Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is alleged to have a secret mistress with an influential position in the country’s foreign ministry.
The woman is also said to have an estimated property of more than a billion rubles, for which no reasonable explanation can be found.
In euros, the amount is just over 11 million.
The matter is evident from a report released on Tuesday on the IStories website maintained by Russian investigative journalists.
The content of the article has also been published in English by the international community of investigative journalists OCCRP.
According to IStories, a source close to the Foreign Ministry told reporters that a woman named Svetlana Poljakova has had a “very close relationship” with Lavrov, who has served as Russia’s foreign minister since 2004, for years.
Poljakova is said to have worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2014.
According to official data, Lavrov, 71, has been married to Maria Lavrova since 1971.
The couple has a daughter, Jekaterina, born in 1982.
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Reporters learned the full name of Lavrov’s alleged secret lover from a YouTube video released by the Russian Orthodox Church in December 2014, in which he spoke at St. Sergei Radonezhainen’s Church near St. Petersburg after being asked for its board.
The reconstruction of the church, which was destroyed during the Soviet era, had just been completed at that time.
On the same occasion, Russian Patriarch Kirill awarded “Svetlana Aleksandrovna Poljakova, an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation” with her medal for her work in the restoration of the church (the award can be seen in the video in 12.12).
The woman’s middle name, patronymic or hostname “Aleksandrovna” revealed in the video, provided journalists with the key to a more detailed examination of her background.
In December 2014, the Russian Patriarch Kirill awarded Svetlana Poljakova with a medal.
The image comes from a video the church posted on its Youtube account at the time.
Photo: Youtube / Russian Orthodox Church
It is noteworthy that in the video, the publicly unknown Poljakova was seen touring the church in a party with President Vladimir Putin in addition to Lavrov.
This is estimated to tell of the status of Poljakova.
- In order to get close to the President at a similar limited number of people, you have to go through several approvals.
The fact that Poljakova was involved in the “elite party” tells of her special status, the report says.
The full name allowed the journalists to trace Poljakova's phone number, which was compared using the application to contact lists of different people.
It turned out that several people had listed the woman in their own contacts under the name “Svetlana Lavrova”, although this did not appear in that surname in the official registers.
The journalists also used their sources to access the air traffic database, according to which Poljakova has traveled with Lavrov on at least three flights between Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi.
At the Foreign Ministry, Poljakova is said to have hired several good friends for various positions.
In connection with the appointments, employees who opposed them have been forced to resign, a person who experienced similar treatment told reporters.
The property registers, on the other hand, revealed that Poljakova and her family own a total of more than EUR 11 million worth of apartments in Russia and Britain, as well as several luxury cars, some of which are used by her mother.
Ownerships include an apartment on the shores of the Black Sea in a luxury house in Sochi and an apartment in one of Moscow's most expensive addresses.
Poljakova’s London-based daughter Polina, 26, is a company registered in a house in the Kensington fine-grained area that specializes in real estate.
At the age of 21, the daughter of Polina rented an apartment in the same building for 999 years and paid more than five million euros in rent in connection with the contract.
According to IStories, this is a common way to acquire indirect property ownership in the UK.
The amount of property of Poljakova and her family is not explained by the woman's income, which, in addition to the salary described by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as meager, is the income she receives from her companies.
Based on financial data, for example, a restaurant in Moscow named after Poljakova generated only about 1.4 million euros in 2015–2020.
Lavrov nominated the ruling party for a united Russia in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The administration has sought to silence the opposition during the election.
Photo: ALEXEY PAVLISHAK / Reuters
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According to data published earlier this year by the independent news site Insider, Lavrov also has real estate holdings worth about seven million, which, however, lag behind Poljakova’s assets.
Lavrov's annual salary of EUR 85,000-115,000 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also considered to be low in relation to the assets he has accumulated.
Poljakova and the Russian Foreign Ministry did not respond to IStories' requests to comment.
IStories is one of the actors declared last month as “foreign agents” following a change in the law in Russia.
Lavrov’s privacy report is the site’s first major release since the statement.Keywords: