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    December 22, 2015

    The Money Revolution: Khodorkovsky's Open Russia Receives Offshore Funding

    Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
    22nd December, 2015

    During a recent press conference the former head of Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said that the "only" way forward for Russia is the organization of a revolutionary change of power. From the investigation by the lawyer Ilya Craft, you will learn how Khodorkovsky organized the scheme of financing "Open Russia", what resources it possesses to organize mass unrest and who actively helps Khodorkovsky in the activities of the project.

    Estonian firm

    Recent investigations by NTV revealed that accounts of the Estonian company MTÜ, belonging to opposition activists associated with "Open Russia", have transferred substantial amounts of money. Formally, this firm has no relation between Khodorkovsky and its 'issued by nominee Directors'.

    However, by using open sources, it became clear that this company, registered in Estonia, has a very direct relationship to "Open Russia". It is listed as the official developer of the application networking project of Khodorkovsky in the App Store.

    And here is another great app from the Estonian company, established to "monitor the elections".

    Judging by the description, this app was created with the participation of the "GOLOS" association, which is technically not associated with "Open Russia", however, almost completely overlaps with the objectives of the Khodorkovsky project within the electoral field.

    Apparently, in connection with the disclosure of information by NTV, one of the sources responsible of financing Khodorkovsky decided to liquidate the Estonian company.

    Today, the head of the Estonian company, who replaced the former leader, is a professional liquidator specializing in such services. But it would be shortsighted to believe that MTÜ is the only source of foreign financing projects of Khodorkovsky in Russia.

    Gentlemen of the British and American lobbyists

    Estonian history is a mere trifle when compared with the financing of "Open Russia" from the UK.

    Obviously, employees and partners of Khodorkovsky did everything to hide his personal involvement in the financing. For one anonymous firm, at command of the owners, information was hidden. But to establish the true beneficiary of this intricate scheme, first let me remind you that according to the documents shown to NTV, through the British company "Corbiere Private Office Limited Service", employees of "Open Russia" were paid according to respective formal agreements.

    The registration card of this company on the British registry of legal entities:

    The total assets of the firm for 2014 was $2,644,943.

    The registered address of the company and MBK IP UK Limited, who designed websites for Khodorkovsky and trademarks, is the same. The Secretary of Rysaffe International Services Limited, and the leadership (Kelvin Mark Hudson) of Champness Limited also coincides with MBK IP UK Limited. All officials of the company are controlled by the English service of nominated Directors Saffery Champness, with Kelvin Mark Hudson being a partner of the firm.

    This may be a coincidence. But it so happens that there is other indisputable evidence that Khodorkovsky has a direct relationship to the British company - "the orchestrator" of the funds.

    Lobbyist trust Khodorkovsky

    The founder of Corbiere Private Office Limited  is another offshore-trust - Corbiere Trust Company Limited. The company was prudently made in jurisdiction where it is impossible to obtain information about the owner.

    But it turns out that this company is the customer services of the American company Orion Strategies LLC lobbyist in the U.S. Senate.

    Let me remind you that lobbying in the understanding of American law is the impact on the public authorities for the purpose of making the right customer decisions.

    What solutions were planned to obtain money from the authorities of the United States?

    In the "activities" column for the listed company it states "Asset Management including Khodorkovsky's legal defense". On the subject of lobbying: "the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Russia", something that so often spoken about by the American establishment.

    Only one application of this lobbyist was received, to the amount of 180 000 US dollars. What it was spent on remains anyone's guess.

    Who is the company-lobbyist Orion Strategies? It and its leader are well-known overseas. The head of the company is "warhawk-neocon" Randy Scheunemann, team member of John McCain, who actively supported the US invasion of Iraq, providing services to the Soros Foundation "open society" and Governor Sarah Palin.

    After this active lobbying in Congress, the "Magnitsky act", the anti-Russian sanctions and other solutions seem a more logical and holistic phenomenon than previously thought.

    One source of money

    But perhaps Khodorkovsky is not directly related to the American lobby? Maybe that is a responsibility solely given to his foreign colleagues?

    From the application of the lobbyist, we learn that the company is owned by another trust, the "Corbiere Trust". This trust was listed in the history of financing "expertise" in the Yukos case, where "legalized" means "Yukos" was transferred through the intermediary structures of the Russian experts "under the guise of donations from foundations and individuals, as well as under the guise of payments for the fulfilled works and services". On behalf of the company, the Corbiere Trust fund was transferred to the lawyer Anton Drill.

    On the basis of documents submitted to the administration of the city of Miami, it is likely that the beneficiary of the trust (and, therefore, the person controlling this company and who established it) is  Mikhail Khodorkovsky personally.

    This trust, in turn, is part of the Quadrum group Fund SPC Atlantic, whose assets are estimated at more than $ 2 billion dollars (!) and include significant areas of commercial real estate in the USA, the UK, Ukraine and Georgia. Among the co-owners of the Fund is five trusts registered at Guernsey Island. Surprise: beneficiaries showed "former" partners of Khodorkovsky on "Yukos": Platon Lebedev, Vladimir Dubov and Mikhail Brudno.

    Also do not forget that in the foreign accounts of Yukos in 2003 were almost $10 billion of retained earnings, which have not been levied.

    Foreign financing of the "Open Russia" and lobbying activities of Khodorkovsky in the US

    Four key findings:

    1. The ultimate beneficiary of the "Open Russia" companies, with accounts which are in violation of the law of funding in Russia, is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who hides this information.

    2. The company Khodorkovsky actively collaborates with are influential U.S. lobbyists, the entree into the American elite, who are defending hard anti-Russian positions.

    3. Khodorkovsky has at his disposal the enormous financial and administrative resources which he controls with the help of partners of "Yukos".

    4. His words about "the inevitability of the revolution" in Russia is supported by a serious financial base. 

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