24 January 2024 in Dossier Powder Keg Russia, Finance, Home


The Russian invasion began in February 2014, while a bloody civil war was being fought in the capital and the large Ukrainian cities: Putin’s army entered and conquered Crimea, which was then annexed in a popular referendum, the regularity of which is impossible to verify[1] . But in March, the invasion stops. The two regions of Luhansk and Donbass, with a Russian majority, and for this reason victims of abuse and harassment by the political and military power in Kiev, are not “liberated”: international sanctions force Putin to accept victory in Crimea and wait for better times for further annexations – he merely finances irregular troops who organise attacks and kill opponents of Moscow in the disputed provinces[2] .

The preparation for the new war lasts eight years, during which Moscow invests in military technology, in armaments, in propaganda and cyberattack systems, in increasing the number of troops available, but also in organising systems capable of circumventing the sanctions that will inevitably be the West’s first reaction to an invasion of Ukraine. Among these systems is the one, already described by us, which sees the Russian state mint, the Goznak, printing money for a growing number of revolutionary nations and troops (as in Libya), in order to secretly build up Russian funds deposited in Africa and other countries needed for supplies of raw materials during the months of the invasion[3] . But there is another system, more subtle and delicate: the West does not sanction European and American companies doing business in Russia. Reshetnikov buys them, leaving Western management in charge, and in this way Russian trade in global markets continues undisturbed.

This is not an improvised solution. In the run-up to the so-called ‘Special Operation’ (the invasion of Ukraine), Putin changed some key positions in his government and chain of command. One of the new personalities who came to the fore is Maksim Gennadyevich Reshetnikov, appointed the Minister of Economic Development on 21 January 2020 at only 42 years of age. A prodigy boy, rewarded already in his early school years for being extraordinarily gifted, serious and ambitious[4] . He graduated at the age of just 20, in 2000, with a degree in economics, specialising in applied cybernetics, and two years later took a second degree as a linguist, along with a licence as a simultaneous interpreter[5] .

The boy wonder

20 February 2021: Vladimir Putin and Maksim Reshetnikov discuss the economic state of the Russian Federation[6]

Reshetnikov has been working since the end of school, to pay his way through university, and after graduating he was called upon to a brilliant public career: in 2005, at the age of just 25, he was the number one official in the Perm Oblast administration, hired by order of Moscow to lead the project to transform the Perm Krai district into a huge scientific laboratory – a task he performed so brilliantly, he was appointed (2007) supervisor of individual regions in the Ministry of Regional Development[7] . President Medvedev included him in the list of Russia’s most interesting young managers[8] , and he began to climb the ladder of public administration in the Moscow municipality[9] until he obtained, in 2012, the post of head of Moscow’s Department of Economic Policy and Development, in which he made important decisions: whereas before the city used to rent space to hawkers, now the city builds structures that it rents out, in order to create district markets. Reshetnikov introduces taxes on trade and a patent system for individual entrepreneurs, and raises property taxes on elite flats[10] . The municipality’s coffers are restored in just three years. The company he advises, Prognoz, becomes the capital’s main contractor for digitisation[11] .

In February 2017, at the age of 37, Putin appointed him Acting Governor of the Perm Region[12] , and in September he won the local elections with more than 82% of the vote[13] , at which time Reshetnikov joined Putin’s United Russia party: until then he had been an independent[14] , and of course he also made a very fast career within the party[15] . Putin appoints him as Minister of Economic Development[16] and, at the same time, puts him at the head of the main public industries and investment funds of the Russian Federation[17] . In March 2021, he became the Governor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). His position was suspended after the start of the war and the introduction of sanctions[18] . On 28 March 2022, the EBRD announced the closure of the Moscow and Minsk offices[19] .

Little does it matter: the Russians knew this was going to happen, and Reshetnikov has already strengthened the personal ties that immediately enable him to put into operation one of the plans devised by Moscow to circumvent the sanctions – a plan that was probably devised by the young manager and politician, who also becomes responsible for its execution: To use the network of connections developed over the years between the Russian Federation and individual businessmen, honorary consuls and small foreign companies in order to be able to continue to exchange foreign currency, buy and sell raw materials on the global market, to support (despite the war) the Russian GDP, so that the population would not suffer from the economic effect of the war and the national economy would be able to sustain the increased financial effort required to support the invasion and the exponential growth in the production of the war industry and the costs of maintaining the army.

Small personal vices

The elite NOVEL HOUSE deLuxe complex near the Tretyakov Gallery and the Kremlin[20]

Putin’s young champion is not without his weaknesses: in October 2019, he ended up in the crosshairs of Alexei Navalniy’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (which, due to an excess of critical courage, was declared an ‘extremist organisation’ by the Moscow Court in June 2021[21] ). In 2011, shortly after starting work in Moscow, Reshetnikov obtained a 141.4-square-metre flat in the luxurious Sokol district. A year later, he bought it for 70 million roubles (around USD 800,000) from the Department of Presidential Property Management, despite the fact that his official salary was USD 80,000 per year[22] .

He lived there with his wife and three children until 2014, and then sold it for 50 million, more or less – and chose to live almost under the Kremlin walls. The new flat, this time 254 m2 , is located in the elite NOVEL HOUSE deLuxe (until 2017 the most expensive building in the capital), a residential complex of only 8 flats, next to the Tretyakov Gallery, overlooking the Moskva River and the Kremlin[23] . A flat worth almost USD 4 million, which Reshetnikov, as the Anti-Corruption Foundation discovers, received free of charge from the builder, the Diaretstroy company, which belongs to Balash Balashev, a member of the Duma[24] . Navalniy asks: in exchange for what was this gift given? The Foundation asks the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation to find out the reasons, and demands the resignation of the head of the region[25] . Nothing happens.

In 2022, Maksim Reshetnikov was interrogated on suspicion of committing the crime of embezzling 67.7 million roubles (approximately USD 700,000), stolen from the coffers of the Sodeystvie Charitable Fund. The fund was established in 2010 on the basis of an agreement between the government of the Kama region and Lukoil, and regularly receives money for charitable and socio-cultural projects – for example, for events in various cities in the region, purchasing equipment for hospitals, and so on. Lukoil’s motive for the fund is to obtain tax incentives[26] .

According to investigators, the fund used the money for propaganda for the Perm Oblast government. Witnesses tell of gifts to friends of Reshetnikov, who led that government between 2017 and 2020[27] . He denies the charges, and eventually the investigators indict Elena Naydanova, former head of the fund, and Elena Lopaeva, former deputy prime minister of the Perm Krai government[28] . Initially, the State Prosecutor’s Office had planned to question Reshetnikov in court[29] , but later gave up[30] .

At the end of February 2022, Reshetnikov was also put on the list of persons under sanction by the European Union as a person who ‘undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine’. The EU notes that Reshetnikov is responsible for infrastructure development programmes in Crimea and Sevastopol[31] . He is also on the sanctions list of Canada[32] , the United States (as the part of the elite that supported Putin[33] ), Ukraine, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain[34] . But this does not change anything until decisions are taken to dismantle the financial, commercial and industrial network that he coordinates from Moscow and that spans the globe. We, in an exemplary manner, will examine the existing structures in Luxembourg, Italy, Norway, the Czech Republic, Holland, Spain, Montenegro, the island of Cyprus, Libya, Malta. Unfortunately, we cannot analyse the structure coordinating this action, the Russian state property agency, called Rosimushchestvo, because it has been removed from the web.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annexation_of_Crimea_by_the_Russian_Federation

[2] https://css.ethz.ch/en/services/digital-library/articles/article.html/7b91e171-a779-43d3-9f24-35e8a88d8974 ; https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-11-13/eastern-ukraine-why-putin-encouraged-sham-elections-in-donbass ; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/08/03/ukraine-russia-war-latest-news-putin-grain-deal/


[4]Знакомые  Максима Решетникова рассказали о нем | Новости Перми и Пермского края – Про Город Пермь (archive.org)

[5] Вечерняя Москва – На звездах систему не построишь. Максим Решетников считает, что нужны профессионалы-ремесленники (archive.org)

[6] http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/64965

[7]Кто  такой Максим Решетников, новый губернатор Пермского края – Meduza

[8]Чем  известен Максим Решетников – Картина дня – Коммерсантъ (archive.org)

[9] Кто такой Максим Решетников, новый губернатор Пермского края – Meduza ; Вечерняя Москва – На звездах систему не построишь. Максим Решетников считает, что нужны профессионалы-ремесленники (archive.org)

[10]Кто  такой Максим Решетников, новый губернатор Пермского края – Meduza

[11]Кто  такой Максим Решетников, новый губернатор Пермского края – Meduza

[12]Максим  Решетников назначен временно исполняющим обязанности губернатора Пермского края – Президент России (archive.org)

[13] Чем известен Максим Решетников – Картина дня – Коммерсантъ (archive.org) ; Максим Решетников назначен временно исполняющим обязанности губернато Пермского края – Президент России (archive.org)

[14]Губернатор  Пермского края Максим Решетников вступил в Партию (er.ru)

[15] Ротация в составе Высшего Совета “Единой России” составила 16% (er.ru) ; Банк документов ∙ Документы ∙ Президент России (kremlin.ru) ; Распоряжение Президента Российской Федерации от 28.01.2019 г. № 23-рп – Президент России (kremlin.ru)

[16] Подписаны указы о назначении министров Правительства Российской Федерации – Президент России (kremlin.ru)

[17] Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 12.05.2020 № 320 ∙ Официальное опубликование правовых актов (pravo.gov.ru) ; Решетников, Максим Геннадьевич – ПЕРСОНА ТАССС (tass.ru)

[18] Решетникова назначили управляющим от России в ЕБР вместо Орешкина – ТАСС (tass.ru)

[19] EBRD to close its offices in Moscow and Minsk

[20] ЖК Novel House (Новел Хаус) – купите квартиру в Москве рядом с Третьяковской галереей (novel-house.ru)

[21] Решение суда по ФБК. Как отреагировал Навальный и другие – DW – 10.06.2021

[22]Московская  роскошь пермского губернатора – откуда у Решетникова квартира за 200 миллионов (pasmi.ru)

[23] Official web-site: ЖК Novel House (Новел Хаус) – купите квартиру в Москве рядом с Третьяковской галереей (novel-house.ru)

[24]Московская  роскошь пермского губернатора – откуда у Решетникова квартира за 200 миллионов (pasmi.ru)

[25]Московская  роскошь пермского губернатора – откуда у Решетникова квартира за 200 миллионов (pasmi.ru)

[26] В суде по делу о хищениях из фонда “Содействие – XXI век” не будут допрашивать экс-губернарато Прикамья Максима Решетникова – 25 октября 2023 – 59.ru

[27]Фонд  “Содействие-XXI век” нарушал целевой характер расходования средств – РБК (rbc.ru)

[28]Глава  минэка РФ Решетников отверг причастность к хищениям в Перми – РБК (rbc.ru) ; Экс-директору фонда “Содействие – XXI век” Елене Найдановой и бывшему вице-премьеру Пририкамья Елене Лопаевой предъявили обвинение в хищении 67,7 миллиона рублей в Ленинском суде – 21 июня 2023 – 59.ru

[29] Экс-директору фонда “Содействие – XXI век” Елене Найдановой и бывшему вице-премьеру Пририкамья Елене Лопаевой предъявили обвинение в хищении 67,7 миллиона рублей в Ленинском суде – 21 июня 2023 – 59.ru

[30] В суде по делу о хищениях из фонда “Содействие – XXI век” не будут допрашивать экс-губернарато Прикамья Максима Решетникова – 25 октября 2023 – 59.ru

[31] Рада рекомендовала СНБО Украины ввести санкции против всех российских депутатов, которые голосовали за признание “ДНР” и “ЛНР” (currenttime.tv) ; Personas profils | Служба финансовой разведки (fid.gov.lv)

[32] Sanctions – Russian invasion of Ukraine (international.gc.ca)

[33] U.S. Treasury Severs More Networks Providing Support for Putin and Russia’s Elites | U.S. Department of the Treasury

[34] RESHETNIKOV Maxim Gennadyevich – biography, dossier, assets | War and sanctions (nazk.gov.ua)

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