Revelation of links between Putin’s general, and Syrian phosphate smuggling to Europe

General Surovikin, millionaire Timchenko, and the “liberation” of Syrian phosphate mines are connected, according to Navalny’s team (Russian opposition leader).

Navalny’s team published an inquiry into the war profit

The Anti-Corruption Foundation of Alexey Navalny has published an inquiry into the war profit of Sergey Surovikin, Russia’s top commander in the war in Ukraine. In the past, Surovikin oversaw Russia’s military campaign in Syria, where his savagery earned him the nicknames “General Armageddon” and “The Butcher of Aleppo.”

Investigators claim that the Argus SFK sawmill in the Sverdlovsk region is owned by Surovikin’s wife. Gennady Timchenko, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Russian military deployment in Syria, sends Surovikin money via this company, The Insider reported.

Surovkin’s wife owns the Argus SFK sawmill – Investigation

According to the study, Timchenko, Putin’s closest friend and his sponsor, started to seize everything that might be used to generate profit in Syria, including a mansion in Gelendzhik and a dacha in Biarritz for Putin’s daughter. Timchenko obtained contracts to construct pipelines, gas processing plants, pumping stations, and other facilities.

Early in 2017, the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad approved a deal allowing Timchenko’s company, Stroytransgaz, to obtain and export phosphates from two Syrian fields close to Palmyra. According to Navalny, the agreement said that STG Logistics, a subsidiary of Stroytransgaz, would receive 70% of the earnings and the Syrian government would receive the other 30%.

Deal between Timchenko and Bashar al-Assad

However, the minefields were largely seized by ISIS at the time the deal was signed. Surovikin and Russian mercenaries started to manage the “liberation” of the regions. The mines had been entirely captured by the Russian troops by June 2017, at which point Timchenko’s business started doing repair work and getting ready to extract raw materials.

Syrian phosphates are transferred to Europe – Investigation

Additionally, under the cover of non-Syrian cargo, the phosphates that are collected from the resources close to Palmyra are then transferred to Europe. The entire supply chain is incredibly vulnerable, as Navalny’s team points out. 

Every link in the chain of Syria’s ongoing conflict and confrontations demands a strong group of guards—a persistent military escort. The Syrian army, Syrian PMCs, Wagner private military group, affiliated with the Kremlin, and the Russian army that guards the port all carry out those duties.

STG Logistics lent Surovikin’s wife’s sawmill a total of 104 million roubles (about $1.7 million) in 2020–2021 over six months.

Surovkin got payment for his military actions in Syria – Investigation

The investigation’s authors suspect that a loan of 25 million roubles (about $412,000) that Mikhail Khryapov’s wife paid to Argus SFK was recompense for military actions Surovikin oversaw in Syria.

On top of that, the owner of the wood processing business at the same address where Argus SFK is registered was changed to Surovikin’s current driver from the General Staff’s motor fleet.

The Surovikin family’s property was completely classified on November 3 by Rosreestr, Russia’s official registration, and cadastre organization. Records had previously listed “Russian Federation” as the title holder rather than Surovikin or his family; as of right now, no property is even registered to them.

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