The talent and success of Putin’s friends
“The influence of Shmeleva is amazing. Ministers and heads of major companies come to her meeting in Sochi at the first invitation. She can easily call anyone. Shmeleva lives in Sochi, but she often visits Moscow. She has her own office in the building of the presidential administration on Staraya Square, ” presents Elena Shmeleva to viewers of Channel One Vladimir Pozner.
According to The Insider, Shmeleva regularly uses Hyundai and BMW cars assigned to the presidential administration. In fact, Shmeleva has no reason to get an office in the building of the Presidential Administration and for official cars – she is not in the civil service, but only heads the private fund “Talent and Success”.
Talent and Success runs the Sirius Center, one of Vladimir Putin’s favorite brainchildren. The co-owner of the fund is the cellist Sergei Roldugin, a close friend and the keeper of Putin’s offshore capital. Shmeleva was called the “administrator” of financial flows. Thanks to the support of the authorities “Sirius” became the largest owner of real estate in Sochi, he got hotels, ice arenas, many buildings and land plots for free. According to The Insider’s calculations based on official reports, the property of the fund and its subsidiaries is valued at more than 71 billion rubles.
In addition, the fund, patronized by Putin, receives support from the budget and government contracts. 31 billion rubles were allocated as subsidies to Talent and Success and Sirius University. The money comes from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Education and Science. On state orders, the fund, together with the controlled structures, spent 823 million rubles. For example, 172 million rubles under a contract with the Sochi mayor’s office cost works on the maintenance of territories within the boundaries of the Olympic Park in the Imeritinskaya lowland. For 3 million rubles premises at “Sirius” rented bailiffs. Putin’s love for the Roldugin-Shmeleva private foundation is so strong that Sirius singled out into a separate federal territory with its own authorities and budget.
Scheme with an apartment
Formally, all the expensive properties of the Talent and Success Foundation do not apply to Elena Shmeleva personally. Gathering to the State Duma, she declared a relatively modest income of 9 million rubles and an apartment in Moscow and St. Petersburg. As The Insider found out, Shmeleva owns elite real estate in the center of Moscow, which she could not afford with an official salary. But she didn’t have to pay – she got an apartment in a prestigious place as a result of a combination with state property.
“I have a son, he is already 20 years old,” – spoke Shmeleva RT in 2018. The interview was dedicated to the work of Putin’s headquarters in the presidential elections, which was co-chaired by Shmeleva. The Insider established the name of Shmeleva’s son. His name is Malkov Maxim Nikolaevich, he bears the name of his father.