Monday, 24 June 2024 07:41

How a friend of Putin’s daughter makes money from Kazakh girls Featured

Starting this year in Kazakhstan, vaccination against the human papillomavirus has been included in the national vaccination calendar. And that’s great! Because the HPV vaccine given to 11-year-old girls will help protect them from cervical cancer in the future. 

But, as we remember, even the sun has spots. In the case of HPV vaccination, the editors of Orda.kz learned about them thanks to a document that fell into our hands. According to him, this dark spot can be called the R-Pharm company. What’s wrong with her and what relation does a friend of Putin’s family have to her, Orda.kz tells 

Beyond competition

According to the Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Ministry of Health, the HPV vaccine has already been purchased for Kazakhstan. 

“For vaccination against HPV in Kazakhstan, the quadrivalent Gardasil vaccine produced by Merck Sharp and Dome (USA), which protects against the most oncogenic types of HPV (6, 11, 16, 18), will be used. To date, 350 thousand doses of the HPV vaccine have been purchased in the amount of 9.7 billion tenge,” KSEK assures.

This vaccination will begin in September for 11-year-old girls. It would seem, what questions. But they arise when studying a document that has reached the editors. According to an Orda.kz source, this is a protocol of the results of the bidding for the purchase of the Gardasil vaccine, conducted by SK-Pharmacia LLP. According to this document, the auction took place in April 2024. The number of doses indicated in the document is slightly less than the figure named by the KSEC - 349.5 thousand. But the amount allocated for them is indicated in the document almost twice as much as what the department calls: more than 17 billion tenge! And at the same time, the only bidder was the company “R-Pharm Kazakhstan”. Without any competitors.

In general, there are two organizations in the Republic of Kazakhstan called “R-Pharm”. One is the representative office of R-Pharm CJSC in Kazakhstan, the second is R-Pharm Kazakhstan LLP. Both are headed by one person, and the difference between them is only in their legal status. And both of them are directly related to the Russian pharmaceutical giant R-Pharm. 

Giant Master

R-Pharm is one of the main suppliers of medicines to state clinics in Russia. We are talking about both domestically produced drugs and those purchased outside the Russian Federation. The scale of the company’s turnover is clearly demonstrated by the numbers: for 2022, its net profit amounted to 157 billion rubles. This is more than two billion dollars. 

At the same time, R-Pharm is not a completely Russian company. 10% of its shares are owned by the Japanese company Mitsui, 1% by the Cypriot RJ Pharma Holdings Limited. But the remaining 89% still belongs to the Russians. Since 2022, they have been divided between several owners. Three of them are top managers of the company itself, and the fourth is a woman named Valeria Daeva. And, as the Russian investigative project Scanner Project reported in 2023 , Valeria Daeva is the mother of Russian millionaire Alexei Repik. It was he who was the main owner of R-Pharm until 2022. And the division of 89% of the shares was a not-so-disguised attempt to evade Western sanctions. True, in the end Repik still fell under them in 2023. 

Alexey Repik. Photo: Business Russia

However, this does not prevent him from being directly related to R-Pharm. Again, not really hiding it. For example, as the Russian Forbes wrote , last year Repik became the sole owner of the Moscow medical center Research Lab. Then it was reported that this center would become a testing site for drugs produced by... R-Pharm. According to open data, the companies “R-Pharm Cosmetics” and “R-Pharm Medical Systems” still have Alexey Repik as a founder. And together with his mother, who officially owns a third of the pharmaceutical giant’s shares, Repik heads the Solar City company: he is the founder, Daeva is the general director. 

 

Family is the most important 

But Alexey Repik is interesting not only because he is the founder and, in fact, the first person of the Russian pharmaceutical giant. Russian investigative projects directly linked him to Vladimir Putin’s family. He is often referred to in headlines as “a friend of Putin’s daughter.” Repik acquired this “status” after a 2022 investigation conducted by “Important Stories” and Der Spiegel . 

“Members of the Putin family used a Bombardier aircraft with tail number M-FINE. This business jet belongs to the offshore company of the famous Russian entrepreneur Alexei Repik, founder of the pharmaceutical holding R-Pharm,” wrote “Important Stories” then.

Six months later, The Insider released its investigation, in which it said that Repik’s company “Ryatiko” imported expensive European wines into Russia bypassing sanctions. And its authors wrote that these wines were also intended for Putin’s family. 

And the fact that Repik knows the Russian president at least at the level of a handshake is no secret at all. Putin meets with him annually in the Kremlin as the chairman of the public organization “Business Russia”. And in the same status in January 2024, it was Repik who was the moderator at Putin’s meeting with entrepreneurs in Khabarovsk. He sat on the left hand of the president. However, this fact raises the fewest questions from Repik’s biography. 

Photo: kremlin.ru

Investigators suggest that it was precisely his closeness to Putin’s family that helped Repik put the brakes on claims from Russian antimonopoly officials, who in 2018 announced a possible collusion between R-Pharm and the Russian Ministry of Health. But there was no development of history. 

And finally, again, a little about Repik’s own mother. The aforementioned Scanner Project investigation, released in January 2023, states that Valeria Daeva owned the R-Stroy construction company. According to the authors, this organization is one of the main contractors for the construction of new houses in the destroyed Mariupol. On Russian job sites, R-Stroy actually has a lot of vacancies for work in the occupied city.

True, now Valeria Daeva is not among its leaders. But we already know how the Daev-Repikov family knows how to pretend that they have nothing to do with it.