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POLITICS

Tipsy Telegram: Medvedev's scandalous posts coincide with wine deliveries from Italy

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's public appearances and social media posts have sunk to a new low of indecency, sparking numerous conspiracy theories. Some speculate that his public humiliations are retribution from the Kremlin for his past attempts at instituting liberal reforms. However, The Insider uncovered a more mundane explanation for the odd behavior of the deputy head of the Security Council. Despite sanctions, wine from Medvedev's Italian vineyards continues to flow into Russia, with delivery dates conveniently preceding his scandalous publications.

This past week, Medvedev once again courted public attention with remarks that evoked a profound sense of shame and awkwardness. Clad in a blue Mao-style jacket reminiscent of Angela Merkel's aesthetic, he addressed participants at the World Festival of Youth. Among other things, Medvedev labeled Europeans as slaves and animals, illustrating his point with distorted photo collages of European leaders from his Telegram channel.

Dockell Limited

Based on tax leaks, his annual income amounts to around 130 million rubles (according to data for the year 2020).

The shipment weighed 42 kg.

The shipment weighed a total of 4 tons.

January 9th, 2023.

July 2nd, 2023.

Medvedev’s public persona was not always so unhinged, but his provocative outbursts started occurring with much greater frequency following the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. It is plausible that this development could somehow be linked to the fact that his renowned vineyards escaped sanctions, allowing wine from Italy to continue flowing into Russia more or less freely.

The Tuscan winery Fattoria della Aiola was first linked to Dmitry Medvedev by the late Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) back in 2017. At that time, the Italian business was registered under the Cypriot offshore company Furcina Ltd, owned by Ilya Eliseev — a classmate, trusted confidant, and close friend of Medvedev’s. Since then, the ownership structure of the Italian company Fattoria Dellа Aiola Societa Agricola A.R.l. has changed: instead of one Cypriot offshore entity, another has emerged, with part of the shares now held directly by Eliseev, as confirmed by The Insider.

Dockell Limited

Based on tax leaks, his annual income amounts to around 130 million rubles (according to data for the year 2020).

The shipment weighed 42 kg.

The shipment weighed a total of 4 tons.

January 9th, 2023.

July 2nd, 2023.

Additionally, Eliseev, who is a senior executive at Gazprombank, formerly served on the board of directors at the United Aircraft Corporation, a Rostec subsidiary responsible for aircraft development and production.

Dockell Limited

Based on tax leaks, his annual income amounts to around 130 million rubles (according to data for the year 2020).

The shipment weighed 42 kg.

The shipment weighed a total of 4 tons.

January 9th, 2023.

July 2nd, 2023.

While Eliseev is under sanctions from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ukraine, and New Zealand, he remains unaffected by European Union sanctions. Consequently, Medvedev's former classmate, who manages the sanctioned Russian official’s assets, is able to oversee the Italian winery without constraint.

Dockell Limited

Based on tax leaks, his annual income amounts to around 130 million rubles (according to data for the year 2020).

The shipment weighed 42 kg.

The shipment weighed a total of 4 tons.

January 9th, 2023.

July 2nd, 2023.

Despite the start of the full-scale war, Dmitry Medvedev continued to receive shipments of wine from the Italian vineyard. ImportGenius data reveals that wine from Fattoria della Aiola arrived in Russia on June 17, 2022. Wellman Logistics, which is based in Latvia, facilitated its transportation, with the recipient being Rue de Vin LLC, a company that is indirectly linked to the Russian firm JSC Skalistyi Bereg (Rocky Shore) through a chain of ownership. The company was founded by the SotsGosProyekt Foundation, an entity controlled by Medvedev, as was revealed by Alexei Navalny's investigation.

Dockell Limited

Based on tax leaks, his annual income amounts to around 130 million rubles (according to data for the year 2020).

The shipment weighed 42 kg.

The shipment weighed a total of 4 tons.

January 9th, 2023.

July 2nd, 2023.

Remarkably, just two days after the arrival of the Italian wine, Medvedev published a Telegram post predicting the demise of the European Union and disparagingly referring to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, as “auntie.”

The next shipment from Medvedev's Italian winery arrived in Russia a month later, on July 18th, once again passing through Riga. This time, it was sent by Lionwine SIA and received by Moscow-based Lion Wine LLC, with the bottles imported under the guise of “samples”. While it remains unclear whether Medvedev himself participated in the sampling, just a few days after the bottles crossed the border, he posted about the “sins” of the West, using derogatory terms such as “European fools,” “senile grandpa” (referring to the U.S. president), and “village idiots” (lit. “city crazies,” referring to the E.U. leadership).

On October 13, 2022, a significant shipment of Fattoria della Aiola wine arrived in Russia. This time, however, the delivery was not made to a company directly associated with Medvedev, but to the major alcohol importer Mistral Alco. And yet remarkably, just a few days after the wine cleared customs, Medvedev was already preparing a new post targeting “Bandera degenerates” in Ukraine.

The pattern repeated itself in January 2023, when “samples” of wine from Medvedev's Tuscan winery were brought into Russia by MB Group Impex, and again in July 2023, when Rue de Vin imported samples produced by Vinicola Mediterranea on the eve of a post about how “Nuclear Apocalypse is not only possible but also quite likely.”

Perhaps if Medvedev's vineyards were included in the sanctions list, it could reduce the level of toxicity on social media. However, the company Skalistyi Bereg (and thus Medvedev himself) owns its own winery in the Krasnodar region, producing 150,000 bottles per year. In this case, “import substitution” would likely prove a sufficient source of inspiration for the former president’s social media habits.

Dockell Limited

Based on tax leaks, his annual income amounts to around 130 million rubles (according to data for the year 2020).

The shipment weighed 42 kg.

The shipment weighed a total of 4 tons.

January 9th, 2023.

July 2nd, 2023.

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