Convoy, The private “military security” company reportedly received financial backing from entities associated with Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg and from VTB, as revealed by the journalists of the “Dosije” project.
“Convoy” Military Security
A private security company in Russia, known as “Convoy,” has reportedly received significant funding from influential individuals and institutions. This includes support from Sergei Aksyonov, a prominent figure in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia. Additionally, funding has been provided by Arkady Rotenberg, an oligarch closely associated with President Vladimir Putin, and the state-owned Russian bank VTB. This information is presented in the investigation conducted by the Dossier Center, a non-commercial project led by Russian opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which was published in mid-August.
Based on the documents uncovered by journalists during their investigation, it was discovered that on October 16, 2022, the “Ai-Petri” sanatorium made a generous donation of 120 million rubles to the “Cossack” company “Convoy” (equivalent to approximately 12 million dollars).
The private “military security” company “Convoj” was established in January 2015, as stated in the published material. Investigators have reported that in 2018, the “Ai-Petri” sanatorium underwent privatization and came under the ownership of oligarch Arkady Rotenberg.
Payments from the VTB account
We have received payments from the VTB account. Furthermore, as reported by “Dosije,” a significant amount of funds were transferred between accounts in September and October 2022. The first transfer of 100 million rubles occurred on September 28, 2022, from the VTB charity fund account to the “Convoy” account. Subsequently, on October 5, 2022, an additional 100 million rubles (equivalent to approximately $10 million) were transferred from VTB, a majority state-owned Russian bank.
Based on the reports from journalists involved in the investigation, it appears that several additional payments were made by unrelated fuel companies, which have no affiliation with the private military security company.
Neli Šatova, the general director of the “Management Company of Infrastructure Projects” associated with the sanatorium, refrained from commenting on the information provided to her by journalists. Rotenberg has yet to respond to the published claims of the Dossier investigation. The file center also reached out to the press service of VTB regarding the size and purpose of donations to Convoy, but unfortunately, no response was received.
In the Kherson region, the combat area of a private military security company is situated, as reported by journalists.Investigative findings suggest that the company known as “Convoy” maintains a base in Crimea near the village of Perevalne.
The headquarters of this private military security company experienced a significant rise in personnel, with the number of individuals increasing from 261 at the start of 2023 to around 400 fighters by the summer of that year, as reported by “Dosije.” A text presenting the investigation results provides an overview of the organization, describing it as a unique blend of different ideologies.
By July 1, all “volunteer units” operating on the front in Ukraine must enter into contracts with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, as mandated by an order signed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on June 10. The Russian authorities often use the term “volunteer units” to describe private military companies. This terminology is employed because of the current legal restriction on private military companies in Russia. As a result, Russian officials choose to categorize these entities as “volunteer units” in order to comply with existing legislation.