Alexey Navalny is denied access to Oleg Deripaska's ‘yacht tape’ lawsuit
A district court in Ust-Labinsk has refused to allow the anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny to participate as a third party in Oleg Deripaska’s lawsuit against Anastasia Vashukevich (“Nastya Rybka”) and Alexander Kirillov (“Alex Leslie”). The court also refused — apparently without explanation — to admit reporters from the publications Mediazonaand Znak.com.
On February 8, 2018, Navalny published a video on YouTube where he accuses Deripaska of meeting with former Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko aboard Deripaska's yacht in August 2016, possibly to discuss Moscow’s interference in the U.S. presidential election. The video draws on photos and videos shared online by Anastasia Vashukevich.
On February 9, Deripaska filed a lawsuit in Ust-Labinsk (where his businesses happen to pay half their national tax debt). Instead of targeting Navalny, however, Deripaska’s lawsuit is against Vashukevich and her apparent spiritual and PR advisor: a man named Alexander Kirillov. Deripaska says they shared his image online without his permission. Deripaska won an injunction that led Russia’s federal censor to ban the sharing of these photos and videos, though Navalny’s video is still accessible on YouTube, where it currently has more than 7.4 million views. Several media outlets and Instagram, however, did agree to remove the content named in Deripaska’s lawsuit.
In late February, Thai police arrested Vashukevich and Kirillov, along with eight other people, for “illegal business activities.” They’re charged with running a “sex training” workshop for tourists. They’re still in police custody. In May 2018’s government personnel shuffle, Sergey Prikhodko was demoted from deputy prime minister and Dmitry Medvedev’s chief of staff to Medvedev’s first deputy chief of staff.