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“Wedding Gift” for $ 380 million: an investigation into Putin’s son-in-law

Navalny reveals investigation into ‘Putin’s Palace’ | DW News

The husband of the president’s youngest daughter bought 3.8% of the company &# 171; Sibur&# 187; for only $ 100

WASHINGTON – In February 2013, Yekaterina Tikhonova, the youngest daughter of President Vladimir Putin, married the son of one of the closest friends of Russian leader Kirill Shamalov.

The wedding was magnificently celebrated for three days at a ski resort in the Leningrad region.

Among other gifts, soon after the wedding, the newlyweds got an impressive share of the shares of the petrochemical giant Sibur.

According to emails recovered by the Russian investigative agency iStories, a partner of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Putin’s son-in-law acquired about $ 400 million worth of shares in a petrochemical company for just $ 100..

This information has caused a wave of criticism from anti-corruption activists who call the deal another example of Kremlin nepotism and the enrichment of Putin’s close associates..

“Well, that is, quite simply,” wrote opposition leader Alexei Navalny on his blog. “Putin’s daughter got married, and the newlyweds received $ 380 million for the wedding.”.

According to the investigation, after his wedding with Tikhonova, Shamalov bought 3.8 percent of Sibur shares through a network of offshore companies. In 2008, Shamalov became one of the vice presidents of the oil giant.

Private e-mails obtained using a large-scale data breach also indicate that the newlyweds continued to lead a lavish lifestyle: they bought a luxurious mansion near Putin’s country residence on the outskirts of Moscow and a villa in the French resort town of Biarritz. The furnishings were also expensive: one carpet cost $ 65,000; several Japanese books – $ 7,000 and the spa – about $ 350,000.

Kirill is the son of millionaire Nikolai Shamalov, who in the 1990s, together with Putin, founded the Ozero dacha cooperative near St. Petersburg. When Putin became president, many members of the cooperative took up leadership positions in Russian government and business..

Shamalov was among the officials and close associates of Putin who are subject to US sanctions for “malicious” activities of Russia, including interference in the US elections.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday denied reports of a “wedding gift”.

“We still do not comment on such publications,” he told reporters, adding that these are rumors, “often having nothing to do with reality.”.

Peskov also said that Putin does not care about media investigations of his family..

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