- Yuri Kovalchuk and Vladimir Putin’s friendship traces back to their time in the Ozero Dacha cooperative, where both owned country houses. This connection formed during Putin’s tenure as the deputy mayor of St. Petersburg.
- As Putin rose to the presidency, the careers of several cooperative members, including Kovalchuk, saw significant advancements, underscoring the influence of this association.
- Yury KovalChuk Assets: Portfolio includes a fortune of $2 billion
- Currently, Kovalchuk holds the prominent position of the largest shareholder in Rossiya Bank and maintains a substantial stake in the Sogaz insurance company.
- He also exercises control over the National Media Group, an investment firm with commanding interests in key Russian media assets.
- Despite facing sanctions from the U.S. and the EU in 2014, along with a group of individuals close to Putin, Kovalchuk’s influence remains substantial.
- In a strategic move in December 2021, Sogaz acquired a 45% stake in MF Technologies, the controlling entity of VK, a major Russian internet company, further consolidating Kovalchuk’s presence in critical sectors of the Russian economy.
Outline of Diverse Portfolio of Yury Kovalchuk Assets
Role as chairman and major shareholder
Yury Kovalchuk holds the pivotal role of chairman and primary stakeholder in Rossiya Bank, recognized as the personal financial institution for top officials within the Russian Federation.
Kovalchuk’s connection with Rossiya Bank traces its roots back to 1991, when he assumed the position of deputy chairman on the bank’s board of directors. In 2004, he ascended to the roles of chairman and predominant shareholder, steering the bank through an era of expansion and spearheading significant ventures. This included the bank’s strategic move to acquire a substantial stake in Sogaz, a state-run insurance company in which Kovalchuk also holds partial ownership.
Control over Sogas and SK Transneft
Yury Kovalchuk, holding the primary stake in Rossiya Bank, wields considerable influence over key assets, including Sogaz and SK Transneft. Rossiya Bank, where Kovalchuk holds the majority of shares, is recognized as a pivotal institution catering to some of Russia’s wealthiest individuals. Notably, it oversees major insurance entities like Sogaz and SK Transneft.
These affiliations underscore Kovalchuk’s substantial sway and command in Russia’s financial and insurance domains. His active participation in these enterprises emphasizes his significant role in the nation’s financial framework and his close connections to influential business ventures.
National Media Group (NMG)
Yury Kovalchuk isn’t directly linked to the Nation Media Group (NMG). Established by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1959, NMG aimed to champion the interests of the African majority in the lead-up to independence from colonial rule in December 1963.
NMG stands as the most prominent independent media house in East and Central Africa, maintaining offices in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Its activities span the publication, printing, and distribution of newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television broadcasting.
In 2015, NMG entered a joint venture with the US Discovery Channel, resulting in the creation of Media Alliance. This collaborative effort focuses on producing and distributing factual and lifestyle programming throughout Africa.
While Yury Kovalchuk doesn’t have a direct association with NMG, the company’s extensive operations and collaborative ventures underscore its considerable influence in the media landscape of East and Central Africa.
National Media Group (NMG): Yury Kovalchuk serves as the founder and proprietor of NMG, a company with stakes in six federal TV channels, notably including Russia’s premier Channel One TV station. Notably, in 2015, NMG collaborated with the US Discovery Channel to establish a joint venture known as Media Alliance, with NMG holding an 80% share in this venture.
Real Estate Holdings
Bolshoi Dom 9 LLC and Baltic Construction Company–St. Petersburg JSC
Bolshoi Dom 9 LLC, situated at 4 Liteyny Avenue in Saint Petersburg, Russia, functions as the headquarters for the local branches of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) and the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast. Originally constructed in 1931–32, it served as the Joint State Political Directorate (OGPU), the Soviet Union’s secret police. This Soviet-era architectural gem, designed in the late Constructivist style, is part of a larger complex that includes a detention facility on Shpalernaya Street, infamous as a prison during Joseph Stalin’s Great Purge.
As for the Baltic Construction Company—St. Petersburg JSC, it boasts extensive experience and technical expertise, specializing in a comprehensive range of zero-cycle activities. These encompass everything from pit development to water drainage systems.
‘Fishermen’s hut’ Property
Nestled deep in the woodlands of Karelia, a northern Russian region, lies the opulent “Fishermen’s Hut” property—a lavish dacha often colloquially referred to by locals as “Putin’s dacha” or holiday home. This luxurious retreat is associated with Yury Kovalchuk and his son Boris Kovalchuk, prominent Putin allies and major stakeholders in Bank Rossiya.
In 2016, a report from the now-banned Russian outlet TV Rain disclosed that Yury Kovalchuk, a close confidant of Putin, acquired the land. The residence and its expansive land plot were officially registered as assets under Yuri Kovalchuk’s name.
The Fishermen’s Hut complex boasts extravagant features, including bidets priced at $10,800 each, shower heads at $4,600 apiece, and flooring adorned with Fior di Bosco marble worth a staggering $110,000. Notably, an indoor pool with a decorative waterfall cascading from the first floor adds to the grandeur of the property.
Leaked emails from two construction companies, obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Russian-language news site Meduza, provide a glimpse into the development of this remarkable estate. The investigation conducted by OCCRP/Meduza underscores that both the residence and the associated land plot were officially registered as business assets of Yuri Kovalchuk, a key associate of Putin and the principal shareholder of Bank Rossiya.
This revelation paints a more vivid picture of the Fishermen’s Hut complex, showcasing its extravagant features and further solidifying its connection to Yury Kovalchuk, Putin’s ally, and a major figure in the financial landscape.
New Jersey Mansion
Yury Kovalchuk is linked to a stunning residence in Alpine, New Jersey, commonly known as the “Kovalchuk Castle” or “Kovalchuk Mansion.“
This French chateau-inspired property dubbed the Kovalchuk Castle, was erected in 2010 on a 2-acre parcel that Yury Kovalchuk and his wife, Nicole Andrazajtis, acquired for $4.5 million.
Situated at 10 Frick Drive, this mansion has graced the market multiple times since 2019, initially with a price tag of $17.99 million.
Boasting 25 rooms, including eight bedrooms, 11 full bathrooms, and three powder rooms, the property exudes luxury. Its features encompass a formal living room, a spacious dining area fit for banquets, a chef’s kitchen, a prep kitchen, a walk-in pantry, and dedicated wine storage.
The finished basement adds to the allure, housing a lounge, a theater, a bar, and a one-bedroom guest suite. The mansion is further enhanced by an indoor pool, a plunge pool, meticulously landscaped gardens featuring a pergola, and an elevator connecting the basement to the third floor.
Presently, this opulent property is listed at $14.9 million.
Yury Kovalchuk, a Russian billionaire and close associate of Vladimir Putin, was reportedly seen on a yacht with Putin during the Scarlet Sails festival in St. Petersburg in June 2023. Despite this, details about any additional yachts in Kovalchuk’s possession remain elusive.
Yury Kovalchuk is not directly linked to particular aircraft, such as Falcon 7X business jets. However, it’s known that a Russian legal entity, Helios, possesses a fleet of aircraft utilized by Putin’s inner circle.
This fleet comprises:
- Two Dassault Falcon 7X business jets, one serving in the exclusive Rossiya flying squadron for top government officials.
- A Dassault Falcon 8X jet and a Dassault Falcon 900LX jet.
- A new Russian Tu-204.
- Two AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters.
- Two French-German Eurocopter EC 145 helicopters.
- Four Russian Mi-8 helicopters.
Although Kovalchuk isn’t directly associated with specific aircraft like Falcon 7X business jets, it’s clear he has ties to a fleet used by high-ranking officials and Vladimir Putin’s associates.
This article will be regularly updated to reflect new developments and insights.