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CORRUPTION

Living the high life: how senior military officers get upscale apartments in Russia

It is a tale of two worlds when it comes to the living standards of Russian army commanders versus the ordinary contract servicemen and the families of mobilized soldiers. While the latter group struggles to pay off mortgages or buy housing using their compensations for those killed in action, the former enjoy the ownership of elite real estate properties. For instance, Maria Kitayeva, a young counselor to Shoigu, has a family that owns properties worth almost a billion and a half rubles ($19.5 million), while a deputy defense minister received housing worth from 70-100 million rubles ($910,000 - $1.3 million) to a billion rubles ($13 million). The Insider gives a few examples of the apartments and houses owned by Russian generals who have left millions of Ukrainians homeless.

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Nikolai Pankov has been deputy defense minister for 18 years. Before Sergei Shoigu, he was deputy to both Anatoly Serdyukov and Sergei Ivanov.

 Nikolai Pankov
Nikolai Pankov

Among other things, Pankov is responsible for supervising the fight against corruption. However, under his leadership, questionable transactions have taken place. For example, Alexei Krivoruchko, another deputy defense minister and also owner of the Kalashnikov Concern, purchased weapons for the army from himself. Additionally, Ruslan Tsalikov, another deputy of Shoigu, arranged for his children to own properties worth one billion rubles (12.99 million dollars).

Pankov has also registered his property in the name of his children. For instance, his daughter Maria received a four-room apartment in the Residential Complex “House of the Presidential Property Management Directorate” from the state for 70 million rubles ($909,000 dollars). This is equivalent to approximately six “coffin compensations” (families who lost a member in the war are paid 12 million rubles ($155,880) each). Information about this real estate has been removed from Rosreestr, but The Insider has an archive extract. Interestingly, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin also lived in the same house.

However, Pankov himself also prefers to register his property in the name of his children. The General's daughter Maria received from the state a four-room apartment in the Residential Complex “House of Administration of the President” for 70 million rubles - approximately six “coffins” (families who died in the war are paid 12 million rubles each). Information about the real estate has been removed from the Rosreestr, but The Insider has an archive extract. By the way, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin lived in the same house.

Last summer, Viktor Goremykin was appointed as the new deputy to Shoigu and also assumed the role of the head of the Main Military and Political Directorate of the Armed Forces. As a long-serving chief cadre officer of the Defense Ministry, he was granted various perks, including a Lexus car and a 141-meter apartment near the Prospekt Vernadskogo metro station located at 77 Udaltsova St. The estimated value of the property is around 50 million rubles ($649,500), which is approximately equivalent to four “coffin compensations”.

Victor Goremykin
Victor Goremykin

Another apartment (109.5 m², valued at over 30 million rubles ($389,700)) is registered to the rear general's son. Dmitry Goremykin, who, according to The Insider, is employed by the Federal Security Service, settled in the Coliseum housing complex.

One of the most loyal deputy heads of the Ministry of Defense is Pavel Popov. He and Shoigu have been together since the days of the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Popov was entrusted with the creation of the National Defense Control Center (NDCC), which should coordinate the actions of all agencies in the event of war.

Pavel Popov
Pavel Popov

And Popov and his wife have an apartment in the elite Moscow housing complex Smolenskaya Zastava. The apartment costs over 70 million ($909,300) (6 “coffin compensations”), but the general's family received it free of charge from the Defense Ministry.

Alexander Fomin, another deputy of Shoigu, was also granted real estate in the same apartment complex. Although, according to an extract from Rosreestr, the property is registered under “the Russian Federation,” the name of Fomin's son is disclosed.

Their apartment (199.1 m²) costs around 140 million rubles ($1.8 million) (12 “coffin compensations”). Fomin's son, according to The Insider, earns his salary from Gross Group, a group of companies that, according to the Anticorruption Foundation's investigation, manages the underground empire of Gazprom head Alexei Miller.

Alexander Fomin
Alexander Fomin

The Smolenskaya Zastava residential complex became home for other high-ranking military officials. Yury Kuznetsov, head of the Eighth Department of the General Staff, got an apartment there (156.5 m²).

Smolenskaya Zastava residential complex
Smolenskaya Zastava residential complex

Another prominent general among the residents of the elite housing complex is the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces Oleg Salyukov. According to the excerpt from Rosreestr available to The Insider, the state gave him an apartment worth 70 million ($909,300) (six “coffin compensations”). However, this is not the only source of personal wealth for the military nomenklatura: as The Insider has found out, Salyukov's son Dmitriy received contracts from the Defense Ministry.

Oleg Saliukov
Oleg Saliukov

Salyukov, Jr. was the founder of Montazhspetsstroy LLC. This firm leased equipment and supplied concrete to the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Main Military Construction Directorate No. 2.

A courtyard on Polina Osipenko Street near the CSKA metro station is another location where senior army officers reside en masse. This courtyard is home to several high-ranking military officials, including Alexander Zaliznyuk, head of the military-topographic department of the General Staff, Rear Admiral Oleg Krivorog, Yury Lastochkin, head of the radio-electronic warfare troops, Vadim Shamarin, head of the main communications department, and Sergey Chubarykin, who is currently under suspicion of being responsible for the atrocities in Bucha, having previously commanded the 76th Guards Airborne Assault Division. The apartments in this courtyard are estimated to be worth tens of millions of rubles each.

Sergey Chubarykin
Sergey Chubarykin

Over the course of the war in Ukraine the Vostok group has been under the leadership of Rustam Muradov, a 49-year-old general. The Ministry of Defense gifted Muradov and his entire family a 111-meter apartment in a new building located on Levoberezhnaya Street (Bldg. 14, Number 4). In addition, Muradov drives a BMW X7, which is worth more than his annual income and is equivalent to the cost of an average apartment.

Rustam Muradov with Putin
Rustam Muradov with Putin

It's, however, Shoigu's advisor with ties to Deputy Defense Minister Yury Sadovenko who may be regarded as the most significant real estate owner among the military.

Yuri Sadovenko
Yuri Sadovenko

According to The Insider, Sadovenko drove a Porsche until recently. In fact, he used this car as his own, although it's actual owner was businessman Denis Kitaev.

Kitaev is the brother of Maria Kitaeva, an advisor to the Defense Minister, who has children with Sadovenko. Kitaeva assumed her advisory role in 2012, and there have been no reports of her resignation. As of 2020, she was still employed by the Defense Ministry.

The Kitaev family was involved in housing development on former Ministry of Defense lands, which had been sold at an undervalued price. In addition to the Porsche, there are other properties registered in the name of Kitaeva's relatives that have been utilized by Sadovenko.

Maria Kitaeva
Maria Kitaeva

Based on Sadovenko's most recent tax declaration, his children enjoy 144.3 square meters of real estate. Strikingly, Maria Kitaeva also owns an apartment with the exact same area located in the Okhotnichya Usadba housing complex, valued at approximately 200 million rubles ($2.6 million).

Okhotnichya Usadba housing complex
Okhotnichya Usadba housing complex

Maria orders her meals from a different address at the Burdenko Street House residential complex. This apartment (202 m², 260 million rubles ($3.4 million)) is registered in the name of Nina Kitaeva, the mother of Shoigu's advisor.

Burdenko Street House Residential Complex
Burdenko Street House Residential Complex

She also owns an apartment in the Lions House residential complex (worth 200 million rubles ($2.6 million)) and another one in the 11k2 3rd Samotechniy Pereulok residential complex (worth 100 million ($1.3 million)).

Lions House residential complex
Lions House residential complex

The Deputy Minister of Defense's brother-in-law also owns an apartment valued at 100 million rubles ($1.3 million) in the same building located in Samotechniy Lane. Additionally, he owns a 287-meter apartment worth 490 million rubles ($6.4 million) in the Bunin residential complex. Moreover, his daughter is also registered as the owner of an apartment in the Helrich House, worth 80 million rubles ($1.04 million).

Housing estate “Bunin”
Housing estate “Bunin”

The total value of the apartments found by The Insider to be owned by the family of Shoigu's advisor is 1 billion 430 million rubles ($18.6 million). This is nearly 119 times the “coffin compensation” due to families of fallen soldiers.

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