New Rochdelskaya. Shootout in Moscow City Business Center results in another purge of ICR ranks 

New Rochdelskaya. Shootout in Moscow City Business Center results in another purge of ICR ranks
Similarly to the release of Ital'yanets, big money may be involved in the probe into the firefight in Oko Tower Photo: The CrimeRussia

The high-profile shootout in Oko Tower in November 2017 – at least, 40 gunshots were fired there – has led to unexpected consequences a year later. Seven high-ranked investigators of the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) have submitted a collective resignation letter, and the inquest into the incident in Moscow City International Business Center was resumed. In fact, this chain of events resembles another firefight that had occurred in 2015 near Elements Restaurant on Rochdelskaya street, Moscow and also resulted in a number of high-profile criminal cases against senior ICR officials and incarceration of ‘thief № 1’ Shakro Molodoy.

Shortly after the turmoil caused by the bribery of high-ranked ICR officers by thief-in-law Zakhary Kalashov, another scandal has escalated in the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR. Its former head, general Drymanov, was detained in summer 2019 – much later than all other his accomplices.

Contrary to the regulations, seven senior investigators for special cases have submitted to colonel of justice Aleksander Strizhov, Acting Head of the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR, a collective resignation letter. Of course, the HR Department of the ICR hasn’t escalated the document – resignation is a personal matter, and investigators for special cases could not be unaware of this. However, the mass démarche has again attracted the attention to the situation in the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow. Several well-aware sources believe that the collective resignation attempt is directly linked with the inquest into the shootout in Moscow City International Business Center: in the course of the investigation, wounded officers of the National Guard of Russia have unexpectedly been reclassified from victims into suspects, while the scenario started resembling the consequences of another high-profile firefight that had occurred in the same Presnensky district of Moscow two years earlier.

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Collective letter of the investigators

According to a source of Interfax, amid the unsatisfactory progress of the inquest, the investigators were notified of inaptitude to their positions and offered to resign voluntarily. Earlier, their direct superior –colonel Dmitry Pavlov, Head of the Department for Special Cases – was terminated. According to Mash Telegram channel (this information was not confirmed officially yet), Sergei Sinyagovsky, Deputy Head of the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR supervising the First Department, has submitted a vacation request until May 2019 with subsequent resignation.

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Sergei Sinyagovsky

Later, a source in the law enforcement authorities reported that the ICR Central Headquarters will check the investigators of the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow involved in the probe into the shootout in Oko Tower “for elements of the crime stipulated in Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation” (bribe-taking) and concurrently launch a reinvestigation of the criminal case instituted in relation to the incident in Moscow City in November 2017.

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The armed conflict between bodyguards of businessman Gavril Yushvaev, co-owner of Oko Tower, and officers of a private security company guarding the building occurred on November 17, 2017, during the celebration of the 50th birthday of ‘authoritative’ businessman Dmitry Pavlov (Pavlik), one of the leaders of Izmailovskie organized criminal group.

Our
notes

Dmitry Borisovich Pavlov was born on October 30, 1967. Was prosecuted for infliction of grievous bodily harm. Graduated from the Moscow Instrumental College of Technological and Instrumental Production and International Business Academy. Had ties with Izmailovskie organized criminal group and famous athlete-turned-criminal ‘authority’ Anton Malevsky. After the death of Malevsky in 2001 (he plunged to death during a parachute jump in South Africa), became a factual leader of Izmailovskie gang. Chairman of Anastasios Charitable Fund. Doctor of law. President of Yurfinkollegiya company. According to its official web site, Pavlov was awarded the Order of Friendship, Order of Honor, Orders of Sergius of Radonezh II and III Class, Medal of Daniel of Moscow, certificates and rewards of the Russian President, Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Border Security Forces of the Russian Federation, Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, and Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna. Holder of the “Person of the Year–2004” Award for restoration of churches and aid to children’s homes.


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Dmitry Pavlov (Pavlik) and Sergei Lalakin (Luchok (Little Onion))

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The Pavlik’s jubilee was celebrated on the fourth floor of Crystal BallRoom Restaurant and attended by 270 guests served by 80 waiters. Such stars as Grigory Leps, Valery Meladze, Lyubov Uspenskaya, and Cirque du Soleil were invited to entertain the audience. Valdis Pelsh hosted the event entitled “Jubilee among friends”, while the guests included two famous Slavic thieves-in-law Oleg Shishkanov (Shishkan) and Sergei Aksenov (Aksen), as well as Sergei Lalakin (Luchok (Little Onion)), leader of Podolskie organized criminal group, and ‘authoritative’ businessman Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (Taivanchik). According to The CrimeRussia sources, several Deputies were among the guests as well – but, for obvious reasons, they hadn't advertised their presence at the party and fled immediately after the beginning of the shootout. The conflict started on the parking lot – a Mercedes from the motorcade of Gavril Yushvaev had blocked the entrance to the building. The quarrel continued in the lobby where the first gunshots were fired and then moved to the restaurant. As a result, eight people were wounded; one of them succumbed to his injuries two days later. Magomed Ismailov, security chief of Gavril Yushvaev and ex-World Kickboxing Champion, and MMA fighter El'dar Khamidov were arrested on suspicion of hooliganism, attempted murder, and illegal possession of firearms. But then the investigation has drastically changed its version of the events – wounded officers of Okhrana (Protection) Federal State Unitary Enterprise, Dmitry Yakobson and Kirill Titorenko, retained to protect Dmitry Pavlov were designated the suspected instigators of the conflict. A criminal case was instituted against them for hooliganism.

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Garik Makhachkala, Petrik, Shishkan, and company

Initially, the investigators supposedly had no doubts who had initiated the conflict. The numbers of wounded people – seven injured officers of GREPS-2 Private Security Company and Okhrana (Protection) Federal State Unitary Enterprise of the National Guard and only one injured person among the athletes who had arrived to help the driver of Yushvaev after the request of private security guards to remove the car from the entrance – clearly indicate that henchmen of Yushvaev had provoked the brawl and opened fire first. 

Some guards of Yushvaev had fled from the scene and were caught on the next day in the course of amber alert imposed in the city. Four people were arrested – but only two of them remanded in custody, although the investigation was able to identify and establish the full chronology of events: records of all security cameras were seized in the first hours after the skirmish as per personal order of general Aleksander Drymanov, then-Head of the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR.

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Detained Aleksander Drymanov

A few persons managed to escape and were put on the wanted list, including Magomed Magomedov (known in the sports world as Propeller)), Russia Kickboxing Champion Said Asadulaev (Scorpio), and six more athletes. All of them had trained in Skorpion (Scorpio) Martial Arts Club – whose head and co-owner is suspect Magomed Ismailov.

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Wanted participants of the firefight

The records from security cameras were never publicized – perhaps, because the guests of Dmitry Pavlov included not only criminals and businessmen, but Deputies of the State Duma as well. Apparently, for the same reason, mobile phones were seized from all waiters and other personnel serving the party prior to its beginning.

To investigate the incident, the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR has established a team under the leadership of experienced investigator Levon Agadzhanyan – at that time, he has nearly completed the investigation of another high-profile shootout on Khovanskoe cemetery.

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Levon Agadzhanyan

According to the investigation team, the conflict in Oko Tower had a mundane nature – although RBK Group claims that, in early 2018, ICR operatives have searched the residence of previously convicted Gavril Yushvaev (Garik Makhachkala).

Our
notes

Gavril Abramovich Yushvaev was born on July 23, 1957 in Makhachkala. In 1980, was sentenced to 9 years behind bars for armed robbery. In 1989, after the release, launched a business – Yushvaev created, jointly with businessman David Yakobashvili, Trinity car dealership selling American vehicles. Later, they opened Cherry Casino at Metelitsa Nightclub on Novy Arbat street. In 1993, the partners joined a juice bottling project on Lianozovo Diary Plant that subsequently transformed into Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods sold in 2011 to PepsiCo for $5.4 billion. According to some information, the current wealth of Yushvaev is estimated at $1.2 billion. Gavril Yushvaev is the Vice President of the World Congress of Mountain Jews.

Concurrently with the searches, Yushvaev was questioned as a witness. According to a source of Rosbalt.ru, the reason behind the shootout could be his business conflict with another co-owner of Oko Tower – Vladislav Doronin (GREPS-2 Private Security Company is controlled by him). The investigators have also questioned other guests of Pavlik – a few ones still remaining on the scene (the majority of them had hastily fled; some of the guests had even forgotten their belonging in the restaurant). However, these interrogations haven’t affected the course of the investigation – similarly with the information that officers of the National Guard and personnel of Moscow City had protected criminal ‘authority’ Pavlik. Later, Valery Gribakin, an official representative of Okhrana Federal State Unitary Enterprise, and Aleksander Khinshtein, an Advisor to the Director of the National Guard of Russia, had to explain various media outlets that the National Guard officers had protected not the criminal ‘authority’ – but some cargo belonging to Intourist Holding Company Open Joint Stock Company. Still, in the end, it became known that this ‘cargo’ was the SUV of the leader of Izmailovskie gang and its passenger.    

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Gavril Yushvaev

It turned out that troopers of the special unit for protection of transported assets of Okhrana Federal State Unitary Enterprise had frequently rendered bodyguard services to individuals, while their commanders recorded such services as “protection of transported assets”. In October 2018, Roman Egorov, ex-commander of the special unit for protection of transported assets of Okhrana Federal State Unitary Enterprise of the National Guard of Russia, was arrested for rendering illegal services to M.Video co-founder Pavel Breev and accepting a bribe for him – in February 2017, M.Video has signed a contract with the subdivision of the National Guard to protect assets of Breev, but, in reality, the officers had acted as bodyguards of the businessman and his family. 

The corruption crime committed by Egorov was exposed in the framework of the inquest into the firefight – by that time, the case had already been transferred to the ICR Central Headquarters. This happened after the institution of a criminal case under Article 213 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (hooliganism) against Dmitry Yakobson, an officer of Okhrana Federal State Unitary Enterprise wounded in the stomach during the skirmish, by the investigation team lead by Agadzhanyan on the ninth month of the investigation. The senior investigator for special cases has personally visited Yakobson in the hospital where he was undergoing treatment. Similar charges were laid against two officers of the private security company – Kirill Titorenko and Platon Koida. Koida was charged postmortem because he died two days after the shootout.

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Dmitry Yakobson

According to the newly-instituted case, after becoming aware of the conflict escalating over a wrongly parked car, Titorenko and Koida went down from the restaurant in an elevator "to provide enforcement and physical support" to their colleagues standing near the entrance and "entered into a criminal conspiracy to commit hooliganism with the use of weapons". Yakobson has joined them on the way down. "To implement their joint criminal intention", the suspects, "eager to pit themselves against others and demonstrate disrespect to them", started "using foul language to insult the human dignity" of Magomed Ismailov, while Titorenko, willing "to demonstrate that he was the boss of the group", has spat towards El'dar Khamidov and drew the weapon. Then, according to the investigation, the officers of the private security company and National Guard opened fire on the opponents. 

However, an internal probe carried out earlier by the National Guard of Russia hasn't identified any violations in the actions of Yakobson. According to Aleksander Khinshtein, not only wasn't he the instigator of the brawl – but, quite the opposite, had tried to break up the participants of the conflict and was shot in the stomach. Ballistics tests have shown that there were no traces of powder gases on the hands of Yakobson – this also contradicts the charges laid against him. 

Such drastic changes in the composition of suspects caused a prompt reaction of the National Guard. Aleksander Khinshtein, then-Advisor to Viktor Zolotov, Director of the National Guard of Russia, and currently a Deputy of the State Duma, came to the defense of the wounded officer and asked the ICR Central Headquarters and Prosecutor General’s Office to sort out the situation. Then Oleg Manakov, Acting Prosecutor of Moscow, has also requested the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR to cease the criminal prosecution of Dmitry Yakobson, an officer of the Special Operations Center of Okhrana Federal State Unitary Enterprise of the National Guard of Russia, and transfer the case to the ICR Central Headquarters. Investigator Agadzhanyan was suspended from the inquest, while the investigation team of the Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR was disbanded. An investigator of the ICR Central Headquarters has audited the case and failed to identify elements of hooliganism in the actions of the officers of the National Guard and private security company. The charges laid against them were dropped and the hooliganism case dismissed.

“From the very beginning, there was a feeling that somebody is trying to ruin this case. I cannot rule this out. After all, the instigators and their patrons are not ordinary people,” – Aleksander Khinshtein says. 

In the course of the audit, operatives of the ICR Central Headquarters came to the same conclusion – and a new probe into the firefight was launched, including additional and repeated expert assessments. Then it became known that the ICR officers, who had originally investigated the shootout in Oko Tower, are checked for bribe-taking – and the situation started closely resembling another shooting spree in Moscow that had occurred in December 2015 near Elements Restaurant.

 Our
notes

The shootout on Rochdelskaya street leaving two people dead and five more wounded has sparked a series of high-profile inquests; some of those are still ongoing. The conflict occurred over a financial dispute between Zhanna Kim, owner of Elements restaurant, and designer Fatima Misikova. To assist Misikova, thief-in-law Zakhary Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy) has dispatched to the restaurant a group of officers of a private security company controlled by him under the leadership of criminal ‘authority’ Andrei Kochuikov (Ital’yanets (Italian)). According to Kim, Misikova had significantly overcharged the cost of restoration works; therefore, the restaurant owner has terminated their contract and paid the designer only for the performed works. Misikova, in turn, had demanded the full payment in the amount of 8 million rubles ($122.2 thousand). In the course of the negotiations, Kochuikov has offered Kim an alternative option – give up her restaurant. Kim summoned for help former KGB colonel Eduard Budantsev, Head of Diktatura Zakona (Dictatorship of Law) Law Firm, accompanied by several associates. The dispute has escalated into a brawl and then – into a firefight. In the course of the shootout, Budantsev shot dead two persons. Several dozen people have already ended up behind bars in relation to that skirmish, including ‘thief № 1’ Zakhary Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy), his ‘right hand’ Andrei Kochuikov (Ital’yanets), and some high-ranked officers of the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR who had tried to release Ital’yanets from the pretrial detention facility in exchange for a bribe: Aleksander Drymanov, then-Head of the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR; his first deputy Denis Nikandrov; Mikhail Maksimenko, Head of the Main Directorate for Interdepartmental Liaison and Internal Security of the ICR; and Aleksei Kramarenko, then-Head of the Investigations Department in the Central Administrative District of Moscow of the ICR. A number of police officers and representatives of the criminal world have been detained in the aftermath of this gunfight as well.

The two mass skirmishes, that have occurred with a 2-year interval, are similar in many ways. In both situations, the conflicts involved officers of security companies affiliated with criminal circles. There were attempts to soft-pedal both criminal cases to relieve suspects from criminal liability with the assistance of high-ranked ICR officers. The only difference was in the tactics: the charges laid against Ital’yanets were reclassified under a less grievous Article of the Criminal Code, while to save the thugs of Yushvaev, corrupt officials have reclassified the victims into instigators of the conflict.

Similarly to the release of Ital'yanets, big money may be involved in the probe into the firefight in Oko Tower – the ICR Central Headquarters has to thoroughly check this version. It cannot be ruled out that common suspects appear in the two high-profile cases. Aleksander Drymanov, ex-Head of the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the ICR, used to supervise both inquests – and now he is under investigation for framing up criminal cases and prosecution of knowingly innocent people.

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