Igor Yusufov and close connection with the authorities. What unites the oligarch with Dmitry Medvedev

In many post-Soviet countries, oligarchs are officially the fourth branch of government. It seems that no one is even hiding this. People with deep pockets do things that others are not allowed to do.

This is already perceived as the norm, and no one is making any attempts to disrupt the hegemony of the oligarchic regime.

Ordinary citizens feel powerless in front of businessmen who have everything they want: luxury cars, luxury apartments and mansions. The pinnacle of status is having your own planes and yachts. Every self-respecting oligarch at the top of the Forbes list must certainly have a ship worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. This is not what is surprising, what is surprising is when officials live by the canons of the most successful businessmen. Officially, Igor Yusufov is a billionaire included in the Forbes rating, but in fact, although he is far from the poorest person, in his fortune he conceals the wealth of the famous politician Dmitry Medved, which we will talk about in our material. 

From official to oligarch

Igor Yusufov’s career did not start with business. On the contrary, immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yusufov began to successfully advance along the line of power. Since 1991, he served as deputy chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Economic Interests of Russia. The pinnacle of his political career was the position of Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, which he held for three years from 2001 to 2004. At that time, Mikhail Kasyanov was Prime Minister, and Vladimir Putin had just been elected to his first term. 

After leaving power, Yusufov did not move away from officials; on the contrary, he began to communicate especially closely with Dmitry Medvedev, who took the post of First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Fradkov.

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Dmitry Medvedev with Mikhail Fradkov

Yusufov himself followed his own profile - energy. Until 2013, the former minister worked on the board of directors of Gazprom. In 2008, Yusufov was ready to create his own business. Logins’ salaries at Gazprom were apparently no longer enough to live on, so the official took a risk and established the Energy Fund.

"Energy" is a highly classified company. It is impossible to find anything about it in the register: both financial indicators and information about the founders of the enterprise are hidden. The director of the company is Dmitry Rambovsky. There is no public information about him, but the last time he was mentioned was the commercial director of Energia. 


Dmitry Rambovsky

From the company’s website you can find out that Energia is engaged in investments in the field of oil and gas production. 


Screenshot from the Energy Foundation website

Read more:Who will have their property taken away for “fakes”?

For some reason, the company “forgot” about its profitable gold mining projects. This did not become strange for us, because some not entirely pure details are revealed there.

Golden fever

Let’s not lie, and let’s say right away: from the very beginning of Energia’s work, Yusufov has constantly used connections in power, which he established over many years of work in the government and state-owned companies. In 2019, Severouralsk Mining Company LLC, controlled by Yusufov, received the right to mine gold in the Sverdlovsk region. The area that was given to Yusufov’s enterprise was very tasty, because according to experts, the gold deposit there was estimated at 600 kilograms. Of course, any ordinary person would not have been able to obtain such a plot of land for gold mining, but Yusufov, using his connections, achieved his goal. And it’s not that simple. The Severouralsk Mining Company existed until December 2020, and was liquidated. 


Data about SUGC from open sources

Where is the money? - you ask. An obvious question. They evaporated, or to be more precise, they went offshore. SUGK, through shell companies, belonged to Industry Investments Su Limited. But not all the ends in this story are “lost.” Thanks to the director of the Severouralsk Mining Company, Yegor Bogdanov, the following fact can be established: at the same time, another very similar enterprise, the New Ore Company, was created with SUGK. 


Egor Bogdanov on the website of the New Ore Company

As a result, we have 2 similar companies: one was liquidated, and all the profits from it were transferred to offshore companies. What about the New Ore Company? The situation there is even worse. For 2021, the company showed revenue of 70 thousand rubles. At the same time, the business loss amounted to 205 million. The logical question would be why keep such an unprofitable business. The logic is that the business is not actually unprofitable, it’s just that all the company’s flows go “by the cash register”, straight into the owners’ pockets. The company will exist for another year or two and will go bankrupt. And in its place something else will appear. 

Igor Yusufov against the Internet

In January 2019, the Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow registered a lawsuit by Igor Yusufov against the entire Internet. That is, Yusufov demanded that the courts remove not some specific material from a particular site, but in general everything that he did not like on the Internet. This activity of the oligarch was not accidental. Half a year earlier, criminal authority Aslan Gagiev was deported from Austria to Russia. His gang was responsible for more than 60 contract killings. 


Aslan Gagiev

Gagiev’s organized crime group was accused, among other things, of the contract killing of the former owner of the German shipyards Wadan Yards, Andrei Burlakov. Yusufov was suspected of ordering the businessman. Therefore, it is logical that after the arrest of the criminal, the oligarch sounded the alarm. In addition to a very harmless way to cleanse himself, Gagiev had suspicions that after extradition to Russia he would be killed. But apparently everyone in this story was lucky. Yusufov managed to hush up the topic, Gagiev remained alive. 

I don’t mind spending 100 million dollars on a yacht for a friend

Igor Yusufov can be grateful to Dmitry Medvedev in many ways. As we already recalled, their friendship began when Medvedev took the post of First Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation. From that time on, the official, who was subsequently elected President of Russia, helped Yusufov in every possible way to develop his own energy business. 

And this is not strange, because the shadow shareholder of Yusufov’s business projects is the former President of Russia himself. Due to the fact that he is constantly in positions of power, he does not have the right to engage in business. But this does not mean that Medvedev has no business. It is Yusufov’s energy company that is directly connected with the official. 

As dividends for the investment, Yusufov registered a yacht for himself, which in fact belongs to Medvedev. The luxurious 77-meter “Universe” is registered to the offshore company Southerner Ltd in the Cayman Islands. Now a yacht worth 100 million dollars is “hiding” from European and American sanctions in friendly Turkey. 

There is a description of the superyacht on the manufacturer’s official website.


A luxury ship that only billionaires and... Russian officials can afford. 

Why were Yusufov not affected by sanctions?

This is a really good question. The fact is that he officially does not have a business. In September 2021, he removed himself from the registers as the founder of his business, Energy. 


The nominal owner of the energy company is offshore companies, which in turn are registered under the name of dummy persons. It is obvious to everyone that this is a manipulation to circumvent possible sanctions and freezing of assets. But Europeans and Americans are people of the system. Guess alone is not enough for them to impose sanctions. Every fact needs to be double-checked and confirmed. 

Therefore, Igor Yusufov has so far managed to circumvent sanctions, but his luck will not last forever.