After Russia invaded Ukraine, we heard a lot of pining about imposing “sanctions” on Russia, including on Russian oligarchs. What if we told you that there are at least 45 Russian oligarchs who have not yet been sanctioned? Vicky Ward, in an investigative piece in Substack tells us that at least one of those oligarchs has ties to none other than one Hunter Biden.
Ward noted she received a document indicated that in 2012, while his father was serving as vice president, Hunter Biden was scheduled to meet with one of those unsanctioned Russian oligarchs, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, who owns a tech oriented conglomerate inclusive of Russian cellphone company MTS.
According to Private Eye, Yevtushenkov was “invited” to the Kremlin by Vladimir Putin and instructed “to work in solidarity with the government over the Ukraine crisis.”
It should be noted that Yevtushenkov is a friend and associate of a woman named Elena Baturina. Sound familiar? She was an investor in Hunter Biden’s firm Rosemont Realty at the time of the scheduled meeting between Yevtushenkov and Hunter Biden.
Biden’s close friend and business partner at the time, Devon Archer served as a liaison for Baturina at the firm, according to a source with direct knowledge, Ward wrote. It should be noted that Archer is currently serving a jail sentence for bond fraud.
Archer introduced Hunter to Baturina, who in term introduced him to the oligarch, according to two sources with knowledge of the meeting. According to a 2020 Senate Republican report, Baturina wired $3.5 million to “Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC” in 2014. Rosemont Seneca was a consulting company co-founded by Hunter and Archer.
Ward noted the document which she had possession of was written in Russian, however, was authenticated by an insider at Yevtushenkov’s company, Sistema. The source told ward the document was copied from the server “because they were concerned by what it showed.”
In that document, an itinerary shows Yevtushenkov and directors of his holding company, AFK Sistema for a visit to the United States from March 12, 2012, through March 15, 2012.
That itinerary included a breakfast on March 14, 2012, with Hunter Biden at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City, as well as a three-hour meeting the next day in Dallas with “Rosemont Realty,” to “review real estate portfolio Rosemont Realty.” [emphasis in original]
The point of contact for Hunter Biden was listed as Dan Burrell, whose email is listed as [email protected]. Burrell is a high-profile entrepreneur and venture capitalist, yet for some reason he is listed as Hunter Biden’s secretary. However the truth was Burrell was in fact the CEO of Rosemont Realty, headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, not Dallas. The company did maintain a small Dallas office consisting of three or four people.
According to sources close to Burrell who was authorized to speak on his behalf, he never met Yevtushenkov in Dallas or elsewhere, nor did Burrell have knowledge of a scheduled meeting between Hunter Biden and Yevtushenkov or anyone else at Rosemont Realty, which was sold by him in 2015.
According to a source familiar with Yevtushenkov, while he may not have stuck to the planned schedule, he did come to the United States. Ward noted that she was told by a Sistema spokesperson that Yevtushenkov’s meeting with Hunter Biden did take place, as a matter of “routine,” while noting the oligarch was looking for business opportunities. According to the spokesperson, there was no follow up after that meeting.
However a separate source said after Yevtushenkov left the U.S., he told colleagues, apparently quite excitedly, that he had been introduced to Hunter by Elena Baturina, who it should be noted was married to the late Yury Luzhkov, mayor of Moscow.
Yet another source told Ward that prior to March 2012, Archer asked Burrell, in Europe at the time meeting with investors, if he would meet Baturina, who was also looking to invest in the company. The meeting only lasted under a half hour and according to a “well-placed source,” Burrell never again met with Baturina.
It should be noted that Archer had been appointed to the board of Rosemont Realty in concert or as a consequence of his co-founding of Rosemont Capital with another politically connected offspring, Chris Heinz, son of John Kerry, former Democratic presidential candidate and Secretary of State under Obama. Burrell had worked for Kerry as a staff member on his political team. A source with knowledge of the transaction told Ward that Baturina eventually did invest in three of Rosemont Realty’s 117 properties.
Another source told Ward that Hunter Biden wasn’t at the Europe meeting, however Archer introduced him to Burrell and asked if he could join on the Rosemont Realty advisory board, to which Burrell agreed.
So there is a bit of background. Who exactly is Yevtushenkov? Ward tells us he is “the largest of Russia’s tech-oriented investors,” and his company Sistema AFK is traded on the London Stock Exchange.
It’s largest subsidiary MTS, a telecom company, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Ward noted Private Eye recently reported that MTS is currently being pressured, with Vodafone suspending its partnership after the Ukrainian invasion.
In order to avoid sanctions, Sistema reduced its MTS ownership in March to under fifty percent—49.94 percent. Yevtushenkov’s son Felix, however, remains chairman. Up until recently Sistema owned RTI, one of Russia’s largest defense contractors, however it is now controlled by the State.
Ward noted that Yevtushenkov wasn’t a stranger to the Global Economic Forum in Davos, having shown up several times with Ukraine’s former pro-Russia President, Viktor Yanukovych. A witness who spoke on condition of anonymity told Ward that Yevtushenkov has never spoken out publicly against Putin’s war in Ukraine. He was also one of a number of oligarchs summoned to the Kremlin by Putin as the war began.
So why then is Yevtushenkov still not sanctioned by the U.S., while he is by the U.K.? Of course, the British sanctions only happened recently after protests outside his London home.
Cars beep in support as protesters chant “Blood money, out of London!” at Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s mansion 31 Holland Park. He also owns 7 Holland Park Mews. Sistema Group produces combat drones for Russian military. Not sanctioned. @londonmaidan @UkrainianLondon pic.twitter.com/T1jp2FBekx
— Svitlana Pyrkalo (@pyrkalo) March 19, 2022
None of this explains why Yevtushenkov remains unsanctioned by the U.S. Perhaps neither the British nor U.S. governments are aware exactly how close Yevtushenkov is to Putin.
Back in 2014, Yevtushenkov was accused of money laundering and placed under house arrest, however was later cleared of charges. Apparently he and Putin have since repaired their relationship, Ward’s source told her, which even included spending a night together in a Siberian military facility during a snowstorm on two military camp cots in the same room.
All of this again begs the question…why does the United States and the Biden administration seem to be going so easy on Yevtushenkov? Does it have anything to do with the 2012 breakfast scheduled between him and Hunter Biden in New York City? Why is he one of 45 Russian oligarchs yet to be sanctioned?
Further, is it related to Baturina’s $3.5 million 2014 wire transfer to Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC, the company co-founded by Hunter Biden and Devon Archer?
Although according to a recent report in the Hunter Biden laptop-denying (until recently) Washington Post, Biden suggests that company was dissolved by the date Baturina wired the money and in a case of throwing his former friend and business partner under the bus, claims Archer arranged the wire.
Ward notes that in 2012, Yevtushenkov met with a number of CEOs of major companies, as well as investors—Steve Zide of Bain Capital, John Hess of Amerada-Hess, Bill Ford of General Atlantic, Mark Gollogy of Centerview Partners, and the former RNC financial chair Larry Bathgate, an attorney—plus Daniel McCrum, a journalist for the Financial Times.
The mystery centers around the three-hour meeting in Dallas which has no name attached to it. Ward wonders why Yevtushenkov had an entire morning scheduled with Rosemont Realty, mysteriously held not at its headquarters but at a satellite office, and why Burrell, clearly a much more important impactful player was listed as Hunter Biden’s secretary.
Also, what is the likelihood that Hunter Biden (unless he was on one of his crack benders) didn’t know what was going to occur in Texas the next morning after having breakfast with Yevtushenkov in New York the previous day?
Ward said she spoke to a Sistema spokesperson via email, who said that nobody “remembers who Sistema spoke with from Rosemont Realty in 2012,” noting it was one out of a number of meetings during “a crammed business trip that took place a long time ago.”
She reached out to Archer and Hunter Biden in emailed questions, however neither responded. However she noted that a person authorized to speak for Burrell claimed that both he and Gemini-Rosemont Realty (the name under which Rosemont realty now operates) “were very surprised to learn of the existence of at least one description on the internet misrepresenting that Archer had been the chairman of Rosemont Realty.”
Ward contacted the press office for the United States Treasury, where the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is located to query why Yevtushenkov has yet to be sanctioned by the Biden administration. She further noted the scheduled meetings he had with Hunter Biden and Rosemont realty; to nobody’s surprise she has yet to hear back. Likewise, she emailed Baturina’s foundation, same (non) response.
So all of this begs the question. Why haven’t Yevtushenkov and the other 44 Russian oligarchs yet been sanctioned by the Biden administration? Especially Yevtushenkov. One need only look at the history of the Biden crime family and their deep ties to assets in China, Ukraine, and Russia to seriously wonder if perhaps there isn’t more to this. After all with the Biden’s, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
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