Skip to main content
  • Share to or

Anti-Corruption Foundation Chairman Leonid Volkov ‘pauses’ his leadership role amid scandal over letter requesting sanctions relief for Alfa Group shareholders

Leonid Volkov, the chairman of Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, announced Thursday that he’s “taking a break from his public socio-political activity” as head of the organization.

The decision comes amid blowback over documents released by Echo of Moscow editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov that showed Volkov’s signature on a collective February 7, 2023, letter to the European Commission, requesting that sanctions against the heads of the Russian investment consortium Alfa Group be lifted.

Volkov initially denied having signed the document. However, on March 9, he posted a copy of a separate letter he sent to Josep Borrell, dated October 14, 2022. Along with the letter, Volkov issued an apology:

In October 2022, I signed and sent the following letter to the office of Josep Borrell. This letter was a big political mistake. Worse yet, by doing this, I overstepped by authority — I signed it not in a personal capacity, but on behalf of the organization. I didn’t inform my colleagues, and as a result, I put them in a bad position.

I had a feeling that the situation at that time (against the backdrop of the defeats of Putin’s army and discord in the Russian elites) was critical, and that it was possible, by creating a precedent, to start a chain reaction of public condemnations of the war and a split in the Russian elites. I made a mistake.

Volkov asked for his colleagues’ forgiveness, adding that they will soon discuss his future in the organization.

Volkov continues to insist that he did not agree to the use of his signature on the collective February letter.

Since spring 2022, Anti-Corruption Foundation has maintained a list of “bribe-takers and warmongers,” which has more than 7,000 entries at this moment.

The list is divided into categories like “war arrangers,” “propagandists,” “individuals involved in corruption,” “Putin’s public supporters,” etc. Navalny’s associates have positioned this document as a basis for individual sanctions. Only one member of Alfa Group’s corporate leadership, Peter Aven, appears on the list.

  • Share to or