The website Prigovor.ru has found in Great Britain yet another house belonging to Mikhail Khodorkovsky. On the whole, this finance swindler and collaborationist has in London and its suburbs five luxury real estate units with total value amounting to 24 million pounds or nearly 3 billion rubles.
December 20, 2023, marked exactly ten years since the former main privatizer of the oil company Yukos was pardoned and released from the colony where he had been put because of multibillion fraud and tax evasion. From that time on, Mikhail Khodorkovsky* has started to make himself comfortably at home in London. Naturally, he masterly hides all his assets and purchases. For the last two years, the team of the website Prigovor.ru has managed to find out 4 real estate units of the former oligarch, and now has managed to prove with documents the existence of the fifths (It’s important to know about Khodorkovsky’s real fortune, because, as of today, he is a fraudulent debtor. Over the years, the Federal Bailiffs Service has been trying in vain to recover from him more than 17 billion rubles. (See also the article on the website FLB.ru ‘Fraudulent Tax-Dodger”.)
FIFTH ELEMENT. A MAN WITH A POUND STERLING
The website Prigovor.ru has found out that, on July 24, 2020, Khodorkovsky bought in his own name a house in the center of London, in the luxury residential compound St. Edmund’s Terrace worth almost two million pounds. Until now, there has been only rumors about this little ‘nest’ of Khodorkovsky, yet we have managed to determine the address, the price of the apartment and to get an extract from the UK real estate registry. Khodorkovsky’s love for comfort failed him: he wanted to restructure his little backyard, and in the request to the local authorities, his English agent honestly exposed the name of the ordering customer. So, now we can confidently say that 5 luxury real estate units with total worth amounting to 24 million pounds (nearly 3 billion rubles) are in possession of the fugitive debtor Khodorkovsky.
In the book written in co-authorship with Leonid Nevzlin*, his colleague and ordering customer of murders executed in the usual manner of the oil company Yukos, Khodorkovsky presents his real attitude towards Russian people – to the same people that he now promises to load with benefits.
‘Answer, why you outrageously throw hundred thousand rubles and dollars for delicacies? For that matter, it’s outrageous to share earnings with a tramp who is one million percent sure that he will not be allowed to die of hunger”, is written in his book ‘Man with a Ruble’ published in 1992.
A rather disrespectful extract with regard to ordinary citizens who work for a wage or salary and form the backbone of Russian economy. Although, it would be strange to expect real care for a ‘deep people’ from a man who has always been interested only in profit and personal income.
‘Our compass is profit … our hero – His Financial Majesty Capital, as it and only it leads to wealth’, write the co-authors in the same ‘folio’.
In his book, Khodorkovsky defines as ‘a man with a ruble’ a statistically average Russian businessman whose interests, according to the oligarch, is obliged to defend ‘a man with a rifle’, i.e. state institutions, first and foremost, a law enforcement system.
“A man with a rifle is vitally interested in prosperity of a man with a dollar. The Army defended the System which provided and guaranteed the possibility to live in high style’, ruminates Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky. Obviously, he dreams that also in Russia all branches of authorities will someday provide services only to a handful of well-to-do persons who spit upon other citizens.
Having emerged from jail, Khodorkovsky found himself in completely different dimensions. First, he flew to Germany, then to Switzerland, and, finally, settled in Foggy Albion. He transferred here from offshore accounts his fortune siphoned from Russia and started to form a comfortable little nest, while buying for himself, his family and for business purposes expensive real estate pieces. He opened up several companies and started to finance through them Russian opposition and produce films ‘in honor of himself’. Thus, as early as in 2015, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, from a sham champion for Russian economy, definitely morphed himself into ‘a man with a pound sterling’
DETACHED GATEKEEPER HOUSE VALUED AT TWO MILLION
We have already written about the private estate Best Beech Place at the cost of 4.7 million pounds in the suburbs of London. (See the article ‘British Luxury of Khodorkovsky’)
We reported as well on ‘the house of Russian opposition’ near Baker Street which had been bought for 12 million pounds to carry out meetings of activists of ‘Open Russia’ and its fellow-travelers. (See also the article ‘The Place of Gathering of ‘Good Russians’)
In general, a whole collection of real estate objects belonging to Mikhail Khodorkovsky has formed in London and its luxury suburbs. Apart from these ‘gathering sites’, there is also a house in Richmond which can be used by Khodorkovsky’s elder daughter Anastasia, as well as a ‘safe apartment’ in the backyard of ‘Open Russia’ – evidently, reserved for overnight stops for retinue.
Now, the website Prigovor.ru has received information about the fifth important purchase of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
In the center of London, on St. Edmund Street, 50, is situated a big residential premium compound, and its apartments were sold by the well-known real estate agency ‘Knight Frank’. Inhabitants of this complex have at their disposal a swimming pool, underground parking lot, concierge service, security personnel. This clubhouse consists of three buildings (blocks) with only several dozens of apartments.
Standing apart and located at the gates of this residence compound stays a quadrate two-story townhouse with additional basement floor. It is located literally at the front security gate – near the wicket and entrance gate to be seen by everybody. Perhaps, that is why it has the proper name Gate House. It has no number on it. Its apartments have views of the Primrose Hill, Shakespeare Park and the street of Saint Edmund, protector of Britain.
It’s this ‘gatekeeper house’ that Mikhail Khodorkovsky purchased for 2 million pounds. Nowadays, his real estate collection is worth 24 pounds sterling. How the design of the premises looks like – see on the infographic.
The total floor space of the Gate House is 111.76 square meters. The purchase was made on July 24, 2020, according to British real estate registry. The house stands out from the real estate collection of the oligarch – this is the only asset we know of that Mikhail Khodorkovsky has not hidden in an off-shore, but has registered in his own name.
According to documents, Mikhail Khodorkovsky has become, at least, the second owner of it. The first one was the developer himself who leased the house-apartment in 2015. In 2017, it was bought by the first owner about whom we will report later. Interestingly enough, in 2015 the apartment was estimated at 1.950.000 pounds, but in 2017 it went gown in value to 1.020.000 pounds. Now, after three years that Mikhail Khodorkovsky bought this apartment, it has become more expensive on the market and the price has gone up to 2.822.000 pounds.
In the advertising leaflet of the real estate agency ‘Knight Frank’ we could observe several peculiarities of the inner interior of the premises. Like an observation post, the house is equipped with French windows on all four sides. The upper floor is a studio which is not divided by any inner walls.
The kitchen is on the first floor. On the ground floor are located a master bedroom and a guest bedroom, a boiler room and a really humble in its size bathroom. Also there, on the semi-basement level, are placed two microscopic patio yards measuring 3.5 and 7.7 square meters. The master bedroom has a door leading to the bigger patio, and the balcony of the guest room opens on to the smaller one.
A patio means a closed by windows or by landscape inter yard which cannot be seen from the outside. That is why there are no frills there – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, while leaving the bedroom, is met by a white wall on the semi-basement level.
As the ‘gatekeeper’s little house’ is located near the main entrance to this residential unit, other dwellers and their guests are moving practically ‘on the head’ of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
It’s thanks to that two inner yards that we could identify that this ‘gatekeeper’s little house’ belongs to Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
SECRECY ‘WAS COVERED’ BY A ROOF
The British real estate registry doesn’t allow to search an address using the name of an owner. It’s only possible to find out the name of an owner if you know beforehand the street and the address. That is why we had to use alternative search methods. For instance, the name of an owner can be mentioned in open court documents or in municipal notes.
On the website of an urban district the name of an owner can be mentioned only if he requests from town’s authorities a permission to overhaul. A major rearranging, particularly in the center of London is to be obligatory approved or one has to get a so-called renovation certificate. A special commission will study potential influence on the environment, security of constructions, will check whether this violates any neighbors’ rights, and then approve the request or refuse to provide a permission to ‘renovate’.
It’s just such documents that have allowed journalists from the TV channel RT to find out additional confirmation that it’s Mikhail Khodorkovsky that lives on the six hectares of the ancient estate Best Beech Place, 60 kilometers from London, in the county East Sussex, near the town Wadhurst. In requests regarding addition of a conservatory and a lounge zone near the swimming pool, was mentioned the name of Natalia Shachkova – the closest confidant and assistant of the former oligarch. And in other requests, in the column ‘owner’, was mentioned the name of the law firm ‘Saffery Champness’, which manages Khodorkovsky’s personal trust ‘Corbiere Limited’ on the Guernsey Island.
In general, Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky likes to remake his homes according to his own tastes trying to reach a maximum level of comfort. So, in the ‘gatekeeper’s little house’ Khodorkovsky has also started finishing and furbishing. He didn’t like that any passerby can look at his little inner yards, and that London rains always flooded the wooden floor. That is why Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky addressed a project bureau and builders asking them to cover the inner yards with a flat wooden roof, and also deck light latches made of glass were envisaged in order to avoid darkness.
On January 21, 2021, a request came to the council of the borough Camden from an agent, employee of the architectural bureau ‘C-Side’ Martin Hammond. In the column ‘applicant’ Hammond indicated the real person interested in these changes. His surname is not written in, but in the box ‘Name’ is laconically mentioned ‘Mr. Khodorkovsky’.
Having found out thereafter that Mikhail Khodorkovsky has something to do with the apartments, we ordered an extract from the British real state registry. It confirmed this fact. Interestingly enough, in case with this apartment-house, Mikhail Khodorkovsky registered it to his own name, without hiding himself behind offshores, as he, for instance, had done in case with his country estate or with the club of ‘Open Russia’*.
‘It is supposed to build new roofs for each of the inner yards with a narrow roof along the perimeter, and with flat glass daylight hatches (in the center)’, wrote the applicant. ‘These proposals do not change neither the use nor the exterior of the building. The existing drainage system of rain waters will be conserved with new draining tubes on the roofs’.
The borough council had nothing against this plan, and the building works were approved. It follows from the documents that a certain ‘Natalia’, apart from the Englishman Hammond, was involved into the negotiating process in the name of Khodorkovsky – most likely, it was the same Natalia Shachkova, his old entrusted employee.
PAPER HIDE-AND-SEEK GAME
The editorial board of the website Prigovor.ru has been hunting already for three years on Khodorkovsky’s apartment in this residential compound. We started to ‘dig’ as early as at the beginning of 2020, receiving extracts from the Registry and addressing various election data bases of London hoping to get approximate list of voters. But the name of Khodorkovsky or, at least, of offshores and trusts connected with him were not there in the received data. There was anybody, you name it – famous lawyers, public figures, an investment holding from the United Arab Emirates – but only Mikhail Khodorkovsky was not to be found in these documents.
But he definitely had an apartment here. The Russian news agency RIA and the TV-channel NTV reported about his dwelling on St. Edmund’s Terrace as early as five years ago. But nobody could get hold of any details – neither apartment’s number, nor its price. A reporter of the TV-channel NTV even managed to get through to a vigilant concierge and, in the guise of a guest, to pose the question – where lives Mr. Khodorkovsky – but, predictably, he didn’t receive any information.
That is why the received extract regarding Gate House put us in a difficult position. The thing is that, according to the documents, Mikhail Khodorkovsky became owner of the ‘gatekeeper’s little house’ only in 2020. But, according to mass-media publications, he had been living there, at least, since 2018.
The situation started to became more clear when we addressed the UK Registry of legal persons. There, from the summer of 2017, has been functioning the legal person ’50 St. Edmund’s Terrace Freehold Limited’. The company deals with ‘buying and selling of its own immovable assets’ and also provide services to real estate agencies. The word ‘Freehold’ in the name of the above mentioned company is an indication that it deals with freehold immovable properties.
(It is important to tell here about particularities of property rights on Foggy Albion. There are two types of property in Britain – ‘freehold’, which means ‘eternal property’, and ‘leasehold property’, which means the right of long-term lease. As a rule, apartment in towns are sold to ‘leasehold’ and townhouses, houses and parcels of land – to ‘freehold’. A long term lease implies the right to buy a piece of immovable property, which expires after 50-90 years or lasts even longer. For example, apartments in the residential unit ‘St. Edmund’s Terrace’ were sold for the period of 999 years. At the same time, leasehold apartments have ‘an eternal owner’ – usually this is a developer or a company managing the house).
In 2022, Natalia Shachkova, constant assistant and nominal director of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in almost all his projects, became director of the firm ’50 St. Edmund’s Terrace’. The Website Prigovor.ru has already reported about activities of this woman and what role she plays in his business-grants-NGO empire. (See the investigation ‘Ten Women of Khodorkovsky’).
And specifically this company, from September 2017 up to the buying of the house by Khodorkovsky personally, this company was the owner of the ‘gatekeeper’s little house”. It had bought it from the developer ‘Regent’s Park Estate’, which means that, from the moment of the building in 2015 to the buying of it in 2017, the house had been uninhabitable. This is confirmed by the extract from the real estate Registry regarding this house which we ordered as early as at the beginning of 2020. Then the Gate House was called Townhouse 50.
The same data find their indirect confirmation also in annual reports of the organization. From the beginning of its existence, the company ’50 St. Edmund Terrace Freehold Ltd’ mentioned in its first annual reports ‘investments in real estate’. They amounted to 1,032,760 pounds sterling. This sum in the report is just the payment for the ‘gatekeeper’s little house’ in the period of the first buying in 2017 plus 12 760 pounds as the commission of agents and lawyers.
It turns out that, from 2017, Natalia Shachkova was in the leadership of the company that owed the same house that lately became individual propriety of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
What the firm ’50 St. Edmund’s Terrace Freehold’ has been doing, apart from making investments? Very scanty data give evidence that the office fulfils functions of something similar to a condominium apartment association, but with regard only to freehold property. The remaining names from the leadership of ‘50 St. Edmund Terrace Freehold Ltd’ correspond with other dwellers of the house which are known to us from the Registry. The company doesn’t have a ‘controlling person’ or main beneficiary. And in the social media for professionals LinkedIn (prohibited and unwelcome organization in Russia) the website Prigovor.ru has found a man who worked as a ‘main concierge’ and as a ‘manager of the house’. He mentioned as his place of work the firm headed by Natalia Shachkova. Apart from that, this firm is also mentioned in convents (special conditions of an agreement in the Anglo-Saxon or common law), on extracts regarding other apartments of this residential compound. Thus, this firm was needed to provide services for the whole complex St. Edmund Terrace.
On the bases of the mentioned above information we can put forward two versions.
First version: the ‘gatekeeper’s little house’, from the outset, from 2017, belonged to Mikhail Khodorkovsky through the company ’50 St, Edmund Terrace Freehold Limited’, which is now headed by Natalia Shachkova. Then he, for whatever reasons, decided to file it on his own name. Against this version speaks the fact of putting openly on sale the gatekeeper’s little house: the information about this was placed on websites of real estate agencies and a video-tour to the apartment was recorded.
Second version: the ‘gatekeeper’s little house’, in its previous reincarnation, was something like a guest house which had been leased on temporary basis. And profits from the lease were divided between beneficiaries – dwellers of the residential complex. For this version speak the forms of activities of this organization as well as presence in its leadership other dwellers of the residential complex.
In such a case, Mikhail Khodorkovsky should have other apartments, but we haven’t found paper traces of them. Yet, having in mind Khodorkovsky’s love for various schemes, it’s impossible to exclude that, from 2017, had leased this house ‘to himself’ – through ’50 St. Edmund’s Terrace Freehold Limited’. But, in so far as the right for a legal person, and thus, for the house, had also other inhabitants, he decided, at a certain moment, to buy out the asset to his exclusive personal use. All the more so, that such episodes already have taken place – recently the website Prigovor.ru wrote about Khodorkovsky’s love for ‘self-crediting’. In 2023, the company ‘Wimpole 101 limited’, that manages the club of ‘Open Russia’** belonging to Khodorkovsky and located in the luxury district Marylebone, borrowed 3 million 411 thousand pounds sterling from the firm ‘Hanover 16 Ltd’. The same Natalia Shachkova happens to be director of both firms, and Khodorkovsky himself had owned earlier ‘Hannover’.
And, in June 2023, the investigative department of the TV channel RT reported about a similar pattern. Journalists of this channel told about how Khodorkovsky’s producer center “MBK Productions Limited’ had lent out to Khodorkovsky’s own lawyer Kamilla Mekhtiyeva 4.3 million pounds. Mekhtiyeva was simultaneously the owner of this producing firm. In fact, she had lent out money to herself. About Mechtiyeva, one of the ‘ten women of Khodorkovsky’ whom he uses for covering tracks and servicing his criminal interests, the website Prigovor.ru also wrote in the article entitled “Ten Women of Khodorkovsky’.
Author: Alexey Velarov
* Khodorkovsky Mikhail Borisovich, born 26.06.2063, was acknowledged on 20.05. 2022 by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as physical person fulfilling functions of a foreign agent. He was included in the Registry of Foreign Agents with No 389. In 2015, Russia put Khodorkovsky on the international wanted list in connection with his involvement in the murder the mayor of the town Nefteyugansk Vladimir Petukhov and attempted murder of the entrepreneur Yevgeny Rybin.
* Nevzlin Leonid Borisovich, born 21.09.1959, Personal Insurance Policy Number (SNILS) 094-463-07079, was included, on 23.06.2023, in the Registry of foreign agents with number 622. On August 1, 2008, Nevzlin as ordering customer and organizer of five murders and six attempted murders, was sentenced in absentia to a life-long imprisonment. The European Court of Human Rights, as the result of studying Nevzlin’s complaint in 2022, pointed out that it had not established ‘any bias in the position of the court’ in Russia;
** Otkrytaya Rossia (Open Russia, Great Britain) – organization whose activities was acknowledged as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation in accordance with the decision of the Office of the Prosecutor General of 26.04.2017.