This week, an investigation was published into how Russian billionaires edit articles about themselves in Russian- and English-language Wikpedia. One of them turned out to be State Duma deputy since 1999 Andrei Skoch, who deleted information about the arrest of his personal plane worth over $90 million, as well as about possible connections with the Solntsevskaya organized crime group.

Back in 2018, Skoch sued the media, which wrote about the deputy’s involvement in a shootout on Rochdelskaya Street, organized by henchmen of the crime boss Zakhary Kalashov (Shakro Molodoy), who was released from prison in March on parole, as reported by the VChK-OGPU telegram channel.

In 2015, two people were killed during a shootout on Rochdelskaya Street. The conflict occurred over the Elements restaurant, whose owner was extorted by Shakro Molodoy’s people. The boss himself, who returned to Russia from Spain in 2014 after serving time for money laundering, was arrested in July 2016, and in 2018 the court sentenced the boss to 9 years and 10 months in prison.

One of the defendants in the unsuccessful seizure of the Elements restaurant was crime boss Andrei Kochuykov, nicknamed “Italian,” who was considered the right hand of Zakhary Kalashov. The “Italian” received a sentence of 8 years and 10 months in prison for extortion.

Before meeting Shakro Molodoy, Andrei Kochuykov in the 90s was considered one of the leaders of the Solntsevskaya organized crime group, which is why the name of Andrei Skoch came up in connection with the shootout on Rochdelskaya Street.

On the Internet you can find a photo in which Skoch is captured together with other leaders of the Solntsevskaya organized crime group Vladimir Gurchenkov (Chief), Arnold Tamm (Arnosha), Alexander Averin (Avera Jr.), Lev Kvetny, Viktor Averin (Avera Sr.) and Sergei Mikhailov, who forbade the court to identify him with “Mikhas,” the leader of Solntsevo No. 1.

In 2020, after Andrei Skoch won a lawsuit against the media in 2019 regarding his involvement in the notorious shootout, transcripts of audio recordings of negotiations between the famous fixer Dmitry Smychkovsky appeared online. On it he handed over his accomplices, including Andrei Skoch.

Smychkovsky acted as an intermediary who transferred the ex-deputy head of the Main Investigative Directorate of the RF IC for Moscow to Denis Nikandrov, the former head of the Main Investigative Directorate of the RF IC for Moscow Alexander Drymanov, employee of the Central Office of the RF IC Mikhail Maksimenko and the head of the Investigative Department for the Central Administrative District of the Main Investigative Directorate of the RF IC for Moscow Alexey Kramarenko $1 million for the release of Andrei Kochuykov. It was not possible to establish whose money Dmitry Smychkovsky transferred. Nikandrov allegedly did not remember the name of the bribe-giver.

According to investigators, Alexander Drymanov was in close contact with Dmitry Smychkovsky, whom he received as a dear guest. And Smychkovsky personally met with Shakro Molodoy several times, which would have allowed FSB investigators to connect him with Drymanov. From the revelations of the fixer, it follows that Andrei Skoch could participate in negotiations on the transfer of money to employees of the Investigative Committee.

This can be confirmed by the fact that another bribe-payer was Oleg Sheykhametov, who paid the ICR employees $500 thousand. From the materials, it follows that Sheykhametov acted on behalf of Andrei Skoch and transferred his money. The wiretap recordings also include the name of the deputy’s business partner, oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who is closely associated with the Russian government.

Zakhar Kalashov was always considered close to Mikhas, the leader of the Solntsevskaya organized crime group. They were in a car together in 2005 when Shakro Molodoy was arrested at the request of Spain in Dubai. The third person in the criminal group after Mikhailov and Averin was considered Arnold Tamm, under whom there were up to 10 brigades, one of which was led by Andrei Skoch.

Former member of the Solntsevskaya organized crime group Leonid Roitman, who served 7 years in the United States for attempted murder, said that the group’s killers went to training with Skoch at the FSB sports camps, where they learned to dismember a person and other “wisdom” of the special services. This is evidence that the Solntsevskaya organized crime group sometimes acted in the interests of the Russian government when it did not want to get its hands dirty. That’s why “Mikhas” is not the leader of an organized crime group, but a respected businessman Sergei Mikhailov, and Andrei Skoch is a State Duma deputy from the Belgorod region, and not one of the leaders of the organized crime group.

In 2017 In Spain, 11 Russians were detained on suspicion of involvement in the activities of the Solntsevskaya organized crime group. Among them was Arnod Tamm, who by this time already bore the surname Spivakovsky. The Spanish press wrote that Semyon Mogilevich, one of the FBI's most wanted criminals, is directly related to money laundering by the Solntsevsky gang.

Arnold Tamm-Spivakovsky died in Spain in 2019 from cardiac arrest at age 52. Such deaths very often raise doubts about their natural cause. One of the leaders of the organized crime group knew a lot about its finances and the schemes being implemented with Mogilevich. And, naturally, he could talk about the role of Andrei Skoch in the group. According to Leonid Roitman, Skoch and Kvetnoy were a separate team, which was entrusted with the task of 

swear by liquidations. Andrey Skoch also acted as a supplier of models of easy behavior for the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Андрей Скоч

Solntsevskaya organized crime group, unlike many others. turned out to be well integrated into the Russian government. Zakhary Kalashov had a roof in the Investigative Committee, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the FSB, but he could become a victim of a showdown between these departments. Arnold Spivakovsky was a top manager of the Segezha-group company, owned by AFK Sistema of oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov. Andrey Skoch, through his relatives, does business with Alisher Usmanov and owns Vnukovo airport together with Rosimushchestvo. Read about who the business accomplices of the State Duma deputy, who vehemently defends his allegedly tarnished honor, are in our next materials.

Roman Trushkin