Igor Tupalsky is the head of the group of companies "Razmakh", being blamed for the murder of businesswoman from St.-Petersburg Oksana Ledneva, suddenly moved to New York. How did the businessman under house arrest manage to persuade  consular staff  to grant him  a U.S. visa? What kind of arguments did defendant, blamed for the murder in 2009, present to the official staff of the main geopolitical rival of Russia that

they turned out to be  more significant than the reasons of internal security? Or is the personality of Igor Tupalsky interesting for them just from the standpoint of external security? Nevertheless, the arguments had to be weighty. So the question if Mr. Tupalsky returns to Russia by the end of the preliminary investigation, extended once again until mid- February 2014, remains open.


It is not a woman's business to bury waste

Oksana Ledneva , co-owner of the holding " Petrokhim technology " (specialized in environmental aspects of construction), was  killed on July 19, 2005 around 13:00 in the village Roshino  of Vyborg district of Leningrad region.The  Jeep, in which Ledneva was traveling, was stopped by two men dressed in police uniforms. They asked her to show her documents, and after making sure that the driver was Ledneva, the killer in front of many witnesses shot woman for times in the chest and head. Oksana Ledneva controlled a big business for handling domestic and construction waste on the territory of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region. Her partner companies provided Ledneva with full range of services for obtaining numerous environmental permits required for all construction firms, which, in the process of work, necessarily produced waste. Taking in account that the market for construction waste handling is dealing with huge sums of money, at that time, it seemed that the “bullets could fly from anywhere”. Perhaps that is why the murder of Ledneva remained the "cold case" for a long time - criminals left no trace except for the bullets from the "Browning" pistol. Also killer style was quite strange: the offender shot at Oksana Ledneva 4 times with very poor accuracy. Besides it was almost a potshot. Later on, this very "handwriting" helped detectives to link the murder of a business woman with other killings, of which members of criminal group headed by Sasha Tartarin were accused.

Specifically of the murder of Ledneva, was accused the former medalist of Moscow Cup Powerlifting Denis Smelkov. Smelkov began to cooperate with the investigation, so that there appeared legal grounds for charging of such well-known in the business community figure as Igor Tupalsky. He is accused of criminal complicity under paragraphs "g" and "h" of Part 2 of Article 105 of the Criminal Code ("murder committed by a group of persons by prior agreement for selfish motives"). For that offense the law provides for very severe penalties, up to
life imprisonment.

In the original statement of prosecution of Tupalsky, dated by July 2009 , the investigation saw Denis Smelkov as someone who personally shot Oksana Ledneva (his right index finger was injured). But the verdict of the Leningrad Regional Court in September 2010 stated that Smelkov, dressed in police uniform, only stopped the car of Ledneva, but fired "a person against whom a criminal case was denied in connection with his death." Under the special case hearing Denis Smelkov, accused of several murders and robberies, received a relatively lenient sentence (thanks to active cooperation with the investigation) - only 12 years of imprisonment.

In July 2013 a criminal case was sent to the Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee in the Leningrad region in the central office of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. The authorities of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation of the Russian Federation in Leningrad region requested at the same time the central staff officials to appeal to the leadership of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation to challenge the decision of the Leningrad Regional Court, according to which the criminal case was returned for the third time to investigation because of procedural irregularities. All this time the criminal case was studied by Maxim Tsibulskiy, the investigator of Bureau of Criminal Investigation in the Leningrad region of Russia. The case of Oksana Ledneva was sent to Moscow after the prosecutor's office of the Leningrad region failed to convince Leningrad Regional Court of a wrong decision on the return of it to investigation. The Investigative committee wanted to achieve the same goal with the help of the central office of the Attorney General, but it did not work out. In November 2013 the case was again returned to the agency, but now its production is not under the investigation of Maxim Tsibulskiy (who, in fact, was unable to bring it to the end). Pretrial criminal investigation was extended to mid- February 2014.


PR is primary

After the emergence of serious problems in business , Igor Tupalsky engaged in active PR. Bankruptcy of the company and opening of a criminal investigation led him to address to effective PR professionals. Currently Tupalsky controls several influential urban media that  is advertising his business activities, as well as trying to create favorable publicity for the upcoming trial. The analysis showed that the businessman "attracted" journalists of the newspaper "The Business Petersburg", took control under city-defense portal "Karpovka" and opened the news agency “Telegraph“ (www.rutelegraph.ru).
The loyalty of "The Business Petersburg " to Mr. Tupalskiy is  provided by Elena Murgina, who has been the  head of the Public Relations department of "Razmakh " since 2010. Ms. Murgina previously successfully lobbied in "The Business Petersburg" the interests of her previous boss businessman Vitaly Arkhangelskiy, who also escaped from creditors and the pesky questions of law enforcement agencies to the West. After Helena Murygina moved to "Razmakh", a journalist of the newspaper "The Business Petersburg" Denis Lebedev also changed the hero of his articles from Vitaliy Archangelsky to Igor Tupalskiy. Since then, the attitude of "The Business Petersburg" the company "Razmakh " and Igor Tupalskiy changed : from neutral , analyzing and even critical to quite loyal in style "as you please".

So, since mid-2010 "The Business Petersburg" newspaper and online www.dp.ru published dozens of articles exclusively in support of Igor Tupalskiy and his business. Basically this is a PR activity of "Razmakh", but there are also very interesting non-trivial materials. By the way, the PR to "Razmakh" owner was necessary as air. Igor Tupalskiy is known as the founder of "The Association of Demolition," which in 2010 scandalously bankrupted, leaving millions of contractors and employees in debts.

An even more serious problem – is the murder case of Oksana Ledneva in which Igor Tupalskiy passes as an organizer. It is noteworthy that after he was released on bail in January 2011, he immediately went to "The Business Petersburg" editorial office, where he gave an impassioned speech in his defense. Tupalskiy said that the accusation is formed on the testimony of the only witness whom is impossible to believe. In April 2011, Denis Lebedev in the article of Igor Tupalskiy "Power connections" clumsily tried to give "the case of Tupalskiy" political , rather than criminal overtones. Tupalskiy together with journalist are clinging to his former partner - the nephew of Nikolai Patrushev the former head of the Federal Security Service of Russia.


They say that problems of Tupalskiy just coincided with the dismissal of senior Patrushev. Probably the purpose of the article was to produce an "impression" on the judge. One of the most recent publications of “The Business Petersburg” which appeared in the late November 2012,  is dedicated to demolition of the building of Warsaw railway station, this work was carried out by "Razmakh". "The city defense organizations inflated scandal when they saw dilapidated buildings. However, making sure that they were initially in such a state, apologized," - writes the correspondent. The largest and most influential city defense organization of Petersburg "The Living City" does not agree with position of "The Business Petersburg". "Our message was interpreted wrong, - said the coordinator of social movement "living city" Julia Minutina. - In buildings of warehouses recent damages, which did not exist a month ago were found. It means that dismantling works were conducted on different days. Therefore, in a refined press release we reported that the threat to historic buildings still exits."

  Ironically, but not all city defense organizations have critical approach to the work of "Razmakh". Content analysis of publications revealed an unexpected results, the "destroyers" are passionately promoted by city defense organization "Karpovka", created in 2009. "The main idea – is to monitor how the city is changing . Particular attention is paid to the preservation of the historical heritage of the northern capital", - it is written in the "about us" section of the official site of " Karpovka". Looking ahead, we explain that the dismantling buildings in               St. Petersburg somehow combines perfectly with the historical heritage. Articles of "Karpovka" have no critical remarks about "Razmakh". For the recent 1.5 years "Karpovka" created more than 50 positive references and no negative about the company of Tupalskiy. This is a primitive type of PR like "dismantling was carried out by "Razmakh" with colorful pictures of demolition. Needless to say, that no city defense portal will ever publish in a positive material photographs of pre-revolutionary buildings destruction. It will be too cynical. According Roskomnadzor "Internet newspaper "Karpovka " is owned by LLC "Maksmedia". According to the register, the company was only established in June 2011. It is obviously affiliated with "Razmakh" as a PR of dismantling company began in June 2011 with unremarkable article. Then the number of publications about "Razmakh" increased dramatically. Thus, in another article portal tells with the affection about the feasibility of parking construction in the old buildings in the center of St. Petersburg, as Governor Poltavchenko offered .

Group of companies "Razmakh" in "Karpovka" articles expressed its willingness to engage "in retrofitting of old fund to stacked parking". The real defenders of the city heritage must be shocked from this idea - to rob people of beautiful old fund and give it to toxic machines. Later on "Karpivka" published an article, continuing the issue, with approving comments of the "Living City". In the end, it turned out that it was the personal opinion of one of the participants of the movement, and the "Living City" does not support this idea. In February 2012, the untypical for city defenders article "The ban on construction in the city center will create hysteria" was issued. Of course, defenders of the old houses should be glad to support such a ban, but it is extremely disadvantageous for "Razmakh".
That makes a Commercial Director of "Razmakh" Sergey Efremov to leave a comment on "Karpovka". He sais that he is confident that the proposals of George Poltavchenko will provoke a wave of hysteria , as developers begin to pull down historical buildings with impunity.

No doubts that “Karpovka” will get on the side of “Razmakh” in the article about the construction of a dwelling house, which can be frozen. Odious article forced the press service of the builder "Pioneer" to distribute a separate press release, stating that the documents sent by      "Razmakh " in the media, contain a lot of unreliable and contradictory information. "Information that ledger accounts of "Pioneer" are arrested, was false. The arrest of an insignificant amount of the account of the general contractor LLC "STROYTEKHSERVIS " can not affect the progress of construction of the current project", - stated in a press release.

However, the reader should not be of  a view that portal supports all "dismantlers". The nearest competitor of "Razmakh" - company "Terminator " is also actively criticized by “Karpovka”. For example, “Terminator” is accused of dismantling blunders . The rest of the media is not so loyal to Mr. Tupalskiy. Thus, in "Novaya Gazeta" all seven publications are critical. In the article "Anti-hero of our city" it is said that the director of the Association of Demolition Igor Tupalskiy became one of the nominees for the title of "unhonorary freeman." Another publication describes in detail the events that make suspect businessman in organizing high-profile murder. So we can assume that the "disruptive PR" acts only in certain media, where work imaginary city defenders and "independent business press." What will be the image of Igor Tupalskiy, created by the media he controls, depends on his return to the homeland? But no matter how the events turn, the readers will hardly find any criticism on the pages of mentioned publishers.