The property of Ilham Aliyev’s children sprouted in the "Meadyorf Gardens" situated near Moscow

An investigation into how the family of the President of Azerbaijan settled in the Moscow region.
Origin source
The son of Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev, at the age of 9, became the owner of a luxurious house near the residence of Dmitry Medvedev on the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Highway. The history of the acquisition of this estate reveals Aliyev’s financial ties with the family of the Pashayev businessmen, from which the country's first lady, Mehriban Aliyeva, comes.

“If relations between all neighboring countries were such as relations between Russia and Azerbaijan, I assure you, there would never have been anything like conflict or even misunderstanding,” said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in autumn 2008 years in the former castle of Baroness Meyendorf in Barvikha near Moscow.

A month later, the presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a declaration on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict there. The castle was restored just three years before this event, and President Dmitry Medvedev liked it so much that he made it his official residence.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, perhaps, did not have to travel long to the meeting place either. The year before, his 9-year-old son became the owner of a huge mansion in one of the most prestigious and closed settlements of the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Highway - “Meiendorf Gardens”.

President Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev

Ilham Aliyev has held the position of President of Azerbaijan since 2003 - since his seriously ill father appointed him as his successor - he is clearly not going to leave. In 2009, the Constitution of Azerbaijan adopted amendments that allow Aliyev to be elected an infinite number of times, and in 2016 the presidential term was increased from five to seven years. At the same time, the post of vice president was established in Azerbaijan; it is he, and not the prime minister, who will perform the duties of the head of state if he is unable for some reason to exercise his authority. Ilham Aliyev appointed his wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, as first vice-president.
Prior to his presidency, Aliyev had a short time to be prime minister; twice, in 1995 and 2000, he was elected a deputy to the parliament of the republic, and from 1994 to 2003 he worked as vice-president of the State Oil Company. According to the official biography, his brief experience in the sphere of private business concerns the years 1991-1994, when he “headed a number of industrial and commercial enterprises”.

The Aliyev Gardens

The cottage village "Gardens Meiendorf", as well as Medvedev's residence, named after the Tsarist officer Mikhail Meyendorf, who left Russia with the beginning of the First World War, is located 16 km from the Moscow Ring Road, near the Barvikha sanatorium of the Presidential Administration. Also about 10 km away is the official residence of Vladimir Putin “Novo-Ogaryovo” and the premiere residence “Gorki-9”. Several times sold in this village mansions were recognized as the most expensive in Russia and even in the world.

In Gardens Meyendorf, Russian forbes own the real estate: the richest (according to the 2018 rating) Russian businessman Vladimir Lisin, Iskander Makhmudov, Andrey Bokarev, Dmitry Mazepin. The real estate of Aleksey Bogdanchikov, the son of the former president of Rosneft, Sergei Bogdanchikov, is also located there; businessmen Alexander and Shalva Chigirinsky.

It also houses the world's only private mansion, created by architect Zaha Hadid. The customer was co-owner of Capital Group Vladislav Doronin.

The site of the architectural bureau Zaha Hadid says that the height of pines and birches in this village near Moscow reaches 20 meters. And if Doronin’s futuristic house rises above the trees, Aliyev’s plot is hidden behind them.

The builder of the settlement on its website guarantees potential buyers the privacy of transactions, as they “understand the character of the local audience,” and promises that “outsiders and the press” will not enter the territory of the settlement. The security guard at the checkpoint told the "Project" correspondent that he himself did not know the names of the tenants, and sometimes even how they look, as the owners of the mansions come in cars with tinted windows. Also, almost every owner of the house lives next to his personal security, he assured.
Thus, the Aliyev bodyguards live in a 200-meter-high house specially built for it.

The area of ​​Heydar Aliyev Jr. is more than 7 thousand square meters. The area of ​​the mansion is 1.6 thousand square meters. The house is located on the border of the village close to Podushkinsky forest park, next to the Big Barvihinsky pond (local residents complained that it was completely blocked by a fence).

“Meiendorf Gardens” can already be called the Aliyevs family nest: the house of the eldest daughter of Azerbaijani President Leyla is located nearby. The area of ​​Aliyeva - 7.7 thousand square meters. m, it is located in several houses from the site of her brother Heydar. Aliyeva, like her brother, became the owner of this expensive real estate at a young age of 20 years.

In addition to the obvious nepotism, many questions have always caused a source of enrichment of the Aliyevs. OCCRP investigative journalists have found that members of this family own various businesses hidden behind offshore companies, luxury real estate properties, and even gold deposits.

To live well in Russia

Many CIS heads of state or their relatives are pretty close to Russia. In Russia, the former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, is hiding from criminal prosecution in the home country - singer Iosif Kobzon told that he lives “fence to the fence” with him in Bakovka, situated near Moscow. Yanukovych’s son Alexander, meanwhile, registered a company in St. Petersburg. The first president of the Kyrgyz Republic, Askar Akayev, after he was overthrown as a result of the Tulip Revolution, also hid in Moscow and now teaches at the Higher School of Economics at the Faculty of Social Sciences. During the investigation of the criminal case against the daughter of the former President of Uzbekistan Gulnara Karimova, it turned out that the “criminal group” in which she was a member owns several apartments in Moscow and stands alone on Rublevka, as well as a hotel complex in Yalta. Last year, it was announced the purchase of control over the "Port Vysotsky" son of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev Timur Kulibayev.

According to various sources, Viktor Yanukovych and Askar Akayev are hiding in Russia, and relatives of Nursultan Nazarbayev have assets here.

Two families
The plot and house of Aliyev Jr. were first decorated by Arif Pashayev, an Azerbaijani physicist and father-in-law. The property in “Sadakh Meiendorf” Pashayev presented the presidential son a year after the purchase.

The deed of gift was executed in 2007, so the value of real estate at that time is difficult to estimate. It was not possible to contact the seller of the house, Mikhail Marchenkov, the former owner of construction companies operating in the Rublevka area. However, now a plot of the same area with a residential building in this village is sold for 2.3 billion rubles (about $ 35 million)

Arif Pashayev, like almost his entire family, has been known for many years as the representative of the scientific elite of Azerbaijan (since Azerbaijan was a Soviet republic). Physicist Pashayev holds the posts of rector of the National Aviation Academy of Azerbaijan and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His father is a writer and literary critic Mir Jalal Pashayev, his brother Hafiz is a doctor of physical and mathematical sciences, a diplomat, a former ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States, Canada and Mexico. The wife of Arif Pashayeva, Aida, was an Arabist and headed the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. My sister’s sister Mehriban Aliyeva Nargiz - doctor of philological sciences, rector of the Moscow State University branch in Baku. The very future "first lady" graduated from the Moscow Medical Institute. Sechenov, worked at the Moscow Research Institute of Eye Diseases.

But the Pashayevs are not just an intelligent family. Arif Pashayev’s nephew Jamal directs Pasha Holding, a corporation that unites numerous assets of the presidential family. These are insurance companies PASHA Insurance and PASHA Life; development company PASHA Construction, which manages a variety of real estate in Azerbaijan, tourist PASHA Travel; Absheron Hotel Group, which manages several five-star hotels; investment company Pasha Capital.

The holding also includes two banks - Kapital bank and Pasha bank, in the latter there is a share of Arif Pashayev himself.

The fact that behind the Pasha Holding are the daughters of the president - Leila and Arzu Aliyev - follows from the annual report of Kapital bank. Pasha Holding estimates the amount of its assets at $ 4 billion.

Also, both clans - the Aliyevs and the Pashayevs - own real estate abroad. In particular, OCCRP reported that Arif Pashaev owned the company RETRO-INTER, which owns a number of real estate objects in Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic). The company of his granddaughter Arzu owns the same elite mansion worth 1 million euros. Aliyevs also own several properties in London, including a $ 25 million mansion, OCCRP found out.

Perhaps the Pashayev companies are connected with business relations with the Russian state. In the investigation of the OCCRP Azerbaijan Landromat, a remittance was mentioned that the Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport made to an offshore company related to Pasha Holding - Inmaxo Capital. She acted as an intermediary in the export of cement from Russia to Azerbaijan for the construction company Pasha Insaat, which is part of the holding. “Project” sent a request to Arif Pashayev, but at the time of publication did not receive a response.

First lady

Mehriban Aliyeva also had her own role in the family business - according to the Panama Archive, in 2005 the President’s wife together with Azerbaijan’s tax minister Fazil Mammadov became the managing director of the UF Universe Foundation, which indirectly owned a 51% stake in AtaHolding Azerbaijan Corporation. It was assumed that the shares in the UF Universe Foundation would be divided between the children of Aliyeva, including the young Heydar, but in 2007 the foundation was closed.

According to Transparency International, Azerbaijan ranks 152 in the perception of corruption out of 180, and compared to last year, the country’s situation deteriorated.

Presidential candidates of Azerbaijan must submit information about their incomes to the CEC. The last presidential elections in the republic were held in 2018, but the declarations by the CEC were not published. Some candidates disclosed information about their property and media revenues, but not Aliyev.

At the same time, as Radio Liberty found out, in the meantime, information about companies associated with the ruling family is being removed from the tax registry of Azerbaijan.

The “Project” sent a request to the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Aliyevs Apartment

The mansion on Rublyovka is not the only case when the family of the President of Azerbaijan writes its assets to Heydar Aliyev Jr. In 2009, at the age of just 11 years old, he became the owner of nine mansions in Dubai. At that time, their cost was estimated at $ 44 million. In Dubai, there are also villas owned by Leyla and Arzu Aliyev.

The “Project” may have found other Moscow assets of the presidential family of Azerbaijan. In the Moscow Telephone Directory, there is evidence that in Moscow the President of Azerbaijan and his wife have an apartment in the house at 26. This is a prestigious district, the so-called Tsekovsky house, where from the end of the Soviet era diplomats and party functionaries received apartments . Now the property in this house is not so expensive compared to the “Gardens of Meyendorf”: an apartment like the Aliyevs with an area of ​​136 square meters. m will cost up to 100 million rubles (about $ 1.5 million).

A resident of the entrance in which the Aliyevs' apartment is located, told the “Project” correspondent that their representative regularly appears in the house, picks up mail and bills.

In the extract from Rosreestr there is no data on the owners of this apartment. This is possible if the ownership of the apartment was registered before 1998.