The Anti-Corruption Foundation, an organization founded by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, has released an investigation into propagandist Vladimir Solovyov. According to the ACF’s findings, the TV anchor and radio host has a secret family with two children by basketball player Svetlana Abrosimova.
The athlete owns a 650-square-meter villa in Sochi worth half a billion roubles ($6.25 million). Information about the property has been removed from Rosreestr – Russia’s official cadastre and cartography agency. The villa’s neighboring properties include the home of the wife of General Sergey Surovikin, one of the commanders of Vladimir Putin's army in Ukraine, the house of the son of the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, and the villa of the former head of the FSB’s seventh division, which is in charge of agency's maintenance and construction projects.
Information about the owners of these villas has also been removed from Rosreestr, with the “Russian Federation” listed as the official owner of all four luxury estates. Data obtained from the property developer allowed the investigators to determine the villas’ real owners.
A quote from the investigation reads:
“Maybe Svetlana [Abrosimova] is not only a former basketball player, but also a top-secret FSB or GRU officer with the rank of general? Maybe she is an employee of the Ministry of Defense and in between hosting her YouTube channel she secretly commands a division in the Donbas? Why is it that Svetlana Abrosimova, who just finished her career a long time ago, is so protected by the state? Why has the Russian state literally equated her with the families of [former FSB director Nikolai] Patrushev and [Sergei] Surovikin?”
According to the ACF’s investigators, Svetlana Abrosimova is the mistress of Vladimir Solovyov (the TV presenter is married, and has 8 children from different marriages). This is confirmed by data on shared trips, joint visits to doctors and the services of the same driver. In 2017, Abrosimova gave birth to two daughters, Maria and Margarita, in the United States, with their patronymic names listed as “Vladimirovna,” indicating that their father’s name is Vladimir. Those born in the United States automatically receive US citizenship. Svetlana Abrosimova notably has a US passport herself – a fact confirmed by the investigators through a flight tracking database.
“We spoke to several people from Solovyov's entourage, and everyone confirmed [to us] that he does have a secret family, two children, and often appears in that very super elite house in Sochi. There are few pictures of Solovyov with Abrosimova in public, but to this day he comments on her basketball games, calls her on the air and reposts her posts on social networks,” the investigators wrote.
Svetlana Abrosimova is a retired Russian professional basketball player who played for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, Connecticut Sun, and Seattle Storm throughout her career. Abrosimova also won a bronze medal with the Russian national team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Vladimir Solovyov is a Russian propagandist who has been an anchor on the television show Evening with Vladimir Solovyov on Russia-1 for the past 11 years. Solovyov was sanctioned by the EU on 23 February 2022 – one day before Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The EU's sanctions documents describe Solovyov as being “known for his extremely hostile attitude towards Ukraine and praise of the Russian government.” On March 5, 2022, The Guardian reported that Italy's Financial Guard seized Solovyov's luxury villa at Lake Como.