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CORRUPTION

Spoils of war failures: FSB general who botched Russia's war preparations owns millions of dollars worth of real estate

General Vladimir Petrovsky, head of the Ninth (“Ukrainian”) Directorate of the FSB's Department of Operational Information, was in charge of recruiting Ukrainian politicians in the run-up to Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. The FSB's agents were meant to play a key role in dividing Ukraine's political establishment in the first days of the attack — part of the political elite was to support the Kremlin and become the new power structure in the country. The plan didn't succeed; the so-called “fifth column” never materialized. That hasn't affected Petrovsky's career — he continues to fly on private jets and buy luxury apartments, registering them to third parties. The general's main sponsor is fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko, who gained exclusive access to Ukrainian assets in the occupied territories due to his ties with the FSB.

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Content
  • The spook with a private jet

  • An apartment for each relative

The spook with a private jet

St. Petersburg's Yusupov Palace hosted a lavish wedding in July this year — fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko got married. In 2014, after the outbreak of war in Donbas, Kurchenko sided with Kremlin, settled down in Russia, and began doing business in the occupied Ukrainian territories with backing from security services. A number of Russian celebrities, such as socialite, blogger, and former presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, as well as singer Irina Allegrova, were among the guests of honor at Kurchenko's wedding.

Yandex.Eda

Yandex.Eda (or Yandex Eats) is a Russian online food ordering and delivery platform owned and operated by Yandex, one of Russia's largest tech corporations.

Ksenia Sobchak at Serhiy Kurchenko’s wedding
Ksenia Sobchak at Serhiy Kurchenko’s wedding

One of the guests at the event, however, was little known to the general public. The man in question, Vladimir Petrovsky, serves as the First Deputy Head of the FSB's Fifth Service Operational Information Department, which oversees the Ninth Directorate in charge of Ukraine.

Yandex.Eda

Yandex.Eda (or Yandex Eats) is a Russian online food ordering and delivery platform owned and operated by Yandex, one of Russia's largest tech corporations.

FSB general Vladimir Petrovsky with his wife at Serhiy Kurchenko's wedding
FSB general Vladimir Petrovsky with his wife at Serhiy Kurchenko's wedding

What was a high-ranking FSB officer doing at the wedding of a fugitive oligarch?

The Ninth Directorate was in charge of recruiting local politicians in Ukraine to form a “fifth column,” which should have sided with the Kremlin when the full-scale invasion began. The recruitment appeared to be successful (The Insider will expand on that in the next part of the investigation), but after Russia invaded, it turned out that the power of the FSB's network of agents was — to put it mildly — largely overblown.

There was no split in the Ukrainian elite, President Volodymyr Zelensky's approval rating soared to record levels, and politicians from the pro-Russian Opposition Platform either fled the country or backed away from their previous political stance. Petrovsky's career, however, has not only remained intact — it has, in fact, allowed him to lead a billionaire's lifestyle, something he wouldn't be able to afford on his official FSB salary.

Here's a video showing him and his family flying in a private jet:

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Yandex.Eda (or Yandex Eats) is a Russian online food ordering and delivery platform owned and operated by Yandex, one of Russia's largest tech corporations.

As The Insider learned, the jet belongs to Serhiy Kurchenko. The former Ukrainian — now Russian — businessman provided his plane to Petrovsky's family so that they could comfortably return from their summer vacation from Sochi. Kurchenko, with active support from the FSB, was allowed to run businesses in Ukraine's occupied territories, including Crimea (where he dealt in various commodities like oil products) and Donbas (where he facilitated coal exports). While Russian businesses feared sanctions, Kurchenko, already on a wanted list in Ukraine, willingly cooperated with the FSB.

As an FSB handler for Ukrainian affairs, Petrovsky had maintained a long-standing connection with Kurchenko, and hese ties seemed to have grown stronger after the latter's move to Russia. Petrovsky invested his unexplained wealth in real estate, often registering the purchased properties under false names. Initially, he used the names of his relatives, but when the number of properties grew larger than his relative count, he enlisted the help of his Ukrainian agents from the occupied territories.

An apartment for each relative

Petrovsky has two sons: the elder, Dmitry, works for the Russian Foreign Ministry (he was an attaché at the Russian Embassy in Cambodia), and the younger, Valery, works for the FSB Border Service at Domodedovo Airport.

Yandex.Eda

Yandex.Eda (or Yandex Eats) is a Russian online food ordering and delivery platform owned and operated by Yandex, one of Russia's largest tech corporations.

Dmitry, Vladimir and Valery Petrovsky
Dmitry, Vladimir and Valery Petrovsky

Leaked data from Yandex.Eda users revealed that Dmitry Petrovsky orders takeout to two addresses: to the office at 30c2 Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square in Moscow (the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and to his home, 4k2 Kochnovsky Proezd (the Aerobus premium housing compound). The apartment there covers an area of 148 square meters and is valued at around 50 million roubles (approximately $517,000). Although Petrovsky is officially registered as the owner of a small apartment on Akademika Koroleva Street, living space of 75.2 square meters (810 square feet) is not nearly enough for the son of a high-ranking FSB officer.

The younger son, Valery Petrovsky, together with his wife Eleonora Kalyuzhnaya, live in a 93-meter apartment in the Michurinsky Residential Complex. However, The Insider found that the place is registered in the name of a Vladimir Viktorovich Grinyuk.

Yandex.Eda

Yandex.Eda (or Yandex Eats) is a Russian online food ordering and delivery platform owned and operated by Yandex, one of Russia's largest tech corporations.

Vladimir Gryniuk, co-owner of the Nikitsky Palace Residential Complex in Yalta (TD NTI LLC)
Vladimir Gryniuk, co-owner of the Nikitsky Palace Residential Complex in Yalta (TD NTI LLC)

Grinyuk, aged 55, is a Russian national born in Selydove in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine. In February 2023, Grinyuk acquired a stake in the TD NTI limited liability company (LLC), which does business in occupied Donbas. The company extracts, processes, and ships kaolinite from the Belaya Balka deposit two kilometers west of the village of Trudove, Volnovakha District. According to The Insider’s sources, mining and associated business activities in the occupied territories are overseen by the FSB.

Olga Kalyuzhnaya, the mother-in-law of the general's younger son, also owns a 286-square-meter house in Krasnodar. The city is also home to three of General Petrovsky's other apartments, registered to his mother, Valentina Nikolayevna Petrovskaya, born in 1935.

Nonetheless, two of these apartments, measuring a combined 104 square meters and located on 9th Tikhaya Street, changed hands in 2021. What's more, the general's mother still holds on to her long-standing apartment on Montazhnikov Street and a generous 59 hectares of land in the Lvovskoye residential estate.

Furthermore, the general's mother-in-law owns three plots of land in Krasnodar and two houses in the village of Tenginka, Tuapse District. Fun fact: the dimensions of each house, at 159 square meters, coincide with Article 159 of Russia's Criminal Code (“Fraud”). Before retirement, his mother-in-law, Larisa Shcherbinina, worked at Military Base 96554.

Yandex.Eda

Yandex.Eda (or Yandex Eats) is a Russian online food ordering and delivery platform owned and operated by Yandex, one of Russia's largest tech corporations.

Sergei Petrovsky, the FSB officer's brother-in-law, also happens to live in the Krasnodar Region. He is registered to an apartment on Odesskaya Street. And his son, Vadim Petrovsky — the FSB general's nephew — was appointed chief of police in the town of Gelendzhik last year.

The Petrovsky family didn't overlook Crimea either. Here, they acquired an apartment in Yalta's Nikitsky Palace Residential Complex — a mere 15-minute walk from their residence leads to the beach. The complex boasts a spa center with a sauna and pool, a fitness facility, and an in-house restaurant. Nikitsky Palace is perched on a mountainside, offering breathtaking sea views from every window on the main front.

Yandex.Eda

Yandex.Eda (or Yandex Eats) is a Russian online food ordering and delivery platform owned and operated by Yandex, one of Russia's largest tech corporations.

Nikitsky Palace Residential Complex in Yalta, Crimea
Nikitsky Palace Residential Complex in Yalta, Crimea

The Petrovskys had this apartment registered in the names of Denis Mozgovoy and Denis Kurenets — both citizens of Ukraine from the Russian-occupied territories. The property is worth approximately 15 million roubles (approximately $155,000).

Their rural getaway outside Moscow, situated in the Lesnoy Peyzazh-2 (Forest Landscape-2) estate in Novaya Moskva, is officially registered in the name of their family friend, Alla Valetova. She hails from Soviet Tajikistan — the same place of birth and military service as the general. Valetova, however, doesn't use the vacation spot — photos and videos show that all members of the Petrovsky family regularly visit the property, and a power of attorney for property management in the general's wife's name confirms their de-facto ownership. The estate's value could total up to 100 million roubles ($1.03 million).

Yandex.Eda

Yandex.Eda (or Yandex Eats) is a Russian online food ordering and delivery platform owned and operated by Yandex, one of Russia's largest tech corporations.

  • FSB general Vladimir Petrovsky at the Lesnoy Peyzazh-2 country estate
  • Lyudmila Petrovskaya
  • Vladimir Petrovsky and his two sons, Dmitry and Valery
  • Power of attorney from Alla Valetova allowing Lyudmila Petrovskaya to use the Lesnoy Peyzazh-2 property
  • Power of attorney from Alla Valetova allowing Lyudmila Petrovskaya to use the Lesnoy Peyzazh-2 property

The general has registered a more modest dacha in his own name in the village of Fedotovo, located on Moscow's Dmitrovskoye Highway. The Petrovskys also have a 125-square-meter apartment in the Azovsky-2 Residential Complex in Moscow, adding another 30 million ($309,000) to their real estate portfolio.

In total, the Petrovskys' real estate holdings are estimated at around 400 million roubles ($4.125 million). Real estate isn't their only indulgence, though, as the family prefers high-end automobiles. The general himself drives a Range Rover, and uses a power of attorney in order to keep a legal distance — after all, he already owns a Toyota Land Cruiser 200. The general's wife Lyudmila Petrovskaya bought a Volvo XC90 worth 4.3 million roubles ($44,500) a few years ago, while his son Dmitry owns an Audi Q7.

General Petrovsky isn't the only real estate tycoon in the FSB's ranks. The Insider earlier revealed expensive real estate linked to Petrovsky's boss — Gen. Sergei Beseda, the head of the FSB's Fifth Service. His homes and apartments are also valued in the hundreds of millions of roubles.

Written in collaboration with Sergei Ezhov.

Yandex.Eda

Yandex.Eda (or Yandex Eats) is a Russian online food ordering and delivery platform owned and operated by Yandex, one of Russia's largest tech corporations.

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