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Fighting from the French Riviera Investigative journalists find luxury real estate registered abroad to the wife of the federal official who ‘curates’ Russia’s war on ‘foreign agents’

Source: Agentstvo
Alexander Miridonov / Kommersant

Especially where kids are involved, divorce can be a harrowing experience. Few manage to get along with a former spouse as well as Russian Deputy Justice Minister Oleg Sviridenko, who reportedly fathered two children with his ex-wife, dancer Natalia Poluichik, after their marriage officially ended in 1999. According to a new report by the investigative website Agentstvo, Sviridenko’s divorce was a legal scheme to conceal the couple’s wealth. On social media, Poluichik has shared photographs showing her together with Sviridenko, where she refers to herself by her married surname. Adding irony to its discovery, Agentstvo identifies Oleg Sviridenko as the “curator” of the Russian Justice Ministry’s war against “foreign agents.” Meduza summarizes the report’s findings.

In 2012, Natalia Poluichik bought an apartment for 775,000 euros (now about $894,000) in the resort town of Antibes on the French Riviera, according to French real estate records. In this paperwork, Poluichik stated that she purchased the home using her personal finances. Seven years later, she sold the property (at a loss) for 680,000 euros ($784,500), collecting the money in cash.

Agentstvo also found that Poluichik owns several more luxury homes in Russia: an estate outside Podolsk, a 113-square-meter (1,216-square-foot) home near Troisk, two apartments in Moscow, one 209 square meters (2,250 square feet) and the other 156 square meters (1,679 square feet), and multiple 179-square-meter (1,927-square-foot) apartments at a luxury residential complex in Sochi.

According to journalists, Poluichik would have been unable to afford these properties without help from her “ex”-husband. Her Moscow-registered business, the Roman Kovgan School of Dance (named after Poluichik’s former dance partner), does not disclose its profits. 

Additionally, says Agentstvo, Poluichik effectively controlled yet another apartment in Moscow at the Krutitskaya Embankment that was formally registered to a businessman named Yuri Volikov, who later transferred the home to the Sviridenkos’ son, Alexander.

It turns out that Yuri Volikov has been helping Oleg Sviridenko’s family for years. Between 2015 and 2017, Poluichik collected a monthly salary of 2 million rubles ($27,620) at Volikov’s company MANFS Zenit-Inter, which also does not disclose its profits. Volikov also seems to have rented office space to Oleg Sviridenko’s mother (a woman named Maria Sviridenko, born in 1940) in Moscow’s Strogino District. Even before that, Volikov bought shares in a firm called Mosdachtrest owned by Sviridenko’s first wife, Elena.

We won’t give up Because you’re with us

Summary by Olga Korelina

Translation by Kevin Rothrock