Senator Rauf Arashukov detained for murder from 9 years ago. He faces charges for creation of criminal community and falsification of documents

ABOVE + BELOW – Rauf Arashukov 

Valentina Matviyenko stops Senator Rauf Arashukov who attempted to flee

 

https://en.crimerussia.com/organizedcrime/senator-rauf-arashukov-detained-for-murder-from-9-years-ago-he-faces-charges-for-creation-of-crimina/

 

The Karachay-Cherkess Republic Senator has been detained today in the building of the Federation Council.

Detention of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic Senator Rauf Arashukov is tied to a murder that was committed in 2010, reports Interfax with reference to its source. According to the source, Arashukov was detained in the conference room of the Upper Chamber. With that, according to RBK, it was at the moment when prosecutor general Yury Chayka was delivering his speech. Besides that, head of the Investigative Committee of Russia Aleksander Bastrykin was also present.

According to Interfax, Arashukov is accused of a few crimes, including creation of a criminal community.

Source of RIA Novosti closed to the Upper Chamber states the detention of the Senator is connected with falsification of documents that had helped him become the The Karachay-Cherkess Republic Senator.

It is also known that the present plenary session of the Federation Council was unexpectedly being carried out behind closed doors, however it had not reported. Representatives of the Federal Guard Service of the Russian Federation blocked the entry and did not let reporters in.

The central office of the Investigative Committee of Russia had earlier received criminal cases into two contract murders committed in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic in 2010 – with the Senator might have been involved.

In mid-August, 2018, there emerged information that the Office of Investigations of the Investigative Committee of Russia in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic had initiated a criminal case into a murder of the Republic’s public character Aslan Zhukov who had been shot on March 14, 2014. A year after, local Rasul Adzhiev was detained. He said he had killed Zhukov on grounds of jealousy to a woman. He repeatedly pleaded guilty during the interrogations; he made a confession statement during the trial. However, the Cherkess city court acquitted Adzhiev in 2012 and he was released.

Last summer, Adzhiev testified against the current Karachay-Cherkess Republic Senator Rauf Arashukov who, in Adzhiev’s words, had been an ordering party. Arashukov’s relative Ruslan Agoev was an intermediary during negotiations between the ordering party and perpetrator.

Another criminal case that is being investigated is a murder of a counsellor to the President of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic Fral Shebzukhov that was committed 2 months later after Zhukov had been killed. The defendant in the case Ruslan Kopsergenov also stated that Arashukov had hired criminals to beat the politician. However, the perpetrators overplayed and killed Shebzukhov.

Besides that, the parliament of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic recently sent a request to leaders of the Republic’s Prosecution Service, Investigative Committee and MIA, asking the security officials to convict of a criminal offence those who had manhandled a parliamentarian of the municipal government of Cherkessk Ruslan Kardanov. In his words, on October 24, 2018, he became a victim of an attack by the Senator Rauf Arashukov and his guards.

The Senator Rauf Arashukov is a defendant of multiple investigations carried out by The CrimeRussia. We had earlier reported he had become a defendant in a criminal case into falsification of documents. On August, last year, we learnt that law-enforcement authorities of the United Arab Emirates were investigating a criminal case following an appeal by a parliamentarian of the municipal government of Cherkessk Ruslan Kardanov.

“I had suspicions that Arashukov had provided forged documents from the United Arab Emirates stating his residence permit had been closed before he became the Senator. I made a parliamentarian request through a lawyer’s office in Dubai. I was told that the criminal case had been initiated, and the investigation was ongoing,” Kardanov told.

BACKGROUND: Senator Arashukov’s journey or who killed Karachay-Cherkessia officials?

 

https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/senator-arashukov-s-journey-or-who-killed-karachay-cherkessia-officials-/

 

The gray cardinal of Karachay-Cherkessia (KChR), Senator Rauf Arashukov used opportunities to influence the Cherkessian community of the region, especially youth. He was nominated to the post of Prime-Minister of the republic. However, no one shared his political wishes and methods of struggle. According to the sources of The CrimeRussia, the Senator masterminded the murder of youth movement leader Aslan Zhukov in 2010. Many people knew about, the witnesses of a high-profile crime testified against him. But the political weight and ties terminated the case. And even the self-proclaimed killer was unable to prove his guilt in court. However, as it became known the other day, six years after his acquittal, he gave himself up once again.

Current KChR Senator Rauf Arashukov also built a political career in addition to growth in prosperity using corrupt financial schemes and the development of informal relationships with the representatives of the republic’s law enforcement agencies about which The CrimeRussia has already written in previous publications. As local media reported, an ambitious politician claimed the post of the Prime Minister of the KChR. However, Boris Ebzeev, who did not even consider his candidacy, was against this appointment. Therefore, Arashukov had no other levers of influence. And the political crisis of 1999, when the representatives of two different nationalities claimed the post of the KChR head, demonstrated his enormous power.

Formally, not being a representative of any of the national public organizations, Arashukov had ample opportunities to manage them. The politician regularly relied on Russian journalists, TV hosts and bloggers paying them.

Арашуков

Rauf Arashukov

Getting the support of informal ethnic leaders, the Senator repeatedly attempted to destabilize the political situation in the republic organizing illegal mass actions.

One of these riots was suppressed by the siloviki in 2014.

Our
notes

It is established that on May 9, 2014 Arashukov’s ally, head of the Khabez district Khamzet Dzhumaev, called the natives and residents of the Khabez district V.I. Kushkhov and A.Kh. Sidakov; he instructed to conduct a gathering of young people to carry out mass riots, to organize beatings of police officers in crowded places. Sidakov was the head of the administration of the village of Khabez at that time, and was ready to gather young people in a short time to participate in mass illegal actions. In addition, Dzhumaev instructed Mussa Daurov (participant of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict), a native and resident of the Khabez district, to give a speech at a rally dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the end of the Russo-Circassian War with calls for mass riots in Cherkessk. Employees of the MIA for the KChR together with the Prosecutor’s Office of the KChR issued a warning to leaders of public organizations about preventing violations of public order, conducted a conversation with Daurov in order to prevent him from calls during the rally aimed at destabilizing the situation in the region.

In 2009, as reported by the media, then Acting Head of the Khabez district of the KChR Rauf Arashukov got in touch with leader of the youth wing of the non-governmental Circassian organization Adygey Khase Aslan Zhukov.

On audio recordings, which were posted on YouTube, men (alongside a few more people) are discussing the possibility of gathering several thousand people to seize the “white house” – the building where the presidential administration and the people’s congress are located. As an example, Arashukov exemplifies the events of June 2005, when representatives of the Abazin nation held a rally demanding the creation of the Abazin district by unifying all 13 Abazin villages in Karachay-Cherkessia.

“We must force the ‘white house’ and drive all out and sit there until we achieve what we need. Otherwise, what does it mean? For example, Abazin rebels had 70 people when they created the Abazin district,” Arashukov said.

Митинг в Черкесске. Июнь 2005 года

The rally in Cherkessk. June 2005

Then the protesters provoked several skirmishes with the authorities, and on June 29 broke into the meeting room of the Government House. As a result, on December 25, 2005, a referendum was held on the formation of the Abazinsky district from five Abazin villages in the Prikubansky, Ust-Dzhegutinsky and Khabez districts. A new area was created.

Apparently, Rauf Arashukov knew about the effective way of pressure on the authorities. Moreover, the Government House in Cherkessk was forced more than once.

Aslan Zhukov, recalling the events of 2005, admits that he and his friends personally participated in the storming of the building. Arashukov notes: “Why can not we do it now?” And then makes the even more sensational recognition.

“It is not the first time I organize the power grab. When you pulled out the door, I stopped the police. And now it should be just like that,” Arashukov says.

Zhukov clarifies that he does not need any posts and he is worried about the fate of the people.

“I would demonstrate you how to suppress rallies, and I will show it once again, but first give me the post of the Chairman of the government, and Senator – to Slavik (Vyacheslav Derev),” says Arashukov.

Our
notes

Vyacheslav Derev was a member of the Federation Council from Karachay-Cherkessia in 2011-2016. Prior to that, he headed Holding Mercury-Agro LLC and was a member of the republican parliament. Currently, he is under investigation for suspicion of fraud on an especially large scale. He was charged under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code. Aslan Zhukov, keen on boxing, worked as a guard of his brother Stanislav Derev until 1998.

Вячеслав Дерев

Vyacheslav Derev

During the discussion, it became clear that the participants in the debate had different understandings of the purpose of the rally. Arashukov reminds of the need to be under the radar, otherwise, if something happens and they detain him, no one else can help them.

Arashukov also admits that he was going to become a State Duma deputy, but the same Derev did not give him the necessary support. Next, talking about steps, namely the failure of the meeting of the KChR Parliament with the demand to replace its chairman Zurab Dokshokov. Despite the fact that Dokshokov is a Circassian by nationality, it was proposed to declare him an enemy of the Circassian people.

As it later turns out, the conspirators’ plans were not fully realized. However, this conversation had tragic consequences for one of its actors, Aslan Zhukov.

The Parliament of the republic did not want to vote for the candidature of Derev as a senator from the KChR, rejecting it four times. This post he was able to take this post only in 2011. Dokshokov was again elected Speaker of Parliament. And Arashukov got the chair of the Head of the Khabez district.

In November 2009, the Circassian youth held a rally-forum in the village of Khabez. At the event, they talked about self-determination and the re-creation of the Circassian autonomous region in the status of the republic within the Russian Federation (existed from 1928 to 1957). Initially, the forum was planned to be held in the palace of the culture of the village of Khabez, but since head of the district Rauf Arashukov did not give consent, the participants gathered at the stadium.

Later, the participants were supported by the capital of Karachay-Cherkessia, about 1500 people took part in the rally. In addition to the locals, representatives of the Circassian communities of Abkhazia, the Stavropol Territory, the Rostov region, Adygea, and Kabardino-Balkaria attended the event.

Аслан Жуков

Aslan Zhukov

And on March 14, 2010, everyone was shocked by the news about the murder of Aslan Zhukov. Two months later, on May 12 of the same year, the assassination of adviser to the president of the republic Fral Shabzukhov, whose candidacy was considered for the post of Prime-Minister, was committed.

For two years Rasul Adzhiev tried to take the blame for the assassination of Zhukov. Adzhiev and the public prosecutor decided to prove that it was he who killed Zhukov. At the same time, the affected party defended Adzhiev’s innocence, despite the fact that he confessed to the crime.

The CrimeRussia gets copies of the materials of the criminal case and the records of the trials; many interesting details about the preparation of the crime were revealed.

 

On March 14, 2010, it began to rain. There were no clients in the car wash belonged to Aslan Zhukov, and he allowed the workers to leave the workplace earlier. The car wash was closed from the inside, and it was possible to get into it only from the yard of the house.

Дом и автосервис, принадлежавшие Жукову

House and car service owned by Zhukov

“We picked up our daughter at 19 o’clock, arrived home on the Dovatora Street, drove the car into the garage. My daughter and I got out of the car, went into the shopping pavilion, which also belongs to us. The daughter took some sweets there. When my daughter and I were leaving, the gates were already closed. My daughter and I went into the house, and Aslan stayed at the car wash, everything was closed. I do not know if he went home or not, but I was in the house. At 19:35-45 he ran home, talked with his youngest daughter and said that he would be back. After 5-7 minutes I heard muffled claps. I did not pay attention to it, but my heart skipped a beat. I thought, why Aslan does not come back and decided to go out, but then wife of my husband’s elder brother Albert Zulif Zhukova phoned and started shouting: “Andzhela, call an ambulance, something happened to Aslan!” I ran to my parents, took the phone, called an ambulance. They understood that something had happened to him and ran there. I also ran to the car wash. Aslan was sitting in the driver’s seat, behind the wheel of his Chevrolet-Niva, leaning on the next seat, and there was a pool of blood. I was afraid to touch him because I hoped he was alive,”recalled the wife of Aslan Zhukov, Andzhela, in court.

The killer waited until Zhukov’s relatives entered the house, then penetrated into the car wash box where Chevrolet Niva stood, opened the driver’s door and shot him.

ABOVE – Zhukov’s murder spot 

Within an hour, high-ranking security officials and even the President of the republic, Boris Ebzeev, arrived at the spot. He expressed the hope that “this brutal crime will be solved by law enforcement agencies, and those who committed it will be punished properly.” The criminal case was initiated under two articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – 105 (Murder) and 222 (Illegal Arms Trafficking).

A few months before the murder, Aslan Zhukov expressed fears that he might have problems because of his political activities. He told that he received threats. “I have big problems, but I’ll try to sort everything out. Everything will be fine,” Zhukov said. And after a while, he discovered that he was being followed. He forbade to drive his car and dress in similar clothes. Aslan Zhukov told his father that he had been “ordered,” but did not mention specific names.

“Aslan took part in the social movement Adygey-Khasa. About two years there were skirmishes between the young people of Karachay and Circassian nationality. Aslan Zhukov disrupted these skirmishes, as he had a say among young people on both sides, while he was not a criminal authority and did not hold office. He took the direct part in all the meetings of Adygey-Khasa. He reassured the parties, there were no conflicts,” Andzhela Zhukova said in court.

In late 2009 – early 2010, he had been in close relations with Elizaveta Mizheva, his wife knew about the affair. Andzhela Zhukova did not break off ties with her husband but was against her mistress. The husband promised to end the relationship on the side. Mizhova also demanded to choose family or her.

Жена и сестра Аслана Жукова

The wife and sister of Aslan Zhukov

“Aslan said that he had an affair with some unmarried girl. I reacted negatively to this but did not demand a divorce, because I thought that the relations between us are okay. After some time, around 2006, Aslan reported that he broke up relations with this girl, and she got married. By that time, I already had two children with Aslan. Approximately in 2008, it became known that Aslan started a relationship on the side with some girl. He confirmed it. Then I found out the name and age of this girl; it was Elizaveta Mizheva. At the same time, as I understood, Mizheva had a strong influence on Aslan and could manipulate him, despite the fact that Aslan was a powerful person. Aslan was heavily burdened by this situation, because, on the one hand, he did not want to leave his family, and on the other hand, to interrupt relations with Mizheva. They discussed everything. In December 2009, I spoke with Aslan. During the conversation, Mizheva said that she is not going to part with him. In my opinion, Mizheva wanted to quarrel with me. In response, I calmly explained to Mizheva that I was married to him for 13 years and have children in common. I also told Mizheva that her connection with Aslan was a mistake. After this conversation, we parted,” Andzhela Zhukova told the court.

The domestic version was the main version, in spite of the fact that Zhukov’s relatives and his mistress Elizaveta Mizheva spoke about the political background and even called the name of Rauf Arashukov.

“For a few months, six months before March 14, 2010, he said that someone followed him. In February 2010, he said that he was ordered. I know the name, Rauf Raulievich Arashukov. They had bad blood in connection with Zhukov’s public activities,” Mizheva said in court.

Из судебных материалов

Moreover, Mizheva knew about the recording of that most compromising conversation between Arashukov and Zhukov but did not understand its content. She explained that Zhukov had told her that he had handed the recording to a law enforcement officer, Aslan Kokhov. This record was posted only in August 2017.

A year after the murder, the police detained 33-year-old Rasul Adzhiev. His black Mercedes was stopped on the outskirts of the city on the tip of the operatives.

Расул Аджиев

Rasul Adzhiev

Timur Shebzukhov, the Head of the KChR MIA department, explained that they had information that Adzhiev could have been involved in the murder of Zhukov, but refused to rat out the source.

“This information was checked. As a result, Adzhiev was detained, and he gave confessions. An unidentified gun was found. Then they summoned the investigative-operative group and seized the gun,” Timur Shebzukhov explained in court.

At the detention, Adzhiev said that the gun did not belong to him, they threw the weapon at him. But he wrote a confession that he killed him out of the jealousy to Mizheva.

However, during the investigation, Mizheva stated that she had never seen Adzhiev before and did not even know him. At the same time, on the day of the murder, Adzhiev called Mizheva. According to her, his voice was calm, he lied about their acquaintance and offered to meet, but she refused. They first saw each other only in the building of the Investigative Committee in February 2011, when Rasul Adzhiev was detained.

The investigation decided to work out only the version of the murder on the basis of jealousy. Ostensibly on March 14, 2010, Adzhiev penetrated into the car wash box to talk with the rival. During the conversation, Zhukov made a move, which he regarded as an attempt to get weapons. After that, the killer snatched a pistol and shot three times in the opponent. However, he could not name the details of the events, referring to the fact that he was in a state of affect and did not remember the details.

ABOVE – Zhukov’s murder spot

It is interesting that workers saw Adzhiev on the morning of the day of the murder. He inquired about the prices of services, then began to question who owns the car wash, when and how the box closes. Then he refused to wash the car, asked to give him a rag to wipe his Toyota Camry, and then left. Moreover, there was a friend who said that he had once witnessed a fight between Zhukov and Adzhiev. But the court did not believe them. In March 2012, the judge came to the conclusion that Adzhiev was not guilty of Zhukov’s murder and was not involved in the commission of the incriminated crimes. He was fully acquitted with the right to rehabilitation.

Rauf Arashukov is the mastermind of the assassination of Aslan Zhukov, the relatives of the deceased public activist say regularly. The reason for the murder was the refusal to gather a rally and disrupt the meetings of the KChR People’s Assembly in 2010, Life writes.

The CrimeRussia found the confirmation of this statement. According to them, son-in-law of Arashukov Ruslan Agoev hired Adzhiev as the executor. Arashukov, according to the source, appealed to Adzhiev and offered to testify that the murder of Zhukov was committed out of personal hostile attitudes. Adzhiev agreed to receive Toyota Camry from Arashukov.

Also, it was established that in early 2014 a quarrel occurred between relatives of Arashukov and Agoev. Arashukovs demanded from the Agoevs that their son blamed for the murder of Zhukov.

At the same time, Rauf Arashukov purchased property in Dubai, where Agoyev was hiding for a long time from law enforcement agencies.

As for Arashukov’s political ambitions, in March 2011 he was elected the vice-premier of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic.

Фраль Шебзухов

Fral Shebzukhov

There was information that Rauf Arashukov was involved in the murders of Zhukov and Shebzukhov, whom he tried to attract, but they refused. However, despite the substantial evidence, the investigation into the criminal cases are still ongoing. In September 2017, the KChR held a congress of the Circassian people, which was convened by an initiative group of local public organizations. One of the main issues was to “get off the grass” to Senator Rauf Arashukov. The delegates of the congress demanded that the investigation into the cases of Zhukov and Shebzukhov’s resonant murders be thoroughly investigated. At the congress the relatives of the victims made speeches, accusing Arashukov of committing murders. They demanded the continuation of the investigation and bringing the criminal cases to trial.

In August 2018, Rasul Adzhiev turned himself in to the Investigative Committee. The justified killer insists that it was he who killed Zhukov. The ICR confused but the criminal proceedings had been resumed. At present, the reasons that led Rasul Adzhiev to take the blame upon the murder committed six years before are being established. Who and what motivated him for a new campaign is still unknown.

and more BACKGROUND: Karachay-Cherkessia – ‘pocket republic’ of Senator Arashukov

 

https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/karachay-cherkessia-pocket-republic-of-senator-arashukov-part-i/

 

Rumors have been circulating recently that the Karachay-Cherkess Republic may become the next region to undergo a change of power a la Dagestan. Too many problems have accumulated there. According to our sources, the Dagestani authorities have been ‘purged’ because the amount of complaints against them had exceeded all limits. But in the case of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, the federal center must act more delicately and selectively.

In late June, the media wrote about searches in the Government of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. Initially, searches in the office of Rashid Temrezov, Head of the Republic, were reported. Then this information was refuted. Later it became known that the Republican Ministry of Finance was searched – although the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for the Karachay-Cherkess Republic hasn’t confirmed this.

Apparently, the stand of Temrezov is weakening. The Agency of Political and Economic Communications affiliated with the Presidential Executive Office put him on the lowest position in its gubernatorial effectiveness rating at month-end June 2018.

 Rashid Temrezov

Rashid Temrezov 

It is also known that the Kremlin is displeased with the regional head due to the under-performance of the republic during the recent Presidential elections. Although the percentage of votes for Vladimir Putin was pretty high in Karachay-Cherkessia (87.64%), it was still lower than in 2012 (91.36%), and the entire procedure was marred by numerous violations and subsequent scandals.

Temrezov has problems within the republic as well. Even potential allies have claims against him. For instance, the Congress of Karachay People (Temrezov is Karachay by nationality) has recently addressed the Russian President asking to remove Temrezov from office because his staffing changes in the republican government violate the national balance. One of the most recent examples provided by the public activists is the replacement of Karachay Eldar Salpagarov, Head of the Administration of the Head of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic (in fact, the second highest position in the region), with Abazin Murat Ozov. According to the petition submitted by the congress, since the appointment of Temrezov in March 2011, “our nation” (i.e., the Karachay people – The CrimeRussia) has lost more than 10 supreme posts.

Eldar Salpagarov

Eldar Salpagarov 

The national issue is very sensitive in the republic. In 1999, it even caused a severe political crisis because the supreme post in Karachay-Cherkessia was contested by Cherkessk Mayor Stanislav Derev (a Circassian by nationality) and general Vladimir Semenov, ex-Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces of the Russian Federation (a Karachay). Supporters of both candidates had claimed that should their opponent win, either Karachay or Circassian people would become a rightless minority. The confrontation has resulted in mass protest rallies and squabbles, blocking of federal motorways, arsons of election headquarters, and shooting attacks against activists. The federal authorities had to deploy in the region additional internal military forces and special police detachments, sit down both candidates at the negotiating table, and, in fact, annul the voting results. Ultimately, Semenov became the Head of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic.

Our
notes

Another problem of Temrezov is his confrontation with the republican elite groups, including powerful clan Arashukov claiming the leadership of the Circassian community and eager to increase its influence throughout the republic.

An escalation of the conflict occurred in August 2017, after the appointment of Eduard Derev, son of businessman Vyacheslav Derev, the Head of the Adyge-Khablsky District, the second largest area of compact settlement of Circassian people, instead of Soltan Kardanov by order of Temrezov. Clan Derev and clan Arashukov are old rivals; therefore, the dismissal of Kardanov, a protege of Arashukov, was given a hostile reception.

Eduard Derev

Eduard Derev

Not only do the unbounded ambitions of clan Arashukov cause material damages to the republic – but also threaten to disrupt its national and political stability. The CrimeRussia obtained materials indicating that members of clan Arashukov have been affecting the criminal and socio-political situation in the region using their corruption ties with the Prosecutor’s Office of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic and Investigations Directorate in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR).

Current clan leader, Rauf Arashukov, stops at nothing to achieve his primary goals – money and power – including neutralization of competitors (see below).

Rauf and Raul Arashukov

Rauf and Raul Arashukov

Raul Arashukov, a member of Edinaya Rossia (United Russia) Party and Deputy of the People’s Council of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, became the founder of the clan consisting of natives of Khabez village of the Khabez district of Karachay-Cherkessia. His biography is pretty interesting: Arashukov was prosecuted twice in the Soviet period – for embezzlement of 4 tons of grain and 5 tons of sunflower – but became a high-ranked functionary in the gas industry in new Russia.

His ‘godfather’ was now-deceased relative Khizir Khapsirokov, ex-Aide to the Head of the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation and Chief of Administration of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Novaya Gazeta newspaper wrote in 2001 that prior to his relocation to Moscow in 1993, Khapsirokov has left all his businesses to Arashukov, introduced him to top managers of Gazprom, and started actively promoting him in the region.

Khizir Khapsirokov

Khizir Khapsirokov

Since then, the career of Arashukov has skyrocketed and never attracted the attention of the law enforcement authorities again. Raul Turkbievich has made his first capital using a simple scheme designed by himself. His company had signed contracts with major gas suppliers to collect fees from the customers, including debtors. The gas arrears issue was critical in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic in that period – and nobody had rejected such intermediary services. However, the collected funds were transferred not to utility providers – but to dummy companies. Instead of hard cash, Arashukov had provided to gas companies non-interest bearing notes that often were non-liquidable.

Later he has taken charge of this process ‘from within’ by becoming the Head of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Stavropol, a subsidiary company of Gazprom, in 1999. In 2007, he was appointed the Head of Stavropolkraigaz Open Joint Stock Company and successfully used the above scheme again. Monies for the consumed gas were going to Arashukov, while the state companies managed by him had received pieces of paper supposedly confirming the payment of outstanding utility fees.

Our
notes

This is how Arashukov has inflicted multibillion damages not only to Gazprom, but to budgets of several regions as well.

Viktor Kazantsev, then-Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Southern Federal District, and Valery Gaevsky, Governor of the Stavropol Krai, had tried to oppose his machinations – but in vain. After the election of Aleksander Chernogorov the Governor of the Stavropol Krai, Arashukov became, in fact, his ‘Grey Eminence.’ His fellow countrymen – natives of the Khabez district of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic – have taken up a number of superior positions in the regional administration.

Aleksander Chernogorov

Aleksander Chernogorov

In 2004, Deputy of the State Duma Anatoly Greshnevikov has submitted to the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Southern Federal District an official request to check the operations of Stavropolregiongaz Limited Liability Company and personally its head Raul Arashukov – but did not receive any meaningful response.

In 2008, the Audit Chamber of the Russian Federation launched a number of probes into operations of structures chaired by Arashukov. The clan leader was even searched in the framework of one of such inquests – but without any adverse consequences. According to some information, that incident was a result of a conflict between Arashukov and Khapsirokov. But after the reconciliation between the relatives, the probes have stopped.

In December 2011, Arashukov was finally removed from his posts in gas pipeline companies of the Stavropol krai – allegedly, as per order of Vice Prime Minister Igor Sechin. However, being an Advisor to Kirill Seleznev, General Director of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz, he, in fact, continued supervising the regional gas industry.

Our
notes

According to well-informed sources, a large volume of operative materials against Raul Arashukov has been gathered during the years of his work – but these materials were never used.

His extensive connections in the Prosecutor General’s Office propelling Arashukov, thanks to Khapsirokov, to the federal level, ties with the Regional Investigations Directorate of the ICR and governments of adjacent regions, and influence of his clan on the residents of the republic had enabled Arashukov to create a ‘shadow government’ of the Karachay-Cherkessia and made him invulnerable to any attacks.

Ramzan Kadyrov and Rauf Arashukov

Ramzan Kadyrov and Rauf Arashukov

The adverse legacy of Arashukov is still in place. The arrears problem affecting the power sector and gas industry, the North Caucasus republic remains unresolved. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev recently ordered to intensify the struggle against losses of power resources in the region. According to him, republics of the North Caucasus Federal District have paid for less than 85% of the consumed gas in 2017; as a result, the total gas indebtedness has increased by 13 billion rubles ($204.8 million). According to Gazprom, as of the beginning of 2018, the overdue arrears of the regions constituting the North Caucasus Federal District had amounted to 27 billion rubles ($425.4 million) taking into account the assignment of debts between Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Pyatigorsk and new subsidiary companies of Gazprom launched in North Ossetia-Alania, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Adygea, and Karachay-Cherkessia; without this assignment of debts, the total indebtedness had reached 85 billion rubles ($1.3 billion).

The Prime Minister has emphasized that all gas thefts committed through unauthorized connections, illegal pipeline tie-ins, and various fraud schemes, including deliberate bankruptcy of housing and utility enterprises and energy service companies, are currently written off as transmission losses.

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Medvedev called for ‘turning the tide’ through coordinated efforts of the regional governments of the North Caucasus Federal District, utility companies, and law enforcement authorities. This includes both staffing decisions and criminal prosecution of perpetrators.

Rauf, son of Arashukov senior and current Senator from the Karachay-Cherkess Republic in the Council of the Federation, is a worthy successor to his father. According to his official biography, at the age of 17, he became a Deputy Head of the Department of Investments and Property Relations of the Stavropol Regional Company for Gas Realization – chaired at that time by his father. A year later, he was elected a Deputy of the Stavropol Municipal Duma.

Rauf Arashukov and Valentina Matvienko

Rauf Arashukov and Valentina Matvienko

In April 2008, at the age of 21, he was been appointed the Minister of Labor and Social Development of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. In November 2008, Rauf Arashukov became the Acting Head of the Khabez Municipal District and then was officially approved for that post. In March 2011, he was appointed a Deputy Prime Minister of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. Since October 2011 and until July 2014, Arashukov junior was in charge of the Administration of Federal Motorways in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the Federal Road Agency Federal Budgetary Institution. In July 2014, he returned to the post of the Head of the Khabez Municipal District. In 2016, Rauf Arashukov became a Senator from the Karachay-Cherkess Republic in the Council of the Federation.

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According to our sources, while being the Minister of Labor and Social Development, Arashukov has created, under the patronage and with consultative support of his father, a number of fraud schemes to embezzle budget funds.

After making the embezzlements a smoothly-running business, Arashukov junior has taken every effort to appoint to this post Murat Tkhakokhov – his relative and also a member of clan Arashukov. Tkhakokhov has involved into the criminal operations heads and officials of the Ministry’s regional administrations as well. In accordance with the clan structure, a portion of the embezzled funds was transferred to Rauf Arashukov.

Murat Tkhakokhov

Murat Tkhakokhov

In October 2013, operatives of the Administration for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption of the MIA for the Karachay-Cherkess Republic clamped down on the operations of this criminal group suspected of embezzlement of 86 million rubles ($1.4 million) from the budget. In August 2016, it was reported that the criminal case instituted under part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (swindling) was submitted to the Prikubansky District Court of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. The following people have been charged: Murat Khachirov, ex-Head of the Department of Labor and Social Security of the Prikubansky Municipal District; Zinaida Stovburenko, Senior Specialist of the Department for Veterans’ and Elderly People’s Affairs of the Prikubansky Municipal District; Murat Uraskulov and Ibragim Asanov, ex-Directors of the Payments Department of the Prikubansky Municipal District Municipal Unitary Enterprise; and Zulfa Baikamkulova and Svetlana Tsygankova, Senior Accountant and Cashier Accountant of this municipal unitary enterprise. Tkhakokhov died in 2014 – prior to the trial commencement. No verdict was delivered yet with regards to the other suspects – the court sessions are continuously adjourned due to the absence of witnesses or defendants.

The post of the Head of the Administration of Federal Motorways in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the Federal Road Agency was even more profitable for Arashukov. He has created a system of kickbacks forcing contractors to pay him more than 30% of the contract cost in exchange for the right to perform construction and installation works.

Arashukov

Arashukov has been with his people since the early days

One of the main contractors in that period was Gazmontazh Subsidiary Limited Liability Company established by Foton (Photon) Closed Joint Stock Company. According to its financial statement, this enterprise incorporated back in 1998 started winning governmental contracts only in 2012 – after the appointment of Murat Kumukov, a friend of Arashukov, its director.

The period of 2013–2014 became a ‘golden age’ for Gazmontazh – the total value of government contracts awarded to it has reached 50 million rubles ($787.8 thousand); half of these contracts were granted by Arashukov. Then the company’s activity started declining; no government contracts were given to it since 2016. Perhaps, this is because the Administration of Federal Motorways in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the Federal Road Agency has ceased its operations in 2015.

Gidrostroy – another subsidiary company of Foton – has won governmental contracts totaling 186 million rubles ($2.9 million), mostly pertaining to works on A-155 Cherkessk–Dombay Motorway.

12 Zvezd (12 Stars) Limited Liability Company (currently Novostroy Limited Liability Company) received 115.7 million rubles ($1.8 million) to build road lighting on Cherkessk–Lermontov Federal Motorway.

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According to our sources, all these companies are affiliated with Arashukov, and their directors had overcharged the cost of works performed under governmental contracts on a regular basis.

In addition, the Administration of Federal Motorways in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic of the Federal Road Agency has awarded contracts totaling at least 3 billion rubles ($47.3 million) to Kubanskoe Investment and Construction Company Limited Liability Company belonging to Rasul and Askhat Salpagarov – nephews of Akhmat Salpagarov, another Senator from the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, also known as ‘king of governmental orders’. The PMK-15 company belonging to Saltan Salpagarov, also a relative of Senator Akhmat Salpagarov, received governmental contracts for the total amount of 104.5 million rubles ($1.6 million).

Akhmat Salpagarov

Akhmat Salpagarov 

The most profitable ‘spending’ of budget funds was the construction of a bridge across the Kuban River on a motorway going through the Ust-Dzheguta district. Based on its financial reports, the federal budgetary institution has spent on it more than 5.3 billion rubles ($83.5 million).

According to our estimations, in the course of his work at such a profitable post, Arashukov could personally ‘earn’ some 1 billion rubles ($15.7 million). Then he used the time-tested scenario again: in order to keep control over the scheme designed and implemented to embezzle budget funds allocated for road network construction and maintenance in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Arashukov has ‘swapped’ positions with Khamzet Dzhumaev, ex-Head of the Khabez District, who continued distributing the money among ‘right’ contractors up until the company closure.

Khamzet Dzhumaev (on the right) and Rauf Arashukov

 Khamzet Dzhumaev (on the right) and Rauf Arashukov 

The return to the district head post was not a demotion for Rauf Arashukov – instead, this was an extended vacation for him. Arashukov had probably enjoyed ruling his native land where he was the lord and master.

Clan Arashukov created a true cult of their family in the district center – Khabez village. Its secondary school and boxing club have been named after son Rafael Arashukov tragically killed in a car accident. A street and the cathedral mosque have been named after the father – Turkbii Arashukov.

Khabez

Khabez

Deluxe Adijuh Palace Resort & Spa has been erected in a scenic place located 700 m above sea level; it features a brilliant collection of retro cars. The resort belongs to Raul Arashukov’s son-in-law Ruslan Agoev; its director is daughter Aisha Kalmykova. Rauf’s wife Aida Arashukova used to hold this post in the past, but then she got bored with the director’s duties, switched to a more glamorous sphere, and created an exclusive designer clothing brand – Araida.

Sati Kazanova and Aida Arashukova

Sati Kazanova and Aida Arashukova

Adijuh Palace Limited Liability Company became the legal successor to Adijuh Open Joint Stock Company incorporated back in 2012; Arashukova was its Director, while Arteks-Yug and Angelina companies established by Raul Arashukov, daughter Zurida, and nephew Aslan were its founders.

Adijuh Palace

Adijuh Palace

Overall, the family turned out to be very rich in financial talents. The following its members are involved with business (or were involved in the past): Raul Arashukov’s wife Nelli (Yuzhregionkomplekt Limited Liability Company), brother Mikhail (Khabez Gypsum Plant, animal husbandry farm, agriculture, and mining), brother Mukhamed (used to the Minister of Labor and Social Security of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic), sister Zarema (Cherkesskregion Private Security Organization), sister Ida (Avangard (Vanguard) Limited Liability Company), nephew Ruslan (Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Maikop), and nephew Azamat (agriculture).

While being out of duty, Rauf managed to make some extra money abroad. Apparently, he decided to create a ‘reserve airfield’ – just in case. His United Arab Emirates work permit issued in 2015 and open-term employment contract with Stroika Technical Works LLC incorporated in Dubai with a salary of 15 thousand United Arab Emirates dirhams ($4.1 thousand) confirm this.

This sensitive episode of his work biography became known in 2017 – at that time, Arashukov was already a Senator. Then the Congress of Circassian People held in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic has suddenly called for the early termination of his powers. The delegates have submitted the congress resolution to the Head of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Speaker of the Council of the Federation, Minister of Internal Affairs, and Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation. According to experts, this was a political game launched by Temrezov against Arashukov – however, there were really strong reasons to strip Arashukov from Senator’s powers.

According to paragraph “c” of part 2 of Article 6 of the Federal Law On the Status of a Member of the Council of the Federation and Status of a Deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, a member of the Council of the Federation may not run business or perform paid works except for teaching, research, and other creative activities. A breach of this law results in the termination of the Senator’s powers. In this particular case, the violation was even more severe because Arashukov had been working as a development manager abroad.

Based on the documents in our possession, immediately after the scandal, Arashukov has annulled his UAE work permit. But the prohibition on commercial activities applies to civil servants as well – i.e., he had violated the law for a year as the district head and another year as a Senator without any consequences. Arashukov still represents the Karachay-Cherkess Republic in the Council of the Federation.

In fact, this violation is nothing in comparison with other episodes of Arashukov’s controversial biography. Delegates of the Congress of Circassian People have noted his possible involvement in more severe crimes, including murders of Aslan Zhukov, leader of the Adyge Khase Circassian Youth Movement, and Fral Zhegzukov, Advisor to the President and candidate for the Prime Minister of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, committed in 2010. In addition, Arashukov is believed to be the mastermind behind the assassination of Khasan Dzhanaev, Head of the Cherkessk Pretrial Detention Facility № 1.

Aslan Zhukov

Aslan Zhukov is still remembered in the republic

The CrimeRussia obtained investigation records of these cases clearly indicating both the assassins’ paymaster and law enforcement functionaries covering him up. We are going to return to this subject shortly.

Photo: Collection of cars belonging to clan Arashukov