28.05.2024 Business of Occupiers

Ukrainian regional power companies owned by Russians

Shall we talk about energy? More precisely, about who really manages the Ukrainian energy supply and controls tariff increases? And it’s not about Ukrainian government officials or ministers. Rather, the power is concentrated in the hands of members of the State Duma, oligarchs and influential figures in Russia’s eresiya.

In the 10th year of the war between Russia and Ukraine, are we still dependent on Russia?

In the article, we wrote about the VS Energy group of companies. It used to be controlled by Alexander Babakov, Vice Speaker of the State Duma, Mikhail Voevodin, a “reputable” businessman, and Yevgeny Giner, President of the CSKA football club, and… a Ukrainian, Mikhail Spector.

Now, with the aggravation of the political situation, VS Energy has changed its owners to EU citizens. So now, the group is nominally managed by Valts Vigants (Latvia), Vilis Dambins (Latvia), Arthurs Altbergs (Latvia), Oleg Sizerman (Germany), and Marina Yaroslavskaya (Germany).

Why do we pay so much attention to VS Energy? Because the Dutch company VS Energy International NV directly owns VS Energy International Ukraine LLC, and through two other Dutch companies – Silk Road Trading and Washington Holdings – owns VS Group Management LLC.

The latter holds stakes in five Ukrainian regional power distribution companies: 99.99% of shares in Khersonoblenergo, 98.7% in Chernivtsioblenergo, 21.25% in Kirovohradoblenergo, 9.91% in Rivneoblenergo (another 83.3% is owned through Silk Road Trading and Washington Holdings), and 19.98% in Zhytomyroblenergo.

The Dutch VS Energy International NV directly owns 75.5% of Zhytomyroblenergo and 51.6% of Kirovohradoblenergo.

A little about the VS Energy structure

The full structure of VS Energy Group includes:

  1. World Wide Holding Group, which was registered as a nominee by Russian owners and 100% owned by two Cypriot companies, Mavisko Ltd. and Delorenius Ltd. Each of these two companies owns 50% of the authorized capital of the Latvian VS Energy Latvia.
  2. VS Energy Latvia, which owns 87.4% of VS Energy International NV (Netherlands) and 100% of Swiss Urbanic Holdings S.A. (which owns another 12.6% of Dutch VS Energy).
  3. VS Energy International NV is the key legal entity in the group, which directly or through other entities holds stakes in the following Ukrainian regional power distribution companies

Although all the resources speak of EU citizens as the group’s owners, a number of Russian businessmen, in particular, are the real owners: Giner, Babakov, Voevodin.

In addition, Babakov (speaker of the State Duma) and Voevodin (Russian businessman) were well acquainted with the richest Ukrainians, according to the materials of the High Court of England and Wales in the case of Victor Pinchuk v. Igor Kolomoisky.

In 2006, in Geneva, Kolomoisky, Bogolyubov, Pinchuk, Voevodin, Babakov, and Spector Mikhail agreed to set up a joint ferroalloy holding company. At the same time, Mykhailo Spektor, a top manager at VS Energy, joined the supervisory board of the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant. That is, we are tracking the connections of the Ukrainian Spector with Russian officials.

VS Energy’s support for the occupation

The aforementioned Russians Giner and Babakov publicly supported the annexation of Crimea in 2014. In addition, VS Energy, a company controlled by the odious men, owns SEVASTOPOLENERGO, which continues to operate in the occupied Crimea.

Of course, such statements are not new, as both have ties to the Russian government, so one would not expect a decision that would differ from the opinion of Russia’s longtime president.

Actions of the authorities

Every high-ranking Ukrainian official is aware of the Russian trace of VS Energy. For example, on May 13, 2023, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy imposed sanctions against VS Energy, through which Russians own 5 regional power distribution companies in Ukraine.

And on November 16, the Pechersk Court arrested shares in 5 regional power distribution companies owned by Russians Alexander Babakov, Yevgeny Giner, and Mikhail Voevodin through nominees. We are talking about shares in: “Khersonoblenergo, Kirovohradoblenergo, Zhytomyroblenergo, Rivneoblenergo, and Chernivtsioblenergo. However, the court has twice refused to grant such an arrest.

Later, as it became known, the Russian co-owners of regional power companies in Ukraine, Giner and Babakov, were put on the wanted list. They are charged with encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine.

But will this stop Putin’s supporters and their partners in Ukraine, such as Spector, from stopping their activities in Ukraine? Obviously not.

We have also submitted materials to the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, so we are waiting for a response.

By the way, Babakov, Giner, and Voevodin control not only five regional energy distribution companies, but also the Dniprospetsstal enterprise in Zaporizhzhia and a large hotel chain Premier Hotels & Resorts, including the five-star Premier Palace in Kyiv and Premier Hotel in Odesa, and the First Investment Bank.

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