Monitoring Expert Group
Home News Reports Contacts -

Bortnikov Alexander Vasilyevich, Russian FSB Director

Chaika Yuri Yakovlevich, General Prosecutor

Fradkov Mikhail Efimovich, Foreign Intelligence Service Director

Fursenko Andrei Alexandrovich, Minister of Education and Science

Ivanov Victor Petrovich, head of Federal Drug Control Service

Ivanov Sergei Borisovich, Deputy Chairman of RF Government

Khristenko Victor Borisovich, Minister of Industry and Trade and Golikova Tatyana, Minister of Health and Social Development

Kudrin Alexei Leonidovich, ex-Minister of Finance

Levitin Igor Yevgenievich, Minister of Transport and Communication

Murov Evgeny Alexeyevich, Federal Protective Service director

Mutko Vitaly Leontievich, Minister of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy

Nabiullina Elvira Sahipzadovna, Minister of Economic Development

Patrushev Nikolai Platonovich, Security Council Secretary

Serdyukov Anatoly Eduardovich, Defense Minister

Shoigu Sergei Kuzhugetovich, Minister of Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Disaster Relief

Shuvalov Igor Ivanovich, Governments First Deputy Chairman

Skrynnik Elena Borisovna, Minister of Agriculture

Stepashin Sergei Vladimirovich, Accounts Chamber Chairman

Trutnev Yuri Petrovich, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology

Zhukov Alexander Dmitrievich, Deputy RF Prime Minister

Zubkov Victor Alekseyevich, First Deputy RF Prime Minister

Supported by

Another projects

Russia's Power Families - 2011 / Levitin Igor Yevgenievich, Minister of Transport and Communication

Employed at: Russian Federation Government


Position held: RF Minister of Transport and Communication since 2004.


Business involvement: Prior to being appointed RF Minister of Transport and Communication, Levitin worked in private businesses. In 1996–2004, he headed the railroad department and was deputy general director of SeverStalTrans (N-Trans), where he assisted in buying shares of Taganrog and Tuapse commercial seaports.


Together with daughter Yulia Igorevna Levitina, he founded StalTechInvest LLC in 2000. After her father became government official, Yulia Levitina (married name Zvereva) was listed as one of StalTechInvest’s owners. In 2003, StalTechInvest earned around 10 Mln. Rub.; in 2004 (after its founder Igor Levitin was appointed Minister of Transport), the company’s income grew by 250% to 25 Mln. Rub.


Since 2004, StalTechInvest LLC has been owned by AscotFinance LLC and PromSbytInvest LLC, both registered at the same address as StalTechInvest: 44A Dubinskaya St., Moscow. PromSbytInvest owner is Olga Borisova (Yulia Zvereva’s partner in Milicon Service LLC). Yulia Zvereva’s share in Milicon Service went to AscotFinance LLC (co-founded by PromSbytService and Milicon Service director Vyacheslav Rezchikov).


According to SPARK-Interfax, Igor Levitin’s family (through StalTechInvest LLC), together with PromSbytInvest LLC and entrepreneur Rezchikov, owned DorMachInvest CJSC, specializing in road construction and transport vehicle part manufacturing. Vyacheslav Rezchikov chairs the DorMachInvest Holding Company board.


Under Igor Levitin as Transport Minister, DorMachInvest CJSC’s annual income (according to SPARK-Interfax) surpassed 1 Bln. Rub., not including similar incomes of companies affiliated with DorMachInvest.


A company friendly with the Levitin family was a recipient of Transport Ministry funds. In 2009, MostGeoCenter Financial and Construction Company LLC signed a 245 Mln. Rub. government contract to rebuild the slopes of Canal No. 285. MostGeoCenter was previously owned by DorMachInvest CJSC; DorMachInvest’s share then went to GeoMostProject LLC NGO, which owned Ritm (Rhythm) CJSC, where Vyacheslav Rezchikov was general director. As part of the Canal No. 285 project, the “Moscow Canal” federal entity subordinate to the Transport Ministry was set up. In 2008, MostGeoCenter contract income was over 6 Bln. Rub.


DorMachInvest Group has railroad laundry business interests, supplying linen to Russian train passengers. DorMashInvest owned PassazhirService (Passenger Service) LLC and Passazhir Service CJSC, with joint 2008 income over 20 Mln. Rub. Passazhir Service was co-founded by N-Trans private transportation holding company (formerly SeverStalTrans CJSC), where Igor Levitin was one of the managers when he was officially a businessman.


Influence on business: N Trans LLC’s ownership structure is hidden; its nominal owner is the Transportation Investment Holding Ltd. Cypriot offshore, which makes it impossible to find documentary support for the media allegation that Minister Igor Levitin still holds shares of his previous employer N Trans LLC. By law, ultimate owners can only be disclosed through official police inquiry.


According to official N Trans statements, its decision makers are also part owners (one of the owners since 2010 is Vladimir Putin’s judo partner Arkady Rotenberg) of another Cypriot offshore, Marc O’Polo Investments Ltd., which, according to SPARK-Interfax, is the majority shareholder of MostoTrest OJSC, which, in turn, holds over 50% of InzhTransStroi Corporation LLC and over 50% of TransStroiMechanizatzia OJSC. Junior N-Trans partners in these two companies are family members of Efim Basin, considered to be Igor Levitin’s closest confidant for decades.


The joint beneficiary (who, through this offshore system, holds shares of N-Trust, MostoTrest, InzhTransStroi and TransStroiMechanizatzia) manages significant financial resources. In recent years, MostoTrest, InzhTransStroi and TransStroiMechanizatzia received government funds in amounts comparable to Forbes’ top-rated businessmen’s fortunes.


According to SPARK-Interfax, in 2005-2010, MostoTrest OJSC was to receive around 80 Bln. Rub. (over $2.5 Bln.) from the government for just the largest transportation contracts alone. This sum is allocated among government construction budget line items such as: Olympic Games facility in Sochi-Adler region; Don and M-27 Djubga-Sochi freeway; St. Petersburg Beltway, federal highways M-6 Caspy, M-7 Volga, M-9 Baltia, and M-10 Russia.


According to incomplete information, the overall value of Transport Ministry entities’ contracts with InzhtransStroi is close to $3.5 Bln. Aside from Ust-Luga port construction project, InzhtransStroi is also involved in Sochi port construction and is the primary builder of federal roads, viaducts and bridges, including highways leading to the Olympic Center in Sochi. InzhtransStroi’s government contracts include: St. Petersburg Beltway; Amur highway; M-1 Belorussia, M-4 Don, M-5 Ural, M-9 Baltia and M-10 Russia highways; airports in Nizhni Novgorod, Ufa, Adler; the Moscow aviation hub; and the East Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline system rigging.


Around $500 Mln. in federal funds is allocated to TransStroiMechanizatzia OJSC, which was involved in rebuilding Sochi-Adler airport, Ufa airport and M-5 Ural highway. The jobs were contracted by federal entities supervised by the Transport Ministry, such as Federal Air Transportation Agency (RosAviation) and AvtoMagistral.


The numbers cited above do not include large contracts signed with affiliated companies. In order to get an estimate, one can consider the history of St. Petersburg’s DorStroiProekt LLC. The above-noted Cypriot beneficiary bought 100% of DorStroiProekt through TransStroiMechanizatzia OJSC. In 2007-2008, DorStroiProekt signed contracts with Transport Ministry entities; its 2008 income was over 2.15 Bln. Rub. In 2009, DorStroiProekt declared bankruptcy and was placed in receivership.


N-Trans Holding Company owners also hold 50% of Northwestern Concession Company LLC, which is building the Moscow–St. Petersburg highway through Khimki forest. Previously, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was going to invest in the project, but financing was instead provided by the consortium of Russia’s two largest state-owned banks: VneshEconomBank (VEB) and SberBank. EBRD withdrew due to a number of factors, including ongoing public protests, political corruption scandals and criticism by environmental organizations.


According to Transparency International, Transport Minister Igor Levitin may have had personal interests in this highway’s construction and the felling of Khimki forest. The contract with Northwestern Concession Company LLC was signed by Transport Ministry subordinate Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor). The justification for the project was the June 2006 Leningrad Highway gridlock. According to the RF General Prosecutor’s Office inquiry into the gridlock, the traffic standstill was caused by irregularities in Moscow government and Rosavtodor operations.


Environmental protest organizers in Khimki believe that “the gridlock was orchestrated on purpose, most likely deep in the Transport Ministry, since the Ministry is very interested in obtaining European road construction funds.” In 2011, Khimki forest protection movement leader Evgenia Chirikova organized pickets in front of the Transport Ministry and publicly accused Igor Levitin of having “obvious corrupt interests.” Shorty thereafter, Chirikova’s office was searched by the police, and documents were seized. Activist Chirikova believes Minister Levitin ordered the search.


During the felling of Khimki forest, contracted private security personnel battered local protesters, including Khimkinskaya Pravda (Khimki Truth) newspaper editor-in-chief Mikhail Beketov; Grazhdanskoe Soglasye (Civil Accord) newspaper journalist Vitaly Kuzmin; environmentalist Konstantin Fetisov and others opposed to Igor Levitin’s project.



Wife: Natalia Igorevna Levitina, homemaker. According to the media, she oversees the operations of Pan-Press Printing House LLC (part of DorMachInvest). Igor Levitin’s 2010 income was 22.66 Mln. Rub., while his wife’s was 0.76 Mln. Rub. Together, the Levitins own two land lots (0.23 ha. and 0.17 ha.), a 544 m2 house, a 118 m2 condominium, and Mercedes-Benz S350 and Mercedes-Benz B200 automobiles. The condominium and the cars are registered in Igor and Natalia Levitin’s names, and they are each 1/3 share owners of the house and the land lots (the other 1/3 may belong to [their daughter] Yulia Zvereva).


Daughter: Yulia Igorevna Zvereva (nee Levitina) is associate professor at M.A. Sholokhov Moscow State Humanities University’s Sociology and Political Science Department. Her Ph.D. thesis was entitled: “Rule of Law and Civil Society According to Russian Liberals.” Zvereva was involved in business, having set up Milicon Service and StalTechInvest transportation companies. According to media outlets critical of the Levitin family, “the Transport Minister daughter’s associates played a role similar to Elena Baturina’s economic role in former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s business activities.” In her 2010 interview to Vedomosti newspaper, Yulia Zvereva said she has sold her assets.



Closest friends:



Efim Basin (co-owner of InzhTransStroi corporation and TransMechanizatzia Holding Company; former Deputy USSR Construction Minister) is one of Igor Levitin’s oldest personal friends. According to Levitin, he and Basin bonded during Baikal–Amur Mainline (BAM) construction when Levitin served at Urgal station as military traffic officer.


Efim Basin’s partner in InzhtransStroi LLC is his son Oleg Basin. The father and son are partners of the unknown beneficiary of the Cypriot offshores that own TransStroiMechanizatzia OJSC and other companies receiving federal funds (through the Transport Ministry) to build and revamp highways, maritime terminals, landing strips and airports.


Oleg Basin founded CDC-D LLC owned by the Cypriot offshore Ficifolia Investments Ltd. In 2007-2010, CDC-D received over 4 Bln. Rub. from a Transport Ministry federal subordinate called “Moscow-St. Petersburg Freeway Management” to build M-10 Russia and M-9 Baltia highways. Current owner of Ficifolia Investments Ltd. is unknown.


According to Efim Basin’s official biography, while RF Construction Minister in 1995–1996, he “took part in reviving the Chechen Republic’s economy.” It was known beforehand that overseeing large [money] transfers made under the program would be impossible, as facilities (that were allegedly being rebuilt) were destroyed in the first Chechen war, and after that separatist Ichkeria was not under RF federal control.


Novaya Gazeta newspaper recalls this experience in the context of the Basins’ business activities in Sochi. In December 2009, a storm washed away the Mzymta river-area cargo port infrastructure built for the 2014 Olympics, and InzhTransStroi Corporation LLC got the contract to rebuild the decimated port.


Igor Levitin played a significant role in the tug-of-war over Gulf of Finland-area port assets, including St. Petersburg.


Igor Levitin’s 2004 appointment as RF Transport and Communications Minister coincided with Ilya Traber’s associates’ final withdrawal from St. Petersburg Seaport OJSC management. According to the media, Igor Levitin met Traber in the late 1990s while working at SeverStalTrans where he oversaw business projects involving the St. Petersburg port.


According to the Monaco police, Ilya Traber is “connected to the Tambov organized crime group” (documents can be found on Novaya Gazeta website). The Russian media mentions Traber in connection with antiques smuggling, drug trafficking, property conflicts in the oil industry, and a number of contract killings in St. Petersburg and Vyborg. Such news items are frequently unconfirmed, as [Traber’s] criminal case file materials often disappear.


A significant part of these crimes is linked to redistribution of St. Petersburg Seaport OJSC. According to testimony by former State Duma member Vyacheslav Shevchenko (shot to death in 2003), when Shevchenko tried to look into the St. Petersburg Seaport management reorganization, “two gangsters sent by Traber came to see me and threatened that if I show up at the port just one more time, they will chop my head off with an axe” (Shevchenko’s testimony was published by Novaya Gazeta).


Between 1997 and 2004, several businessmen and managers involved in port-related conflicts were killed, including: Mikhail Manevich (head of St. Petersburg City Property Management Committee who tried to annul the privatization of the St. Petersburg’s port by Ilya Traber’s companies); Nikolai Shatilo (Head of PromStroiBank security division); Vitold Kaidanovich (Head of Northwest Customs Terminal); Mikhail Sinelnikov (St. Petersburg seaport captain), and Sinelnikov’s security assistant Sergei Boyev.


The entrepreneur Traber and his partners managed to establish control over the formerly state-owned property, and became owners of St. Petersburg Seaport OJSC through Nasdor Incorporated, a Liechtenstein offshore. The Port was later sold and is currently owned by Vladimir Lisin.


While no longer owning the maritime terminals, Nasdor Incorporated set up Portovy Flot (Port Fleet) CJSC and, for a token $204,000, bought the bulk of the Port’s tugboat fleet. This, despite competitors (through Baltiisky Flot (Baltic Fleet) OJSC) officially offering $2 Mln. to merely rent (not buy) the state-owned tugboats. The Transport Ministry did not oppose the tugboat fleet acquisition by Ilya Traber’s company. On the contrary, under Igor Levitin as Transport Minister, several individuals close to Traber were appointed to top government positions.


For example, Anatoly Savkin (former Portovy Flot (Port Fleet) CJSC general director) became head of RosMorPort government unitary enterprise’s St. Petersburg branch, while his son Evgeny Savkin became head of Portovy Flot CJSC. Soon, Portovy Flot soon received a large government contract from RosMorPort (headed by his father) to clean up Gulf of Finland oil waste.


In 2007, Portovy Flot CJSC and other companies controlled by Ilya Traber’s team bought Baltiisky Sudomechanichesky Zavod (Baltic Marine Engineering Plant – BMEP), which has its own docking stations, thus consolidating part of the St. Petersburg port capacity. BMEP founded NEB – Tugboat Service LLC, which, together with Portovy Flot, started offering tugboat services.


In 2005, Igor Rusu, former co-worker of Ilya Traber (St. Petersburg Seaport OJSC general director in the 1990s), became head of Ust-Luga Company OJSC, which was set up in order to implement the Transport Ministry’s Ust-Luga port construction program.


In 2008, Igor Rusu was transferred to an agency subordinate to Igor Levitin, becoming deputy head of Federal Marine and River Transport Agency (RosRechMorFlot). Tasked with supplying RosRechMorFlot with software systems and electronics was the St. Petersburg Transzas CJSC (which, according to the media, was set up by individuals criminally prosecuted for tax evasion under RF CC Art. 198). According to SPARK-Interfax, between September and December 2010 alone, Transzas signed 19 contracts with RosTechMorFlot, totaling over 1.4 Bln. Rub.


In 2009, Igor Rusu became head of the federal entity RosMorPort, tasked by the Transport Ministry with managing federal property in Russian ports and allocating funds for multi-billion [ruble] port construction projects, including the Ust-Luga project.


Valery Israilit (an acquaintance of Igor Rusu, Igor Levitin and Ilya Traber) chairs the Ust-Luga Company OJSC board of directors. Israilit has been criminally prosecuted (and convicted) numerous times.


Rusu’s agency tasked Promyshlenno-Stroitel’noye Tovarischestvo (Industrial and Construction Partnership) OJSC and Northern Dredging Company LLC with dredging and construction projects in Valery Israilit’s area of operations. Incomplete data indicate that, in 2008-2010, these companies received over 10 Bln. Rub. in contracts through RosMorPort. According to SPARK-Interfax, Northern Dredging Company is owned by Industrial and Construction Partnership, whose majority shareholder is BPF, in turn owned by Ust-Luga Company OJSC. Affiliated with Industrial and Construction Partnership is Vadim Shlom (Valery Israilit’s business partner in a number of companies).


Another Ust-Luga project subcontractor is Baltiiskaya Dnouglubitelnaya Kompania (Baltic Dredging Company) CJSC, which received over 2 Bln. Rub. from RosMorPort. Baltic Dredging Company owner is unknown; according to records, it was founded by the now-dissolved BaltGazComplectImpex. Prior to 2010, Baltic Dredging Company CJSC was registered at: 5 “A” Gapsalkaya St., St. Petersburg – same address as SpecMontazhStroi LLC, to which RosMorPort undertook to wire over 100 Mln. Rub. SpecMontazhStroi is owned by the Cypriot offshore Technics Maritime Investments LLC, whose ultimate beneficiary’s identity is concealed.


Also difficult to identify is the owner of Ust-Luga Company OJSC which controls the government-funded Ust-Luga project through a Liechtenstein offshore called Investport Holding Establishment. There is reason to believe that one of the offshore’s beneficiaries is Valery Israilit. Ust-Luga Company is currently several billion rubles in debt, which will in one way or another likely be paid by the government.


In 2009, Victor Olersky (entrepreneur, co-owner of Volgo-Balt Transport Holding Limited) was appointed Minister Igor Levitin’s deputy. Volgo-Balt Transport Holding company includes Severo-Zapadnoye Rechnoe Parokhodstvo (Northwest River Shipping) OJSC and Volzhskoye Parokhodstvo (Volga Shipping) company OJSC. According to the media, Olersky bought these two companies with the help of his closest partner Igor Izmestiev (Bashkortostan Republic’s representative to the Federation Council). The power struggle over these companies was accompanied by killings carried out by Kingisepp organized crime group members. In 2010, Izmestiev was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for these murders, as well as for five attempted murders (including the attempted murder of Ural Rakhimov, the son of Bashkortostan President). In 2007-2010, 26 members of Kingisepp organized crime group were convicted and sentenced to 4.5 – 23 years in prison. Victor Olersky was not charged.


According to SPARK-Interfax, entities subordinate to the Transport Ministry awarded contracts to StroiETON CJSC; REP Masterovoi LLC; Stroi-Deco LLC and other companies affiliated with Andrei Kuznetzov (founder of Moscow’s Caligula-M and Crechet SB security companies). In 2007-2010, Kuznetzov’s companies signed 14 contracts with Transport Ministry entities totaling over 100 Mln. Rub. The Transport Ministry continued working with these companies even after the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service intervened.


Kuznetzov’s companies were primarily awarded contracts through the Federal Transportation Oversight Service (RosTransNadzor). RosTransNadzor also subcontracted to private travel agencies the booking and ticketing for RosTransNadzor staff, with a contracted total of 4.5 Mln. Rub. Notably, contracted travel agencies changed as RosTransNadzor heads changed. In 2008-2009 (when Nikolai Lyamov headed RosTransNadzor), the contracted travel agency was VIP Service. When Alexander Kasyanov became acting RosTransNadzor head, the travel agent changed too – to Altair Company Group LLC. In each case, these companies were the only ones bidding on the government travel agent job, and [naturally] won the bid.


In 2009, RosTransNadzor signed several contracts under the government procurement law, and Novaya Gazeta journalists suspected corruption: One such contract was with Upscale Soft LLC for 19 Mln. Rub. to “develop a fire safety supervision and oversight system.” UpScale Soft had no documented previous experience in this area; it was later listed by the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service as an unconscientious vendor, and Moscow Arbitration Court imposed supervision of Upscale Soft.


Another example – in 2008-2009, Transportanaya Bezopasnost i Logistika (Transportation Security and Logistics) LLC signed five contracts with RosTransNadzor totaling over 12.5 Mln. Rub. Four of the contracts involved projects with the vague description “scientific research and experimental design.” The fifth contract provides for “developing special software for managing and updating a consolidated list of transportation system entities supervised by RosTransNadzor.” The media noted that this task is perfectly suited for such programs as [Microsoft] Excel, the cost of which is quite different from the contracted price.


In 2008, Igor Levitin replaced Victor Ivanov as chairman of the Aeroflot Russian Airlines OJSC board. In 2010, Levitin’s advisor Andrei Kalmykov (owner of Sunrise Travel Corporation), was appointed Aeroflot’s business manager. Kalmykov is married to Oksana Kalmykova (daughter of Yuri Fadeyev; Yuri Fadeyev is on the Nordavia board of directors and is one of Aeroflot’s top managers). After Kalmykov’s appointment (proposed by the Transport Minister), Sunrise Tour Group started regularly winning Aeroflot’s electronic bids for travel consolidators to buy blocks of passenger seats. According to the media, Aeroflot representatives openly manipulated bidding results. Legally speaking, as of the last few months, Andrei Kalmykov is no longer involved with these companies. Sunrise Asset Management LLC (which includes Sunrise Tour Group) is owned by Kalmykov’s mother, Evgenia Kalmykova, while shares in Sunrise Audit Service and SunExpressTravel are registered in Oksana Kalmykova’s name.