Ukrainska Pravda journalists have found that several villas on France's Côte d'Azur (the French Riviera) are linked to Russian oligarchs Farkhad Akhmedov, Andrei Melnichenko, the Rotenberg brothers, the Sarkisov brothers, Aleksandr Ponomarenko, Musa Bazhaev, Viktor Rashnikov, Andrei Kozitsyn, and Ivan Steshynsky, who is close to Alisher Usmanov [a Russian businessman and oligarch, one of the world's 100 wealthiest people - ed.].
Source: Part two of the Ukrainska Pravda investigation about the Côte d'Azur property owned by Russian elite
Details: Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov owns a large mansion in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, one of the most expensive corners of the French Riviera. The EU has imposed sanctions on Akhmedov, but the French mansion is registered under his ex-wife and children, who are not subject to the EU sanctions. Akhmedov was recently involved in a scandal involving a recording criticising Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The brothers Rotenberg's family likely owns three properties on the French coast, including Villa Shoshana in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat owned by one of Putin’s closest friends and allegedly his financier, Arkady Rotenberg.
As French registers state, Arkady's brother Boris and his wife are registered at an address in the centre of Monaco. However, Monaco's registers are closed to the public, so it is impossible to confirm whether they have a home there.
The third property of the Rotenberg family is located between Monaco and Nice in the town of Eze. Boris Rotenberg owns this villa, and it has been frozen by the French authorities.
Aleksandr Ponomarenko's entourage also owns a plot in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Ponomarenko is one of the owners of the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. Construction has been suspended at the site, presumably because of the sanctions.
Ukrainska Pravda found that Russian millionaire Musa Bazhaev, who has made his fortune working in oil, platinum and construction businesses, owns a property nearby. The property has been seized by French authorities.
The family of one of the richest people in Russia, metallurgist Viktor Rashnikov, also owns two villas in the area. The Rolling Stones lived in one of the villas in 1971.
A Cannes villa called Philosophy is owned by the parents of Kremlin oligarch Andrei Melnichenko.
Melnichenko was one of the oligarchs who came to meet Putin on the first day of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. A month earlier, the company-proprietary of the oligarch’s parents’ villa was liquidated. The villa of Melnichenko himself, located in a 10-minute drive from Cannes at Cape Antibes, was arrested, but the estate in Cannes was not.
Andrei Kozitsyn, who until July 2022 worked as the General Director of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company and resigned due to sanctions imposed by the European Union, managed to acquire an estate and premises in the house in Cannes. Since Kozitsyn fell under sanctions, all this property is now under arrest.
Villa Elina in the town of Villefranche-sur-Mer near Nice belongs to the company of the wife of Ivan Streshinsky, a top manager and close ally of the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov.
Streshinsky became a dollar billionaire in 2021 after Usmanov transferred part of the shares to him. Due to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he [Usmanov - ed.] was sanctioned by the United States in April 2023 along with his wife, as were the companies of Usmanov's group. After falling under US sanctions, Streshinsky left the boards of directors of Usmanov's companies. Streshinsky has not yet fallen under EU sanctions.
Another villa near Monaco in the town of Èze, according to the French register, belongs to the entourage of one of the richest families in Russia: brothers Sergei and Nikolai Sarkisovs.
The Sarkisov brothers have nearly the most luxurious real estate among representatives of the Russian elite in France. In the first part of the investigation on the Russian elite on the Cote d'Azur, Ukrainska Pravda mentioned the historical palace, which belongs to the family of the Sarkisov brothers.
Previously, a number of Sarkisov chalets were found in Courchevel, a ski resort in the French Alps.
Among the neighbours of the Sarkisovs in France, Ukrainska Pravda managed to find Kamil Askenderov, the brother of the Head of the Parliament of the Republic of Dagestan, Zaur Askenderov. Initially, the company that purchased the apartments was owned by Zaur Askenderov himself and his wife. However, after the politician got into the State Duma of the Russian Federation in 2012, the property was reassigned to his brother.
Previously: Last week, Ukrainska Pravda shared part one of the investigation, revealing that members of the Russian elite own property in St Tropez, Cannes, Antibes, and Nice on France’s Côte d'Azur. Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich, Suleiman Kerimov, Aleksandr Nesis, Mihail Maslov, Andrei Melnichenko, Vladimir Chernuhin, Oleg Deripaska, Ildar Yunusov (father to Timoti, a popular Russian performer and socialite), Gennady Timchenko, Igor Hudokormov, Vadim Moshkovich, Leonid Fedun, and Sergei and Nikolai Sarkisov.