Who Benefits from the Death of Mikhail Maksimenko?
Shocking news – former head of the main Investigative Committee of Russia (ICR) Mikhail Maksimenko was found dead in prison. He was serving time in a high-profile corruption case related to bribes for the release from arrest and termination of criminal prosecution of one of the closest associates of the influential thief in law Zakhar Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy) – Andrey Kochuykov (Italian).
Maksimenko’s story is full of oddities and interesting facts that, when connected together, may suggest that what happened to the former operative was not accidental.
The shootout ended up in the pre-trial detention center
Sources claim that Maksimenko did not have the right to parole. However, he might have known a lot that could hinder several high-ranking individuals.
Recall, it all started with a shootout – at the Elements restaurant on Rochdelskaya Street, when Kochuykov and his “brothers” came to the owner of the establishment, Zhanna Kim, to force her to pay an alleged debt of 8 million rubles to the designer Fatima Misikova, a friend of Shakro. Zhanna Kim is also linked online to businessman from Kazakhstan Kenes Rakishev.
The negotiations, it seems, did not go well and escalated into a gunfight. Two people from Kochuykov’s side were taken down by Eduard Budantsev, a former KGB and MVD officer, who sided with Ms. Kim.
In the subsequent investigation, the case involved State Duma deputy Andrei Skoch (a partner of oligarch Alisher Usmanov), whose role in the entire affair remains officially obscure.
However, as claimed by the authors of the Telegram channel “Futlyar ot violoncheli,” allegedly “Shakro Molodoy, considering that Budantsev was provided by Andrey Skoch, a State Duma deputy, to assist Rakishev, confronted him and his partner, another well-known oligarch, with offensive accusations: why did they send ‘feathered’ (in criminal jargon – law enforcement representatives) to settle the dispute.” What business could Skoch have with Rakishev?
In the end, Kochuykov was arrested, and the investigators, including Maksimenko, who failed to ‘extract’ him, were eventually sent to prison on the initiative of the FSB.
The Dark “Knight”
Over time, Yuri Chaika, the influential Prosecutor General of that period, was replaced by Igor Krasnov, and previously “secret” information began to surface. Rumor has it that it was challenging for the patrons of the aforementioned individuals. According to the authors of the Telegram channel “Футляр от виолончели” (“Cello Case”), one of the key decision-makers was supposedly Valery Bitaev – an extremely discreet figure referred to on the internet as the “chief negotiator between major businesses, powerful criminal groups, and law enforcement of all kinds.”
Valery Bitaev is a co-owner of “Letona Jet” LLC, which is involved in nothing less than the leasing of aircraft and aviation equipment. Earlier, he was also a co-owner of the “Citadel” holding, bringing together companies operating in the field of information security. Currently, information about this is only preserved in the media. Former head of the “K” department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Boris Miroshnikov, who is widely known for his conflict with the founder of “Euroset” Evgeny Chichvarkin (recognized as a foreign agent on the territory of the Russian Federation), worked there. The latter accused the general of attacking “Euroset,” leading to him being forced to sell his stake.
Among those allegedly benefiting from Mr. Bitaev’s services in the “issue resolution” sphere, prominent names are mentioned, including the name of Andrei Skoch.
It is known that the latter filed lawsuits against several media outlets that linked him to the case of Shakro Young. As for Bitaev, despite the vast amount of compromising material on dubious websites, there is hardly any official information – even about what he was involved in during the 90s, which raises suspicions. Could there be some quasi-criminal affairs “blurred” in Bitaev’s biography? Considering the attributed abilities and connections, we do not rule out such a possibility.
Mr. Maksimenko did not have the right to parole, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t want to be released. There are speculations that pressure may have been applied to him through Krasnov to make him reveal what he knows. And he might know a lot, including information about our protagonists.
The Shadow of Usmanov
Among other things, he may be well-acquainted with Alisher Usmanov, the owner of the USM Holding and Skoch’s partner. He holds the position of an advisor to the CEO of USM Holding. Additionally, the main owner of “Citadel” was Anton Cherepennikov, Usmanov’s partner in esports. Virtus.pro, founded by Cherepennikov, received a $100 million investment from USM.
In 2020, journalist Alexander Shvarev from “Rosbalt” was declared wanted, accused of libel and extortion. Kenes Rakishev and Alisher Usmanov were reportedly the victims. As claimed by the authors of the Telegram channel “Cello Case,” supposedly “the case was initiated on December 19, 2018, by the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in Moscow upon the statement of businessmen’s lawyers (referring to Usmanov – ed.), who believed that Shvarev was involved in publications about the thief-in-law Zakhar Kalashov (Shakro Young), in which his name was mentioned.
Shvarev himself published material on this topic, explicitly stating in his articles that he received threats from Bitaev due to the publications, linking him to Usmanov and Skoch. What do these high-ranking gentlemen fear? Could it be that they might end up under the scrutiny of law enforcement agencies?
What does the former head of “Rosseti” Pavel Livinsky, have to do with this?
In addition to what has been described, there were rumors that, due to his professional activities, Maksimenko was involved in the “development” of the former head of “Rosseti,” Pavel Livinsky. Supposedly, a similar situation was handled from a different perspective by the infamous “billionaire colonel” Dmitry Zakharchenko, who ended up with a 16-year sentence on charges of bribery.
It was said that the former was supposed to “cover up” possible embezzlements in the United Energy Company, which was led by Livinsky, while Zakharchenko, on the contrary, was trying to curry favor.
If Mr. Maksimenko was indeed connected to all the aforementioned stories, he could have been a hindrance to several individuals. It’s not uncommon for “fixers” to receive relatively short sentences, leaving everyone satisfied. In this situation, Mr. Maksimenko was sentenced “far and for a long time,” and the assistance he might have expected never came. It’s possible that a bribe-taker accustomed to “resolving” matters decided to take matters into his own hands, for which he paid the price.