Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska sues jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny over film about Sergey Lavrov
Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska has filed a lawsuit against opposition figure Alexey Navalny and two of his associates over an investigation they released last year about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to social media posts from Navalny.
In September 2021, Navalny’s team released a documentary called “Yachts, Bribes, and a Mistress: What Minister Lavrov is Hiding.” The film focused on Sergey Lavrov and his relationship with a woman named Svetlana Polyakova, who was referred to as an Interior Ministry employee.
“Deripaska is demanding we delete and retract our investigation about him bribing Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and supporting his second family,” Navalny wrote. The billionaire also demanded that Navalny’s team delete a photo showing him and Lavrov in Japan, as well as any mention of his connections to Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman.
The lawsuit also targets Navalny’s associates Maria Pevchikh and Georgy Alburov. Pevchikh reported that Deripaska is demanding that she and Alburov record a video of themselves stating that the film about Lavrov contains “information recognized by the court as defamatory and false.” She also said Deripaska is demanding they pay 50,000 rubles ($825) a day in damages until the documentary is taken down.
In addition to Navalny and his associates, Deripaska’s lawsuit targets the investigative news outlet The Insider, DMG Media, which owns the Daily Mail, and the American think tank The Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy.