If your grandfather is former Presidential Envoy... Impunity of ‘swanky’ Igor Ishaev 

If your grandfather is former Presidential Envoy... Impunity of ‘swanky’ Igor Ishaev
Four cars have been crushed in a traffic accident caused by Mara Bagdasaryan’s friends – but there are no defendants in the criminal case

Street racer Igor Ishaev decided that the best defense is attack and blamed the girl, whose car was rammed by his Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG moving at the rate of 230 km per hour, for a high-profile traffic accident. The footage from security cameras has mysteriously disappeared, and now, based on Ishaev’s testimonies, the victim might be recognized the guilty party in the accident resulting in damages over 20 million rubles ($355.7 thousand). The CrimeRussia was figuring out why the ex-forward of Hockey Club Amur is so confident in his impunity.

They call themselves “Untouchables” and mark their posts on social network with #untouchables hashtag; they pose in Guy Fawkes masks on the roofs of expensive foreign-made cars and pretend to be rebels opposing the ‘system’. Their ‘revolution’, however, is limited to traffic offences and partying in clubs at the expense of their parents, and the main reason behind their actions is vanity, not lofty purposes.

Instagram life

Rich parents, luxury cars, racing along the streets of Moscow, expensive clubs (mostly Icon, sometimes – Soho Rooms and Oblaka (Clouds)), absolute hedonism, and complete disdain for social standards – this is the ‘cultural code’ of the modern “Untouchables” whose numbers are continuously growing.

The scandalous Instagram publics RichRussianKids and mazhorka_777 contribute to the growing popularity of the disparaging attitude of ‘swankies’ towards ordinary people. Their pages on social networks are full of ads of luxury brands, users’ photos of private jets, yachts, and other dolce vita elements. The ostentatious demonstration of parents’ wealth is a rule of good taste there, as well as self-advertisement in criminal news.

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Recreation in Icon Club. Igor Ishaev, Murad Balakerimov, and Mara Bagdasaryan. Source: Igor Ishaev’s VKontakte page 

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The ‘swankies’ have their own heroes: Ruslan Shamsuarov and Mara Bagdasaryan. 14-year old ‘gold youth’ openly idolize them and post pictures of the ‘gods’ on their pages. However, Shamsuarov and Bagdasaryan are not the leaders in media hype anymore: two weeks ago, Igor Ishaev, grandson of an ex-Governor of the Khabarovsk Krai and former Presidential Envoy in the Far-Eastern Federal District, has obscured their street racing fame.

Thanks to the grandfather for the victory

On March 15, 2017, Ishaev (ishay, wolf063), 23 years old, has caused a multivehicle crash involving 4 cars, including his own Mercedes-Benz CLS. The ‘posh’, moving at the rate of 230 km per hour, has rammed into two cars and a truck that bowled over and blocked three lanes.

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Traffic accident at the 1st km of the Moscow Automobile Ring Road 

Fortunately, there were no casualties, but Murad Balakerimov, the passenger of Ishaev, close friend of Mara Bagdasaryan, and well-known Moscow ‘swanky’, has got open fractures of both legs. Murad is a brother of first Lieutenant Karakhan Balakerimov dismissed from the police with a just cause due to the scandalous video of a ‘dancing wedding motorcade’. Murad Balakerimov hasn’t been driving his Porsche since 2016 and accompanies his friends in the passenger seat – his driver’s license was suspended for two years for drunk driving.

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Abduvakhob Madzhidov and Mara Bagdasaryan visit Murad Balakerimov in the hospital 

The total damage from the traffic accident on the Moscow Automobile Ring Road has been estimated at 20 million rubles ($355.7 thousand). But the multivehicle crash has sparked such a major public outcry not because of the damages – but due to the further sequence of events. 

First, the originator of the crash has reacted to the criticism on social networks very aggressively. Three days after the accident, Igor Ishaev started threatening his critics on Instagram promising to find and punish everybody who had spoken disrespectfully of himself and his family in the comments. Then it turned out that the footage from security cameras has mysteriously disappeared – the investigation explained this by maintenance works on that section of the motorway. While commenting the incident on TV, Igor Ishaev initially denied that he was driving his car at the moment of the crash. Although the speedometer of his Mercedes was showing some 230 km per hour, Ishaev has publicly blamed victim Anna Marukhina for the accident. He said that the girl driving a Kia Rio had suddenly changed the lane and cut him off.

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Anna Marukhina: My orderly life has changed drastically 

According to the girl who was driving in the left lane at the rate of some 90 km per hour, the situation was totally different. She saw in the rear view mirror a car approaching her from behind and crazily blinking its lights demanding a path, but she did not have a chance to do anything. After the collision, the driver of the Mercedes had got nasty with the victim and then inhaled laughing gas from a can in his car and hysterically laughed while waiting for the traffic police.

Meanwhile, law enforcement operatives have arrived to the scene of the accident. According to the witnesses, there were lots of superior officials – too high-ranked to deal with traffic accidents. The parties involved in the collision had to sign blank protocols; later this was explained by the need to record their testimonies from voice and their state of shock after the crash. 

Then the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has suddenly classified the information about past traffic violations and accidents of Igor Ishaev – although two years ago, the Khabarovsk press wrote how he had smashed one of his luxury cars into a lamp post. Later Ishaev’s driver’s license was suspended for a year for repeated exit into the oncoming lane. But he did not stop driving – instead, he hadn’t surrendered his driving license to the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate, and over time his suspension has expired. According to a CrimeRussia source, the street racer has got in total at least 130 traffic tickets. According to the mobile app for checking and paying traffic tickets, the total amount of Ishaev’s unpaid fines is 21,750 rubles ($386.59). In the week prior to the accident on the Moscow Automobile Ring Road, he had exceeded the speed limit at least four times having no concern for the consequences.

This made victim Anna Marukhina and her lawyer Marat Amanliev thinking that in the end, she might be held liable for the damages in the amount of 20 million rubles ($355.7 thousand). The powerful grandfather and his huge administrative resource could be the reason behind weird circumstances of the investigation.

Golden BMW of Igor Ishaev

Quite the contrary, the Mercedes driver, does not worry about anything. On the next day after the accident, he went to buy a new Audi; after the beginning of the hype on social networks in relation to the high-profile crash, he has teased the haters by buying a Bentley and opening the season on his Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren worth at least 15 million rubles ($266.8 thousand). Who is this 23-year-old street racer whose body is completely covered with tattoos and who cares neither of financial nor of legal issues?

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Igor Ishaev’s Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 

Igor Ishaev was born and raised in the Khabarovsk krai governed at that time by his grandfather Viktor Ivanovich. According to Viktor Glukhov, editor-in-chief of Khabarovsky Ekspress newspaper, the ‘gold boy’ had always behaved as if he belonged to a ‘high caste’. The teachers at school had “groaned” from him. The school principal and vice principals were afraid of the Governor’s grandson (more correctly, of his grandfather). 

According to Igor’s posts on social networks, he started violating traffic safety regulations as soon as he has learned to drive: being a minor, he had been racing, contrary to the law, across the region governed by his grandfather without a driver’s license.

“Taking that I drive since the age of 13, I had 21 cars in 9 years. Over time, I had kept only chosen, powerful ones,” – Ishaev writes.

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Igor Ishaev, claims that he has earned money for the ‘Gold Bullion’ as a hockey player 

Ishaev calls himself a professional hockey player. According to him, he has dedicated 16 years of life, out of the 23, to that sport. However, contrary to his Instagram statement that the criticism against him is caused by “envy of his wealth and success”, Ishaev hardly could be called a successful athlete based on his official statistics. According to the web site of the Youth Hockey League of the Continental Hockey League, the forward playing under number 17 had participated in 158 games for Khabarovsk Amur Tigers, made 11 goals, and gained 200 penalty minutes. Hannu Jortikka, a former trainer of Hockey Club Amur, had reportedly called Igor Ishaev a “sack of potatoes on ice”.

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158 games and 11 goals 

Still, Igor Ishaev had entered the Continental Hockey League draft under the second number and joined the same Hockey Club Amur: Viktor Lopatyuk, former owner of the club, is a close friend of Igor’s grandfather. While being the Governor, the grandfather had repeatedly allocated gold and platinum fields to Amur Mining Partnership belonging to Lopatyuk without any tenders. Of course, Lopatyuk has found a place in the team for the grandson of an old friend.

After the relocation to Moscow, the traces of hockey player Ishaev in Club Amur have disappeared: the official web site of the team does not mention his name. However, the Moscow press started mentioning his name as a street racer and traffic offender with increasing frequency.    

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“Over time I have kept only chosen ones” 

According to his account on Drive2.ru, Igor Ishaev currently owns Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG Wolf 800, BMW X6 M (‘Gold Bullion’), Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Smoke 63, Nissan GT-R (‘Bullet’), and Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG – the one crashed on the Moscow Automobile Ring Road. This list does not include cars purchased after the accident and Lamborghini reportedly owned by ‘Ishai’. 

Grandfather’s personality

Igor inherited the passion for cars and racing from his ancestors. During his governorship in the Khabarovsk krai, Viktor Ishaev, grandfather of Igor, was involved into a high-profile road story – and the ‘driving style’ of the grandfather is reminiscent of the circumstances of the recent traffic accident in Moscow caused by his grandson.

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Photo from Igor Ishaev’s VKontakte page 

...On November 25, 2002, Sergei Chevozerov, a criminal investigator of the Khabarovsk MIA Criminal Investigation Department, was driving home on his Toyota. The policeman was driving slowly near a rail crossing when a silver Land Cruiser with tinted windows appeared from behind and demanded to give the road by blinking its lights. Because the road traffic regulations prohibit such maneuvers near railway crossings, Chevozerov did not react. Then the Land Cruiser exited into the oncoming lane, advanced ahead and started forcing the Toyota to the road border. Chevozerov thought that ‘bros’, who had ruled the Khabarovsk krai at that time, were chasing him and attempted to escape. The silver SUV continued the chase that had lasted for more than hour; scared Chevozerov tried to find help at State Automobile Inspection posts, but no one was there at that time. Ultimately, the unknown people in the SUV managed to push the policeman to the road border, the window opened, a hand holding a Makarov pistol has appeared, a shot rang, and the bullet passed over the machine hood, – the former police officer told later.

Then the Governor went out of the car, aimed the gun at Chevozerov, arrested him, and after a little while, turned him in to a Road Patrol Service crew that was passing by. Then the Governor has summoned general Baranov, Head of the Regional MIA Administration, from his home in the middle of the night and demanded to dismiss the stubborn criminal investigator immediately – which was done. In addition, Baranov has cut with scissors in his office the driver’s license of the former subordinate who had dared to anger ‘Master’ – this is how Viktor Ishaev was nicknamed in Khabarovsk. 

It is necessary to note that lieutenant general Baranov has later confirmed this story. He has stated, however, that Chevozerov was allegedly dismissed not as per order from Ishaev, but because he had nearly hit a woman during a racing. According to the general, the Governor had been chasing the Toyota in the middle of the night “in the name of the law and order” because he thought that there was a criminal inside the car – member of ‘Obshak’ (Common Cash Fund) local gang.

A weird explanation, to say the least. It is not a Governor’s job to chase mobsters through the city risking his life. In addition, according to some sources, Viktor Ishaev had maintained friendly relations with leaders of ‘Obshak’. There were rumors in the region that one of these leaders, criminal authority ‘Klesh’ (Tick), was shot dead in the beginning of the 1990s while returning from a Governor’s birthday party.

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Viktor Ishaev was nicknamed ‘Master’ in the Khabarovsk krai 

It is also necessary to note that Viktor Ishaev had ruled the Khabarovsk krai for almost 20 years. He had seized control over the authorities, politics, businesses, and criminal structures, created a huge corruption network – and somehow managed ‘ride a high horse’ at all times. Even after his removal from the Governor’s post, he was soon appointed the Presidential Envoy in the Far-Eastern Federal District. After his termination by the President “due to non-compromising circumstances” (although there were rumors that he was dismissed for failures during the rectification of flood consequences), Ishaev has switched to the business. He had worked as an informal counselor in a number of major companies and became a Vice President of Rosneft for Coordination of Far-Eastern Projects in 2013. In 2015, Viktor Ishaev was questioned by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) in the framework of the investigation of major larcenies committed during the construction of Vostochny (Eastern) Cosmodrome and even placed under home arrest. However, representatives of the Khabarovsk Krai Branch of Rosneft Open Joint Stock Company haven’t confirmed this information. 

According to the CrimeRussia source, the former Governor of the Khabarovsk Krai has powerful connections not only in the Far East. His friends include high-ranked law enforcement officers and governmental functionaries in Moscow. Viktor Ishaev has commented the high-profile traffic accident involving his grandson neutrally and stated that he can’t dictate Igor “whether to race or not to race”. 

“Unfortunately, I am far away; I was not there during the accident. The investigation is ongoing to determine who is guilty and who is innocent. I will be able to judge myself and my grandson when something is sorted out. There will be an investigation, there will be some outcomes, then we’ll talk,” – Viktor Ishaev said.

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The outcomes, however, might be unpredictable. Not only victim Marukhina and her lawyer – who have asked the supreme command of the MIA General Administration for the City of Moscow to perform an objective investigation – think so, but public activists do as well. After the disappearance of the security cameras footage, only the trace examination and vehicle technical assessment can reconstruct the events. It is well-known how such assessments are performed in Russia if a high-ranked official is involved into a traffic accident. According to Petr Shkumatov, Coordinator of Blue Buckets public movement, a typical example of this trend was the second assessment of the road accident caused by Yuri Movshin, ex-Head of the Kuzbass State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate. The second assessment has found that the former traffic police officer – whose Land Cruiser had rammed into a Toyota Corona while moving in the oncoming lane and killed four girls inside it – was not guilty.

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