Unknown billionaire: what the nephew of Vladimir Putin hides from the public

Portrait of Mikhail Shelomov, nephew of the president, owner of a billion dollars and a toilet in the yard
Origin source
51-year-old Mikhail Shelomov, the son of a cousin of the president of Russia, one of the most mysterious rich people in the country. This year, the value of his assets exceeded one billion dollars - while not a single media even published his photo. The “Project” corrects this omission, not only by publishing a portrait of Shelomov, but also telling his true biography.

The park

There is a Zavidovo checkpoint at the exit from the 125th km of the Moscow – St. Petersburg toll road. Behind it is 125 thousand hectares of the national park of the same name, but ordinary people can’t get there. Inside is the presidential state residence “Rus”, which is guarded by the FSO, only locals are allowed there. It so happened that the places native to Vladimir Putin also got inside the perimeter protected from prying eyes. This is Putin’s “family nest” - the village of Pominovo, where the president’s father was born, and the village of Zarechye, where his mother Maria Shelomova lived with her brother Ivan, naval officer, captain of the 1st rank.

To get to the president’s protected small homeland, the Project correspondent had to drive to the neighboring village of Turginovo, where the Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary stands - where, according to local media, Putin’s parents were baptized. There you can leave the car and go to Zarechye on foot through another FSO post, depicting a local.

In 2005, the correspondent of the newspaper Trud found the daughter of Ivan Shelomov, cousin of Vladimir Putin, Lyubov Ivanovna, and his grandson Mikhail in Zarechye. “The Shelomov’s house is not a match for Putin. Handsome. Platbands - thin ligature of wooden lace. Lined with clapboard, painted “under the green”. Well maintained, ”the author was delighted.

Then the presidential nephew was not very interested in the journalist, but in vain. Even then, the 37-year-old Mikhail was the owner of multimillion-dollar assets - a stake in the Sogaz insurance company serving Gazprom and in the Rossiya bank, the so-called “bank of the president’s friends”.

How did “Russia” grow

In the early 2000s, Rossiya was a small bank, and its customers were companies like the Sverdlov machine-tool plant or the Petrosoyuz group, which produced My Family mayonnaise and ketchup. In 2000, the assets of “Russia” amounted to only 995 million rubles, or $ 35 million, and in the rating “All Banks of Russia” in 2001, “Russia” had only 215th place.

Everything changed after Putin was elected president. The bank’s business went uphill, but capital investments were needed for further development. In 2004, Aleksey Mordashov, a Severstal-group company, became a major investor in Russia, having paid 600 million rubles (about $ 20 million) for an 8.8% stake in the bank. The bank’s valuation of ten own equity then struck analysts: in the comments to Vedomosti they called the deal “strange” and the rating “unusual”.

Rossiya Bank was founded in 1990 as a unit, and the largest contributor was the management of the affairs of the Leningrad Regional Committee of the CPSU.

In 1991, the mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak, instructed the chairman of the mayoralty committee on foreign relations, Putin, to prepare documents for the creation of a fund to stabilize the economy on the basis of Russia and attract foreign investors. The bank was corporatized, and a number of St. Petersburg enterprises became owners of the shares.

The composition of the shareholders of "Russia" was changing during the 90s. Among the co-owners were the shoe factory “Proletarskaya Pobeda”, “Petersburg Telephone Network”, the developer of control systems and radar systems of the Central Research Institute “Granit” and others. The bank’s shareholders in the 90s included even Gennady Petrov: according to the Spanish prosecutor’s office, he was a member of the Tambov-Malyshevsky organized crime group. At one time, the Stream corporation was a shareholder of Russia - at that time large shares in it were owned by the current shareholder of the bank, Yuri Kovalchuk and Vladimir Yakunin.

In 1997, IPP appeared among the bank’s shareholders, associated with oil trader Gennady Timchenko. Kovalchuk and Timchenko are ranked as Putin’s so-called “inner circle,” with these businessmen in shareholders, the Rossiya Bank met the beginning of Putin’s rule.

In 2005, the bank's valuation rose again. Transoil CIS, a company associated with Timchenko, received a 9.5% stake in the bank, paying 900 million rubles. Another 900 million rubles were laid out by business partners Dmitry Gorelov and Nikolai Shamalov (his son Kirill was married to Ekaterina Tikhonova, Putin’s daughter), each receiving 12.6% of the bank’s capital. The head of the bank’s board, Mikhail Klishin, explained such a high share price by the fact that “the bank is developing rapidly.

In the report on the issue of new shares in 2005, “Russia” disclosed another shareholder, to which no one then paid attention. 3.9% of the bank's shares belonged to Accept, controlled by a certain Mikhail Shelomov. Three years later, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the journalists' hunch that Shelomov is a distant relative of Putin. But Putin, according to Peskov, had nothing to do either with the business of Rossiya Bank or with the assets acquired by Shelomov.

In a short conversation with Novaya Gazeta several years ago, Shelomov himself also said that the first person was not related to his business, and Accept was his personal project.


Knowing the biography of Shelomov, it becomes unclear where he could get the money for his “personal project”. His mother worked at Leningrad State University (now St. Petersburg State University), taught the history of the CPSU. Ros Shelomov without a father. In his teens, he moved with his mother from the Tver region to Leningrad. I learned to be an optical engineer, but I did not work a day by profession. During perestroika, when Putin represented the KGB in Dresden, Shelomov earned money at construction sites, then worked at a photo studio as a photographer.

When Putin had been president of Russia for two years, in 2002, 34-year-old Mikhail was again in search of work. Then the president began to help his nephew. Igor Sechin, deputy head of the presidential administration, helped arrange Shelomov in the St. Petersburg branch of Sovcomflot state shipping company.

Nobody in the company then knew about the family ties between Shelomov and Putin. But on a call from the Kremlin, for Shelomov far from the maritime business, a new position was introduced at Sovcomflot’s small St. Petersburg office (the company’s headquarters was located in Moscow) - “a specialist in various matters.” Sometimes they tried to use his knowledge and abilities in photo-making: photos of ships and tankers in the process of construction and operation required a lot.

Shelomov responsibly reacted to the new job and even decided to get a specialized education - he enrolled in courses at the General Makarov Maritime Academy.

They soon learned about the relationship between Putin and Shelomov in Sovcomflot — after Vladimir Kozhin, then the manager of the Russian president’s business, asked for Shelomov’s promotion. Then Shelomov had to share with the perplexing authorities information about why he caused such interest on the part of the country's leadership.

As Shelomov admitted to his acquaintances, he did not communicate very actively with a high-ranking relative then - literally once every six months by telephone, through the same Kozhin. Therefore, the company did not seek to use his family ties. Only once he was taken for solidity to a meeting with Putin’s personal acquaintance, Chairman of the Board of Gazprombank Andrei Akimov. In 2004, the leaders of the bank and Sovcomflot considered the possibility of a joint project and decided to involve Shelomov in the negotiations “so that he assented where necessary.” The press service of Gazprombank did not respond to the request of the Project by the time of publication.

Shelomov with great reverence refers to Putin, his acquaintance describes: “He experienced sacred awe on behalf of his relative, talked about him, clutching his head in the shoulders.”

In 2003, Putin and his cousin finally met in person - at the celebration of St. Petersburg's anniversary aboard the Silver Whisper (Silver Whisper) cruise ship, chartered for a meeting of the heads of state during the CIS summit.

A year later, Shelomov, an ordinary specialist at Sovcomflot, turned out to be the owner of a large business.

How Sogaz grew and Russia continued to grow

Even before Shelomov appeared among the shareholders of “Russia”, a very important deal was held for the bank itself. In 2002, Gazprom announced plans to sell a stake in its insurer, Sogaz. Participants in the insurance market, interviewed by the Vedomosti newspaper at that time, were skeptical about the possible purchase of such a special asset, agreeing that it would be difficult to find an independent investor and that Gazprom would need guarantees that it would continue to insure this company.

But already in 2004, Gazprom sold almost 76% of Sogaz for about $ 85 million. The buyers were the daughter of Rossiya (IK Abros), the company Lirus (associated with Gorelov and Shamalov; among other things, he built a residence on Black Sea, which the media call the “Putin’s Palace”) and the “Acceptance” created by Shelomov, who received 13.5% of the insurer's shares. Based on the value of the transaction, Shelomov’s company had to pay about $ 14 million for shares.

In 2009, another old president’s friend, Gennady Timchenko, appeared in the Sogaz shareholders. Then it was reported that he received a share of Shamalov and Gorelov, along with some "non-public partners." In fact, he became the sole beneficiary, said the interlocutor of the Project, close to the businessman. Having fallen under sanctions, Timchenko sold his share - 12.5% ​​- to his own daughter Ksenia Frank.

Perhaps the shares of Sogaz were bought by Shelomov’s company for borrowed money - according to the accounting statements of Acceptance, in 2004-2005 the amount of loans received increased from 9 to 535 million rubles. According to OCCRP, in 2004, Shelomova received a loan of $ 18 million at low interest rates without any collateral from the Panamanian offshore Santal Trading Corporation, through its transactions with the same Shamalov.

What did the buyers get? According to the results of 2004, Sogaz took 5th place in the Russian insurance market. At the same time, 75% of the company's fees were provided by Gazprom and its subsidiaries. Immediately after the change of shareholders, Sogaz began to develop new markets. Already in 2005, the company bought the insurer Rosneft - the company Neftepolis, the customers of Sogaz also became the energy monopoly of RAO UES of Russia and Rosatom enterprises.

In informal conversations, other insurers complained that Sogaz was using an administrative resource.

A year later, Sogaz also bought 75% of the Leader company, which managed the assets and pension reserves of the Gazfond NPF. This was followed by the purchase of insurance companies associated with the largest Russian holdings: IC Sheksna Alexei Mordashov, IC Transneft, IC Alrosa and ZhASO, an affiliate with Russian Railways.

The Bank of Russia did not lag behind Sogaz. In 2007, the bank has a new partner. Surgutneftegas bought 6.8% of Russia for 1.1 billion rubles, while the oil company received only preferred shares that do not have voting rights. “They urgently asked to buy back the bank’s shares,” “this is a civilized form of taking money from Surgut,” Vedomosti sources said.

In 2008, Rossiya Bank and Sogaz, with the investment support of new partners Surgutneftegaz and Alexey Mordashov’s structures, created the new media holding National Media Group (NMG). Now NMG owns Ren TV and the Fifth Channel, a network of STS Media TV channels, a stake in Channel One, several dozens of foreign cable television channels broadcasting in Russia, including CNN, Viasat and UFC TV, Izvestia newspaper and Sport-Express and other media assets. Revenues in 2018 - 65 billion rubles. The head of the NMG Board of Directors is Alina Kabaeva.

Finally, in 2010, another successful transaction was concluded for the shareholders of Russia: they bought Gazenergoprombank from the companies of the Gazprom group. Although the banks were comparable in size, the shareholders of Gazenergoprombank in a strange way received only 15.7% of the charter capital of Russia.

The luck of the shareholders of “Russia” seemed to be interrupted in 2014, when the US Treasury Department included the bank in the sanctions list. . Sogaz was also threatened by sanctions. However, in the course of several transactions, Russia escaped direct control of the insurer.

At this moment, “Russia” began to be saved at the highest level. On March 21, 2014, at a meeting of the Security Council, Putin in front of television cameras announced that he was going to open an account with Russia:

“I gave instructions to the case manager to transfer my wages there.”

The president also spoke about the instructions to the Central Bank to take measures to support the bank, as it has a “harmonious name”. At the same time, Putin described the bank itself as "average." True, in a press release, the US Treasury Department used another characteristic - “a personal bank for senior Russian officials.” The fact that the co-owners of the bank "Russia" is his relative, Putin did not mention.


“Acceptance” itself is nothing more than the name of a legal entity, which is connected with Putin’s environment and, in general, with everything that bears the name of the Russian president.

First, “Acceptance” was registered in St. Petersburg on Uralskaya Street - at the same address as one of Oleg Gordin's companies. Gordin is a business partner of cellist Sergei Roldugin, who was called Putin's “face value”. Gordin owned the Sandalwood Continental company, registered in the British Virgin Islands, through which several billion dollars passed in a few years. The “Project” previously wrote that Gordin is known as “a person from the environment of the Kovalchuk from their scientific times.”

Shelomov’s company is now registered at 38 on the 11th line of Vasilyevsky Island. The correspondent of the "Project" could not find the sign "Acceptance" neither outside nor inside the building. But there was an office with a sign "Management company Abrossia." When the Project correspondent asked the security guard to inform Tatyana Salova, General Director of Acceptance, of his arrival, he went to the Abrossia office. The telephone number of this company is the same as the telephone numbers of Arkonn and Businessross owned by the shareholder of Rossiya Bank Yuri Kovalchuk. Abrossia also previously operated the Igora resort, where Katerina Tikhonova, the youngest daughter of the president, and the son of the shareholder of Rossiya Bank, Kirill Shamalov, celebrated the wedding. Earlier, the share in "Abrossia" belonged to "Acceptance", and before him, Dmitry Mansurov - a member of the board of directors and manager of the bank "Russia", and Yuri and Tatyana Kovalchuk.

Another block of shares of “Russia” to Shelomov belongs through the company “Platinum” (2.1%). “Platinum” through the ownership structure was associated with the companies “Stick”, “Real-invest” and the Cyprus offshore company Ermira Investments Limited, under the control of which is the vodka brand “Putinka”. Earlier, RBC found Ermira Consultants Limited with Roldugin and SMP Bank, the owners of which are two more members of Putin’s inner circle - Arkady and Boris Rotenberg.

From the moment he appeared on the list of shareholders of Russia, Shelomov doubled his block of shares.

Now Putin’s nephew owns 8%. The cost of its share can be estimated in the corridor from 110 to 150 million dollars.

Shelomova's Acceptance also owns Sogaz-Real Estate and half of Igora Drive, which built a racing complex in the Priozersky District of the Leningrad Region. Sogaz-Real Estate owns a huge building with an area of ​​more than 7.3 thousand square meters in Cheboksary Lane in St. Petersburg, where the headquarters of Sogaz is located. In 2005, the St. Petersburg City Hall transferred this building to Sogaz under an investment project - a medical and health center. Nevertheless, now the building was owned by Shelomov, and Sogaz only rents it from its own shareholder. Based on the cost of rent and footage, even if Sogaz-Real Estate Shelomova leases 7 thousand square meters. m in this building, it can bring the company almost 400 million rubles a year ($ 6 million). The cost of the object can be estimated at 600 million rubles, or about $ 9 million.

The picture will be complete if you know that the Nomeko company has recently settled in the same building in Cheboksary Lane. She is engaged in the largest Russian project of a private multifunctional medical complex in Russian healthcare. One of the Nomeco shareholders is Maria Vorontsova, the eldest daughter of President Putin.

How Sogaz became a giant, and Shelomov became a billionaire

But the price of the shares of Rossiya Bank and other assets cannot be compared with the value of Shelomov's stake in Sogaz. In January 2018, the head of VTB’s board, Andrey Kostin, announced that the bank was in talks with Sogaz on the merger of the insurance business. The combined company was to become an unattainable leader - according to the results of 2017, the Sogaz and VTB Insurance groups took 1st and 5th places in the Russian market. In the fall of 2018, the deal was closed - Sogaz became the owner of VTB Insurance, and VTB received a 10% stake in Sogaz and cash compensation.

Shareholders of the Bank "Russia" and "Sogaz" - friends, acquaintances and relatives of Vladimir Putin

From VTB’s statements published in March 2019, it became known that the fair value of 10% of Sogaz’s shares is 55.8 billion rubles, and cash compensation is 14.6 billion rubles. At the same time, the bank announced a possible adjustment to the value of assets. In August 2019, in a new statement, VTB spoke about the finalization of the transaction - the cost of 10% of Sogaz's shares rose to 59.4 billion rubles, and cash compensation fell to 11 billion rubles.

Thus, the price of the entire Sogaz is 594 billion rubles, and the share of Acceptance in the insurance company is 74.1 billion rubles. If you subtract the debt of “Acceptance” from this amount (1 billion rubles at the end of 2018), then the net value of only Sogaz shares controlled by Shelomov is 73 billion rubles or $ 1.1 billion. Including shares of the Rossiya Bank (about $ 150 million), Shelomov’s fortune is $ 1.25 billion.

In the ranking of Russia's richest businessmen for Forbes magazine for 2019, Putin's nephew could take 81th place.


Shelomov worked at Sovcomflot until 2017 - he left shortly after Novaya Gazeta wrote about his business. Then the correspondent, phoning Shelomov, asked if he was the real owner of all the assets. Michael answered with a question to the question: “Are you very interested in knowing this?”

It became so interesting for the “Project” that, having passed through the FSO cordon at the entrance to Zarechye, we found ourselves in the ancestral village of Putin’s mother. The Shelomovs' house looks as if its owner does not yet know that he has become a dollar billionaire - a rickety, lined clapboard, surrounded by a low fence, with white carved platbands.

Several apple trees have been planted in the garden - they are looked after by Michael himself, who comes to Zarechye for a couple of days every week, and his wife does live there all summer from year to year. Mikhail himself repaired the foundation and repaired the fence; he himself shifted the stove. In the courtyard there is a bathhouse and the “Nuzhnik” built by the Sogaz shareholder - a rustic toilet without sewage, also lined with lining.

The situation in the home of a billionaire is very modest. Soviet furniture, oilcloth table. There is only one bedroom, there is a veranda and a kitchen. No heating and running water.

“Well, see for yourself. What billions? ”His relative says when we transfer to her numerous assets of Shelomov.

The rest of the time, Shelomov lives in Petersburg. His apartment is in the townhouse village on the outskirts of the city. He also still owns a stake in a communal apartment on Ryleyev Street, a 7-minute walk from Putin's communal apartment in Baskovoy Lane. Shelomov's communal apartment is still not settled.

Shelomov answers phone calls much less eagerly than two years ago. “There will be no comments,” he told the Project correspondent and hung up.