The Tambov Gang (in Russian: Тамбовская преступная группировка, Tambovskaya prestupnaya gruppirovka) is a large gang in Saint Petersburg, Russia. According to common allegations, it was organised in Saint Petersburg in 1988 by two men from Tambov Oblast, Vladimir Kumarin and Valery Ledovskikh, and one from Saint Petersburg. The gang is named after their region of origin. Despite allegations,[1] Kumarin continues to deny his involvement. Originally the gangsters were recruited from people of Tambov origin and sportsmen, and were engaged in a protection racket.

Tambovskaya Bratva
Founding locationLeningrad, Soviet Union
Years active1988–present
TerritorySt Petersburg, Lenoblast, part of Novgorod oblast,part of Pskov oblast and part of Karelia
EthnicityRussian, Russian Jews
Membership (est.)Around 600
Activitiescontract killing, extortion, loan sharking, prostitution, bootlegging, construction management, money laundering, robbery and theft , now legal businesses
RivalsSolntsevskaya Bratva

It became famous in the city after coverage from Alexander Nevzorov in his 600 seconds TV show in the city.

Saint PetersburgEdit

After establishing in 1988, the Tambov Gang used a Baroque church on Vasilyevsky Island as the site for interrogating persons.[2][3] Kumarin and Petrov have been close to the KGB since the late 1980s.[4]

Viktor Ivanov has strong links to the Tambov Gang.[5][6] He supported Vladimir Kumarin's Tambovskaya OGG in their war against the Malyshevskaya OGG for control of the Saint Petersburg sea port and the trafficking of Colombian narcotics through the Saint Petersburg sea port to Europe.[5]

In 1989 the gang clashed with Malyshev's Gang [ru], another leading criminal group of Saint Petersburg, in a bloody armed conflict. In 1990 some of the gang members including Kumarin were imprisoned for racketeering, but Kumarin was released from prison in 1993. He later briefly allied with Alexander Malyshev (Russian: Александр Малышев), who controlled the narcotics trade since 1993 after ousting the Azerbaijani mafia from the narcotics trade, to fight the Kazan gang from Tatarstan.[a]

Kinichi Kamiyasu met Gennady Petrov (Russian: Геннадий Васильевич Петров) and Kuzmin in December 1990 when Manvel Davidov through his father Temo Davidov, a member of the Chechen mafia which had caused Manvel to flee the Soviet Union for Stockholm where Kinichi Kamiyasu gave him a job and a Polish passport, introduced the Russian mafia, Petrov, Kuzmin, and Malyshev, to the son of a Japanese yakuza from Kobe-Osaka, Kinichi Kamiyasu.[7] Temo Davidov had been acquainted with Petrov, Kuzmin, and Malyshev.[7]

In 1993 – 1995 an internal war developed between groups within the Tambov Gang. On June 1, 1994, Kumarin survived a murder attempt in his car but was severely wounded and lost his arm.[8] He believed that the Velikie Luki were responsible and, later, Viktor Gavrilenkov (Russian: Виктор Гавриленков) and Nikolai Gavrilenkov (Russian: Николай Гавриленков) were shot with Viktor Gavrilenkov being killed in the bedlam.[8] He continued his recovery in Düsseldorf (Germany) and Switzerland. By 1995 he allegedly had retaken full control over the gang.

By then the gang had incorporated some of the racketeer businessmen and became interested in investment and fuel trading effectively evolving into a mafia. It also helped organizing several private guard enterprises. Some of its members allegedly became members of the State Duma and the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg, as well as a sector opening in Sydney, Australia allegedly being run by Mikhail Klapanov.[9] Even the speaker of the Assembly Viktor Novosyolov gave his support and maintained close relationships with Kumarin.[10][11]

Formed in September 1994, the Petersburg Fuel Company (PTK) was administrated by the Saint Petersburg City Administration.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][b]

During the later half of 1993 and into 1994 and with bank accounts in New York, Vladimir I. Dyakov (Russian: Дьяков Владимир Иванович, b.1959) of the Kazan Gang, which had many very devout Muslim Tatars, fought the Tambov Gang for control of St. Petersburg's energy trade.[20][c] The St Petersburg mafia gangs also fought for control of the St Petersburg seaport, however, Viktor Ivanov strongly supported the Tambov Gang to control both the oil and the seaport.[5][22][23][24]

From 1998 to 1999, Kumarin became Deputy President of PTK, the top fuel trading company in the city.[16]

In the autumn of 1999 the status of the gang started deteriorating again. Viktor Novosyolov was killed by an explosion in his car on October 20. Some of its most important members were imprisoned or killed. Kumarin left his position of PTK Deputy President.

The Tambov Gang now includes several hundred active members.

In August 2001, Interior Minister of Russia Boris Gryzlov said that the Tambov Gang controlled up to 100 industrial enterprises in Saint Petersburg, including PTK, the leading fuel retailing operator in the city, as well as four main sea ports of Northwestern Russia, Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Arkhangelsk and Murmansk.[1][25]

On 16 January 2007 the Prosecutor General of Russia Yury Chaika announced that the Tambov Gang had recently forcefully taken over 13 large enterprises in Saint Petersburg and was being investigated.[26][27]

2007 and 2008 arrestsEdit

Alexander Litvinenko was a key witness for the Spanish prosecutors.[28][29]

On 13 June 2008 Spanish police arrested 20 members of the organisation's Spanish branch.[30] In connection with the raid Russian politician Vladislav Reznik was investigated[31] A money laundering scheme involved Vera Metallurgica, a subsidiary of Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) which Oleg Deripaska and Iskander Makhmudov were the main owners in the early 2000s.[4]

Alexander Malyshev, apparently having resolved his feud with the gang, joined with them instead and moved to Spain to continue operations after several attempts on his life in Saint Petersburg. Gennady Petrov, a high-ranking associate and neighbour of the sister of King Juan Carlos was also arrested. During the police operation, code-named Operation Troika, US$307,000 in cash and twenty-three luxury cars were seized. Bank accounts totalling €12 million were frozen. Arrests were made in Berlin as well, where a member of the organisation, Michael Rebo, was involved in laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking and other illegal activity.

The criminal investigation of 2008 led to further arrests and a major Russian mafia (the Tambov Gang) money laundering scheme be revealed. According to the Bulgarian prosecutor more than one billion euros of Russian money had been laundered through a series of financial transactions in Bulgaria and Estonia. The laundered money was, according to allegations, part of the Saint Petersburg Tambov gang's proceeds from drug trafficking, prostitution and protection rackets. The alleged Tambov Gang money laundering operation was coordinated by Elizabet Elena Von Messing and Svetozar Milter.[32]

According to the sources, about a billion euros of Russian money were first transferred to a real estate and financial services company in Bulgaria, called Optima Ca. That firm then wired half of the money to the Estonian financial house AS Tavid, which sent the money back to Russia. The rest of the money was transferred to accounts in Cyprus, Dubai, Hong Kong and other countries, according to the newspaper.[33][34][35][36]

The investigation, which is going on in Bulgaria, is secret. Two persons were investigated in Bulgaria on May 23, 2008, for this case, Elizabet Elena Von Messing and Sverozar Milter. Von Messing, a Russian with Finnish citizenship and whose second husband Andrei Khloev (Russian: Андрей Хлоев) is very close to Kumarin, had acted as a proxy.[36] The court hearings on the investigation of the two Russians were not open to the public.[37]

A similar trail in Spain involves the Solntsevo Gang.[38]


After a ten-year trial the Third Section of the Criminal Chamber of the Spanish National Court has acquitted all 17 defendants on October 18, 2018, on all accounts.[39][40] The prosecution provided insufficient evidence to link the defendants to the criminal conspiracy or any associated wrongdoing.

Vladislav Reznik, Michail Rebo, Juri Salikov, Diana Gindin, Andrey Malenkovich, Leonid Khazhin, Svetozar Milter, Leocadia Martin Garcia and Ignacio Pedro Urquiujo Sierra and others are among the acquitted.[41][42]

Criminal sphereEdit

According to Mark Galeotti in 2017, the Tamboskaya OGG controls both the Saint Petersburg sea port and the Stockholm sea port.[43][44]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Alexander Malyshev gang's headquarters was at Berezovaya Alleya, d. 7., and hosted Japanese yakusa from Kobe and Osaka, and other close mafia friends from Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltics.[7] This address was also the 1991 established Joint Venture (JV) Petrodin address which provided capital, chorny mal or black cash from the gang's casinos, drug trades, and rackets, for Bank Rossiya.[7] Viktor Zolotov, a bodyguard, picked up chorny mal for Vladimir Putin. Malyshev was very close to Gennady Petrov and Sergei Kuzmin who were 65% owners of JV Pertodin through their BHM company and Kinichi Kamiyasu's Stokholm-based Dyna AB which owned 35% of JV Petrodin.[7] Kinichi Kamiyasu was the son of a Japanese Yakuza from Kobe-Osaka and his Dyna AB's address was HäLSINGEGATAN 14-16, S-113 23 Stockholm, Sweden.[7] JV Petrodin was an owner of Bank Rossiya, too.[7] Their casino JV Casino Neva, which Gennady Petrov controlled and was registered at Antonenko Street, 6, which was the same address as Vladimir Putin's Committee for External Relations, was co-owned by the Austrian firm Novomatic and the Russian "Neva-Chance" (AOZT "Casino") which according to law was supposed to own a share in every St Petersburg casino.[7] The telephone number for "Neva-Chance", JV Casino Neva, and Putin's Committee for External Relations was exactly the same, too.[7] JV Petrodin is a portmanteau of Petrov and din or Dyna.[7]
  2. ^ Ilya Traber is very close to Dmitry Fillipov who was on the board of PTK.[19]
  3. ^ During this time and out of fear for his own daughters' safety, Vladimir Putin sent his daughters Maria and Ekaterina to Germany for schooling and had his close friend the German banker Matthias Warnig be their legal guardian.[21]


  1. ^ a b "The Jamestown Foundation". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  2. ^ Быков, Дмитрий (Bikov, Dmitry) (21 December 2012). "Расклад "Полония": театральные опыты Владислава Мамышева-Монро" ["Polonia" layout: theatrical experiments of Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe]. Rolling Stone (in Russian). Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  3. ^ O’Brien, McKenzie. "Organization Attributes Sheet – Tambovskaya (AKA: Tambov Gang, AKA: Tambov Gang, AKA: Tambovskaya-Malyshevskaya)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  4. ^ a b Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (1 July 2015). "Мафия на госзаказе. Как новые кремлевские олигархи связаны с преступным миром" [Mafia on state order. How the new Kremlin oligarchs are connected to the underworld]. The Insider (in Russian). Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Shvets, Yuri (19 September 2006). "Viktor Ivanov" (PDF). Stirling, Virginia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  6. ^ Адамова, Екатерина (Adamova, Ekaterina); Калинина, Ольга (Kalinina, Olga); Новиков, Кирилл (Novikov, Kirill); Парыгин, Антон (Parygin, Anton); Пугаченко, Дмитрий (Pugachenko, Dmitry); Сухманский, Максим (Sukhmansky, Maxim); Урбан, Кирилл (Urban, Kirill); Черникова, Анна (Chernikova, Anna) (9 August 2004). ""Сведения о 43 сотрудниках администрации президента": Вся Администрация Президента" ["Information about 43 employees of the presidential administration": All Presidential Administration]. «Коммерсантъ» (in Russian). Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2021. Alt URL
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Иванидзе, Владимир (Ivanidze, Vladimir) (8 February 2012). "Кому Нева дала шанс: Игорный бизнес в Санкт-Петербурге начинали российские ОПГ и японские якудза. Под контролем мэрии. Уникальное свидетельство непосредственного участника событий" [To whom the Neva gave a chance: The gambling business in St. Petersburg was started by Russian organized crime groups and Japanese yakuza. Under the control of the city hall. Unique evidence of a direct participant in the events]. Novaya Gazeta. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  8. ^ a b Бензиновые кризисы и ОГГО-коммерция: о чем писал "ДП" 20 лет назад
  9. ^ "2002 – #15(322) – Expert – Society – Not a word about the past". Archived from the original on March 12, 2007.
  10. ^ "The Jamestown Foundation".
  11. ^ "Center for Defense Information". Project On Government Oversight.
  12. ^ "Вся история ПТК" [The whole history of PTK]. PTK website (in Russian). 2004. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  13. ^ "о компании: история компании" [about the company: history of the company]. PTK website (in Russian). 19 February 2004. Archived from the original on 6 December 2004. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  14. ^ "о компании: история компании" [about the company: history of the company (2)]. PTK website (in Russian). 2004. Archived from the original on 27 December 2004. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  15. ^ "карта сайта" [sitemap]. PTK website (in Russian). 2004. Archived from the original on 6 December 2004. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  16. ^ a b Резник, Ирина (Reznik, Irina); Щербакова, Анна (Shcherbakova, Anna); Говорун, Юлия (Gavorun, Yulia); Петрова, Ольга (Petrova, Olga) (30 November 2020). "Крупным планом: Горе от Кума. Не всякий выходец из петербургской элиты 1990-х становится сегодня президентом страны или крупной компании. Владимир Барсуков (Кумарин, Кум) 12 ноября был приговорен к 14 годам заключения в колонии строгого режима" [Close-up: Grief from Qom. Not every native of the St. Petersburg elite of the 1990s becomes the president of a country or a large company today. Vladimir Barsukov (Kumarin, Qom) was sentenced on November 12 to 14 years in a strict regime colony]. Vedomosti (in Russian). Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  17. ^ Anin, Roman (11 April 2011). "Маленькая прачечная премьер-класса: Бывший директор разведки Монако обвиняет в отмывании денег российских бизнесменов, лидеров организованных преступных группировок, высокопоставленных чиновников и премьер-министра Владимира Путина" [Small prime-class laundry: Former director of intelligence in Monaco accuses Russian businessmen, leaders of organized crime groups, senior officials and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of money laundering]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). Archived from the original on 13 April 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  18. ^ Анин, Роман (Anin, Roman) (15 April 2011). "Друзья — не разлей нефть: Как связаны знакомые премьера с теми, кто подозревался полицией Монако в отмывании денег? Продолжение расследования "Новой газеты"" [Friends - do not spill oil: How are the prime minister's acquaintances connected with those who were suspected by the Monaco police of money laundering? Continuation of the investigation by Novaya Gazeta]. Novaya Gazeta (in Russian). Archived from the original on 18 April 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  19. ^ a b "Легенды и мифы бандитского Петербурга: Череда громких заказных убийств в 90-х придала Санкт-Петербургу имидж криминальной столицы России, бандитского города, где любой вопрос невозможно решить без участия "тамбовских" братков. Но так ли это на самом деле? Криминальную историю города на Неве принято связывать с многолетним противостоянием двух "авторитетных бизнесменов" - Владимира Барсукова и Константина Яковлева. Так ли уж страшны и безгранично влиятельны эти люди, как их представляют многие СМИ?" [Legends and myths of bandit Petersburg: A series of high-profile contract killings in the 90s gave St. Petersburg the image of the criminal capital of Russia, a bandit city where any issue cannot be resolved without the participation of "Tambov" brothers. But is it really so? It is customary to associate the criminal history of the city on the Neva with the long-term confrontation between two "authoritative businessmen" - Vladimir Barsukov and Konstantin Yakovlev. Are these people really so terrible and infinitely influential, as many media outlets represent them?]. Leningradskaya Pravda (in Russian). 23 May 2002. Archived from the original on 9 June 2002. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  20. ^ "Влидимир Яковлев подозревает в Cвязях c Прганизованными Преступными Группировками: Организованные преступные группировки г. Санкт-Петербурга. 1993 - 1996 год" [Vladimir Yakovlev is Suspected of Connections with Organized Criminal Groups: Organized criminal gangs in St. Petersburg. 1993 - 1996] (in Russian). 1996. Archived from the original on 2 September 2000. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  21. ^ Belton 2020, pp. 101–102, 521–522.
  22. ^ Belton 2020, pp. 103–104.
  23. ^ Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (21 January 2016). "Путин и мафия. За что убили Александра Литвиненко" [Putin and mafia. Why Alexander Litvinenko was killed]. The Insider (in Russian). Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  24. ^ Litvinenko, Alexander (25 November 2006). Why I believe Putin wanted me dead... Archived from the original on 19 December 2020.
  25. ^ "The Jamestown Foundation". Archived from the original on November 22, 2006.
  26. ^ " / Тамбовская группировка захватила в Петербурге 13 предприятий / Новости / Санкт-Петербург".
  27. ^ "Генпрокурор: арестованы 27 членов тамбовской ОПГ | Газета.Ru: Между тем".
  28. ^ Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (21 January 2016). "Путин и мафия. За что убили Александра Литвиненко" [Putin and the mafia. Why Alexander Litvinenko was killed]. The Insider (in Russian). Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  29. ^ Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (10 September 2018). "Токсичная информация. О чем Литвиненко рассказал бы испанскому правосудию, если бы не был отравлен" [Toxic information. What Litvinenko would have told Spanish justice if he had not been poisoned]. The Insider (in Russian). Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  30. ^ "Spain raids 'major Russian gang'". June 13, 2008 – via
  31. ^ Испанские СМИ сообщили об обыске на вилле депутата Госдумы РФ (in Russian)
  32. ^ Ronay, Gabriel (February 22, 2009). "A tale of Russian mafia, a Bulgarian businesswoman and 1bn". The Sunday Herald.
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ "Следственные органы Болгарии подозревают эстонскую фирму AS "Tavid" в крупномасштабном отмывании денег: Болгарские официальные власти подозревают эстонскую компанию AS "Tavid", специализирующуюся на обмене валюты и продаже золота, в причастности к международному отмыванию денег" [Investigative authorities in Bulgaria suspect the Estonian company AS "Tavid" of large-scale money laundering: Bulgarian authorities suspect the Estonian company AS Tavid, which specializes in currency exchange and the sale of gold, of involvement in international money laundering.]. SKY Радио (in Russian). 5 January 2009. Archived from the original on 25 October 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  35. ^ Маракулин, Дмитрий (Marakulin, Dmitry) (26 September 2011). "В банке ВЕФК нашли нелегальную финансовую организацию: Следствие нашло следы незаконной миллиардной обналички" [Illegal financial organization found in VEFK bank: The investigation found traces of illegal billion-dollar cashing]. Kommersant (in Russian). Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  36. ^ a b "Елена фон Мессинг: За делом Хобота стоит Пеликан!" [Elena von Messing: The Pelican is behind the Trunk case!]. Наша Версия на Неве (Nasha Versia na Neve) (in Russian). 25 August 2011. Archived from the original on 6 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  37. ^ "Russian Mafia Laundered EUR 1 B through Bulgarian Firm - Report - - Sofia News Agency".
  38. ^ Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (20 March 2019). "На смерть Тамма. Как солнцевские связаны с ФСБ и "Единой Россией"" [To the death of Tamm. How the Solntsevskaya gangs are connected with the FSB and United Russia]. The Insider (in Russian). Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  39. ^ Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (8 November 2018). "Прямая линия с Тамбовской ОПГ. Как мафия дружит с главой СК, министрами и прочим окружением Путина (прослушки)" [Direct line with the Tambov organized criminal group. How the mafia is friends with the head of the UK, ministers and other Putin's entourage (wiretapping)]. The Insider (in Russian). Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  40. ^ Кириленко, Анастасия (Kirilenko, Anastasia) (19 December 2018). "День чекиста празднуют все. Прослушки обнаружили связь тамбовской ОПГ с главой СЭБ ФСБ и прокурором Петербурга" [Everybody celebrates the day of the Chekist. Wiretaps discovered the connection of the Tambov organized criminal group with the head of the SEB FSB and the prosecutor of St. Petersburg]. The Insider (in Russian). Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  41. ^ "G.C.J. - Press Releases".
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  43. ^ Galeotti, Mark (18 April 2017). "Crimintern: How the Kremlin uses Russia's criminal networks in Europe" (PDF). European Council on Foreign Relations ( p. 4. Retrieved 21 August 2021. See Networks and outposts: Routes and supply chains
  44. ^ Galeotti, Mark (18 April 2017). "Russian-based organised crime (RBOC) and its routes into Europe". European Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 21 August 2021.

Further readingEdit

  • Roth, Jürgen. Die Gangster aus dem Osten. Hamburg: Europa Verlag, 2003. ISBN 3-203-81526-5

External linksEdit