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Russian state investigator who threatened Navalny's mother revealed to have criminal record for violence

In a video appeal released earlier today, Alexei Navalny's mother revealed that an investigator with the surname “Varapayev” had pressured her to agree to hold only a secret funeral for her dead son, rather than a public memorial service.

The Insider found an investigator with a matching surname — Alexander Vladimirovich Varapaev. The website of the Investigative Department of Russia’s Investigative Committee for the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug states that he worked as:

“[...] an investigator for the Internal Affairs Department of the Investigation of Especially Important Cases of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.”

The page's exact date of publication is unknown. According to the Yandex browser cache, the information was current until December 12, 2022. In Bing, the page with the message is cached from the 15th of February, 2023 (the date is in white font on a white background).

Alexei Navalny's press secretary Kira Yarmysh and his associate Ivan Zhdanov confirmed to The Insider that the exact full name of the investigator who threatened Alexei's mother is indeed Alexander Vladimirovich Varapayev.

As the independent publication Verstka discovered from several leaked online databases, Varapayev was convicted in 2006, when he was 18 years old, for “using violence against a representative of authority” and insulting him. Verstka’s journalists were unable to find information on Varapayev’s sentence. Varapayev also repeatedly violated traffic regulations in 2007-2008, for which he was stripped of his driver's license. What's more, according to the databases, he was blacklisted by multiple banks and refused credit on several occasions.

This is not the first time that Varapayev has threatened people. In 2017, media reported on the case against the former head of the duty unit of the local police in Surgut, who was convicted of “bribery in exchange for 'information leaks” — according to the reports, the law enforcement officer gave information about a murder to journalists.The website O! Surgut then reported about a “terrible discovery,” detailing how the remains of a murdered man had been discovered near a railroad track. A day after the publication, the website’s editorial office was searched by Investigative Committee officers and police. O! Surgut’s editor-in-chief Alexander Poberezhny was forcibly taken to the local department of the Investigative Committee for questioning. There, investigator Alexander Varapayev threatened Poberezhny with a criminal case in the presence of a journalist from K-Inform. Varapayev called the publication by O! Surgut “false” and “defamatory of the authorities.” The publication was soon deleted.

The Surgutinternovosti TV channel reported that a Surgut investigator by the name of Alexander Varapayev is a candidate for the distinction of “master of sports” in martial arts. According to the report, Varapayev had been working in the Surgut branch of the Investigative Committee since 2012, handling economic, corruption, and extremism offenses.

“Alexander is now entrusted with high-profile cases of public importance. The investigator himself admits that he came to the service in search of justice,” the publication wrote.
Alexander Varapayev
Alexander Varapayev
Source: Verstka
A photo of Varapayev from his Instagram account
A photo of Varapayev from his Instagram account

And here's how Varapayev himself talks about his profession:

“The work of an investigator is a way of life. We work virtually 24 hours a day. Because we are limited by procedural deadlines, and it happens that when you spend a day off work, you think, ‘Why there are 24 hours in a day, and not 48?’”

It is unclear how many bodies Varapayev could hide in 48 hours, but he did once engage in corruption investigations. In a 2015 media report, Varapayev commented on the detention of a government supervisor from Rostekhnadzor — Russia’s federal agency for supervision on ecological, technological, and nuclear issues. According to the Investigative Committee, the supervisor extorted 1.6 million roubles from a Surgut fuel company.

Before threatening Alexei Navalny’s mother, Alexander Varapayev trained children in martial arts. Moreover — and perhaps most importantly — Alexander Vladimirovich Varapayev also penned a scientific paper titled “On the inadmissibility of evidence from the perspective of operational search activity.”

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