Taganskaya leaders, Zhirny and Grisha Tagansky, may be charged with 15 murders 

Taganskaya leaders, Zhirny and Grisha Tagansky, may be charged with 15 murders
Grigory Rabinovich Photo: Irina Buzhor / Kommersant

The leaders of various organizations are among the victims of the group, such as the thief in law Andrei Golubev (Skif) and the influential Mafioso Maksim Lazovsky (Khromoi).

The Basmanny Court of Moscow placed Igor Zhirnokleev (Zhirny) and Grigory Rabinovich (Grisha Tagansky) in custody yesterday. The mafia-affiliated businessmen are accused of arranging a 2008 murder (part 2 of Art. 105) of Valery Zhuravlyov, general director of Rospischeprom. Zhirny’s attorney, Mark Kaverzin, asked to place his client under house arrest instead of the detention center arguing that the investigation provided no evidence of Zhirnokleev’s involvement in the incriminated act, and “everything is based on the testimony of the witnesses who had allegedly heard in the fall of 2007 as Rabinovich said to Zhirnokleev: “We have to do something about the Zhuravlyov thing.” However, the court imprisoned the defendants until March 22.

Recall that Zhuravlyov was killed on February 6, 2008. Someone inflicted a fatal blow on his head with a metal object at building 60, Novocheryomushkinskaya Street. The perpetrator was never found, but the motive was easily established.

Валерий Журавлев

According to detectives, Zhuravlyov was massacred after the raider seizure of Rospischeprom OJSC (Tverskoy-Yamskoy Lane, 18/3). Shortly before the murder, he filed a complaint with the police, claiming that unknown persons had forged his signature in the sales contract and other documents and re-registered the ownership of the building.

According to investigators, the businesswoman from Tula, Irina Orlova, and the realtor with Inkom company, Salima Gugkayeva, took part in the scam. In November 2006, the former made false documents allegedly indicating a purchase and sale transaction for the building of Rospischeprom with an area of 6 thousand square meters with the shell company Irbis. Then, Gugkayeva resold the building several times until its ultimate beneficiary was Bonus Business Ltd., an offshore company. In November 2009, the Simonovsky Court of Moscow found Irina Orlova and Salima Gugkayeva guilty of “illegally acquiring property rights” for Rospischeprom’s building and sentenced them to five and six years of imprisonment, respectively. Later it transpired that they were complicit in five more scams.

According to Kommersant, in the near future, Zhirnokleev and Rabinovich, as well as other members of the criminal group may be charged with about a dozen more crimes. Most of them were committed quite a long time ago, but were practically not investigated, a law enforcement source told Rosbalt. The turning point occurred in the spring of 2017, when FSB officers became interested in the situation. They collected all the materials on Taganskaya members and began to cultivate them themselves.

Initially, murder cases with leaders and members of the criminal group as defendants were kept in the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia in Moscow; then, they were forwarded to the central office of the Investigative Committee. After that, it was decided to detain the criminals. According to Rosbalt, Zhirny was handcuffed in his favourite place - Chaykhona located near the zoo.

According to Kommersant, Spanish investigators helped Russian ones in the investigation of murder of Zhuravlyov. In late 2013, the local intelligence services carried out a special operation (codenamed Dirieba) in Palma de Mallorca. 12 members of Taganskaya criminal group were arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

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Aleksander Romanov

After the investigation was completed and one of the defendants Aleksander Romanov was sentenced to 3 years and 9 months, Spanish investigators sent the files to the General Procurator’s Office. They were all related to crimes committed by the members of Taganskaya in Russia. Besides Zhuravlyov, it is about involvement of criminal group members in murder of deputy head of the Legal Department of Department store of Moscow owned by Andrey Bralyuk, thieves in law Viacheslav Ivankov (aka Yaponchik) and Aslan Usoyan (aka Ded Khasan) and others.

The ICR believes that Zhirnokleev and Rabinovich could have been paymasters behind the murder of lawyer Natalya Vavilova in April 2017. The lawyer represented the interests of dozens of tenants demanding money from the Zodchy-98 company controlled by Zhirnokleev and Rabinovich. Staff killer of the group Marat Yanbukhtin is currently in custody for this crime.

In addition, operatives have information that Yanbukhtin could have been the perpetrator of the shooting of crime lord Maksim Lazovsky (Maks Khromoy) in 2000. This was the result of his conflict with Zhirny, after the crime lord sided with one of the Chechen criminal groups feuding with Zhirnokleev. At a meeting, which was dedicated to this, Zhirny insulted Khromoy, and the latter beat him in response. Shortly afterwards, Khromoy was killed while leaving a church in the village of Uspensky, Odintsovsky district, Moscow region. 

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Thief in law Skif (left-hand)

In addition, the information that Zhirny could have been one of those behind the massacre of thief in law Andrey Golubev (Skif) in May 2009 is being checked. Back then, there was a criminal feud between Ded Hasan and Tariel Oniani’s (Taro) clans. Skif was on Ded Hasan’s side, and Zhirnokleev was with Merab. Golubev was dealing with the role of Zhirny in this ‘war’ when he was shot by killers.

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