Расследования 26.11.23 11:27

The place of gathering of ‘good Russian’. Khodorkovsky’s propaganda base in the center of London worth 12 million pounds

On December 20, ten years ago, Mikhail Khodorkovsky* was pardoned, released and allowed to move to Foggy Albion. During all these years he has acquired a considerable amount of property. The website Prigovor.ru has found additional three houses in Great Britain belonging to this oil and tax swindler

The place of gathering of ‘good Russian’. Khodorkovsky’s propaganda base in the center of London worth 12 million pounds

We have found another three real estate objects owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky: two houses in the center of London and a mansion in the county Surrey in South East England with total worth of 17,4 million pounds (nearly 2 billion rubles).

The most expensive of them is worth 12 million pounds. Here is located the ‘Club Open Russia’** and the main media-base of the former head of the oil company Yukos who, ten years ago, firmly promised ‘not to deal with politics’. From here, Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky* anchors his ‘nerve gas’ broadcasts on a YouTube channel, here employees of the platform ‘Open Media’ record their programs. But the main thing is that there, surrounded by this interior of a classical English club, gather fugitive and domesticated Russian speaking liberals, they present projects and discuss initiatives directed at dissolution of the Russian state. How much money Mikhail Khodorkovsky has invested in equipment of this studio? Who cashes on of these well off Russian liberals who fled from Russia? All about this in a new investigation of the website Prigovor.ru.

LONDON’S TEST-GLASS FOR OPPOSITION MEMBERS

The revolution of 1917 was being prepared in London. It is here that, in 1902, moved the editorial office of the newspaper ‘Iskra’ (Spark), the main publication in opposition to the power of the Tsar, and it was followed by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin himself. In 1905, with his participation, will take place the 3rd Congress of the Social-Democratic Party.

‘In London, nobody hampered us to prepare the revolution and discuss anti-governmental plans’, pointed out the media outlet ‘Kommersant-UK’ citing the historian Maria Kulik.

After 100 years, screenplays of anti-governmental activists repeat themselves – only this time, in London, they prepare the basis not for overthrowing a monarchy, but for undermining modern Russia. And new revolutionaries have become not unmercenary persons with a burning idea of communism, but calculating persons with fat wallets - oligarchs and politicians who direct at Russia the whole arsenal of domesticated propagandists using the most modern methods to influence public opinion.

Here have entrenched themselves such characters as Yevgeny Chichvarkin*, who nearly evaded a prison term for organizing a kidnapping, tax swindler Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and foreign agent Maria Pevchikh*, new actual head of the prohibited ‘Anti-Corruption Foundation’ (FBK)**. They themselves have told, with different degree of directness, that their real aim is dismemberment of Russia. The website Progivor.ru has already reported about various fora at which these clowns draw ‘contoured maps’ of Russia without its whole regions, or foretell its division in tens autonomous areas, and the Gudkovs*, Chichvarkin and Ponomaryov*, who fled from Russian investigators, reflect there on how the new Russian state should look like. And to reflect they prefer only in comfortable ‘five stars’ conditions.

BERMUDA’S ROOTS

For these purposes, in October 2016, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, through an offshore, bought a building in Central London, at the address: 67 Wimpole St., London W1G 8AP, Great Britain. The buyer of the house was the company from the Bermuda Islands ‘Bermuda Archipel Real Estate’. This became known for the website Prigovor.ru thanks to parsing of open cadastral data from the servers of Britain’s real estate registry.


To understand the atmosphere of the place, we will specify some architectural and cultural dominants in the area. In a twenty-minute walk is located Hyde Park where Vladimir Lenin was training his oratorical skills while listening to speeches of local trade-union leaders. In a twenty-minute walk to the North there is the apartment of Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street. And if you move, at a leisurely pace, southwards, you will be in 20 minutes by the railings of the Buckingham Palace.

In such surroundings, Mikhail Khodorkovsky founded his ’club of haters of modern Russia’. It costed him 12 000 000 pounds. It is for this sum of money, according to the real estate agency ‘TheMoveMarket’, this building was sold in 2016. The same sum of money is mentioned in the parsing of cadaster information. Yet, during the past years, it has lost in value, and now it is estimated at 9 070 000 pounds. The investment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, this ‘finance genius’, lost in value by a third.

The price of the purchase is dependent on the location and historical value of the house. It stands in Marylebone, in the affluent area of North Westminster. It was built more than 350 years ago. From 1777 to 1859, Henry Hallam livedin it – an outstanding British historian, member of the Royal Society and curator of the British Museum. On the façade of it, a nameplate is put on a show. The building itself has a status of an object of cultural and historical heritage.

Bermuda’s jurisdiction doesn’t disclose names of owners and beneficiaries of local firms. Yet, the website Prigovor.ru has managed to find direct leads to the name Khodorkovsky through the British company registry.

The thing is that the offshore company ‘Bermuda Archipel Real Estate’ had to register its affiliate in London and to indicate at least some scanty information about itself. From these documents, it becomes evident that as the ‘agent’, i.e. as representative of the owner, is itemized the organization ‘Saffery Champness’.


From the annual report Wimpole 101 Limited

Saffery is a well-known British firm that provides bookkeeping services, issuance of trusts and fiduciary agreements. Its affiliate ‘Saffery Champness’ is based on the offshore island Guernsey and provides services to Khodorkovsky personally for hiding real ownership. Here are some examples.

First, it’s to ‘Saffery Champness’ that was registered, for a certain time, the main ‘family seat’ of Khodorkovsky – the estate Best Beech Place, near London, worth 4.7 million pounds, about which the website Prigovor.ru reported in its investigation entitled ‘British Luxury of Khodorkovsky’.


Khodorkovsky’s estate is located 60 kilometers from London, in the county East Sussex, near the small town Wadherst

Second, ‘Saffery’, from 2013 up to 2018, was governed by Khodorkovsky’s ‘producer center’ (See the investigation ‘Cinema Producer and Puppeteer Khodorkovsky’).

Third, and this is most important, the leadership and co-owners of ‘Saffery Champness’ provide services to Khodorkovsky personally, and this is even reflected in the Guernsey’s registry. They are governed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s ‘personal’ trust on Guernsey island - ‘Corbiere Limited’ - through which requests were validated for lobbyist activities in the interest of Khodorkovsky in the United States. The only purpose of creating ‘Corbiere’ is mentioned the following – ‘managing of Khodorkovsky’s assets, including legal defense’.


The scan of the document is taken from the investigation ‘Cinema Producer and Puppeteer Khodorkovsky*. One and a half million for propaganda’

There, in the same disclosure of the information about the Guernsey offshore, is said that it is connected with ‘Palmus Trust’. The beneficiary of which, al leas from 2002, has been Khodorkovsky personally, and the newspaper ‘Kommersant’ wrote about this soon after his arrest.

To put it simpler, is in some project or asset connected to Khodorkovsky, twinkles ‘Saffery’, it means that the real beneficiary of these projects happens to be Khodorkovsky himself.

Another ‘symptom’ of belonging to Khodorkovsky is the address of the registration of the affiliate of Bermuda’s office, the immediate owner of the building. It’s 16 Hanover Square, London – the same as of one of Khodorkovsky’s key legal persons, of the namesake ‘Hanover 16’ which is known for the fact that, in 2010s, through it was conducted the financing of Khodorkovsky’s media projects and Russian opposition (see also the investigation ‘Khodorkovsky has hidden his London firm in a new place’)

And the ultimate proof of the connection of the house on Wimpole Street with Khodorkovsky is a characteristic activity displayed by the ‘Club Open Russia’.

SPECIAL INTEREST CLUB – INTEREST IN STATE COUP

‘We launch the club ‘Open Russia’ in London. For us, it’s an important landmark, we hope that it will be a successful, mutually beneficial project for all of us, both for those leaving in this city, and for our coming guests’ saidsumptuously, in 2015, Kulle Pispanen, Khodorkovsky’s press-secretary at that time.

The club positioned itself as ‘special interest meeting place’ for creative and politically active people (read between the lines – close to Khodorkovsky). At the beginning, the club functioned in a rented building on Hanover Square, reported the newspaper ‘Izvestiya’. On the opening day, debates took place between well-known political consultants – Gleb Pavlovsky and Stanislav Belkovsky*. Employees of the ‘Group Menatep’ were also present at the opening. After the official part, behind closed doors, they discussed cheerfully how would be spent the compensation to the amount of 50 billion dollars which then, according to the interim decision of the arbitration court, had been awarded to Yukos (later his decision was reconsidered to the benefit of the Russian Federation).

But in 2016, they, obviously, decided that the rented space was not sufficient. The club moved to its own mansion on Wimpole, 67. This, by the way, was announced by Khodorkovsky on his website in November, 2016. ‘The club ‘Open Russia’ will be a meeting place for giants of Russian culture”, was said in the report. And nowadays, it’s the main gathering point for liberals of all shades who are close to Khodorkovsky.

As guests of the club were announced journalist Masha Slonim, poet Andrey Orlov (Orlusha), author and literary critic Alexander Arkhangelsky, economist Irina Yasina, specialist in drama studies Marina Davydova, movie critic Anton Dolin*, author and journalist Yulia Latynina*. Among the guests of this membership club there were also former deputy Dmitry Gudkov* and chief editor of the TV channel ‘Dozhd’ (Rain) Mikhail Zygar* (on the whole, nothing but foreign agents and candidates to become foreign agents).

Mikhail Zygar, together with the journalist Karen Shainyan, even presented at the Open Russia Club their mutual project with the film-director Timur Bekmambetov. The serial ‘1968, Digital’, devoted to the most crucial, in their opinion, year in the history of Russia. It’s worth noting that one could get to the meeting with the authors only for money that, in effect, organizers promised to transfer to the Russian charity foundation “Lifeline’.

On the website of the Open Russia Club it is announced that the club is an ‘important political platform and it facilitates the exchange of ideas and conversations’. Only the vector of these conversations has been always destructive and anti-patriotic. 

So, in the autumn of 2018, the magazine ‘East-West Reviews’ announced in the Open Russia Club lectures on the following themes: ‘Estonia and Russia: 100 years of bad relations’. On the panel of the club spoke a well-known economic criminal Bill Browder, accused in absentia in Russia of intentional bankruptcy of the company ‘Dalnaya Step’ (Remote Steppe) which had caused damage to the budget of our country amounting to 3.5 billion rubles. Obviously, ‘the colleagues’, had something to discuss – the Russian Tax Agency, similar as in Khodorkovsky’s case, in 2013, caught the firm belonging to Browder for tax dodging totaling 522 million rubles, reported the Agency of Federal Investigation FLB.ru.

For carrying out meetings in the premises, two drawing rooms were created with good furniture and renovation, with long tables for negotiations – plans to disintegrate Russia are being discussed with comfort.

TV STUDIO FOR A PROFESSIONAL SWINDLER

Nowadays, in the premises on Wimpole 67, is based not only the ‘Club Open Russia’. The same address is mentioned on the website of the ‘high-tech studio of streaming internet-broadcast Wimpole Studio. The description of the website of the studio itself is rather scarce. As it is said, it’s being rented by media outlets and journalists for coverage of ‘local and international problem related to human rights’. But the real destination of the studio is quite different. It’s from the interiors of the Wimpole Studio that Mr. Khodorkovsky broadcasts his main YouTube channel.

Look at the open bookcase that Khodorkovsky uses as a backdrop during his rantings about ‘destinies of the Motherland’. 


On the shelves, there are books, a picture by Vasya Lozhkin ‘It’s not a time to smile”. To the right, a wicked cat in the manner of multi-realism by the same Lozhkin.

And now look at the general photo of the studio Wimpole.


Here it is: once again, the same open bookcase, the same wicked plush cat, only the picture by Lozhkin doesn’t yet stand there (and the wicked Khodorkovsky has not come yet)

Pay attention to the expensive lighting units, tele-prompter and streaming devices that are being used in the studio.

In recent years, Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky (MBKh) relegated almost all his recourses specifically on production of video-content, he regards this direction as the most important and he is dealing now with building of his own brand, wrote the TV channel RT. ‘Khodorkovsky is now interested exclusively in promoting his own YouTube channel and, through It, in promotion of himself, said on condition of anonymity a former employee of ‘Open Media’. Other projects are being financed by a leftover principle’. Hence, it’s not surprising that Mikhail Khodorkovsky is generous with regard to himself.

On the website Wimpole are specified technical units used for production of video-content in this studio. Among others, there are eight 4K cameras of different manufacturers, for instance BirdDog P4K. One such camera is worth 11.4 thousand euros, or around 1 million rubles. And the mixing console Yamaha QL5 intended for mixing sound signals, costs nearly 20 thousand euros, or 2 million rubles. We have counted the cost of video and streaming units mentioned on the website. Only cameras, monitors and consoles have costed 83.8 thousand euros (or 8 million rubles). And this is without including renovation, technical equipment for transmitting internet signal, media and projection screens.

The platform for streaming is used also by the rest of ‘Open Media’. After the ‘main’ organization ‘Open Russia’ was acknowledge as undesirable in Russia, they have simply changed the brand and have continued to function as Telegram-channels and the namesake channel on YouTube.

In the interiors that look very much like this mansion, makes his broadcasts Rostislav Mirzagulov, the former PR-manager of the head of Bashkiria, who was invited to work for Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky was sharply criticized by ‘leaders’ of the prohibited Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) for engaging Mirzagulov and fraternization with ideological enemy.

On the whole, there are not least than three big channels in the broadcast schedule of Khodorkovsky’s YouTube channels: ‘Mikhail Khodorkovsky’ (1.25 subscribers), ‘Khodorkovsky Live’ (1.53 million subscribers), ‘Open Media’ (500 thousand subscribers). Their audiences are, to a great extend, overlapped. Plus, after the loud scandal with the ‘bot-farm of elfs’, the number of real subscribers for Khodorkovsky’s content raises many questions – how many bots have been spun by these tinkerers?

The functioning of the studio and club is provided by the legal entity ‘Wimpole 101 Ltd’ created in 2022. Nataliya Shachkova, bookkeeper and constant nominal director of Khodorkovsky, became director of this legal entity. According to its annual report, only on catering, commissions and other services the organization made 532 thousand pounds in 2022.


Oddly enough, this firm pays rent to Bermuda’s organization - in fact, laughable 33 thousand pounds a year, and this, once again, confirms ‘related’ connections of the owner of the building with its lessees – such prices for a historical mansion in the center of the most expensive European megalopolis can be fixed only for your own people.


From the same annual report, it is known that there are as many as 43 employees. However, their wages are pennyworth, if you trust official members: the whole wage bill for nearly 50 persons was 293.9 thousand pounds. If you divide it into the quantity of employees, you get 6.8 thousand pounds pro person. Even by Russian standards, this is a very low wage – 700 thousand rubles a year, 58 thousand rubles a month. In London, with this money one can only have several dinners in a good restaurant. Actually, either Khodorkovsky has been keeping his employees in poverty, or he has been understating real volumes of spent financial means. For instance, he did the same with regard to the reports of expenses on relocants and opposition which he sponsored from the beginning of the Special Military Operation.


SAFE APARTMENT FOR RENT

It bears noting that in the contract of buying the club, in 2016, is mentioned yet another object – an apartment for 2.7 million pounds on Marylebone Mews 11. It is located just in the backyard of the luxuriant mansion. One can hardly call it ‘a modest’ investment, as, nowadays, the value of this apartment is estimated at 3.2 million pounds (nearly 3.9 million US dollars). In October, they tried to sell it, but, evidently, there have been up until now no buyers available.


According to the location (quite yard in the backyard of Wimpole) and interiors, here stay overnight selected guests of the club. 


Safe apartment – yellow two-story building, in the background one can see the brick façade of the ‘Club Open Russia’

But there is in the registry a third house bought on the same Bermuda firm ‘Bermuda Archipel Real Estate’ in 2019. It is located in the county Surrey, in the south of England. It’s a quiet house with its own name ‘Close House’ was purchased in 2019 for 2.7 million pounds (the apartment in the center of London costed as much). According to the data of the State Information Site of Great Britain, earlier the thousand square meters of the mansion were used for film production. And the legal entity registered there from 2014, was liquidated just in February 2019.

Thus, the total cost of Khodorkovsky’s real estate intended for ‘representational expenses’, amounts to 17.4 million pounds.

Author: Alexey Velarov

See the Russian version at: «Место сбора «хороших русских». Пропагандистская база Ходорковского* в центре Лондона за £ 12 млн»

* Mikhail Khodorkovsky – on 20.05.2022 was acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as a physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent. Included in the Registry of foreign agents with No 389;
* Ilya Ponomaryov – on 21.10.2022 was 
acknowledge by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as physical person fulfilling function of a foreign agent. Included in the list with No 463;
* Yuliya Latynina, born 16.06.1966, Individual tax number (INN) 770303330820, Individual insurance account number (SNILS) 023-720-64115. On 09.09.2022 was acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as a physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent;
* Belkovsky Stanislav Alexandrovich, born 07.02.1971, Individual tax number (INN) 772102079470, Individual insurance account number (SNILS) 022-118-96516. Acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as a physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent. Included on 15.09.2023 in the list with No 681;
* Chichvarkin Yevgeny Alexandrovich, born 10.09.1974, Individual tax number (INN) 773002559604, Individual Insurance account number (SNILS) 027-552-68263. 
Acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as a physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent. Included in the list with No 398;
* Dolin Anton Vladimirovich, born 23.01.1976, Individual tax account (INN) 771003243102, Individual insurance account number (SNILS) 110-313-113 60. Acknowledged by the Ministry of the Russian Federation as a physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent. On 10.02.2023 included in the list with No 446;
* Gudkov Dmitry Gennadiyevich, born 19.01.1980, Individual tax account (INN) 773709696309, Individual insurance account number (SNILS) 021-544-51712. Acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice as a physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent. On 10.02.2023. included in the list with No 543;
** ‘Dozhd’ – Society with limited liability ‘TV channel ‘Dozhd’. A media outlet, included, on 20.08.2021, in the Registry of foreign mass media fulfilling functions of a foreign agent;
** Otkrytaya Rissuya (Open Russia), Great Britain, Organization whose activities is acknowledged as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation by the decision of the Office of Prosecutor General of 26.04.2017.

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