After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a number of Russian businessmen and former officials received Kyrgyz citizenship. The Moscow Times writes about this with reference to the decree of the President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Zhaparov, signed at the end of October 2022.
“The latest presidential decree on admission to the citizenship of the republic included about fifty residents of the capital region and the same number of people from other parts of Russia,” the newspaper notes. Some receive a passport along with their wives and children.
So, the passport of Kyrgyzstan was received by Dmitry Zelenin, the full namesake of the former governor of the Tver region, as well as the full namesake of Natalia Barshchevskaya, the daughter of Mikhail Barshevsky, the plenipotentiary representative of the Russian government in the highest judicial instances.
The list also includes the full namesake of the founder of the Bitzlato crypto exchange, Anton Shkurenko, and the probable sons of the businessman, the owner of Fragrant World, Valery Zadorin, Alexander and Mikhail. Zadorin himself was born in Bishkek. The telegram channel LAWSTONE drew attention to this.
Former Moscow financier Mikhail Zhukhovitsky wrote on his Facebook page that in order to obtain a European passport from a Russian, there is only one scenario – an intermediate passport of one of the countries of Central Asia. “Then on top of it is an island passport, visa-free for the EU. Or Turkey – you have a few more months before the program closes. That’s it. Nothing else. I understand that becoming a Pole is much more honorable for some than a Kyrgyz. this is a sucker,” Zhukhovitsky said.
The telegram channel Baza wrote that the citizenship of Kyrgyzstan was also received by the former commissioner of the Nashi youth movement Maria Drokova (Bushehr), whose name is listed in the corresponding decree. According to the publication, Drokova has been living in the USA for some time, where she founded a venture fund. In December 2022, The Washington Post reported that Drokova had taken an interest in the FBI, suspecting that her foundation might be linked to sanctioned Russian billionaires. She herself denied it.
In a comment to Radio Azattyk, Ilya Shumanov, director of Transparency International’s representative office in Russia, said that “the Russian elite uses Kyrgyzstan as a legal way to enter the world.”
“This may mean that Kyrgyzstan was chosen as one of the jurisdictions that helps to get a second passport. And accordingly, this second passport actually removes restrictions on travel around the world, on doing business, and moreover, apparently, simplifies compliance and banking – in principle, life simplifies for any person,” he said.
Shumanov also believes that there may be a corruption component in issuing a Kyrgyz passport to Russians. According to him, intermediaries have now appeared in Kyrgyzstan, including from the Russian side, who offer to obtain citizenship of the country under a shortened procedure (from six to nine months). The cost of such a service, as Shumanov said, ranges from $5,000 to $30,000.
Neither the Kyrgyz nor the Russian side have yet commented on all these publications and assumptions. According to official data, in 2022, the President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov issued 18 decrees “On admission to the citizenship of the Kyrgyz Republic”, according to which 4,545 people became Kyrgyzstanis, and 591 people renounced their citizenship.
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