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An organization scheming to take over Russia's funeral industry has ties to officialdom and neo-Nazis

Источник: Meduza
Galina Onishchenko / Alamy / Vida Press

Meduza has learned that the son of a top Russian federal official owns the “Verum” organization, which markets itself as a community to protect the rights of the deceased. Denis Loginov (whose father, Andrey, serves as a deputy cabinet head for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev) launched Verum in late 2016. The organization disseminates negative stories about funeral services, which it collects by paying Internet users for video footage of illegal burials and ceremonial practices.

Denis Loginov previously led the Moscow branch of the right-wing “Restrukt” movement, which was founded by the neo-Nazi Maxim Martsinkevich (better known by his moniker, “Tesak”). The movement was responsible for the so-called “Occupy Pedophile” sting operations, where activists posed as minors and lured potential “pedophiles” to meetings, where they were recorded on video against their will and robbed of their cash. Loginov was a witness in a subsequent criminal investigation that sent Martsinkevich to prison for five years.

Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov learned from Loginov’s friends and business acquaintances that Verum’s main goal is to corner Russia’s funeral market. The organization, however, claims that its revenue comes from providing legal consulting to people who encounter problems with organizing funerals for their loved ones. Golunov also learned that Loginov’s father, Andrey, lobbied for new legislation on burials in Russia that was drafted by the Construction Industry, Housing, and Utilities Sector Ministry.