Novaya Gazeta and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project have teamed up for another investigative article, this time revealing that Vladimir Putin’s former bodyguards have managed to acquire valuable real estate in the Moscow region’s Odintsovsky District, scooping up land that was scammed away from sovkhoz farmers in the late 1990s. According to the new report, the farmers were given worthless corporate stock in exchange for the land they received after the USSR’s collapse. The business responsible for seizing this real estate, “Agrocomplex Gorki-2,” even forged several farmers’ signatures on these deals and had protesters prosecuted and beaten.
In 2003, Agrocomplex Gorki-2 sold almost 30 acres of the land to the “Zarya” nonprofit partnership, founded earlier that year by three high-ranking Federal Protective Service officials. The group then divided up this property into 64 plots and proceeded to dole it out — either for free or for a pittance — to fellow FSO officers and security officials who guarded President Putin. Some individuals named in the report are former director of the president’s personal guard Oleg Klimentev, Klimentev’s 16-year-old daughter, Klimentev’s wife, Tula Governor Alexey Dyumin, Dyumin’s father, Dyumin’s brother, Federal Emergency Management Agency head Alexander Kolpakov, Kolpakov’s wife, and others.