Anti-corruption leader publishes evidence that Russia's first deputy prime minister spends millions on private airplanes
Alexey Navalny, an opposition leader and head of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, published a report today exposing First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov's frequent use of private airplanes.
Navalny’s team found 13 “coincidences” in which the airplane Bombardier Global Express happened to be in the same cities as Igor Shuvalov on the same days. The cities included Vladivostok, where Shuvalov recently participated in a forum, and Kazan, where he spoke about particularly small apartments in Moscow. (See Meduza's report on this latter event, which proved to be a rather embarrassing gaffe.)
The Anti-Corruption Foundation also determined that the airplane has appeared 18 times already this year in Salzburg, Austria, where Shuvalov’s family owns a mansion.
“The private jet with tail number M-VQBI has flown to [Shuvalov’s] ‘dacha’ 18 times this year, sometimes several times a week. I am sure that most of you rarely go to dachas located within 70 kilometers [44 miles] from your places of residence,” Navalny wrote on his website.
Navalny’s team estimates that the cost of these trips to Salzburg amount to roughly 100 million rubles ($1.6 million).
The team also discovered that the corgis—Welsh herding dogs—raised by Shuvalov’s wife also travel on this airplane, as, on eight occasions, the jet happened to turn up in cities that were holding Corgi dog shows at the time.
Early last week, Navalny accused Shuvalov of buying ten adjacent apartments on the 14th floor of Moscow’s Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building to create an impressive 719-square-meter (7,740-square-feet) 600-million-ruble ($9.4 million) apartment.