Yakunin’s inner circle: penthouses, sports cars, and paintings from Tretyakov Gallery
In addition to a yacht in the Mediterranean, Boris Usherovich has plenty of assets in Moscow. His interests include real estate, cars, and various ‘little things’, including expensive watches, paintings, and other luxury.
We have already written about Boris Usherovich – owner of many companies whose contracts were mostly related to Russian Railways during the rule of Vladimir Yakunin. Usherovich was a member of a group that had established plenty of intermediary structures, including offshore firms, and gained profitable contracts from the monopolist – while all actual works were performed by third-party subcontractors. Andrei Krapivin, a close friend of and freelance aide to Vladimir Yakunin, was in charge of this scheme, while Usherovich was his ‘overseer’ and controlled the situation in individual organizations of this corruption structure.
In addition to his main passion – a yacht in the Mediterranean described in our previous material – Boris Usherovich is also a big fan of real estate. It is not that he has no place to live or moves from one residence to another all the time – this is just his another hobby, a kind of ‘grand-scale shopping’.
To refresh background: Gloria Teresa, a 42-meter luxury motor three-deck super yacht belonging to Usherovich, requires continuous repairs and spendings: painting the hull at the cost of €180 thousand, tweaking the satellite TV antenna for €60 thousand, installing jogging tracks for €9 thousand, etc. All the costs must be agreed with the manager of the yacht sailing in the Mediterranean Sea – but all this fuss is a small price for the possibility to relax in the open sea a few times a year.
The rest of his time Usherovich spends in Moscow and entertains himself with various expensive purchases.
According to a CrimeRussia source, in 2011 (by that time, the group of contractors involving Usherovich was already receiving multibillion contracts from Russian Railways), he had seriously considered the acquisition of a luxury apartment in the center of Moscow, at 50 Bolshaya Yakimanka street. This is the address of Dom Druzhby (House of Friendship) Residential Complex – an elite 5–8-storey club house built in the modernist style according to an individual project.
Dom Druzhby Residential Complex
The building is fitted out with modern engineering equipment mandatory for elite residences. An air ventilation, conditioning, purification, and ionization system is installed there. There is also an internal fire prevention system; the residential complex has its own protection service.
Usherovich had chosen a huge penthouse on the fifth floor. Real estate databases show only one apartment matching this description and offered for sale that year. The penthouse with the total space of 432 square meters (according to other sources, 500 square meters) is the only such unit on the floor and has an individual exit from the elevator. It has a custom design interior a la modern English classics: elegant furniture, decor, and elite appliances. The thoughtful design includes a vast living room, kitchen, spacious hall and hall gallery, office, master bedroom, cloakroom, 2 guest bedrooms, smoking-room, pool-room, 4 washrooms, and guest bathroom. The apartment also includes 3 winter gardens and features amazing panoramic views of the historical center of Moscow, Krymsky bridge, Christ the Savior Cathedral, and Kremlin. At that time, the cost of the unit was 435 million rubles ($7.6 million).
Usherovich always wanted to live in an outstanding place. In addition to the luxury and comfort, he needed to feel himself a part of some elite. Therefore, the penthouse had to be superior in comparison with other unites, while the neighbors had to be ‘special’ people. However, due to some reasons, the above apartment turned out to be not good enough for him, and he continued searches in the same neighborhood.
According to the source, an apartment located only one block from Bolshaya Yakimanka street, on 1st Golutvinsky lane, had attracted his interest. There are only two elite buildings with penthouses there – Kopernik (Copernicus) Residential Complex (its official address is Building 3, 22 Bolshaya Yakimanka street) and Park Residence located at 7 1st Golutvinsky lane.
Kopernik Residential Complex
Kopernik Residential Complex consists of 6 buildings with varying numbers of storeys (6-9-11-15); it is considered one of the most prestigious houses in Yakimanka neighborhood. It has been built according to a project of Sergei Tkachenko, a Moscow urban planner known for such architectural masterpieces as the ‘egg-house’ on Mashkova street and Patriarch mansion on Malaya Bronnaya street. Kopernik residences feature unobstructed views of the Moskva River, city center, Monument to Peter the Great, and Kremlin. Park Residence located nearby is even more fancy – this is a deluxe club building with only 16 apartments and underground parking for 30 cars. The exterior finishes are made of copper, Finnish ceramic bricks, Jurassic stone, and Indian granite. The building is equipped with a central air conditioning system and multilevel security system. The fenced interior yard is landscaped in accordance with modern landscape design concepts.
According to the real estate databases, the only Kopernik residence meeting the requirements of Usherovich was a 10-room penthouse on the tenth floor with a huge (150 square meters) terrace , custom design interior, and classic finishes made of expensive natural materials. The unit has five bedrooms with individual washrooms and cloak-rooms. Several years ago, the asking price of this luxury with the total area of 480 square meters was 534 million rubles ($9.3 million).
Park Residence is advertised as one of the most chamber and fancy deluxe residential complexes in Moscow. It consists of only 15 units and is located in the immediate vicinity to the Park of Arts and Moskva River quay; similarly with the above buildings, it features breathtaking views of the city center and Christ the Savior Cathedral.
The Park Residence apartment offered to Usherovich had the total area of some 800 square meters and included three terraces, six bedrooms, exercise room, etc. The price was $40 million (pretty close to the cost of Gloria Teresa yacht belonging to Usherovich). We could not find, however, this offer in databases available to the public; perhaps, it was made exclusively for Usherovich. Currently, the most expensive unit in this building (225 square meters) is offered for sale for 555 million rubles ($9.7 million).
In addition, Usherovich is continuously looking for mansions in Moscow– apparently, to use those as offices for his companies or lease out. The mansions must be of the highest level – A class – and located preferably in the same neighborhood with the selected apartments.
The list of preferred properties includes inter alia Zhemchuzhina Zamoskvorechia (Pearl of Zamoskvorechie) – a mansion with the total area of 1,180 square meters built in the 18th century and located in the historical center of the city – on 1st Kadashevsky lane. A complete renovation of the building has been performed, including deepening of the underground space, reinforcement of load bearing structures, and addition of a mezzanine floor. The mansion has its own fenced yard featuring design landscaping, fountain, and pavilion. The gorgeous front entrance is decorated with stucco medallions and murals. The ceiling height is 4 meters. The building is equipped with an elevator serving levels from the semi-basement to the third floor. A mezzanine with panoramic windows is established on the fourth floor, at the highest level. There are 16 rooms in the mansion and a SPA zone with a swimming pool.
The fenced inner yard contains a beautiful park, fountain, garden, parking lot, and walking paths. The current cost of the property is 780 million rubles ($13.6 million).
Here is another mansion located at 7 Bolshoy Golovin lane.
7 Bolshoy Golovin lane
This is a new 4-storey (plus the semi-basement floor) building with a parking lot for seven cars and landscaped territory with a fountain. The mansion includes both living and commercial space and an underground parking. Its living part consists of two residences: one on the third floor and the other one on the fourth and fifth floors – with a swimming pool, winter garden, and roof terrace. The first and second floors are designed for commercial use (office, bank, medical or beauty center, etc.). The price of the building is 450–550 million rubles ($7.9–9.6 million) depending on the agency.
According to the same source, Usherovich is interested in suburban real estate as well; he has eyes on Soho Country Club located on the shore of the Zhivopisnaya (Scenic) Bay on Novorizhskoe highway, not far from the Moscow Automobile Ring Road. The total area of the country club is 2 hectares; its infrastructure includes a mini-hotel, restaurant with an open patio for 400 guests, swimming pool, beach, tropic bar, and sports and children’s grounds. This is an excellent place to celebrate marriages and birthdays and hold corporate parties.
The territory of the club can be used in any possible way – the land is leased for 49 years. One can build a home there, or a cottage community, or continue using the country club as an established business. The place is already pretty popular among rich people and stars. For instance, Philipp Kirkorov had celebrated the third birthday of his son there.
The cost of Soho Country Club is $20 million.
Birthday party of Philipp Kirkorov’s son in Soho Country Club
The yacht and real estate preferences of Usherovich provide a vivid characteristic of that person, but his image of a wealthy and successful businessman would be incomplete without expensive cars.
His dreams include an S-Class Maybach (starting from 13 million rubles ($226.9 thousand)) or Rolls-Royce Phantom (starting from 50 million rubles ($872.8 thousand)) with a driver for everyday business trips and a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Convertible (starting from 9 million rubles ($157.1 thousand)) or rare sports car Spyker C8 with the capacity of 400 horsepower (starting from 30 million rubles ($523.7 thousand)) for leisure.
There are also other kinds of equipment for sports and recreation: bicycles Land Rover (88 thousand rubles – $1.5 thousand), BMW (90 thousand rubles – $1.6 thousand), or Mercedes (138 thousand rubles – $2.4 thousand); snowmobiles Yamaha VK 540 (600 thousand rubles – $10.5 thousand) or ‘beloved’ Bombardier (BRP) (800 thousand rubles – $14 thousand). All people linked with Russian Railways have a soft spot for that Canadian company – Bombardier is a long-term partner and equipment supplier for Russian railroads. This sympathy must be especially strong in case of Usherovich: after the recent arrest of an employee of the local Bombardier branch in Sweden, it became known that the Canadian giant had liaised with Russian Railways via an intermediary company affiliated with the team led by Krapivin and involving Usherovich. This company used to ship the equipment not directly from Sweden but via London and gained 400% profit on this.
And of course, any gentleman's set must include watches. For instance, from Geograph Rainforest limited collection produced by French company Louis Moinet at a price of $20–40 thousand. Or Swiss-made Cvstos Challenge R 50 ($30–50 thousand depending on the model). In the worst case scenario, Jaeger LeCoultre Amvox2 – also made in Switzerland but belonging to a lower price category ($10–15 thousand).
Usherovich has a refined aesthetic sense and is a big fan of works of art. In particular, he decided to acquire a painting of Aleksander Gerasimov created in the socialist realism style in 1938 – “I.V. Stalin and K.E. Voroshilov in the Kremlin” (popularly nicknamed “Two leaders after a rain”). The original is kept in the Tretyakov Gallery, while an author’s copy of the painting reflecting an entire epoch is a part of a foreign private collection and could be sold. Unfortunately, we were unable to find out for how much.
A. Gerasimov. “I.V. Stalin and K.E. Voroshilov in the Kremlin
Usherovich highly values comfort and independence and prefers to travel by business jets. This can be illustrated by his flight to Málaga, Spain (apparently, to his yacht). The cost of a round trip charter flight from Moscow to Málaga on Bombardier Challenger 850 was almost €90 thousand. Too bad, Usherovich does not have an own jet yet and has to pay that much...
Neither does he have a yacht in Russia. Therefore, during rare leisure periods at home, he has to rent a watercraft.
According to our source, Novaya Zvezda 105 (New Star 105) 34.5-meter three-deck yacht can more or less satisfy the fastidious taste of Usherovich; its charter cost is 750 thousand rubles ($13.1 thousand) per day.
During the rule of Yakunin, who had created (or at least, could not be unaware of) an entire embezzlement system in Russian Railways, the life of Usherovich (as well as other members of the team led by Krapivin) was free-and-easy. No one can say how many additional residences, cars, and yachts could they acquire if Yakunin hadn’t resigned in 2015 – at that time, the cost of services provided by Russian Railways had reached almost 96% of its total revenue (1.38 trillion rubles – $24.1 billion), while some 50% of expenses – 660 billion rubles ($11.5 billion) – were payments to suppliers and contractors.
Private game reserves became a bon ton among Russian politicians and businessmen. A couple of years ago, the Law On Hunting has been significantly amended and it became virtually impossible to join the privileged ‘hunters club’. So, who managed to acquire personal hunting lands and how much it costs?
This is stated in the indictment of the Prosecutor's Office. The defense of the ex-Minister asked to return the case to the supervisory authority, as the factual allegations changed, but the court refused to do so.