Putin and corruption in Russia: A Whistleblower’s Story


Sergey Kolesnikov. Russian Businessman, Anti-Corruption Campaigner and Whistleblower

1 – 2pm, Thursday 3rd May 2012

Committee Room 9, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

To attend please RSVP to: chris.hawkins@henryjacksonsociety.org

One of the most striking characteristics of modern Russia under the reign of Vladimir Putin has been the steady stream of credible allegations of state corruption. U.S. State Department cables from Moscow published by WikiLeaks have characterised Russia as a “virtual mafia state,” and the increased state control of the mainstream media and the undermining of the rule of law has created a culture of impunity in which it is not only disadvantageous, but possibly dangerous, to speak out.

Sergey Kolesnikov, a prosperous businessman, has seen the consequences of high-level corruption up close. In 2010, Kolesnikov shocked many by publicly accusing the Russian government of diverting funds to build a $1 billion mansion—known as “Putin’s Palace.” His accusations have been strenuously denied by the Kremlin, but the revelations had a world-wide impact, and brought much-needed attention to the issue of state-sponsored corruption in the Russian Federation.

By kind invitation of Lord Soley, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Sergey Kolesnikov, Russian anti-corruption campaigner and whistleblower. Kolesnikov trained as a biophysicist before becoming the head of the Petromed medical equipment manufacturing company which had been commissioned by the Russian government to work on medical infrastructure projects. Through this commission, Kolesnikov became involved in the arrangements to divert funds towards ‘Putin’s palace,’ and decided to go public with his story in a letter to President Dmitri Medvedev.

TIME: 1 – 2pm

DATE: Thursday 3rd May 2012

VENUE: Committee Room 9, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

To attend please RSVP to: chris.hawkins@henryjacksonsociety.org


Dr Sergey Kolesnikov is a Russian businessman, a trained biophysicist who had close ties to the Kremlin until 2010. In 1992, Kolesnikov and his colleagues set up a joint stock company to manufacture medical equipment called Petromed. Petromed was involved in high level projects to build Russia’s health infrastructure, through which Kolesnikov claims to have become involved in a scheme to divert funds towards building “Putin’s Palace.” Kolesnikov has said that he decided to come forward with his story when he was instructed to direct funds to “Putin’s Palace” whilst critical public works projects went unfunded.