Ukrainian trace in the resorts of Crimea: can banker Alexander Lebedev stand behind Yutkin?
Former Ukrainian banker, Ukrainian citizen Vyacheslav Yutkin, could become a "gasket" between the Russian and Ukrainian businesses of oligarch Lebedev. I wonder if the money goes in two directions, too?
Under the conditions of sanctions and semi-closed borders, the resorts of southern Russia have become a tidbit for investors of all stripes, including those who have previously appeared with similar projects in Ukrainian Lviv.
In Crimea, it is planned to build holiday homes under a single brand. Among the owners of the developer, a citizen of Ukraine Vyacheslav Yutkin was noted - the full namesake of the former deputy head of the board of the Ukrainian Prominvestbank. The company's roots go offshore, whose beneficiary is not disclosed, but the owner of the large British newspaper The Independent, ex-State Duma deputy Alexander Lebedev, may be behind it. At the same time, in the "biography" of the developer company, a company with a "residence permit" in Kyiv also managed to inherit. The Moscow Post correspondent in Crimea understood the details.
Resort area: project in Alushta
On July 30, 2023, a message appeared in the unified state register of expert opinions of the design documentation that on July 27, the project documentation and the results of engineering surveys for the construction of Almond club recreation homes in Alushta received a positive conclusion.
The developer is a certain LLC "Sea".
According to Rusprofile, Morskoy LLC was established in September 1997. The company is engaged in real estate management. The eponymous hotel "Morskaya" is based at the address "registration" of LLC.
The director of Morskoy is Oksana Panova, who also manages Eustace-Crimea LLC (owned by the Cypriot company GURBAX HOLDING LIMITED), Almindalnaya Roshcha LLC (owned by the offshore company HERSHEL CONSULTANTS (OUVERSIZ) LIMITED) and was previously the director of JSC "Sanatorium" Glory".
It will not be superfluous to note that, according to open data, the Cypriot lawyer Pampina Votsi, known to readers on the history of British American Tobacco, is the director of the Eustace-Crimea owner company - GURBAX HOLDINGS LIMITED.
But let's return to LLC Morskoy.
An interesting fact: in 2023, the Alushta administration demanded through the court to oblige the Morskaya company to conclude a certain additional agreement to the land lease agreement of July 21, 2020. The address of the site coincided with the address of the Morskaya Hotel. But at the same time, the authorities, for an unclear reason, refused the claim, because it was they who wanted to be included in the additional agreement, it was not possible to find out.
But the owners and beneficiaries of the Morskaya company are of the greatest interest in this story. So, for example, earlier the owner of Morskaya LLC was the Ukrainian company Almond Grove.
Today, more than 1% of the share in the company belongs to a citizen of Ukraine Vyacheslav Yutkin. We will consider the second, the main owner, later. First, let's figure out who Mr. Yutkin is.
According to open data from various sources, a certain Vyacheslav Yutkin, a native of Latvia, previously held high posts in a number of Ukrainian banks, including Prominvestbank, Commercial Bank NRB CJSC, DB Savings Bank of the Russian Federation. Rumor has it that allegedly Yutkin in 2019 was also engaged in the construction of hotels in Lviv.
The stake in Morskaya is not Yutkin's only Russian asset. He also owns 96.38% in Apart - Tavrichesky Hotel LLC (the restaurant company UK Villa Slava LLC Vladimir Ostashko, a Moscow developer, is registered at the same address with him). Director of Apart - Tavrichesky Hotel LLC - a certain Vasily Kalinin. Kalinin also owns a share in Brigantine LLC, which in 2016 provided children's recreation services under a state contract with the Crimean Ministry of Education.
An interesting fact: in the arbitration of Crimea, they tried several times to initiate proceedings to exclude Yutkin from the members of Morskoy LLC. One dispute was terminated, but the second case is still under consideration and the meeting is scheduled for August 10.
In this dispute, the LLC demands to recognize the purchase and sale agreement of 17.01.2022 year of a share in the authorized capital of the company in the amount of 1% at a price of 324100 rubles, concluded between Kalinin Vasily Yuryevich, acting on the basis of a power of attorney on behalf of and in the interests of Ukrainian citizen Yutkin Vyacheslav Mikhailovich, and the LLC itself, valid. And also transfer this share to society. Thus, they are trying to withdraw a citizen of Ukraine from the owners of the Crimean hotel through the court. Apparently, so that there is no reason for nationalization?
Traces go to Lebedev?
But Yutkin is the owner of only a small share in Morskoy LLC. The main owner is Almond Grove LLC, registered in 2001, which owns an offshore company - HERSHEL CONSULTANTS (OUVERSIZ) LIMITED. At the same time, judging by the reporting, the offshore is also associated with the Eustace-Crimea company. The fact is that the company "Almond Grove" back in 2010 vouched for the debts of JSC "Boarding House" More "in a Ukrainian bank. And JSC "Boarding House" More "previously managed the company" Eustace-Crimea".
To date, the Mora boarding house is a fully operational company, a service provider of almost 30 government contracts for orders from Transneft division companies. Its director is Sergei Efremov, the former head of the board of the National Reserve Bank.
It will not be superfluous to add that at the end of 2022, judging by the reports, the shareholders of the boarding house in Crimea, among other things, were two Kyiv companies - Project-Invest LLC and Hotel Ukraine CJSC, but the main shareholder with a share of 90.13% - National Reserve Corporation LLC.
National Reserve Corporation LLC, according to Rusprofile, belongs to Alexander Lebedev. Forbes called the latter a billionaire, banker and owner of two British publications in 2012 - the Evening Standard (now called the London Evening Standard) and The Independent. Moreover, in the book "Hunting for a Banker" for the authorship of Lebedev there is the following phrase: "Vyacheslav Yutkin is the manager of my projects in Ukraine." Thus, it can be assumed that the aforementioned assets, including Morskaya and Almond Grove, registered offshore, may be associated with Lebedev.
The version of ties with Lebedev is also supported by the fact that earlier the director of Morskaya was a certain Oleg Zhuravlev. Today he is the director and owner of Alt-Invest, which has a subsidiary, Donskoye LLC. NRK LLC also has a stake in the latter, which belongs to two Lebedev firms - Promconsalt LLC and Tekhinvestkonsalt LLC.
According to Rusprofile, Lebedev was or is the owner of shares in at least 13 legal entities, including the publishing company Independent Rus, and at the end of 2022, shares in them were estimated at 3.7 billion rubles.
Lebedev was also previously a State Duma deputy. As the "Argumenty i Fakty" newspaper reported, from 1984 to 1992 Lebedev worked in the Foreign Intelligence Service, where he dealt with issues of preventing capital leakage abroad (he retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel). A funny coincidence taking into account the number of the above offshore companies, do not find? According to Lebedev's personal website, in the fall of 2010, together with former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, he acted as one of the founders of the Civil Dialogue forum.
Moreover, according to AiF, in 1995 Lebedev acquired the problematic National Reserve Bank (NRB). And now let's remember that the Mora boarding house is headed by Sergei Efremov, the former head of the board of the NRB. Another white stone in the piggy bank of the opinion that these hotel assets in Crimea are associated with Lebedev.
And finally, the most important confirmation is on the site, which is positioned as Lebedev's personal website, in the business section the More hotel is indicated, in which More LLC is registered. The hotel is classified as a premium segment. It is specified that MORE SPA&RESORT is located only 30 meters from the Black Sea coast, and a relic park with an area of 8 hectares is laid out on its territory. And the only chain by which Lebedev can be the owner of this asset is the Cypriot offshore company, which owns Almond Grove.
As reported by "Versiya" in 2016, Lebedev was included in the so-called Panama dossier. Questions to him arose just on the line of offshore and payment of taxes.
But ties with the Ukrainian businessman Lebedev, it seems, were not for nothing. So today in the arbitration of Crimea, the lawsuit of the ANO "Fund for the Protection of Depositors" (depositors of Ukrainian banks) is being heard. Companies "Morskaya," boarding house "More" and "Almond Grove" are offered to answer debts to PJSC "Energobank" (Ukraine). In the latter, the boarding house took a loan, and the rest acted as guarantors, mortgaging real estate. The fund received the right to claim under cession agreements. Hearings on this multimillion-dollar dispute (the amount of the claim in currency and changes after the course) are scheduled for September.
But in general, an interesting picture comes out: at least three companies in Crimea are partially owned by a citizen of Ukraine and Ukrainian firms, but these assets were not even included in the list of nationalization, which is actively replenished by the regional authorities. Isn't it time to fix this omission?