FBK, the anticorruption foundation of the Russian opposition personality Alexey Navalny, published this January an investigation about the sources of income of Maria Vorontsova, the elder daughter of President Vladimir Putin from his former official marriage.
Vorontsova, a pediatric endocrinologist by training, enjoys a lavish lifestyle like other members of the Putin family, including informal offspring. Her father, believed to be the richest man on Earth, has allegedly employed for Maria the same scheme that works fine for his billionaire friends and himself: overpriced payments from the public budget for services including some that may not exist, as well as outright donations of public assets and kickbacks from business people.
Maria Vorontsova has often appeared on various federal television channels as "researcher" and "emeritus doctor." Credit: TASS
A portion of the wealth that flows easy into his associates’ hands eventually quietly finds a way back to the dictator and his family in the form of services and properties, and perhaps cash. While the strategy is reminiscent of a feudal system, it has proven to be highly effective to get rich quick, though it is criminally prosecutable under Russian and international laws.
As FBK is very familiar with this template, it was relatively easy to piece together the Vorontsova financial puzzle.
A licensed endocrinologist in the Russian Federation typically earns between 22,000 and 27,000 rubles (281 euros or 306 US dollars) a month after tax deduction.
This amount is roughly enough to cover the basic needs. Well, Maria Vorontsova isn’t an ordinary physician. In an alumni chat, she bragged a few years ago about smashing a Porsche onto a concrete wall in the context of her love for luxury cars.
So, how much does she earn as a doctor anyway?
It is unclear how Maria succeeds to combine three quite demanding jobs or what exactly she does there, but FBK concluded from federal television news about her frequent business trips that she’s been actively trafficking influence.
In 2019, Putin’s elder daughter became a business lady, founding a company called NoMeCo (an abbreviation of the “New Medical Company”). In this company with five employees, she is part of the managing board.
The Barkley Gallery residential complex where Vorontsova owns a fashionable apartment. Credit: Navalny
FBK screened NoMeCo’s website to get a clue what this company does and what are its goals. And they are grandiose: "Creating an interface for interaction between leading research organizations and medical institutions," "Developing new diagnostic methods in the field of nuclear medicine," "Implementing advanced technologies," "Establishing a modern system for training physicians," and "Creating IT platforms."
In spite of these ambitious goals, the website’s news section is filled with greetings on various official holidays: Victory Day, Women’s Day, Army Day, Russian Christmas, Medical Worker’s Day… year by year. No sign of a major project or achievements.
In fact, FBK discovered, this company serves one single project: pumping out public funds into the purse of Putin’s daughter.
In 2020, for example, NoMeCo’s revenues amounted to 840 million rubles (over 9.54 million dollars or 8.75 million euros), of which 600 million is the profit. As much as 232 million rubles has been transferred to Maria’s personal account in the form of dividends.
The formal reasoning for those payments: “services on information modelling for project implementation.”
The there’s an important question to ask: who paid all that money to a company celebrating various official holidays all the year around?
FBK has found the generous benefactor: SOGAZ. It’s a clinic co-owned by Vladimir Putin’s friend Yuri Kovalchuk and nephew Mikhail Shelomov.
This clinic has been known in Russia as a place for the treatment of Wagner fighters and medical checking of escort girls for top Russian officials.
And there’s more – the clinic has recently changed hands. The new owners are not NoMeCo’s associates of Maria Vorontsova. It’s Putin’s daughter now who looks after Russian mercenaries and expensive prostitutes, FBK observes with sarcasm.
A Google Maps screenshot featuring the location of Vladimir Putin's official residence and his daughter's dacha in Novo-Ogaryovo. Credit: Navalny
The Navalny team has also found the real estate properties of Maria Vorontsova – a 800-million-ruble penthouse in the historical center of Moscow and a villa in Novo-Ogaryovo, a fairy-tale village for billionaires. Maria’s 400-million-ruble villa, by the way, is just 160 meters from her dad’s official countryside residence.
Maria, 39, is officially married to Yevgeny Nagorny, a 34-year-old manager from Moscow and graduate of the Finance and Law Academy. His place in the Putin family has secured him a top job in the oil and gas company Novatek.
Watch the video report on this topic here.
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