The Anti-Corruptions foundation’s documentary “Don’t call him Dimon” made Alisher Usmanov so furious that he recorded two video appeals to Alexey Navalny in a matter of just two days. He refutes all of the accusations talking in highly arrogant manner: he didn’t give bribes to Medvedev and other government officials, he has no real criminal past, all of the cases against him were fabricated. He is outraged and filed a lawsuit against Navalny for accusing him of rape.
The ACF worked hard and found new documentary evidence. Yesterday Alexey Navalny presented them in the new video (with English subtitles).
Mr. Usmanov diligently avoid answering the question about his first big money. Official version sounds like this: he manufactured plastic bags, then sold cigarettes, then went bankrupt, and then established a company called Interfin, in which his partners invested $10 million each, believing in Usmanov’s genius business acumen. Interfin company really did exist since 1995. But fortunately for the ACF from the moment of its establishment 40% of Interfin stock was owned by the British company Middlesex Holding PLC. The ACF read the accounts of this firm, and others, associated with it, for the last 20 years — that’s more than 2,000 pages. Those documents are a pure treasure as they show a real story of the Soviet asset privatization.
In 1997 Usmanov crept into Gazprom and used Gazprom’s money to buy his own shares in the British company, and then, a bit later, sold them back to himself, but for less money. This was the moment that Usmanov and Dmitry Medvedev became such a good friends. Medvedev was the Chairman of Gazprom’s Board of Directors at that time and these scheme wouldn’t be possible without him.
A lot was said about the honest taxpayer Usmanov. He brought to the budget half a billion dollars in the course of 10 years. Among all of his properties only his yacht costs this sum. He should’ve paid several times more. The entrepreneur Alisher Burkhanovich doesn’t sell Russian raw materials directly, but uses his own offshore intermediaries and sell through them with more than two-fold price difference. This tax evasion scheme is called transfer pricing.
Alisher Burkhanovich repeatedly said the he is developing the internet. When in fact he took over the largest Russian social media Vkontakte after the regime wrestled it from its founder Pavel Durov. Durov refused to provide the security services with the personal information of users in groups that criticized the regime. Usmanov in turn introduced censorship and now we see weekly attempts to sentence people for likes and shares.
And lastly about the lawsuit. Rape was among the accusations recounted by the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray. On his website one can find these lines: “Alisher Usmanov is a vicious thug, criminal, racketeer, heroin trafficker and accused rapist.” Mr. Murray was a public officer, who due to his position communicated with everyone in the leadership of Uzbekistan, had access to all the secret information and continues to insist on his statements. But somehow Usmanov didn’t take ambassador Murray to the British court and is trying to settle this case in Russian one where he can easily bring a suitcase with cash.
Alexey Navalny: “I recommend that everyone watches it till the end, because this is an important story about how Russia is set up, how oligarchy is set up, and how officialdom is set up”.