Navalny’s group finds lavish real estate owned by Putin’s Far East envoy
According to a new investigation from Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev is the owner of a large house located in Moscow’s Serebryany Bor Park. Trutnev, who is also the presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, is known for his difficult relationship with the Khabarovsk Territory’s recently dismissed governor, Sergey Furgal. Putin’s envoy arrived in Khabarovsk unannounced on July 13, in an apparent effort to calm the sustained mass protests that ensued following Furgal’s arrest on July 9.
The FBK’s investigation references Trutnev’s asset declarations, as well as information from Rosreestr (Russia’s Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre, and Cartography). According to Trutnev’s most recent declarations (from 2018), he and his wife own a 7,019-square-meter plot of land (approximately 1.73 acres), an 819-square-meter house (approximately 8,815 square feet), and several non-residential spaces. The FBK claims that this land and real estate are located in Serebryany Bor Park, near a property that Trutnev used to own in 2016. This other property was later transferred to another owner; in the property registry, Trutnev’s name was replaced with the “Russian Federation.”
The land and the house allegedly belonging to Trutnev were purchased in 2018. They were also registered under the “Russian Federation.” Their total cadastral value is 960 million rubles (nearly $13.5 million), and the FBK estimates their market value at more than 2 billion rubles (more than $28 million). This sum is greater than Trutnev’s total income for the last three years (888 million rubles or $12.4 million). As such, he should have reported it in his asset declarations for 2018, but it’s not included.
Furthemore, according to the FBK, Trutnev actually uses not only his own plot of land (the one included in the declaration), but also the neighboring one — a 6,874-square-meter property (nearly 1.7 acres), registered to a company called “Eurosystem.” The FBK claims that this company isn’t linked to Trutnev, but concludes that he uses the property because there is no fence separating the two plots, and their respective houses are connected by a path.
In addition, according to the FBK, Trutnev has access to a property with a house, bathhouse, and helipad located in the Perm Territory, not far from his hometown of Polazna. The property is officially leased by a company registered to Trutnev’s eldest son, Dmitry. The rental rate for a two hectare property there is 30,000 rubles per month (approximately $420). Trutnev’s son Alexander posted photos of the bathhouse on this property on Instagram in 2014 (he has since closed his account).
Trutnev’s son Alexander previously owned a 153-square-meter (1,647-square-foot) apartment on Moscow’s Rochdelskaya Street. It was purchased from the presidential administration in 2005, and sold to Trutnev’s friend, Andrey Kuzyaev, in 2012. The FBK refers to Kuzyaev as Trutnev’s business partner.
According to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Trutnev was involved in business since the start of the 1990s. He and his business partner, Oleg Chirkunov, who worked in intelligence for 10 years, imported Kinder Surprise Eggs into Russia. In 1996, Trutnev became the mayor of Perm, and from 2000–2004 he was governor of the Perm Region (immediately after him, Chrikunov served as the region’s acting governor for a year). For the next eight years he ran the Ministry of Natural Resources, after which he became a presidential aide, and then a presidential envoy.
Civil servants in Russia are forbidden from being involved in business. Judging by Trutnev’s 2011 declarations, which were filed during the State Duma elections (he entered parliament, but gave up his mandate), he didn’t have any business income at that time. But he was one of the richest people in the Russian government, earning between 150 and more than 500 million rubles per year (approximately $2.1–$7 million). At the end of 2018, Trutnev had earned 538 million rubles (more than 7.5 million), making him the richest official in the Russian government. According to his representative, this was due to the sale of real estate and securities, which were held in trust.
Translation by Eilish Hart