The first deputy director of the FSB, Sergei Korolev, and members of his family own executive cars worth tens of millions of rubles, real estate worth a hundred million and fly on business jets, and his old friend Valery Bitaev played the role of an intermediary between the “siloviki” and entrepreneurs, they say in a new investigation “Important stories”.
Sergei Korolev, according to the publication, is one of the most promising personnel; the FSB calls him a possible contender for the position of director of the special services. He has been in the service of the state for more than 20 years, but his declarations have never been published. The level of his official income could hardly exceed 11 million rubles, according to journalists who cite the income of his predecessor for 2019 (this was the last year when the FSB released the declarations of the leadership).
At the same time, General Korolev and his relatives own premium cars. Sergey Korolev had a Porsche Cayenne as of 2021, his St. Petersburg relative Tatyana Koroleva had a Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo and Mercedes Benz G Klasse, his son Boris had a Mercedes Benz AMG G63 and Lexus LX. The total cost of cars, according to journalists, is about 30 million rubles.
Boris Korolev, at the age of 23 (in 2019), also flew around Russia with business jets of the Jet Air Group, “Important Stories” found out. In 2019, the flights of this company for members of the Moscow government cost 2.1 million rubles per hour. Boris also owned a cottage in the village of Lesnaya Bukhta near Moscow (similar houses are estimated at about 25 million rubles) and an apartment of 190 square meters. meters in the prestigious residential complex “House on Composer” in the center of Moscow (similar apartments are sold at a price of about 100 million rubles), according to the investigation.
Friends and colleagues of Korolev told the publication that Valery Bitaev, a former military man, a hero of the Angolan civil war, and then a businessman and regional official, was considered his trusted person in business. He is called one of the most famous specialists in relations with the “siloviki”, namely with the FSB.
“People who crossed paths with Bitaev recall that he often referred to the name of the general when resolving commercial issues and played the role of an intermediary between the “siloviki” and entrepreneurs,” the investigation says.
Bitaev was not a big businessman. However, he received 23% in the Citadel company, which by the end of 2018 had become the largest supplier of SORM equipment for operators. He was brought to the market by billionaire Alisher Usmanov. According to the publication, in 2018-2021, the company’s net profit exceeded 22 billion rubles, more than 5 billion rubles fell on Bitaev’s stake. Bitaev’s acquaintances told reporters that his role was to ensure “normal interaction with the FSB.”
In 2018, Citadel acquired 51% of Bastion, an IT startup of the general’s son, Boris Korolev. The firm was registered just three months before the deal. Already in 2019, Boris Korolev began using business jets.
“Not only Usmanov needed to negotiate with Lubyanka. Other entrepreneurs also needed this and were not opposed to giving a large share in the business to a member of the Bitaev family. Especially if they found themselves in a critical situation,” the publication claims.
Bitaev and his relatives had very diverse businesses: from the supply of frozen fish for the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) to oil refining in the Moscow region. “However, recently, according to the source of” Important Stories “in the FSB, Korolev tried not to accept Bitaev in the office.
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