minister of Defense, is responsible for construction, capital renovation, and reconstruction of military objects. He has an undeclared lot in Uspenskoe village, Moscow region, and many of his neighbors there are celebrities. For instance, Alina Kabaeva lives not far from his wife – Svetlana Zakharova. The lot is 1 ha in size, while the living space of residential premises on it is 1.6 thousand square meters. The huge home was completed only last year – perhaps, this is the reason why it was not disclosed in the general’s income and asset declaration? The mansion is strictly classified – Uspenskoe village is closely guarded, while the property officially belongs to Ivanov’s wife – socialite Svetlana Zakharova.
In the database of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre, and Cartography (Rosreestr), Zakharova is referred to as "Russian Federation". Only the source code reveals her real name. The value of the land cannot even be estimated – but in any event, the chief builder of the Ministry of Defense could not legitimately earn so much money.
Officially, Ivanov is as clean as a whistle. He owns shares in two humble apartments and earns 11.4 million rubles ($180.1 thousand) per year. On the other hand, general’s wife Svetlana Zakharova lives in grand style. Her Instagram photos show high-society parties, trips to Courchevel, and diamonds. Even the birthday cake of general's wife is decorated with diamonds – Zakharova had celebrated her 45th anniversary in the Emperor’s Yacht Club.
Birthday party of Svetlana Zakharova
Based on her declaration, Zakharova is wealthy enough to afford such a luxury: she has a fleet of expensive vehicles, land lots with a total area of more than 1 ha, an apartment 317 square meters in size, and even an income. Last year, she has earned 7.3 million rubles ($115.3 thousand), a year earlier – 55.4 million rubles ($875.3 thousand) (according to her husband’s declaration). Still, her spendings are much higher. In 2011, Zakharova purchased a townhouse on Ostozhenka street in Moscow; the cost of apartments there reaches hundreds of millions of rubles. “I managed to persuade my husband,” – businesswoman Zakharova says implying that Ivanov does not allow her to spend her own money.
Photo sessions of general Ivanov’s wife
Townhouse on Ostozhenka street
The name of the Deputy Minister’s spouse is coded in official declarations and property registries – but she likes giving interviews to glamorous media outlets.
Timur and Amur
More than ten years ago, Svetlana Zakharova had gladly shared details of her personal life with the most glamorous magazines of Moscow. The socialite had divorced with publisher Mikhail Maniovich and took from him the primary values – “the children, icons, and clothes”. Zakharova calls her business a gift from slain “friend” Anton Malevsky (one of the leaders of Izmailovskie organized criminal group). According to glossy magazines, she owns Metropol Fashion Group – although this company officially belongs to some Sergei Borodin and does not generate much profit.
Svetlana Zakharova with ex-husband Mikhail Maniovich
Maniovich had a different opinion on the origin of the capital. Taking the financial claims of his ex-wife, the publisher considered the fashion boutique in Metropol his own and loss-making asset ($50 thousand per month as of the end of the 2000s). The abandoned husband strongly hinted that Zakharova is unable to work, not to mention earning money. Maniovich made himself the official owner of the shops – but this precaution was in vain. Later he told journalists that the ex-wife has masterminded the raiding takeover of boutiques of Metropol Fashion Group and allegedly contracted, jointly with her lover, the assassination of the ex-husband. Only the men’s solidarity of the would-be-assassins has saved him: the killers shared all details of the plot with the supposed victim. At that time, the name of Sergei Borodin, owner of Metropol Fashion Group and MF Group, was mentioned for the first time. Borodin was a business partner of general Ivanov’s brother.
As can be easily guessed, Svetlana Zakharova left Maniovich for above-mentioned Timur Ivanov. She had never made a secret of her happiness gladly demonstrating the groom and his gifts – a black Aston Martin with white interior, trips to medieval Italian palazzos, dinners in Neskuchny Garden, and rings with 10-karat diamonds. In fact, Timur Ivanov seems to be the daily breader in this family.
But, according to his income and asset declaration, the general is not a wealthy person at all – although he administers significant amounts of money at work. Take, for instance, the construction of a military hospital in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk at the cost of 18 billion rubles ($284.4 million), not including the memorial stone, or the sports complex of Nakhimov Naval Academy featuring a ‘floating’ ice arena that should be completed by the beginning of the academic year. Deputy Minister of Defense Timur Ivanov supervises all these projects.
Ivanov is responsible for the entire military construction sphere; he attends all significant presentations and grand openings of military objects. He has even lobbied the establishment of Military Construction Complex public not-for-profit organization of the Ministry of Defense. In 2020, it is supposed to become the sole contractor implementing construction projects of the Ministry of Defense. In keeping with the best traditions of Oboronstroy, its operations are not transparent: the Audit Chamber and Federal Treasury of the Russian Federation are going to control it only post factum – to estimate the volume of embezzled funds. But its budget is truly amazing. “A guaranteed budget... of 1 trillion rubles ($15.8 billion). There is no precedent for this!” – Ivanov rejoices. But the best thing is that, being a unitary enterprise, this public not-for-profit organization cannot be declared bankrupt. It is always possible to ask for more money. A brilliant strategy!
Timur Ivanov graduated from the Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics of the Moscow State University and never was a military man. Being a student, he started a career at Renaissance Capital Bank and then became an advisor to his uncle Sergei Ivanov, then-Director of Rosenergoatom. Later, Timur Ivanov has transferred, jointly with the uncle, to Inter RAO UES, became an Advisor to the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, and Vice President of Atomstroyexport. His last civil position was the General Director of Russian Energy Agency of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation. In 2012, Sergei Shoigu, then-Governor of the Moscow Region, offered Ivanov the post of a Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Moscow Region. A year later, Ivanov has transferred, together with Shoigu, to the Ministry of Defense; he became a general and military builder and took charge of Oboronstroy earlier administered by Aleksei Dyumin, a former Presidential security guard.
The spending of the above-mentioned 1 trillion rubles ($15.8 billion) is currently ongoing. A humble apartment building on Vostochny Cosmodrome has been commissioned – although Ivanov had complained about difficulties in November: allegedly, Rosneft has cleared the market. Now the situation has changed: there is money – but no market. Lieutenant general Ivanov is actively spending the allocated funds: the Temple of Victory is growing, while the Multifunctional Clinic of Kirov Military Medical Academy commissioned two years ago is under reconstruction. No information on the project cost is available on the web site of Military Construction Complex.
Income and asset declarations of Timur Ivanov, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Moscow Region, were lost somehow; Ivanov hadn’t reported his income during the work in the Ministry of Energy. But, based on declarations of his successors in the Regional Government and Ministry of Energy, they cannot afford townhouses on Ostozhenka street or in Uspenskoe village.
Oboronstroy is the main blank spot in the deputy minister’s revenues and dark spot on his reputation. Little is known about the earnings of Ivanov in that period – but large-scale embezzlements in Oboronstroy have resulted in numerous criminal cases. For fairness' sake, it is necessary to note that Oboronstroy has become a corruption nest long before the transfer of Ivanov to the Ministry of Defense. Larisa Egorina, ex-head of the company, and her deputy Yuri Grekhnev were among the main suspects in the ‘Oboronservis case'. As time has shown, this was just the tip of the iceberg. But after the appointment of Timur Ivanov in charge of Oboronstroy, no changes for the better occurred there.
In 2015, Vladimir Abramenko, General Director of the Chief Directorate for Troop Accommodations (GUOV) Open Joint Stock Company, was convicted for illegal sales of a land lot and buildings belonging to the Ministry of Defense. He was sentenced to three years in a penal colony for inflicting damages totaling over 114 million rubles ($1.8 million). A year later, Aleksander Gorshkolepov, Deputy Head of the Department of Property Relations of the Ministry of Defense, and his brother-in-law Sergei Drobysh, who had a cushy job in Oboronstroy, were sentenced to eight and four years in a penal colony respectively. Gorshkolepov was found guilty under Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (bribe-taking) – which is considered shameful for an organization practicing more elegant enrichment techniques.
The above embezzlement episodes were committed in Oboronstroy under the rule of Ivanov. Abramenko and Drobysh were his direct subordinates. Concurrently with attending glamorous parties with his wife, Ivanov was cherishing in that period the idea to establish a military construction monopoly – the future Military Construction Complex. At the initiative of Ivanov, Oboronstroy started purchasing its subcontractors, thus, eliminating the need to hold tenders and control the pricing. The newly-minted general has devised a plot to clear the market. The idea has been implemented, and Ivanov was promoted – but the poor judgment of people failed him.
Natalia Krasavtseva, ex-Head of the Department of Building Maintenance and Utility Provision for Military Units, has ‘spent’ 50 million rubles ($790 thousand) on capital renovations of Military Unit № 14118 in Abramovo without actually performing the works. Later, she received a repair contract worth 695 million rubles ($11 million) – and subsequently took charge of the department supervising its implementation. The role of the new husband of Natalia Krasavtseva – Oleg Krasavtsev, Head of the Directorate for Moscow and the Moscow Region of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation – in this story still remains a mystery.
However, ‘new Vasilieva’ has resigned only after the publication of her flirty conversations with boss Timur Ivanov and documents indicating that he was personally responsible for the capital renovations in Abramovo. After the promotion, the general started making mistakes about women. Or maybe, this wasn’t a mistake? After all, a contract worth almost 700 million rubles ($11 million) was forgiven to Krasavtseva.