The scale of the leak
The international consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ) and the Center for the study of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP), together with a number of world media, including the Russian “Novaya Gazeta”, published on 3 April, the documents of the so-called Panama archive. The archive is named Panama at the place of registration of the company Mossack Fonseca, the leakage of which formed the basis of the investigation. This company, according to ICIJ, has been creating shell companies and corporate structures to conceal the ultimate beneficiaries of the assets.
Just the archive of more than 11.5 million documents, which, according to the authors investigations reveal the scale of the “shadow economy” with the participation of leading politicians, businessmen and “celebrity.” The archive, in particular, revealed data about the offshore companies and foreign firms 12 officials of Russia or members of their families, as well as about the companies, the beneficiaries of which are close friends of Vladimir Putin.
In investigations of journalists are the names of the Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev, the President’s press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, former Deputy Manager of the President Ivan Malyushina, Vice-mayor of Moscow Maxim Liksutov. In addition, the articles argues that people “from the inner circle” of Russian President Vladimir Putin — in particular, cellist Sergei Roldugin and the main owner of Bank “Russia” Yuri Kovalchuk — was transferred through offshore companies at least $2 billion.
The center for the study of corruption and organized crime and “Novaya Gazeta” has published a separate investigation devoted to the Sergei Roldugin, — it says that the cellist was involved in a covert operation to gain control over the Russian manufacturer of trucks KAMAZ, and also was one of shareholders Vi, the largest seller of advertising on Russian TV.
Despite the scale of the leak, the Russian state and Pro-government media statements about the “Panama archive” very carefully, especially in regard to Russian officials and businessmen. Either don’t say it at all.
State Agency “RIA Novosti” (part of MIA “Russia today”), which owns one of the most visited sites in Runet, at a cost of a few short news about the publication archive. In his first article, entitled “German media wrote about the alleged involvement of world leaders to offshore schemes”, the Agency only reported the fact of publication of the investigation in the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung (she was the first to read the document Mossack Fonseca) and ICIJ.
In news it is told that the investigation involves the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the king of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, the late father of the Prime Minister of great Britain David Cameron and “a number of individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin”. The names of these persons or other Russian officials are not mentioned, as it is not told and about the related offshore companies. While the RIA stressed that “the authenticity of the documents is not officially confirmed by anyone, moreover, the company is Mossack Fonseca said that he refused to assure their authenticity”. In two other news tells of the reaction of the Panamanian authorities and the company Mossack Fonseca.
Another state Agency, TASS, to tell you more about the investigations, based on the archives of the Panama company. When speaking about the Russian participants of the investigation, TASS, and RIA, only mentioned that “the publications contained materials about the operations of a number of Russian legal and physical persons” who “may refer to persons from the entourage of President of Russia Vladimir Putin”. The Agency said in a separate detailed article on offshore of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who translated the Panamanian company the assets of its confectionery Corporation “Roshen”, thereby saving “millions of dollars of taxes that otherwise he had to pay Ukraine”. The Agency also reported that the National anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) will not investigate this situation.
In addition, TASS said that in the archives mention the names of the head of UEFA Michel Platini and the attacker “Barcelona” Lionel Messi. The Agency also continues to monitor the response of the international leaders for leakage — for example, the fact that the Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson may resign or that the President of France Francois Hollande has promised to begin investigations on the basis of published documents.
Both agencies ignored the inquiry about friend Sergei Roldugin, Putin’s — his name in connection with the investigation ICIJ and OCCRP is mentioned only on the website of RIA, but only in the digest of the Russian press (a brief announcement article in “Vedomosti”). monitored the content on the site and in the enclosed tapes of the agencies as of 13:00.
Private Agency “Interfax” on the morning of 4 April, gave details about the offshore Petro Poroshenko, noting that the investigation also included “persons who, according to the publication (Suddeutsche Zeitung), maintain friendly relations with the President of Russia”. At 11:00 in the ribbon “Interfax” the message “Patterns Roldugin owned the option shares in KAMAZ and AVTOVAZ”, as in 13:24 an article about the cellist was published and on the website under the heading “Panama archive” spoke about the role Roldugin in the history of KAMAZ and AVTOVAZ”. Now all the materials on the archive Mossack Fonseca, the site merged into the plot of “Pamagat”.
From the largest state-owned and Pro-government TV channels as of 14:00 on 4 April told about the investigation on Internet resources REN TV (part of National media group, affiliated structures of Bank “Russia”) and VGTRK (state holding). REN TV has devoted several news online offshore Poroshenko (“Poroshenko not only didn’t sell Roshen, but also deprived the country of its taxes from big business,” according to one report), and the reaction of Edward Snowden, who called the investigation of the Panama Papers, the largest leak in the history of journalism. Main news site RTR “Vesti.ru”, focused on the names Messi and Platini because of the leak.
Search sites of channel (majority owned by government agencies) and NTV (enters in “Gazprom-Media”, which belongs to Gazprombank) as of 14:00 not showed any results related to “Panamanian history”. The TV news passed on these two channels, as a rule, once uploaded to the site, and the site search allows you to determine, mentioned in the broadcast certain stories or not.
In announcements morning news “Russia-1” (part of VGTRK), channel one, NTV and REN TV the scandal with the “Panamanian archive” is not mentioned.
The website of the TV channel LifeNews (the channel part of the holding News Media Aram Gabrelyanov) also spoke only on publications relating to Poroshenko. LifeNews noted that the sale of Roshen was one of election pledges of Poroshenko. “The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko still has not transferred its assets to the trust Roshen, — stated on the website channel. Instead, to avoid paying taxes on a possible sale of the confectionery company, he created three offshore firms”.
English-language TV channel RT (formerly Russia Today, was founded in 2005 to illuminate the position of the Kremlin abroad) has published on its website two notes devoted to the materials on “Panamanian history”. One deals with the publication of the investigation in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, and the other speaks about the reaction of the British media. “Certain layers of British society have criticised their organisations for what they ignored the fact that the father of the Prime Minister David Cameron was mentioned in a massive leak of documents about tax evasion,” reads the article RT. While the article notes that the British media chose to focus on the scandal connected with friends of Vladimir Putin and Russian officials.
Day 4 April blogger Ilya Varlamov has published on its website a schedule of references of the investigation about the Panama offshore companies in various Russian media. From the graph it also follows that as of 13:00 investigation of “the Panama archive” not mentioned in “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” and the site “the Tape.ru”.