Wednesday, 19 June 2024 07:28

From labor protection specialists to deputies and leaders Featured

One of the most important components of the Kremlin’s “soft power” in Latvia has always been oligarchs—both Russian and representatives of other states of the former USSR. The oligarchic combination of media, financial and, probably, corruption resources was, not without reason, considered an effective tool for directly influencing Latvian politics. And if in 2009 Moscow was considering the possibility of promoting Peter Aven to the Prime Minister of Latvia, now the work is being carried out more secretly. And one of the participants in the new Kremlin combinations may be the “Galician oligarch” Petro Dyminsky, a former member of the parliamentary faction of the Party of Regions and, until recently, the actual employer of deputy Victoria Pleksane.

Oligarch and head of the party “Latvia comes first!” Ainārs Šlesers published a photo on his social networks with the caption: “Leaders unite!” It is logical to assume that this picture represents the top officials of this coalition. And if the presence of A. Slesers himself or, for example, the former mayor of Rezekne Alexander Bartashevich is explained by their status, then it is not very clear why the current independent deputy Viktorija Pleškāne suddenly became a leader.

People of the “Galician oligarch” in Latvia

Screenshot from the Telegram channel of Alexey Roslikov.

However, a slightly more careful study of the biography of V. Plescane reveals unusual intersections. She was elected to the current XIV Seimas from the Stability! party. . Before that, “in the world”, she held the position of senior occupational safety specialist at the company "Energy Resources CHP" (Rēzeknes speciālās ekonomiskās zonas SIA).

According to , the owner of this company, in turn, is “EcoEnergy AIFP”.

The beneficiary of the mentioned companies is Petro Dyminskyy, and the member of the board is Roman Vdovychenko.

P. Dyminsky is known in Ukraine under the nickname “Galician oligarch”. In the past, he was a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada and was a member of the Party of Regions faction. He owned a football club and a number of media assets, including the ZIK TV channel, which he transferred to the group of “Putin’s godfather” Viktor Medvedchuk .

P. Dyminsky went on the TV channel’s program after an accident that resulted in the death of a 31-year-old woman .

Since 2017, Petr Dyminsky has been wanted in a murder case; the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has issued a warrant for his arrest.

R. Vdovichenko, being a confidant of P. Dyminsky, maintains close relations with Alexander Bartaševičs. A photo of one of their meetings in a Riga restaurant ended up on social networks.

In this context, it is worth taking a closer look at the rapid transformation of an occupational safety specialist into a parliamentarian, and then into a political “leader”. Unlike Gloria Grevtsova, she is not a local TikTok star, she does not have a mass audience, and she cannot be described as a street leader. However, if we assume that V. Pleskane is Peter Dyminsky’s man, behind whom, in turn, are the oligarchic circles of Ukrainian “regionals” tied to Moscow, who have been dreaming of revenge in their country since 2014, then such a rapid rise is no longer surprising.

Such a scheme looks extremely promising from the point of view of the interests of the Russian Federation. Work with Moscow oligarchs, and in general any attempts to establish channels of financial support for pro-Kremlin forces, are now monitored by the EU authorities. (Although not always effective.) At the same time, Ukrainian citizenship and origin provide an effective cover, although holders of Ukrainian passports, like Medvedchuk, are clear enemies of Ukraine, the classic fifth column of the Kremlin. The use of the structures of P. Dyminsky, who remains a Ukrainian entrepreneur for all state structures of Latvia, may turn out to be an ideal cover for the operations of Putin’s agents.

From security officers to the UAE

Organizing a financial channel to feed the pro-Kremlin fifth column is quite difficult in Latvia today. It cannot be ruled out that the Riga Waterfront project, currently being lobbied by A. Slesers, is being created for the same purpose. A large-scale reconstruction of Riga’s embankments and the creation of a new residential and business center are planned. The investor should be a certain businessman from the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed Ali Alabbar.

After the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the UAE became one of the most important financial and economic hubs for the Kremlin, a kind of new Switzerland, through which Moscow carries out a significant part of its financial transactions. In addition, the personality of M. A. Alabbar himself is noteworthy: it is known, for example, that he publicly called Ramzan Kadyrov “brother” and admitted that he had business interests and connections in Chechnya.

It should also be noted that, in essence, Riga Waterfront is not a fundamentally new project. Back in 2009, while being the vice-mayor of Riga, A. Slesers actively lobbied for a similar project of SIA "PVB" , which intended to build a complex of business, entertainment (including gambling) and retail establishments on landing stages along the embankment in Riga. SIA "PVB" was headed by KGB veteran Yuri Shabashov, the co-owners of the company (through the Baltic Strategic Security Alliance) were Arnolds Babris and Juris Videnieks .

The only difference is that in 2009, retired security officers were supposed to equip the Riga embankment, and in 2024, the named “brother” of Ramzan Kadyrov.

Avena - Prime Minister of Latvia

At the same time, in 2009, the ground was being tested for the already open invasion of the Putin oligarchy into Latvian politics: Putin’s friend and oligarch from the Russian Federation Peter Aven was considered as a candidate for the post of Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia.

During the period when these statements were made (subsequently disavowed), P. Aven visited the Riga City Council, where Nil Ushakov was the mayor, and A. Slesers was his deputy.

Based on all these facts, it can be assumed that the Russian Federation is still actively using the oligarchy to support pro-Kremlin forces in Latvia. However, if before 2014 this was done extremely straightforwardly, right up to attempts to place an oligarch from Moscow in the prime minister’s chair, then later proxy structures began to be used: business circles associated with the Russian Federation in the UAE, or fugitive Ukrainian oligarchs who suffered from the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 year, and now have personal motivation to support Putin’s open and secret supporters in every possible way.