Thursday, May 31, 2012

Russia's Strategic Foreign Investment Law May Expand to Internet and Print Media

Under a draft bill amending the law on foreign investment initiated by the State Duma Property Committee, decisions on foreign investment in popular Internet services and any print media would soon require approval from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.  Current law restricts foreign investment only in television and radio and print media with a circulation of more than 1 million, but the draft bill would expand the list of companies that have strategic importance, adding Internet companies that provide socially important services, all printed publications regardless of circulation and printing and broadcasting companies.  The proposed bill would cover all broadcast media, print media with a circulation of more than 1 million, and websites with more than 20 million users. Russia's foreign investment law establishes a special procedure for investments in strategic companies and makes it possible to buy more than 10 percent of voting shares only with the permission of the government's Foreign Investment Commission (headed by the prime minister) and the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service.

Russia and China to Partner on Aircraft Project

United Aircraft Corporation and Chinese Commercial Aircraft Corporation plan to start a joint venture to develop long-haul aircraft, with Russia providing the knowledge base and design expertise for the project, while China will supply the financing and manufacturing facilities. The new aircraft, currently code named "2020," will be based on the Ilyushin II-96, a four-engine airliner designed in the Soviet Union.  Planes will be produced in China, but Russia is expected to benefit from the funds its partner will inject into local research, Sergei Sanakoyev, secretary of the Russian-Chinese Center of Trade and Economic Cooperation, told Vedomosti.

Russian Lawyer Launches "Machine of Truth"

Russian well-known lawyer, anti-corruption activist, and anti-Kremlin campaigner Alexei Navalny unveiled what he calls "The Good Machine of Truth" aiming to increase the number of his supporters in his fight with Russia’s current political system. The website opened for those willing to register and “help spread the word about the deeds of the current leadership and its entourage.” The goal is to get some activists to prepare information materials, which may vary in form, and others to spread the word by posting, tweeting, visiting neighbors and other means. “Actually, neither [President Vladimir] Putin, nor his crooks and thieves [from ruling party United Russia] have any supporters … There are only people, we haven’t worked with,” Navalny explained.

Russian Protestor Jailed for Spitting on Putin Portrait

A court in southern Russia sentenced an opposition activist to 15 days in jail for spitting on a portrait of President Vladimir Putin. Dmitry Karuyev, a member of the Other Russia movement, was detained as he staged a one-man protest outside the offices of the ruling United Russia party in Cheboksary, some 660 kilometers south of Moscow, on the eve of Putin's May 7 inauguration for a third term. Originally Karuyev said he had "sneezed, not spat" on the portrait, but during the trial admitted that he indeed spat on it as a protest against Putin's policy. Karuyev was found guilty of "hooliganism." (police report) (judgment)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Russia's Ban Prohibiting Prisoners from Voting Disputed in ECHR

The ban prohibiting prisoners from voting has been disputed in the European Court of Human Rights, attorney Igor Trunov, who filed the appeal, said. According to the constitution, prisoners are not entitled to take part in elections. According to Trunov, the right to vote should only be deprived in specific crimes as a separate punishment. Those crimes would likely deal with politics, such as extremism, he said. He added that the appeal was filed in the interests of Yevgeny Yartsev, who has been serving a 19-year sentence in a penal colony in the Irkutsk Region.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Khodorkovsky Suggests UK to Consider Blacklisting Russian Officials

In a written interview with UK's The Sunday Telegraph, jailed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky suggested that the UK authorities put visa pressure on Russian officials. Answering the question whether the UK should deny entry permission to Vladimir Putin during the Olympics in London, Khodorkovsky said: “It will be very difficult for the British government to ban any head of state from coming to the Olympics, especially if this state is a member of the Big Eight and the Council of Europe.” However, he added that “the British government could do something to emphasize the importance of human rights while hosting the Olympics."  Khodorkovsky added, "In June 2011 one of the Russian opposition leaders Garry Kasparov presented the US House of Representatives with a list of people involved in human rights abuses, and I would call on the British government to pay extra attention to Kasparov’s list and compare it to the list of the Russian delegation members who are set to visit London in 2012.”

The Sunday Telegraph supplemented the interview with the following comment: "In a letter passed to The Sunday Telegraph from his prison cell, Mr Khodorkovsky urged a ban on 308 officials including high-profile figures such as Russian deputy prime minister Vladislav Surkov, youth leader Vasily Yakemenko and controversial elections chief Vladimir Churov."

The interpretation of the statement became the subject of heated debate.  Khodorkovsky's attorney Yury Schmidt said in a radio interview: "I am absolutely convinced that Khodorkovsky could not compile such a list. It's some kind of intentional error or an overt provocation.” In response, the author of the original article Tom Parfitt explained in another radio interview: “The fact that Khodorkovsky referred to Garry Kasparov’s list of 308 Russian officials involved in human rights violation and urged the British government to compare it to the list of Russian delegation members invited to the Olympics in London gave me a reason to assert that he’d want Britain to ban them from visiting the Olympics.” In turn, RT, a Russian-government-funded TV, published on its web site an article entitled "British journo 'twisted Khodorkovsky’s words in made-up letter.’" RT explained:  "The journalist admitted that his newspaper did not receive any message from the imprisoned ex-head of Yukos, and that Khodorkovsky was only interviewed by the newspaper in written form." RT added that according to Khodorkovsky's lawyers, Parfitt "misrepresented Khodorkovsky’s words."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ukrainian MPs Fight over Russian Language

A violent scuffle erupted in Ukraine's parliament Thursday evening over a bill that would allow the use of the Russian language in courts, hospitals and other institutions in the Russian-speaking regions of the country. The fight broke out between members of the pro-Western opposition, who want to take Ukraine out of Russia's shadow, and lawmakers from President Viktor Yanukovych's party, which bases its support in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east. Ukraine is deeply divided into the Russian-speaking east and south, which favors close ties with Moscow, and the Ukrainian-speaking west, which wants Ukraine to join the Western club. Under the Ukrainian constitution, Ukrainian is the only official state language in Ukraine. Before he was elected in 2010, President Viktor Yanukovych promised to make Russian the other official language but then did not achieve the required majority in parliament to get the bill through. (video)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

China's Online Trading Platform AliExpress Gains Direct Foothold in Russia

Russians will soon gain direct access to the world’s biggest online trading platform, China’s AliExpress. AliExpress has joined Russia’s leading electronic payment service - QIWI - allowing Russian consumers to buy Chinese products direct via QIWI Purse (a mobile application) or by using any of the 120,000 payment terminals across Russia. AliExpress, part of world e-commerce leader, has recently become hugely popular in Russia, growing 600% in the first quarter of 2012 (compared with the same period last year).  Alibaba is also mulling partnering up with social networks in Russia, Leo Shgen, director for global operations at, told RBC daily. “We’ll be aggressively looking for partners, and also hoping for the company’s organic growth,” he added.

Russian Companies Welcome in Offshore Fields, but May Not Sell Rights to Foreign Entities

All non-state Russian fuel and energy companies should have the right to develop offshore oil and natural gas fields, as long as they don't resell their rights to foreign corporations, says President Vladimir Putin.
"No one is banned from working offshore. If a private company is looking to come on board and is ready to bear the risks, just as foreign players do, the doors are open to everybody," said Putin during a meeting with business leaders. Putin warned, however, that the government did not want "private companies holding licenses for offshore projects to resell them to ExxonMobil, Chevron or other foreign players."  Under Russian law, only state-owned companies with more than five years' experience in such projects can develop offshore fields, and currently only Gazprom and Rosneft enjoy the right to develop offshore deposits.  Lukoil, TNK-BP, Bashneft and Surgutneftgas have recently agreed to join Rosneft in developing hydrocarbon deposits in Russia's Arctic offshore fields, while Gazprom will, through its subsidiaries, continue to develop offshore oil and gas fields in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Barents and Pechora seas.

Russian Spammer Jailed by Armenian Court

Russian hi-tech criminal Georgiy Avanesov, a cybercrime mastermind who hijacked the PCs of more than 30 million people, has been jailed for four years by an Armenian court.  Avanesov was arrested in 2010 on arrival in Armernia's Yerevan airport. Avanesov's Bredolab network of hijacked machines began operating in 2009, and at its height, the botnet was sending out more than three billion junk mail messages a day. The botnet was also hired out to other cyber criminals who used it to carry out attacks on websites, advertise fake anti-virus programs and send out their own spam and viruses. By sending out spam and doing work for hire, the Bredolab botnet reportedly produced a revenue of about 100,000 euros (£80,000) a month for Avanesov, its 27-year-old creator. Avanesov's trial is a milestone for Armenia as it is reportedly the first time the country has convicted a computer criminal.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

OECD: Better Perspective for Russia in 2012

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a deepening debt pit in the euro zone will drag its economy down 0.1% in 2012, but Russia promises a more rosy picture, with its GDP growth backed by high oil. OECD said the country’s GDP will speed up in 2012, growing 4.5% compared to 4.3% in 2011. Inflation should also fall this year to 4.6%, down from 8.4% a year ago.
Better figures from the OECD mainly rest on the assumption that oil prices will remain high, which should be used by Russia’s authorities to consolidate the country’s budget. The organization believes that the average oil price will remain at $115/bbl in 2012 or somewhat above that. Given a huge non-oil budget deficit that currently stands at 10% of its GDP, it is essential for the Russian government to revise the balance of income and expenses now, when they sill enjoy a huge flow of “oily money,” OECD concludes.

Veronika Skvortsova Appointed Health Minister

Foreign and local drugmakers welcomed the appointment of Veronika Skvortsova as health minister, saying they expect her to bring a scientific approach to implementing the recent order by President Vladimir Putin to improve the health-care system over the next six years. Among the goals set by Putin for his six-year term in the Kremlin is to increase the average life expectancy, which currently stands at 69 years, by improving health-care policy, and increasing the share of domestically made strategic drugs the government purchases from slightly above 20 percent to 50 percent by 2020. Skvortsova will have to deal with drugmakers’ concerns over the prospects of the Russian market, as some of them said Tuesday that they would like to see Russia become a more predictable environment to invest in. Unlike China and India, which provide long-term investment opportunities, Russia is the emerging market of “short-term opportunities,” Adamyan of Janssen-Cilag said.  “Russia is a fully unpredictable environment, which makes … investors nervous,” she said, adding that the market also lacks transparency. “If we can manage these two things the right way, we may become one of the best places to invest.”

Sberbank Crowned Top Russian Global Brand

According to Millward Brown Optimor's annual "Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands" rating, Sberbank is the strongest Russian brands globally, with a value of $10.6 billion. Russia's largest bank jumped 25 spots on the list, landing at 74th place -- ahead of 85th ranked Mobile TeleSystems, the only other Russian brand to make the list. The rating measures brand value based on a combination of the brand's contribution to corporate earnings and expected future earnings, and covers more than 50,000 brands in more than 30 countries. "The high appreciation of the Sberbank brand is due to the bank's record-breaking financial results as well as the changes in the perceptions of the bank's customers, related primarily to the changes in the level of service," said Denis Bugrov, the bank's senior vice president, in a statement. "A new image of Sberbank is being formed as a modern, high-tech and customer-friendly company,"he added.  Other Russian brands, including Aeroflot and Russian Railways, have also recently undertaken rebranding efforts but so far failed to make it to the top 100. The total value of the brands in the 2012 rating reached $2.4 trillion. Apple kept its grip on the top spot with a brand value of $183 billion. Other brands in the top five included IBM, Google, McDonald's and Microsoft.

UK Court Seizes Russian Businessman's Assets

A British court has seized the assets of Russian businessman and Lithuania's Snoras bank shareholder Vladimir Antonov upon the request of the bank's bankruptcy administrator. The seized property is worth an estimated 493 million euro. In 2011, the Lithuanian government decided to nationalize the bank to rescue it from bankruptcy. Snoras then suspended its operations. Later in 2011, the Bank of Lithuania acknowledged that even a federal funds injection would not save the bank and decided to shut Snoras down. Both major Snoras shareholders - Antonov and his Lithuanian business partner Raimondas Baranauskas - have been suspected of appropriating the bank's assets and financial fraud. They were arrested in London in late November 2011 upon the Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office's request. They were later released on bail.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Saakashvili: Georgia May Join NATO in 2014

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who took part in the NATO summit in Chicago, believes that Georgia is highly likely to become a full-fledged NATO member in 2014. "The next summit is due to take place in 2014 and Georgia has very good chances of becoming a full-fledged member of NATO together with the three Balkans countries. I have never been so sure of that as I am now," Saakashvili told reporters in Chicago. "I think our ill-wisher - I will not name him - will do everything to destabilize Georgia before the next NATO summit, including during the elections, and then will say that a country like Georgia can't join NATO, like they did in 2008. However, the people of Georgia are already experienced and will not make the same mistake again," Saakashvili said.

Iran Recalls its Ambassador to Azerbaijan

Iran has recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mohammad Bagher Bahrami, Azerbaijan’s SalamNews agency said on Tuesday (citing diplomatic sources). The move has allegedly been made in response to insults against Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a protest in front of the Iranian embassy in Baku. Bahrami is expected to leave the country “for consultations” on Tuesday and the date of his return is unknown. Ties between Tehran and Baku have deteriorated recently. In February and March, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of National Security carried out several clandestine operations to reveal Iranian spies and intelligence agents in Baku preparing sabotage and terrorist actions. Iran has accused Azerbaijan, which borders Iran and has friendly relations with the United States and Israel, of colluding with the Israeli intelligence in the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist in January.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Russia Fines GM Subsidiary for Using Olympic Symbols

Russia's Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's decision that General Motors Subsidiary, Daewoo Auto and Technology CIS, broke the law by using Olympic symbols to sell vehicles and should pay a fine of $740,000. In June 2011, the Sochi-2014 Organizing Committee claimed the company was engaged in unfair competition for using Olympic symbols to sell Chevrolet cars; in particular, the company named a car color "Olympic white." It has been held that "Olympic" is a protected verbal component of the Olympic Committee's trademark registered for several goods, including motor vehicles.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tajikistan, Turkmenistan Ban "The Dictator"

Tajikistan has decided not to screen Sacha Baron Cohen's latest spoof blockbuster, The Dictator, after authorities concluded the movie was incompatible with the nation's mentality. Turkmenistan is also unlikely to show the comedy, though it is being released in other former Soviet republics. The film features Baron Cohen as General Aladeen, the tyrannical ruler of a fictitious country. In 2006 Kazakhstan banned Borat, another Baron Cohen comedy depicting a Kazakh journalist who travels to the US to marry Pamela Anderson. (official trailer)

Russia Slams Foreign Courts for "Unfair Competition"

Speaking at the International Legal Forum in St Petersburg, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev criticized “unfair competition practices of foreign legal systems,” including “discouraging references to other legal and court systems” (apparently meaning the Russian system). Russia’s Supreme Arbitrazh (Economic) Court head Anton Ivanov further slammed the practice of Russian entrepreneurs to bring their disputes to foreign courts (usually UK ones) and suggested adopting special legislation to protect Russia from “encroachments upon its sovereignty.” According to Ivanov, the measures should include the possibility for:  (1) review by Russian courts of foreign judgments unfavorable to Russian persons; (2) seizure of the assets of foreign persons having obtained such foreign judgments against a Russian person; and (3) a ban on the entry into Russia for foreigners responsible for such judgments. “By adopting the relevant law, Russia should guarantee its citizens and entities protection from the unfair competition of foreign jurisdictions,” Ivanov said. Medvedev praised Ivanov’s idea and called the proposed legislation “a civilized way to settle the matter.” Foreign guests’ reaction was less enthusiastic. In particular, UK’s Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Kenneth Clarke in an interview given to the Kommersant daily recommended: “Try to understand why your businessmen distrust your judges. … When your judicial system is better than the British one, then British companies will select Russian forums.”

Amnesty International: Navalny, Udaltsov are Prisoners of Conscience

The international rights group Amnesty International has declared Russian opposition figures Aleksei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov to be "prisoners of conscience." The head of Amnesty's office in Russia, Sergei Nikitin, said Navalny and Udaltsov "sought to realize their right to freedom of demonstrations, rallies and processions by nonviolent, peaceful methods, but they were detained and subsequently placed behind bars." Navalny and Udaltsov were detained at a rally in Moscow, accused of refusing to obey orders from law-enforcement officers and ultimately sentenced to 15 days in jail each.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Russian Web Search Engine Sued in U.S.

A controlling stockholder of Yandex, Russia's biggest Internet search engine, has filed a petition with the United States District Court for the Northern Districtof California to dismiss a lawsuit claiming Yandex's breach of intellectual property rights. Perfect 10, an American erotic photo publisher, and the owner of an adult site, filed a suit against Yandex in late March for the violation of copyright law. Perfect 10 maintains that registered Yandex N.V. domain names,,, publish pictures belonging to Perfect 10's core business. The defendant seeks to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the U.S. Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Yandex.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Obama to Skip Summit in Russia

President Barack Obama will skip an Asia-Pacific summit in Russia hosted by President Vladimir Putin in early September, the White House said on Monday. The White House announcement followed Putin's decision, after his return to the Kremlin last week, to pull out of a summit of the Group of Eight major industrialized nations to be hosted this weekend by Obama at the Camp David presidential retreat. Both countries have denied using summit decisions to snub the other.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

EU Concerned Over Jailed Opposition Leaders in Moscow

The European Union is concerned over the arrests of Russian opposition movement leaders during the recent protest rallies in Moscow, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said. “The High Representative is concerned about the arrests of opposition leaders in Moscow and the 15-day prison sentence imposed on some of them on 9 May 2012," Ashton’s spokesperson said in a statement posted on the EU website. Anti-corruption blogger and opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny and leader of Russia’s opposition Left Front movement Sergei Udaltsov were jailed for 15 days on Wednesday for disobeying police orders. Over 400 people were detained as a Moscow protest rally turned violent on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s May 7 presidential inauguration.

Russian Investigators to Question Sukhoi Staff Over Superjet-100 Crash in Indonesia

Investigators will question the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft workers involved in developing the Sukhoi Superjet-100 that crashed yesterday in Indonesia, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said. The SuperJet-100 crashed on May 9th during a promo flight. The aircraft carried passengers from five countries, including eight Russians, when it crashed on Mount Salak at a height of 5,200 feet. "I would like to stress that law enforcement agencies will investigate the case not only at the scene of the crash in Indonesia, but also in Russia where they will question the technical staff involved in preparing the aircraft for the flight, as well as the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft representatives responsible for developing and commissioning aircraft," Markin said.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Putin’s Spokesman: Protesters' Liver Should be Smeared Across the Pavement

After the police crackdown on the pre-inauguration opposition rally, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said in an interview with Dozhd TV that he wished the police would act in a tougher manner. Two days later Ilya Ponomaryov, a State Duma deputy for Just Russia and a prominent protest organizer, said Peskov told him personally that protesters' livers should be smeared across the pavement over the wounding of a riot police officer. In a later interview given to a prominent journalist Oleg Kashin the official confirmed the authenticity of his statement concerning the liver and emphasized that the police would be dispersing the continuing opposition actions.

Riot Policeman Charged Over Moscow Protest Beating

A riot police officer has been charged with beating a protester during an anti-Putin rally in Moscow last week, a senior police official said on Friday. The policeman, whose name was not given, is accused of abusing his position, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told RIA Novosti. The Committee acted after pledging on Thursday to "study " video footage which shows the helmeted officer kicking the woman in the stomach as she was being dragged along the street during the May 6th "March of Millions" rally on the eve of Vladimir Putin's presidential inauguration. The clip, posted on video sharing site YouTube, has sparked outrage in the independent media and blogosphere. More than 400 people were detained and dozens injured in the worst violence in the city since anti-Putin protests began in December. (video)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Russia’s Republican Party Legal Again

The Russian Justice Ministry has formally restored registration of the liberal Republican Party of Russia, allowing it to participate in elections. The party’s leader and co-chairman of the unregistered opposition movement Parnas, Vladimir Ryzhkov, told the press that his colleagues have received official confirmation from the ministry that the party is re-registered as of May 5. Ryzhkov added that the re-registration took place not under Russia’s new law on political parties, but due to a special order, in accordance with a decision of the European Court of Human Rights that ruled that the refusal to register the party was unlawful. “This makes the Republican Party the eighth officially registered political party in the country that has the right to participate in the elections of legislative bodies at all levels,” he added. The party was created in 1990 and banned by the Supreme Court in 2007 as part of the Kremlin’s broad campaign to weed out Russia’s political party scene, which then numbered dozens of entries.

Putin Cancels Talks with Obama

Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, will skip the G8 summit and ice breaker talks with President Barack Obama next week. Putin had been expected at the summit at Camp David and to hold talks with the US leader in a first test of whether the "reset" policy between the Kremlin and the White House will survive his return to the presidency. Instead Putin will send ex-President, and current Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, with whom Obama had a close relationship over the last three years, to the United States.

Ukraine Cancels Summit over Tymoshenko Row

Ukraine has indefinitely postponed a summit of Central European countries scheduled for 11-12 May in Yalta after 14 European leaders had refused to attend it in protest against reportedly cruel treatment of Ukraine’s jailed former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. A summit of Central and East European leaders is held every May. Being quite an informal meeting, the summit is yet considered a landmark international event. Twenty presidents attended a summit in Warsaw last year, with US President Barack Obama announcing a guest of honor. This time, the leaders of 14 European countries, including Germany, Estonia and the Czech Republic have boycotted the Yalta summit.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

U.S. Troubled by Violence in Moscow

The U.S. is "troubled by reports of violence in Moscow during the protests on May 6th and by the arrests that have been carried out over the last three days," a Department of State spokesman stated. "We are disturbed by images of police mistreatment of peaceful protestors both during the protests and after detentions," the official added. During the May 6 rally, which was dispersed by the police, and later at mass protests, hundreds of oppositionists were arrested. Most of them were released after a brief detention. (photo, video), video)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Turkish Businessman Accuses Uzbekistan of Torture

A Turkish businessman intends to file a torture case against the authorities in Uzbekistan (media reports do not specify to what court he is filing the case). In an interview with NBCentralAsia, Vahit Güneş, said, "The international community must learn of the brutalities that take place in places of detention in Uzbekistan.” Güneş, 46, was head of the Turkuaz shopping centre in the Uzbek capital Tashkent for seven years when he was detained in 2011 and held for nine-and-a-half months by the National Security Service. He says he was tortured while in detention to force him to sign confessions that were later used in court. None of the convicted businessmen was able to choose a defence lawyer, and had counsel appointed for them. "We were tortured badly using electric shocks," Güneş said. "We saw people tortured to death; some of them had heads, hands and bodies dismembered." A court found him and seven other businessmen guilty of tax evasion and “encouraging the black economy”, but instead of receiving custodial sentences, they were released under amnesty in late February 2012 and immediately deported. Their assets in Uzbekistan were seized by court order. A ninth Turkish businessman was sentenced to three years in prison and fined around 15,000 US dollars. Güneş is certain the Uzbek authorities contrived the case in order to acquire his assets which he valued at 60 million US dollars.

Ruissan Defense Company's Shares Stolen

Investigators found that 25 percent of Klimovsk Specialized Ammunition Plant shares, one of Russia's largest cartridge manufacturers, had been stolen from the state, Interior Ministry's Main Department of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption reported. "A 48-year-old unemployed man, a previous shareholder of Klimovsk Specialized Ammunition Plant, is suspected of stealing 25 percent of the plant's shares by submitting fake documents to the district court together with other former shareholders; he inflicted damages of over 52 million rubles to the company," the press release reads. The individuals have been charged with a large-scale fraud and falsification of evidence. They now face up to ten years in prison.