My name is Ilgar Hajiyev. I am an entrepreneur who until recently worked successfully in Russia and Azerbaijan, the founder of the construction holding SDI Group. Companies belonging to me to varying degrees have built hundreds of thousands of meters of residential real estate in Moscow, including almost completely erected residential complexes “Vernadsky, Pirogovskaya Riviera and Akkord. Smart-quarter ”, that have laid thousands of kilometers of roads and dozens of other facilities. However, my business actually no longer belongs to me, and this text I am writing from London, where I am not of my own free will.
In February 2019, control over my construction holding SDI Group and the largest construction projects was illegally acquired by third parties led by super-wealthy and extremely influential people in Russia, and I myself was forced to leave Russia due to threats and an illegal criminal case against me.
Since I began to publicly talk about the circumstances of the seizure of my business in the Russian media, a real persecution was launched against me, which resulted in over 30 publications in the media of various levels and topics. And the main violin, in my opinion, in this orchestra was played by the Russian blogger, former journalist Oleg Lurie.
In posts on his blog page, he insulted me many times. I recently filed a business reputation lawsuit against Mr. Lurie. I would like to dwell in more detail on one figurative comparison with which Mr. Lurie spiced up his almost accusatory publicistic monologue. I was compared to the hero of Ilf and Petrov’s immortal dilogy – Ostap Bender. However, unfortunately for Mr. Lurie, I know the Russian literary classics well and I want to dwell separately on this, if I may say, metaphor.
Ostap Bender, after the publication of a note in the newspaper Gudok “Got Under the Horse”, paid a visit to the editorial office, where he demanded a refutation on the fact of “slander”. Since I, Ilgar Hajiyev, and not Ostap Bender, and the editorial board of the newspaper Gudok, represented by Oleg Lurie, inflicted real insults on me and slandered me, I do not need any fictional reasons to visit the editorial office, or refutations from the newspaper Gudok.
I do not intend to take with me from the editorial office of the newspaper Gudok the cherished chair of “Hambs’s work,” in other words, I do not pursue the goal of financial gain. And the amount of my claim is symbolic, it is only five rubles. This is how much I rate the professionalism of Mr. Lurie and his efforts to discredit my business reputation and my good name.
At one time, Mr. Lurie became widely known as a media figure, among other things, thanks to the publication of a series of materials about the facts of corruption in the Government of Mikhail Kasyanov, after which the impartial nickname “Misha 2%” stuck to the Prime Minister. Maybe someone will start calling Mr. Lurie “Oleg 5 rubles” after my statement, however I would not want that, it would be too upsetting.
I want to make an important reservation right away. The lawsuit and my negative attitude are not directed against journalism in general or investigative journalism in particular. Hundreds of Russian journalists working both in Russia and abroad are honestly and selflessly doing their work, striving to reveal to society the truth, which is often well hidden and well protected.
I definitely support honest, objective and courageous reporters who seek the truth. First, because such values are close to me. And secondly, after taking over my construction business, I deeply felt the importance of the investigative genre in protecting public health.
Such professionals are among the employees of Kommersant, Meduza, Project, Editorial Office, MK, Novaya Gazeta, and other newspapers and publications. In fulfilling their duty as a reporter, they consciously risk their freedom and even their lives.
We all remember how a year ago Russian society shuddered from the crudely fabricated, as it is now known, case against the journalist Meduza Ivan Golunov. Ivan was rescued by corporate, reporting solidarity, a wave of social outrage and the accidental mistake of the police working against him. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Today, dark times have again come for a whole galaxy of prominent Russian journalists. More precisely, they did not stop, but strengthened. An extremely serious and extremely implausible accusation was brought against a former employee of Kommersant and Vedomosti Ivan Safronov, Taisia Bekbulatova was being interrogated, and a dubious sentence was passed on Svetlana Prokofieva.
Over the past decade, tens and hundreds of Russian journalists and businessmen have become victims of criminals, including those in uniform.
Both honest journalists and businessmen in Russia today at any time risk being victims of provocations as a result of corporate and financial wars, and criminal prosecution has become a means of settling scores, which is equally used by dishonest security officials, criminal leaders, and seemingly specious businessmen.
It is because of this incorrect reality that I generally write this text from London. And therefore I am here conducting open work, which, as I am convinced, can lead to a change in the situation with the business climate in the country as a whole. I will tell you more about this in the following posts.