Three billion in real estate, all owned by family Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation lobs its first volley at Russia’s new prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin
Newly appointed Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s financial declarations list him as a “user” of real estate in the Moscow area whose total value is about three billion rubles ($48.2 million). Mishustin is not the official owner of any of that property, but all of it is registered to his relatives. These are among the claims made in the latest investigation from opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which includes a list of all the real estate now known to belong to Mishustin’s family.
6.4 acres of land and six houses in an elite neighborhood
Mishustin’s access to luxury real estate in the Rublyovka area has already been covered in Proekt, Open Media, and the BBC Russian Service. In the Russian government’s real estate registry, the owner of those properties is listed as “the Russian Federation,” a common tactic for hiding the identities of high-profile property owners. However, journalists have determined that the land and the houses involved are held under the names of Mishustin’s two oldest sons, his father, and his sister.
The FBK claims that the prime minister’s Rublyovka estate is worth 1.5 billion rubles ($24.1 million, the same figure cited by Open Media) and consists of three plots of land that neighbor one another but were purchased in three different years. Mishustin and his wife bought the first property in 2000. According to Kommersant, it was paid for with Mishustin’s income from his tech industry work in the International Computer Club. In 2005, the land was registered under the couple’s sons’ names. The FBK emphasized that it accounts for only a fifth of Mishustin’s country home.
A second, adjacent property was purchased in 2012 from Gennady Bukayev, Mishustin’s former boss at the Federal Tax Service (between 2000 and 2004, Bukayev led the FTS, and Mishustin was his deputy). On paper, the buyer was Vladimir Mishustin, Mikhail’s father, who was 73 years old at the time. The elder Mishustin reportedly worked at the Russian airline Aeroflot until his retirement. He ultimately gave the deed to the land he bought in 2012 to his wife, Luiza.
The third and largest piece of land, which measures in at 3.2 acres, is registered to Mishustin’s sister, Natalia Stenina. This property is actually composed of 10 smaller properties, most of which were transferred to Stenina as a gift in 2009 along with two houses (7,965 and 1,615 square feet, respectively). The gift-giver in that transaction was entrepreneur Alexander Udodov, who has been described in the Russian press as Mishustin’s friend and as a member of a scheme to manipulate value-added tax revenues. It appears that Udodov and Mishustin remain close: According to the FBK, Udodov and Natalia Stenina are the founders of several organizations with ties to Mishustin, including the Sportima hockey club where the prime minister plays.
0.62 acres of land and a house in another luxury complex
This find was reported by the BBC Russian Service. It is located in an elite residential village called Agalarov Estate in the village of Zakharovo, which is itself in the Moscow region’s Istrinsky District. The FBK argues that Mikhail Mishustin’s sister has owned a 0.62-acre plot of land in Agalarov Estate since 2014, and that land includes a building of about 10,000 square feet. The BBC Russian Service estimated the value of the property at 370 million rubles ($5.9 million); the FBK believes it is 400 million ($6.4 million). Russia’s federal real estate registry lists “the Russian Federation” in place of the house’s owner.
0.62 more acres of land in the same district
Natalia Stenina owns yet another plot of land in the Istrinsky District. It’s in a different village, Slavkovo, and its official owner is also hidden in federal records, but the FBK published an archived fragment from Russia’s real estate registry showing that the property was also a gift from Alexander Udodov to Stenina, this time in 2009. The St. Petersburg-based outlet Fontanka had previously reported on that transaction. The FBK values the Slavkovo property at 30 million rubles ($481,800).
A swanky apartment
This home was mentioned in the BBC Russian Service’s report on Natalia Stenina’s real estate. It’s an apartment in the elite Khamovniki complex Knightsbridge Park with a square footage of 1,830. The BBC estimates the apartment’s value at 200 million rubles ($3.2 million). While its owner is listed as “the Russian Federation,” the FBK found another archived registry note saying Mishustin’s sister acquired the property in 2018.
A restaurant building in downtown Moscow
Also mentioned in the Russian BBC report are two 25-percent shares in the company Nikolia that belong to Natalia Stenina and Alexander Udodov. Nikolia owns a restaurant called The Not-So-Far East, which closed in early 2019 but was located on Moscow’s Tverskoy Boulevard. The other half of the company belongs to the well-known restaurateur Arkady Novikov. Stenina, Udodov, and Novikov also own the same proportions of the building where the restaurant was located. According to the FBK, the value of the building and the land it stands on is about a billion rubles ($16 million), which puts Stenina’s share at about 250 million rubles ($4 million).
This one was covered in Proekt’s report. The FBK values it at 40 million rubles ($642,400). Kommersant has written that Mishustin received the apartment in 2004 from the presidential administration’s logistical bureau for his role as deputy tax minister. The living was intended to compensate for Mishustin’s low salary. An archived registry clipping published by the FBK indicates that in the same year Mishustin received the apartment, he split its ownership among his two eldest sons, Alexey and Alexander.
Two more apartments
The final two pieces of real estate mentioned in the FBK’s report had not been revealed previously by journalists. Both are in the Sport House complex on 3rd Frunzenskaya Street, not far from the Moscow River. Each apartment contains 1,938 square feet, and the FBK values each at 180 million rubles ($2.9 million).
Here, too, Russia’s federal registry indicates that “the Russian Federation” is the official owner of both units, but the FBK found archival records that showed they were purchased in 2015 by the company Istkom, which Alexander Udodov controls. In 2018, ownership passed to Arkady Novikov, the restaurant owner, who then gave the apartments to Mishustin’s eldest sons less than a year later. Because both men were over 18 at the time, Mishustin was not obligated to declare the property. “Mishustin knows like nobody else that from any tax man’s perspective, that’s called ‘a criminal scam.’ Classic corruption,” Alexey Navalny quipped.
After rounding up the value of the Sport House apartments from 360 million rubles to 400 million, the FBK calculated that the total value of the real estate owned by Mikhail Mishustin’s family members is 2.82 billion rubles ($45.3 million). “There are also ‘old’ apartments, garages, and other bits and pieces, so let’s go ahead and round up to 3 billion [$48.2 million],” Navalny said. “The family of a bureaucrat who has spent 22 years in government service has 3 billion rubles in wealth just in its real estate,” he concluded.
Translation by Hilah Kohen