Check facts

The Life of a State Banker: Only the Best for the Wives and Kids

The head of Gazprombank, Andrey Akimov, and his inner circle own an overseas property portfolio spanning from Ibiza to the Caribbean

Date
9 Feb 2024
Author
Editors
The Life of a State Banker: Only the Best for the Wives and Kids
Andrey Akimov, his relatives and close associates, own property all around the world

The Russian state-controlled financial institution, Gazprombank, has been headed by Andrey Akimov, a man closely connected to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, for over 20 years. Any Russian state banker is compelled to support what Putin has termed a war against the “collective West.” However, as IStories can now reveal, Akimov, alongside his family and close associates, has acquired real estate worth millions of euros in France, Austria, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Cyprus.

Information pertaining to the foreign assets owned by the head of Gazprombank was obtained during our participation in the global investigation “Cyprus Confidential” — based on leaked documents from Cypriot registrars and consultants. Access to the documents was made possible thanks to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and German-based Paper Trail Media. Our investigation also utilizes data from earlier leaks — like the “Panama Papers” and the “Pandora Papers.” We collaborated on this publication with Le Monde.

Family in Europe and the war against the West

Gazprombank is certainly contributing to the war effort: from financing steel producers to issuing payroll cards to security officials and military personnel. Andrey Akimov, however, is himself unlikely to hold genuine feelings of hatred towards the West and its values. For one thing, he lived and worked in Europe for many years. In the 1980s, he even wrote to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in a show of support to liberalizing the financial system and freeing the economy.

There was a time when Akimov was actively participating in the dismantling of the Iron Curtain and enticing Western investors into Russia. Now, however, he serves those reconstructing the Curtain. Meanwhile, his nearest and dearest live in Europe and hold foreign passports: his son, Denis, first wife Elena, and her daughter, also Elena, are Austrian citizens. His second wife, Marianna Chaykina, and her son Philip, hold British and Cypriot citizenship. Akimov’s only legally registered marriage is with his first wife; they divorced in 2017.

Although Andrey Akimov did not legalize his marriage with Marianna Chaykina, they owned more property together
Although Andrey Akimov did not legalize his marriage with Marianna Chaykina, they owned more property together
Akimov’s first wife — Elena Akimova — and her daughter, also Elena
Akimov’s first wife — Elena Akimova — and her daughter, also Elena

Akimov informed IStories that his family “have never and do not have any connection” with his work, nor do they own any joint property. Documents obtained through offshore leaks, however, suggest that they received assets worth millions of euros through Akimov and his companies. Occasionally, they became owners of expensive properties — before transferring them to the head of Gazprombank. In certain cases, he moved assets into trusts (a particularly reliable and secure form of estate management), with relatives and close associates as beneficiaries.

We identified 10 trusts registered under Akimov and his immediate circle.

France: Traditional values on “Millionaire’s Island”

The jewel of Andrey Akimov’s real estate portfolio crown is undoubtedly the mega mansion located on the French “millionaire’s island” of Saint Barthelemy (St. Barts). Nestled atop a rocky coastline with terraces and pools overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the property previously belonged to the legendary ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, whose own story is at odds with the new Russian reality.

Companies associated with Akimov forked out almost €5 million for Nureyev’s former villa on “millionaires island”
Companies associated with Akimov forked out almost €5 million for Nureyev’s former villa on “millionaires island”
Photo: letoinyexclusive.com

In 1961, after touring in Paris, the dancer did not return to the USSR and sought political asylum. A Soviet court subsequently sentenced him in absentia to seven years in prison under charges of “betraying the Motherland.” The famed ballet dancer died in France in 1993 and, during his later years, immersed himself in the solitude of St Barts.

Nureyev is an icon of the LGBTQ+ community. In 2017, the premiere of Kirill Serebrennikov’s ballet “Nureyev'' at the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre, which was “so to speak, about freedom for homosexuals” as a Russian government official told TV Rain, was delayed by several months. In April 2023, “Nureyev'' was completely removed from the repertoire because it “falls under the law prohibiting the promotion of non-traditional values.”

Rudolf Nureyev’s villa and stretch of coastline in St. Barts are owned by the French companies, Maison Reev and Petit Reev. In December 2014, the estate was purchased for close to €5 million by Cypriot firms belonging to Akimov’s son Denis and stepdaughter Elena (the daughter of his first wife).

At the beginning of the war, the villa was transferred to the management
At the beginning of the war, the villa was transferred to the management
Photo: letoinyexclusive.com
Photo: letoinyexclusive.com

By 2016, the Cypriot companies which owned the property (Magalior Holdings and Melastor Holdings), were acquired by the head of Gazprombank and his second wife, the artist Marianna Chaykina.

We were unable to find evidence that Akimov’s relatives and close associates own any major business that would enable them to independently purchase a mansion on “Millionaires Island.” Denis and Elena Akimova, as well as Marianna Chaykina, did not respond to questions regarding their sources of funds.

Other French properties belonging to Andrey Akimov’s inner circle

Aloha Villa in Villefranche-sur-Mer, on the French Riviera. Belonged to a company that was financed by a firm associated with Andrey Akimov.

Aloha Villa in Villefranche-sur-Mer, on the French Riviera

Belonged to a company that was financed by a firm associated with Andrey Akimov.

The villa was purchased in 2004 for €5.5 million through the Monegasque company, Barca. The registered owners of the property were Anna Litvintseva, a retiree whose daughter was employed at Gazprombank, and Viktor Komanov, Gazprombank’s Deputy Chairman of the Board. However, to settle a bank debt worth €5.8 million, Barca transferred the money to Olima Assets, based in the BVI. Its beneficiaries were previously identified as Andrey Akimov and Marianna Chaykina. Following the outbreak of the war, the villa was sold for €3.9 million.

Unique selling point: a resort frequented by celebrities close to Nice.. A deep bay sitting along the rocky coastline surrounded by sandy beaches unique to the area.

Unique selling point: a resort frequented by celebrities close to Nice.

A deep bay sitting along the rocky coastline surrounded by sandy beaches unique to the area.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is a small town with narrow streets which has a long history of attracting celebrity visitors. Fashion designer Pierre Cardin built his extravagant “Bubble Palace” on its slopes, and the Rolling Stones recorded one of their albums in the town.

Villa in Chens-sur-Leman, situated on the French banks of Lake Geneva. Since 2010, the property belonged to a firm later owned by Akimov’s son, Denis, and stepdaughter Elena.

Villa in Chens-sur-Leman, situated on the French banks of Lake Geneva

Since 2010, the property belonged to a firm later owned by Akimov’s son, Denis, and stepdaughter Elena.

Prior to 2010, the estate was owned by Vartan Vartanov, an associate of Gazprom chief, Alexey Miller. Later, it was acquired by the Cyprus-based corporation Unibase, which, through Cypriot Malstone Holdings, was owned by Akimov’s son and stepdaughter from 2014 to 2016. Since December 2017, the villa was owned by Anna Litvintseva, whose daughter had ties to Gazprombank. The property was sold in November 2023.

Unique selling point: a village within arm’s reach of Geneva. Here, ancient meadows and forests flourish amongst the ruins of prehistoric pile dwellings.

Unique selling point: a village within arm’s reach of Geneva

Here, ancient meadows and forests flourish amongst the ruins of prehistoric pile dwellings.

Chens-sur-Leman is located on the Swiss border. The mansion of Vladimir Putin’s friend, Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, sits just 20 km along the bank of a famous lake, in the Genevan suburb of Collonge.

Villa in Ramatuelle. This villa was owned by the Monegasque company Kali, registered under Andrey Akimov’s ex-wife Elena, and their son Denis.

Villa in Ramatuelle

This villa was owned by the Monegasque company Kali, registered under Andrey Akimov’s ex-wife Elena, and their son Denis.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the villa was sold, and the company liquidated.

Unique selling point: a medieval town surrounded by vineyards. Increasingly attracting millionaires

Unique selling point: a medieval town surrounded by vineyards

Increasingly attracting millionaires

Late actress Romy Schneider was enchanted by the area’s vineyards, but now “people mostly arrive by helicopter to spend a week or two in their villas worth millions of euros.”

When the deputy imitates the master

Villa Julia in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur. The property belonged to the Deputy Chairman of Gazprombank Alexey Matveyev, who later gifted it to his son.

Villa Julia in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur

The property belonged to the Deputy Chairman of Gazprombank Alexey Matveyev, who later gifted it to his son.

The villa was purchased in 2016 for almost €22 million, with Matyevev’s wife Marina, son Kirill and daughter Polina acquiring joint ownership. After the Russian invasion, Kirill, who according to French records holds Cypriot citizenship, was designated the principal owner of the property.

Unique selling point: the neighboring villa Zimorodok is a museum and historical monument. Past residents include a famous archaeologist and his wife, who belonged to a well-known banking dynasty.

Unique selling point: the neighboring villa Zimorodok is a museum and historical monument

Past residents include a famous archaeologist and his wife, who belonged to a well-known banking dynasty.

The archaeologist, numismatist, and lawyer Theodore Reinach was well known for his work on the kingdoms of Anatolia. His wife, Charlotte Marie Evelyne Hirsch, came from the renowned banking house of Ephrussi.

Two more villas in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur. Owned by Alexey Matveyev’s son, Kirill.

Two more villas in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur

Owned by Alexey Matveyev’s son, Kirill.

One of the villas was purchased in 2006 for €3.6 million, the other in 2004 for €1.8 million.

Unique selling point: The Rothschild Family. Just like the relatives of the Russian state banker, this family owned more than one villa in the area.

Unique selling point: The Rothschild Family

Just like the relatives of the Russian state banker, this family owned more than one villa in the area.

In addition to the Zimorodok villa in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, they owned Ephrussi de Rothschild’s villa, whose father Alphonse James de Rothschild was on the board of directors at the National Bank of France.

Austria: A tale of two realities and a psychiatric clinic

The daughter of Andrey Akimov’s first wife, Austrian citizen Elena Akimova, is likely capable of explaining how Russian officials, having settled their nearest and dearest in the comfort of Europe, continue to work for a regime that wages war against the collective West. She is, after all, a psychiatrist with a PhD from an Austrian university and, according to her biography, a specialist in the treatment of schizophrenia and depression.

Akimova established her own practice in 2014. By the following year, judging by her new website, she had opened a private psychiatric clinic (office) in the heart of Vienna. Located on Praxis Berggasse 1, a beautiful 19th century building with a courtyard fountain, the office is just a short distance from the museum-apartment of the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. The premises were purchased between 2012-2014 for €2 million. It would take an Austrian psychiatrist on an average salary around 20 years to accumulate such an amount.

Support independent journalism!
Your donations will help us continue to tell the truth about the war in Ukraine and more

The interior design was coordinated by her mother — the Gazprombank chief’s former wife, designer Elena Akimova. The final look of the medical establishment is certainly impressive.

“Elena Akimova’s [design] project in Vienna is reminiscent of an elegant home, perhaps belonging to a fashion guru or a collector of art and design. It’s hard to believe that this is a private psychiatric clinic”, commended an interior design magazine. And they’re not wrong.

IStories discovered that the furniture for the clinic was purchased at several famous auction houses and prestigious manufacturers. The waiting room interior features three sets of Jean Prouve double folding chairs from Phillips auction house, which are valued at £10,000-£18,000 each. The Poltrona Frau chairs, costing €5,000 each, and the Emmemobili dresser valued at a cool €7,000, are also a notable addition. The works of contemporary artists, sourced from auctions and art fairs, adorn the walls.

The purchase of the premises housing the private clinic cost Dr Akimova (the banker’s stepdaughter) a hefty €2 million
The purchase of the premises housing the private clinic cost Dr Akimova (the banker’s stepdaughter) a hefty €2 million
Photo: praxisberggasse.at
The banker’s first wife was in charge of the interior design
The banker’s first wife was in charge of the interior design
Photo: praxisberggasse.at
The expensive furniture is meant to create a therapeutic environment
The expensive furniture is meant to create a therapeutic environment
Photo: praxisberggasse.at

As mentioned, all this fulfills a therapeutic purpose, to create a cozy and homely atmosphere: “this was the brief given by the clients.”

The article published in the interior design magazine revealed that Elena Akimova has lived in Vienna for over 30 years. By occupation she’s a fashion designer, who studied at the Moscow State Textile University and wrote her thesis on Yves Saint-Laurent. She “worked at the All-Union House of Clothing Models on Kuznetsky Most, where she was so successful that she was honored with personal exhibition shows and trips abroad. Her interior design career began during the Soviet era: restaurants, exhibitions in Sokolniki, pavilions”, Interior+Design magazine reported. The minor detail that the designer’s former spouse is a Russian state banker seemed to slip their mind, however.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Elena Akimova reverted to her maiden name — Milovskaya. Meanwhile, her daughter, Dr Akimova, became Elena Aschauer. IStories is still awaiting comment regarding their source of funds and the motivation behind the name change.

Andrey Akimov declared that he and Elena Akimova have been separated for over 20 years, with their official divorce being filed in 2017.

Other Austrian property owned by Andrey Akimov’s inner circle

Apartment in Ballgasse, 8. Belongs to Andrey Akimov’s ex-wife — Elena Milovskaya

Apartment in Ballgasse, 8

Belongs to Andrey Akimov’s ex-wife — Elena Milovskaya

Coincidentally, this was Akimov’s registered address during his time working abroad. In May 2017, he transferred his share of the apartment to his ex-wife. The building itself was erected in 1772 and is located in Vienna’s central district, in earshot of the Vienna State Opera.

Unique selling point:. in central Vienna, history coexists with modern convenience

Unique selling point:

in central Vienna, history coexists with modern convenience

The Hofburg Imperial Palace, the former principal residence of the Habsburg dynasty, can be reached within a matter of minutes. Certain rooms are currently occupied by the Austrian President.

Apartment in Blumenstockgasse, 5. Belonging to Akimov’s stepdaughter, Elena Aschauer.

Apartment in Blumenstockgasse, 5

Belonging to Akimov’s stepdaughter, Elena Aschauer.

Previously, the apartment was registered under Akimov’s former spouse, Elena Milovskaya. In 2015, she gave the property to her daughter. The building is located a couple of yards away from Ballgasse, 8 — Milovskaya’s residence.

Unique selling point: Mozart died there. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in the neighboring building on December 5, 1791.

Unique selling point: Mozart died there

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in the neighboring building on December 5, 1791.

Suspicion surrounds the circumstances of his death, and his burial site remains unknown.

Apartment in Helferstorferstraße, 6. Belongs to Elena Milovskaya.

Apartment in Helferstorferstraße, 6

Belongs to Elena Milovskaya.

Andrey Akimov’s son Denis listed this apartment as his home address.

Unique selling point: architecture. The building was designed by the architect Emil von Förster and completed in 1878.

Unique selling point: architecture

The building was designed by the architect Emil von Förster and completed in 1878.

The building is a cultural heritage site.

Spain: An extravagant gift in Mallorca

On the Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea, not far from the town of Pollensa, sits the Can Guillot estate, sprawled over 80 hectares. The property includes a landscaped park, gardens, water fountains, artificial lakes, a large swimming pool, and a spa complex. The estate, valued at €17 million, also submitted plans for a golf course which were subsequently denied over ecological concerns.

Nothing remotely as grand and opulent can be found in the vicinity, so following its completion in 2011, rumors circulated among locals that Vladimir Putin was to be staying there. While this has never been confirmed, other individuals regularly frequented the estate. In 2022, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo revealed that the estate was owned by Andrey Akimov and Marianna Chaykina.

Although Akimov was already under American and British sanctions, until recently he was still the registered owner of the Cypriot Powershere Investments, which owned the estate through the Spanish firm Can Guillot.

The Can Guillot estate was valued at €17 million and looks beautiful from every angle

The fascinating thing about the Can Guillot estate is not just its grandeur or the identity of its owner, but also his sheer generosity towards family and friends. Through analysis of leaked documents, IStories discovered a series of contracts according to which Andrey Akimov’s offshore firm, Knightstone Investments, gifted 82% of the Cypriot company which owned the estate to his son Denis and stepdaughter Elena in December 2014. As stated in the documents, they both received shares worth over €13 million. The duo held ownership from 2014 to 2016, before the company was returned into structures associated with the state banker. In 2022, the estate was sold.

Elena and Denis did not respond to IStories’ questions regarding the estate and shares.

Other Spanish real estate owned by Andrey Akimov’s immediate circle

Villa Nautilus in Ibiza. As of 2023, the property belonged to Akimov’s ex-wife, Elena Milovskaya.

Villa Nautilus in Ibiza

As of 2023, the property belonged to Akimov’s ex-wife, Elena Milovskaya.

The villa, spanning over 800 sq meters, includes a large swimming pool, and is located near the resort town of Santa Eulária des Riu. Its land is registered to the Spanish entity Villa Nautilus — which Elena Milovskaya owns through her Austrian company Kumina Holding. At one point, the listed owner of Kumina was Elena Privatstiftung, a foundation purportedly co-founded by Akimov.

Unique selling point: landscape. The island was initially inhabited by pirates but has now become a celebrity hotspot.

Unique selling point: landscape

The island was initially inhabited by pirates but has now become a celebrity hotspot.

Penelope Cruz and Sylvester Stallone own homes in Ibiza. Leonardo DiCaprio is also frequently spotted in the area.

United Kingdom: “I’m categorically not considering returning to Russia”

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Andrey Akimov was placed under UK sanctions. As IStories discovered, in February 2023, the British government froze the London home of Philipp Chaykin — the son of artist Marianna Chaykina, the state banker’s second wife. Although Akimov and Chaykina’s marriage was never legally registered, they were together until 2017. Chaykin agreed to tell us more about the restrictions imposed upon his property:

“I consider this… totally unjust and contrary to the values of a democratic society. They froze my house under the assumption that I’m its custodian for Andrey Akimov… I can confidently say that I do not hold any assets associated with this person, and simply live in this home with my family”, Chaykin stated.

He explained that he purchased the property with money obtained from the sale of an apartment in central London. Said apartment, located at Palace Place 1 — valued at £3.5 million and within 150 meters of Buckingham Palace — was a gift from Marianna Chaykina.

Philipp Chaykin received the £3.5 million apartment as a gift from his mother
Philipp Chaykin received the £3.5 million apartment as a gift from his mother
Photo: gartonjones.com
The royal residence, Buckingham Palace, is right on the doorstep
The royal residence, Buckingham Palace, is right on the doorstep
Photo: Google

“She sold an apartment on Znamenka Street in central Moscow, and part of the proceeds went towards buying the [London] apartment for me. It’s reasonable to assume that part of the funds used for this purchase indirectly came from Andrey Akimov through my mother”, admits Chaykin (the apartment in Moscow was sold back in 2006, and the one in London purchased in 2014).

While leaked documents reveal that Marianna Chaykina owned plenty of expensive real estate, we were unable to link her to any comparably high-profit businesses. Her most notable property is a £12 million apartment in Lancelot Place 10, just a short distance from Hyde Park and the royal palace. Previously, the apartment, registered under the BVI based Inma Investments, was held in the Lancelot MC Trust, whose trustee served companies connected to the head of Gazprombank and his close associates. Akimov and Chaykina refused to comment on these revelations.

Akimov’s second wife owns an apartment worth £12 million
Akimov’s second wife owns an apartment worth £12 million
Photo: architizer.com
Convenient location: Hyde Park is a few minutes’ walk away
Convenient location: Hyde Park is a few minutes’ walk away
Photo: Google

Philipp Chaykin holds Russian, British, and Cypriot citizenship. He has lived in the UK for almost 20 years. In 2010, on the recommendation of Andrey Akimov, he interned at the British consulting firm, Lambert Energy. Its co-owner, alongside several British aristocrats, was Matthias Warnig — a former East German state security officer and a longtime acquaintance of Mr. Putin. Lambert Energy is known for its role as a financial advisor in the complex Russian deal between the state controlled Rosneft and the British oil and gas giant BP in 2013.

After his internship, Chaykin worked for five years at Gazprom Marketing & Trading, before giving up his corporate career to step into the restaurant industry. He now owns two “Ugly Dumplings” street food restaurants in central London. However, their financial performance fails to allow for the purchase of a £3 million apartment opposite a palace.

Philipp Chaykin left Gazprom for a career in the restaurant industry
Philipp Chaykin left Gazprom for a career in the restaurant industry
Photo: Philip Chaikin’s Linkedin profile
Ugly Dumplings will not be earning him millions
Ugly Dumplings will not be earning him millions
Photo: instagram.com/ugly.dumpling.uk

“I cannot comment on the fairness of sanctions against officials and bankers, but I can comment on their effectiveness. It’s hard for me to understand how freezing my home can help end the war. At the same time, I’m categorically not considering returning to Russia. I have not been there for more than two and a half years, I consider myself bound to the western democratic values of freedom of speech, thought and choice, and it pains me to see Russia move in the opposition direction”, reflects Chaykin. “My position on the war in Ukraine is clear: it’s an illegal war initiated by Russia. The war must end as quickly as possible, and Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty must be restored within its recognized 1991 borders. Since the war began, I’ve been raising funds for the UNICEF Ukraine Appeal through my restaurant, and I intend to continue doing so.”

Cyprus: Shelter for the Sultans

Located some 40 meters from the ocean and only a few kilometers from the center of Limassol, the luxurious Amathus Beach Hotel markets itself as a world-class haven of comfort, nestled between beaches and tropical gardens. Following recent renovations, the hotel was upgraded to five-star status.

Next door, construction of the residential complex Amathus Residences is nearing completion. The top floor is made up of two penthouse suites each spanning 500 sq meters, featuring private pools, marble interiors, and hardwood accents. The nine lower floors offer more modest living accommodation: apartments from 100 to 270 sq meters in size with views of the Akrotiri Bay, some with private pools. In 2021, during the construction phase, their asking price was between €2 – 6 million.

A company associated with Akimov invested in the five-star Cypriot hotel
A company associated with Akimov invested in the five-star Cypriot hotel
Photo: kirill_makarov / Shutterstock.com
And in a luxurious residential complex with a view of Akrotiri Bay
And in a luxurious residential complex with a view of Akrotiri Bay
Photo: amathusresidences.com

The hotel and residential complex are owned by Cypriot company Amathina Luxury Hotels. They, in turn, are owned by a faction of the highly influential Cypriot business group, the Lanitis Group, and a division of the Muskita group, which owns several luxury hotels frequented by celebrities and members of royal families (the Sultan of Brunei once left a hefty $200,000 tip at one of their hotels).

“Cypriots and Russians have a tremendous mutual understanding. This is influenced by both religion and a love of carefree, peaceful lifestyles”, commented Christos Mouskis, Chairman of the Muskita Board of Directors.

As IStories discovered, a quarter of the coastal hotel and apartment project belongs to the Cypriot company Elerfield Holdings, which was owned by firms belonging to Andrey Akimov and his deputies at Gazprombank, Alexey Matveyev and Alexander Muranov.

Akimov has been under US sanctions since 2018. Matveyev and Muranov — since 2022.

How sanctions impacted asset ownership

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the US and EU imposed a series of sanctions, some of which were against Russian state banks and bankers. While Gazprombank was among those impacted, individual sanctions against Akimov were not introduced. However, risks steadily emerged, and the ownership structure of his foreign assets began to change. Following the Russian invasion, several assets evidently changed ownership — although it’s unclear just how far removed they are from their original owner.

A perfect example is the Falcon business jet, which was valued at $17 million, and registered under Terminal Aviation Inc. in the British Virgin Islands. Until 2014, it was owned by the Belizean company Metaliona, which in turn was linked to Akimov’s Cyprus-based Vermor Investments.

During the sanction-rich year of 2014, the business jet and Terminal Aviation were acquired by the Gazprombank chief’s ex-wife, Elena Milovskaya. Documents identified her as a retired private investor. Akimov had previously told IStories that he was not the owner of the aircraft.

Here’s an example of another airborne asset — the Eurocopter helicopter (F-HVAA), registered to the Cypriot company Oselor Enterprises. In 2014, it was also owned by Vermor, which held assets worth over several hundred million euros. In 2016, the company was acquired for just €5,000 by the Cyprus-based Libermor Investments, held inside the Amathea Trust. Then, a month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Oeslor and the helicopter were procured by the offshore company Farelady Holdings in the BVI. The sole proprietor of Farelady Holdings is Anna Litvintseva, a Russian retiree who turned 72 in 2022.

This is the type of helicopter owned by a company associated with Akimov. At the beginning of the war, it was turned over to a 72-year-old retiree, whose daughter worked at Gazprombank

IStories established that Litvintseva is the mother of Elena Gorbacheva, who previously worked at Gazprombank. In March 2022, the retiree’s Eurocopter was spotted in the French ski resort of Courchevel.

The retiree was also lucky enough to acquire the jewel of Akimov real estate portfolio, Rudolf Nureyev’s house in St.Barts. In April 2018, the head of Gazprombank was placed under U.S sanctions. Three months prior, large stakes in Cypriot companies owning a house and a stretch of land along the coastline were secured for less than €100,000 by another Cypriot firm — Gemenor Holdings, coincidentally also owned by the retired Litvintesva. Neither she nor members of her family resemble oligarchs who could afford such an opulent villa.

After the outbreak of the war, Nureyev’s villa was sold to a French citizen who has long managed the French firms that own the villa and its land. He’s also connected to several Russian businessmen (most notably acting as the business partner of the former co-owner and general director of Belaya Dacha, Vladimir Tsyganov). Now, the historic villa is managed by the Le Toiny hotel in St.Barts. This certainly provokes comparison: in similar circumstances, when two vineyards belonging to Russian billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky were transferred to their French manager after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the property was swiftly frozen.

Andrey Akimov did not respond to our detailed questions about his foreign real estate and “personal views.”

With the participation of Dmitry Velikovsky and Abdelhak El Idrissi (Le Monde)

Translated by Sasha Molotkova