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Navalny: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Uses Undeclared Lavish Private Plane

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny Alexei Navalny / YouTube

A report by Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation accused First Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov of using an undeclared $62-million private business jet.

Using tracking websites that monitor flights of almost any aircraft — provided that their board number is known — Navalny found that over the past two years, the luxurious Bombardier Global Express plane traveled to the same destination as Shuvalov in 13 cases.

When Shuvalov is not onboard, the plane is used by his wife, Olga Shuvalova — a corgi dog breeder famous on Russian dog forums — to deliver her canines to various dog shows across the country and internationally, Navalny said.

In his report, Navalny also provided records of a phone call allegedly held between Shuvalova and an Anti-Corruption Foundation employee, which he said confirmed his analysis of the flight correlation.

The report provoked immediate backlash from Shuvalova, who denied the accusations and threatened to sue Navalny, BBC Russia reported.

"I did not say that," Shuvalova told BBC Russia. "Maybe they cleaned it up, but they claimed that the jet belongs to me."

According to Navalny's report, this year the private jet carried out 18 flights to Saltzburg, Austria — where Shuvalova's foreign company owns a lavish mansion on the city's outskirts. Property confirmed by Shuvalov in an interview to the New Times magazine.

Even if Shuvalov doesn't own but rents the jet to fly to the Austrian "dacha," the combined cost of the trips would come to about 100 million rubles ($1.5 million), according to the report.

Navalny's foundation has repeatedly targeted Shuvalov, investigating his financial operations and major acquisitions.

Earlier this month, Navalny accused Shuvalov of spending about 600 million rubles ($9.4 million) on 10 apartments in one of Moscow's Stalinist skyscrapers in order to combine them in single “tsar-apartment.”

Shuvalov's real estate in London and Switzerland, as well as his Rolls-Royce car also attracted Navalny's direct attention and resulted in several condemning reports from the Anti-Corruption Foundation over the past few years.

“It is a screaming fortune,” Navalny wrote on his official website.

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