Naila Asker-zade, host of the state television channel Russia 1 and owner of Tefi, is interviewing billionaires, ministers and heads of state corporations. But Asker-zade herself, judging by her property, earns more than her other interlocutors. Only the real estate of Asker-zade, which was found by the "Project", can cost nearly 50 million dollars.
“I will not tell in detail who he is,” says Naila Asker-zade about her beloved man in an interview with Tatler in July this year. - Who needs it, they already know about it.
The interview with the TV presenter of “Russia-1” in the main secular magazine of Russia became the main topic of the issue. This, however, did not help the authors answer the question of how the host of a non-rated program on the state channel can afford the luxurious life that her Instagram account fixes - expensive outfits, a yacht, relaxing on the Cote d'Azur or on an African safari. Because this question, most likely, was not asked.
One of the conditions of the conversation with Tatler was a ban on the discussion of Andrei Kostin, President of VTB State Bank. Now this article about Asker Zade’s personal life is probably the only one that Roskomnadzor does not clean up from the Internet. The rest are blocked with manic persistence. Almost a thousand links to Internet pages with the mention of a TV presenter and a banker have already been recognized illegal and subject to removal. “The interview taken by Asker-zade from Kostin was immediately blocked by Roskomnadzor,” they joke on the Internet.
Andrey Kostin heads VTB Bank, the second largest bank in Russia, with over 60% owned by the state. Kostin is 62 years old, he has been managing the bank for almost 20 years, since 2002. In 2018, the banker was put on the US sanctions list as “an official of the government of the Russian Federation.” Kostin himself denies being an official. For several years in a row he was ranked among the highest paid top managers according to Forbes. When the magazine refused to issue a rating and issued another, “most influential” Russians, Kostin also got into it.
Prior to the banking business, Kostin spent more than 10 years in the diplomatic service: at the USSR Consulate General in Australia and at the USSR Embassy in the UK, which gave rise to enroll him in the KGB (Kostin himself denies this).
Repeatedly wrote about his proximity to Vladimir Putin. “Kostin’s personal relationship with Putin is very strong, he is untouchable,” said, for example, a source in the Financial Times.
The village of Razdor is considered the most expensive place Rublevo-Uspensky highway. There are many pluses: this is the “first” village of Rublevka in the literal sense of the word. Discord is located only 4 km from the Moscow Ring Road. The main Rublevsky attraction - the "elite" shopping center Barvikha Luxury Village, which sells Brioni suits and Ferrari cars, is another ten minutes drive.
As the "Project" found out, a year ago a full namesake Naili Asker-zade became the owner of a huge - almost 43 thousand square meters. meters - a plot of forest near the village of Razdor. The Asker-zade site is located next to the Barvikha-4 state building, in which Mikhail Gorbachev and then Boris Yeltsin lived.
The Naili plot, although so far it is an almost continuous forest, was purchased for the construction of a suburban mansion - according to the documents it has the status of "for individual housing construction."
Around the site of Asker-zade - the territory of Serebryanoborsky forestry, a specially protected natural area with red-book animals and plants. The status of the reserve to these forests was given only in 2017. Now logging is prohibited there. The Naili forest plot was not included in the reserve, as was the forest plot rented in the neighborhood by Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov. Another neighbor of Asker-zade and Siluanov is Deputy Minister of Defense Ruslan Tsalikov.
The nearest settlement is the elite village of “Discord” 2 by Roman Abramovich’s company in the now formerly specially protected natural areas. In the village of Abramovich, the cost of one hundred square meters of land is 6.7 million rubles.
Thus, the Naili Asker-zade site may cost about 2.8 billion rubles, or almost $ 45 million. The TV presenter herself told Project that this was not her site, but when asked why her full name was indicated on the statement, she answered:
The plot of Asker-zade was sold by Timur Klinovsky, the son of Timofei Klinovsky, the former shareholder of Wimm-Bill-Dann and one of the main ruble developers. Clinovsky's clients, as well as his distinguished partners Gavriil Yushvaev and David Yakobashvili, were, for example, presidential aide Larisa Brycheva and the alleged wife of security chief Dmitry Medvedev Mikhail Mikheev. Timur Klinovsky is involved in the development business with his father. It was he who sold the plot to Alisher Usmanov’s sister, who was then transferred to the fund of his classmate Medvedev, which gave Alexey Navalny an occasion to accuse the prime minister of receiving a bribe.
“I have an apartment, not eight, but one,” Asker Zade said in an interview with Tatler. It is not true. In September 2011, she became the owner of an apartment of 228 square meters. meters in the 1st Zachatievsky Lane, and in 2014, another neighboring one with an area of 155 square meters passed into her ownership. meters. The total cost of Asker Zade apartments in this house can be estimated at 300 million rubles.
Sister Asker-zade Inara is also provided with real estate. She owns an apartment of 144 square meters. meters in the house on Nezhinskaya street, in the residential complex "Kutuzovskaya riviera". The apartment is a little smaller area, 140 square meters. meters, it is sold there now for 72 million rubles ($ 1.1 million).
The only car that Asker Zade demonstrates on Instagram is the retro Volga, the Gaz-21, which the TV presenter called “the blue dream of any Soviet citizen” in an interview with Oleg Deripaska. From Tatler’s interview you can find out that it was on the Volga that her grandfather, a sailor, “captain I rank, head of a large military plant” took her from school. Now this car from the plot about Deripaska is owned by Asker-zade, but this is not her only car. She also has much more expensive cars: Tesla X, BMW X5. And the last car Asker-zade in 2011 registered at the apartment of Andrei Kostin in Vrazhsky Lane.
Aston Martin DB9, BMW 325, Mercedes-Benz CLS 400, Porsche Cayenne are recorded on Naili Inaru's sister. The alleged mother, Albina Asker Zade, has a Mercedes Benz E 200.
Among other things, she wrote about the scandalous purchase of Chinese drilling rigs, when the minority bank Navalny found out that VTB acquired them 1.5 times more expensive than the official price. According to Navalny, who attended the meeting of shareholders of the bank, he and Asker-zade often "washed the bones of this Kostin."
- The head of VTB Andrei Kostin rushed past the cap in the wind, and he barely kept up with him, but in fact he was hopelessly behind him, a boy whom Kostin related, apparently, was not only exactly the same cap on his head, - wrote in 2018 in a report from the Victory Day parade on Red Square, Kommersant journalist Andrei Kolesnikov.
He did not mention the presence of Naili Asker-zade near Kostin, although the couple and their children were all at the parade. Moreover, their presence on the platform for dignitaries was recorded by one of VTB corporate photographers. He posted a photo on Facebook. The photographer was immediately suspended from work. Another source of the “Project” says that after the publication of the photographer, they were included in the “black list” and are not accredited to important events - for example, a press conference by Vladimir Putin. The "Project" has seen a forbidden photograph, but does not publish it and the name of the photographer for reasons of its safety.
A similar case was a few years before the parade. Then, from the Kommersant photo bank, where Asker-zade once worked as a correspondent, at the request of the owner of the publication, Alisher Usmanov, photos of Asker-zade were handled with Kostin. Under the ban, in general, almost all information about Asker Zad - and about her relationship with the head of VTB, and about her real estate. When the Baza publication published an article about Asker Zade’s second apartment in Zachatievsky on its Yandex Zen page, the blog service immediately deleted it, citing Roskomnadzor’s request.
The reason for the locks Roskomnadzor announced court decisions on the VTB lawsuit - from September and November 2018. Then the bank asked to acknowledge as damaging the information disseminated immediately on several dozens of Internet resources. Almost all of them were reprints from the Rospres website. Some of them talked about expensive real estate and TV presenter cars, allegedly donated to her by the banker Kostin. Others described the sale of VTB shares in the Magnit retail chain to Sergey Lavrov’s son-in-law, who allegedly cost the bank $ 1 billion in losses. One thing united these notes - all mentioned Kostin’s relationship with Asker-zade in a rather unflattering way.
The court decided that the articles discredited VTB’s reputation because they contained allegations “of violations by the applicant and his employees of the current legislation, dishonest acts, and improper, unethical behavior in public life”. What kind of information is not specified in court decisions. They simply provide excerpts from these articles - like “+++++ ++++++ +++++ spends entire fortunes on lovers” or “+++++ made Asker Zade a female billionaire.”
Based on these court decisions, Roskomnadzor began to demand the removal of any articles in general that referred to Asker-zade. For example, notes on the website of the Vklader.ru publication, where the court’s decision on the VTB lawsuit was simply quoted. An article about an expensive TV presenter’s wardrobe disappeared from the website of Super.ru: photos from Instagram of Asker-zade were illustrated with prices for her clothes and accessories: Asker-zade with a Hermes Birkin bag for 966 thousand rubles, Naila with a Graff watch for 8.6 million rubles, Naila in a Gucci dress for 200 thousand, with a Chopard watch for one and a half million.
The apotheosis of this persecution of the media was the story of the newspaper Vedomosti, which was not a stranger to Nail. When in April she wrote about the mass blocking of other media outlets for articles about Asker Zade, the bank, according to Roem.ru, shot an ad in the newspaper.
How the mechanism of these general blocking works is not clear. Roskomnadzor is not authorized to search for articles with prohibited content. However, the state bank itself has a contract for monitoring the media, blogs, social networks and online forums by keywords: Asker-zade is not mentioned among them, but there is Kostin. Every day a report should be provided to the bank with a description of informational reasons and sentiment of messages.
This article will probably also fall on Kostin’s table. He did not answer the questions of the "Project".
Naila Asker-zade began her career in places where it is not customary to hide information about relations with speakers. First there was Kommersant, then the newspaper Vedomosti - in both editions she was considered one of the best journalists. “She wanted to tear everyone,” recalls Asker Zade’s former Kommersant colleague. Asker-zade worked in the economic department, specializing in banks, including VTB.
In May 2011, Vedomosti published an interview with Asker-zade with Kostin. VTB just then aggressively absorbed the Bank of Moscow. Criminal proceedings were instituted against the leadership of the latter, its president Andrei Borodin prudently left for London.
In preparation for the interview, the VTB press service demanded questions - Asker-zade sent 96 pieces. “So, we will answer everything!” - Kostin Naila later bragged about the answer to her colleagues.
“It was more like a protocol of interrogation,” the former colleague of Asker-zade recalls that interview. According to him, such an interview could not have been if the interlocutor had clearly not sympathized with her. Asker-zade asked Kostin: “Why should I believe you?”
A month later, there was the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which Asker-zade covered as a journalist of Vedomosti. Kostin traditionally represented the banking elite there. After the forum, Asker Zadeh did not release a single article about VTB, and soon she completely left the newspaper.
“The dream of television has taken its toll,” Asker-zade explained in an interview with Tatler. “I was invited to the VGTRK, and I left.” This is also not true.
The reason for leaving Asker-zade was another event. According to Tatyana Lysova, the former editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Asker-zade informed her of a conflict of interest because of the relationship that had begun with the “VTB top manager”. “She didn’t give her name, but for me the name didn’t matter. It was obvious to both of us that she needed to change the subject. She was a valuable journalist for Vedomosti, but half of our economy is tied to either VTB or its competitors, ”Lysova explained to Project.
The news of Asker Zade’s romance with Kostin spread widely. Then Naila did not hide this: Kostin even called Vedomosti reporters from Asker Zadeh's phone.
Perhaps the notes about Kostin and Asker-zade are so thoroughly cleaned from the Internet, because the head of VTB is worried about his income statement. When there was a discussion about the mandatory declaration of property and income by heads of state-owned companies, Kostin was one of the opponents of this idea, "not wanting to disclose information about his children." The same version - about children - is shared by an interlocutor close to VTB leadership. According to him, Kostin has minor children from both his ex-wife and Naili. Because of this, the head of VTB has personal difficulties. The formal status of the banker's relationship with Asker-zade is still unknown, but Kostin is obliged to indicate the property of minor children in the declaration.
Prime Minister Medvedev ordered two heads of state-owned banks - VTB and Sberbank - to disclose to the government information about their income, property, as well as relevant information about his wife and minor children in 2014. In the same year, Kostin, apparently, divorced his wife Natalya Gordeeva, because as a result of the "division of property" she became the owner of a plot of land on Rublevka. In total, Gordeeva has about 2.5 hectares there in the village of Gorki-2 in the territory of the summer community “Sosny-15”. The average cost of one hundred square meters in Sosny-15 on a site with a house is 10.6 million rubles. So Gordeeva’s real estate can cost about 2.5 billion rubles, which roughly corresponds to the cost of the plot of the new darling of the state banker.
Kostin’s declaration has never been made public. The "Project" requested it from VTB and was refused on the basis that Kostin is not obliged to publicly disclose information about income.
Naila immediately fell into the frame, although at first she spoke unprofessionally. She was only allowed to go on the air with her hair loose - below her waist. The editor-in-chief of “Russia-24” Evgeny Bekasov could swind any presenter, but not Asker-zade.
Moreover, any attempts to evaluate his income came up against tough opposition from the state bank - just like in the story with notes about Asker Zade. For example, since 2012, Forbes magazine has been preparing an annual rating of the country's most expensive top managers, where Kostin has traditionally been a leader. In 2016, Kostin was also one of the three highest paid, but the amount of remuneration was empty - the owner of the magazine Alexander Fedotov ordered to remove the rating from the magazine due to a possible conflict with VTB.
When in 2012, the same Forbes argued with VTB about the amount of Kostin's remuneration, the magazine insisted: Kostin receives most of his income not from VTB, but abroad, through the Russian Commercial Bank (RCB) branch of VTB in Cyprus. Forbes called this offshore “wallet” of VTB top managers.
The Cyprus “daughter” VTB is led by Kirill Zimarin. The name of the person who gave Asker Zade her first apartment in Zachatievsky Lane is also called. The owner of her second apartment was originally VTB Bank itself. Then it became the property of offshore Erelson Investments Limited, and then, in April 2014, Asker Zadeh.
Sister Asker-zade Inara is also tightly connected with VTB. Although Asker-zade said to the “Project” that “her sister works as a mother,” Inara Asker-zade is listed as a global banking manager at VTB Bank. In the list of participants of the International Investment Forum in Sochi in 2015, there are both Asker Zade sisters - and both are listed as “Assistants to the President and Chairman of the Board of VTB Bank,” that is, Kostin. The “Project” also has a letter addressed to Asker Zade from the director of the “Movement of Enterprises of France” Michel Gulbo confirming her registration at the Business Twenty forum in Cannes at the end of October 2011. And there Asker-zade registered as a “VTB specialist”
The TV presenter told Tatler in an interview that she herself had received an invitation from VGTRK, where she has been working since 2011. But this is not entirely true. To get a job on Russia-24, Asker-zade called the then deputy head of the state channel Dmitry Mednikov. “Maybe his number was taken in Kostin’s reception room. But she had an interview, ”recalls the source of the Project, close to the leadership of the state media holding.
The conflict of interest that prompted Asker Zade to leave the newspaper means absolutely nothing on Russian state television. During the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2013, Asker Zadeh came to work in a car with Kostin. When Naila flew to Chechnya for an interview with Kadyrov, almost no one noticed that exactly during the journalist’s visit on Ramzan Kadyrov’s Instagram photo appeared with Kostin. Naila and Kostin really came to Chechnya together. It was Kostin who called the head of Chechnya to arrange this interview. Kostin is generally interested in the success of Asker-zade on the channel: he called, asked if he was “coping,” says the interlocutor of the Project, close to the VGTRK leadership.
Perhaps Asker-zade has a working relationship with his other newsmakers. At the beginning of this year, the name Naili was listed on the list of employees of En + owned by Oleg Deripaska - in the head office of the company on Vasilisa Kozhina Street in Moscow, Asker Zade had a separate office. When a Project correspondent arrived at En + under the guise of a courier, two company employees said that Asker-zade had an “internship” with the company. Officially, they denied this at En +: a company representative Vera Kurochkina told the Project that Asker-zade had never worked for them. Naila herself denies this.
For VGTRK, it’s not a problem that Deripaska himself is a frequent visitor to the Naili airs. “There is no conflict of interest,” explains the former producer of the channel. For example, if you can’t quickly organize a business trip at the expense of the channel, the producers ask some company about “barter” - paying for expenses in exchange for an interview on the air. Asker-zade also faced similar difficulties, her acquaintance says: she complained that the channel did not pay for her business trips. The journalist flies in business class, which is not covered by the accounts of the state channel.
At the same time, Asker-zade is very ambitious and efficient. Naila studied the clarity of speech, articulating with stones in her mouth, and generally stood out from the rest of the presenters, who looked more like talking heads. Plus she has sources that no one has.
“She brought top speakers. She has a direct exit to the top. For example, Alisher Usmanov is absolutely her topic, ”says the former producer of Rossiya-24. Deripaska did give an interview to Asker-zade several times. “And usually x ** that you pull out of it. It’s impossible to discuss, it’s impossible, it’s easier to refuse, ”recalls the interlocutor of the“ Project ”close to the head of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.
According to the former producer of the channel, Naila knows the framework of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company and will never ask “incorrect” questions. “But she is blissed out by the fact that she can, excuse me, raise **** Deripaska. Comes with an interview and says: well, I beat him, ”says her former colleague. True, injections do not relate to sensitive topics.
A couple of months after leaving Vedomosti, the Naili story appeared on the VGTRK - it was an interview with financial expert Jim Rogers about the "illiteracy of the US financial authorities" and the economic problems of Europe. Regarding Russia, an extremely optimistic forecast was given. All interviews are in a “warm, friendly atmosphere.” For the Asker-Zade program, Deripaska drove a truck in a working uniform, Usmanov talked about the relationship with his wife Irina Viner, billionaire Vladimir Potanin went down to the mine, and SVR director Sergei Naryshkin shot with a pistol. Guests are always ideologically loyal and often associated with VTB. One of the last guests of Asker Zade was Putin’s Ukrainian godfather and pro-Russian parliamentarian Viktor Medvedchuk - right on the eve of the elections to the Ukrainian parliament, where he was then elected. In 2017, Asker-zade interviewed Kadyrov for her new program "Actors", already on the channel "Russia-1" - the journalist was promoted. The first issue of The Actors was with Anton Siluanov, the head of VTB’s Supervisory Board. Also, an interview with Asker-zade was given by the Minister of Economics Maxim Oreshkin, a former employee of VTB Capital.
An interlocutor of the “Project”, close to the VGTRK’s leadership, says that the Naili program is not the case when the initiative came from above. The maximum that the Kremlin needs from TV channels is to give the necessary comment, he explains. The characters are not in that format. “Some Siluanov in X6 (BMW X6, the car brand in which Siluanov gave an interview to Asker-zade in 2017 -“ Project ”) will not make a magical impression on senior citizens, but this is the main audience,” explains the interlocutor of “Project”.
In addition, the Naili program goes far beyond prime time. In the television program, she stands on the night of Sunday to Monday, after "Sunday evening with Vladimir Solovyov." It used to start at 00:30 on a schedule. Often Solovyov started talking - then the Asker-zade program came out even later. Now the “Characters” are leaving at one in the morning. The rating is low - 1%.
At the same time, last year Naila took “Tefi” in the nomination “best interviewer” and “was happy as a child”, a former colleague recalls her emotions. In the nomination, she beat Vladimir Pozner himself. At the exit from the ceremony, Kostin met the winner with a huge bouquet of flowers.
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Formally, Asker Zadeh, although it works on a state channel, is not a civil servant. The salary of the top leading VGTRK is several hundred thousand rubles. The total value of the real estate of Asker-zade, found by the Project, is almost 3 billion rubles.