New report finds five-billion-ruble downtown apartment owned by Russian tech czar
Research conducted by the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) found that Sergey Chemezov, who leads Russia’s state-owned technology conglomerate Rostech, owns an apartment worth five billion rubles (just under $76 million). Alexey Navalny, the leading opposition politician who founded the FBK, revealed the results of the organization’s report on February 6. The most expensive apartment owned by a Russian state official had previously been thought to belong to Igor Sechin, who leads the energy conglomerate Rosneft and owns a property worth approximately two billion rubles ($30.4 million).
Navalny said the head of Rostech, which includes approximately 700 enterprises in the defense and high-tech industries, owns the apartment along with his wife, Yekaterina Ignatova. Chemezov and Ignatova’s apartment is reportedly located in the residential section of a building that also houses Moscow’s Four Seasons hotel as well as offices and commercial spaces. The building is located on Okhotny Ryad, less than a five-minute walk from the Kremlin.
According to Navalny, Chemezov and Ignatova’s property occupies 1434 square meters (15,435 square feet) on the 12th and 13th floors of the building. Publicly available information indicates that another apartment in the same building recently sold for 3.5 million rubles (more than $53,000) per square meter, putting the FBK’s reported value of Chemezov and Ignatova’s property at more than 5 billion rubles.
The apartment is officially registered under Ignatova’s name, Navalny reported. She had reported it as a pair of non-residential spaces of slightly more than 700 square meters each.
Ignatova founded the KATE company, which was formed to produce automatic transmissions for the Russian automobile manufacturer AvtoVAZ. Rostech owns a significant share of AvtoVAZ’s stocks, the FBK noted. Even though KATE’s automatic transmissions were never successfully delivered, Chemezov’s wife’s company received another order for them from the Kortezh project. Kortezh was founded in 2012 in order to manufacture luxury cars for Russia’s leading political figures; its first product was a limousine that debuted during President Vladimir Putin’s 2018 inauguration.
After the FBK published its report, Otkritie Media (Open Media) pointed out that it had already revealed the existence of Chemezov’s apartment in March 2018. At that time, Rostech representatives confirmed that its leader’s spouse owned the apartments but declined to comment further.
A number of media sources have consistently indicated that Chemezov is not alone in his ownership of luxury residential properties. Apart from Sechin of Rosneft, whose two-billion-ruble apartment reportedly spans 1229 square meters (more than 13,200 square feet), Russia’s postal service director and the head of the energy conglomerate Gazprom have each been said to own apartments valued at 1 billion rubles ($15.2 million).