The Russian businessman Ruslan Rostovtsev is controlling coal mining in the occupied Donbas, then selling it to European partners under the pretense of Russian coal. EU and Ukraine have not yet imposed sanctions against him, as reported by "Цензор.НЕТ” with a link to a “Stop Corruption” investigation.
The journalists have also found that Rostovtsev opens pseudo-embassies of DPR/LPR in Europe. Moreover, he appears in a number of Russian corruption scandals.
In May, the Kremlin adopted a decision to change a curator of the occupied Donbas territories. Former ambassador to the Republic of Belarus, Mikhail Babich, held this position. With this, the influence of the oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko on LPR/DPR will decrease, and Ruslan Rostovtsev will take his place.
In the 90s, Rostovtsev worked in Moscow and Sochi city halls, dealing with urban planning. He was involved in a construction scandal, as the funds allocated to the base for training astronauts disappeared. The company “Krontex”, owned by Rostovtsev’s father, received the money.
Rostovtsev was also involved in a scheme to withdraw at least 1 trillion rubles from the Russian Federation in 2015. The funds went to offshore companies and foreign banks based on Moldavian fake court decisions. The investigators discovered that it was Rostovtsev who controlled the company from the Marshall Islands, which was involved in withdrawing the funds.
According to "Stop Corruption", Rostovtsev owns such offshore companies as Grandwood Systems, Enim Consultants, Talis Investments, Oraccle Holding, Snowood Holding, Nabeo Services, Libur Trading, Kannon Investments, Kobat Enterprises.
The largest scandal associated with Rostovtsev is the “ledger” case. In 2009, he invested his funds in a share of the Kuzbass mines. In April of 2015, the director of the enterprise, Nikolay Lember, died in an accident. Rostekhnadzor tried to bury the case, but the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation searched the place and found a file called “Cash--non-cash”. The document included a list of officials’ last names and names of state institutions, with amounts of money written opposite them ($200,000 – for the prosecutor’s office, $80,000 – for Rostekhnadzor, $741,000 for the Department of Economic Security of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, etc.).
According to the journalists’ data, Rostovtsev exports around one-third of all coal mined in DPR/LPR. That is about 700,000 tons per year.
"The coal of the Rostovtsev’s company is presented as mined at the Taldinskaya-Kyrgayskaya mine, although the brands are different," journalists say.
The coal is bought by Rostovtsev’s company registered in Cyprus, Coliner Limited, which agrees on this with the DPR’s enterprise “Donbasuglerestrukturizatsiya” (Donabas Coal Restructuring). The intermediary is the Swiss Kaproben Handels, which Rostovtsev profits from. Most of the raw materials are purchased by the Swiss coal trader SDS Group MIR Trade AG.
Rostovtsev also demonstrates he is an ardent supporter of the DPR/LPR and the “Russian Spring”. He openly sponsors the activity of illegal republics’ pseudo-governments, and he has been spotted buying military equipment for DPR/LPR in the West. According to journalists, the businessman is trying to “buy” the loyalty of the Kremlin regime with this kind of activity, as the “Orthodox billionaire” Konstantin Malofeev was able to do.
“Malofeev would have been long in jail for once stealing a $225 million VTB loan for the purchase of dairies (with the total debt, including interest and penalties, being almost $ 600 million), but the “Russian spring” wrote everything off... Malofeev was forgiven ", journalists write.
The Myrotvorets website posted the information about Rostovtsev “systematically providing 1 AC DPR and DPR’s Ministry of State Security with military equipment (thermal imagers, night vision devices, unmanned aerial vehicles (Arctrus T-20 UAV), etc.) and being the main sponsor of opening the so-called “Representative Center of the DPR” in Czech Republic, as well as in Marseille and Turin, France and Italy, through his company Besemer Consultants.”
NSDC sources told the reporters that the submission on including Rostovtsev in the sanctions list was filed in the summer of 2018, but there has been no decision on it yet.