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Vladimir Kumarin

Russian criminal
The basics
AKA Vladimir Sergeyevich Barsukov
Date of birth Saint Petersburg, Russia
The details

Vladimir Kumarin, aka Vladimir Barsukov is a Russian businessman, former deputy president of the Petersburg Fuel Company (PTK) between 1998 and 1999, and allegedly the boss of the powerful criminal Tambovskaya Bratva (Tambov gang) of Saint Petersburg.

Kumarin allegedly founded the Tambov syndicate in 1989 to run protection rackets, and later expanded into nightclubs and strip clubs. During the early 1990s, Kumarin was allegedly connected to current Russian president Vladimir Putin, who in 1994, as deputy mayor of Saint Petersburg, awarded the Petersburg Fuel Company (PTK) the right to be the sole supplier of gasoline to the city.

The deal allegedly triggered a violent gang war during which there was an attempt on Kumarin's life. After being sprayed by machine gun fire he fell into a month-long coma. His right arm had to be amputated at the shoulder and bullets pierced his stomach, chest and lungs. To this day he still has bullet fragments in his heart.

In June 2003, the magazine Der Spiegel mentioned that, according to the German ministry of criminal affairs, the German firm SPAG had fallen under suspicion of being involved in a money laundering scheme with connections to Kumarin. Putin was an advisor to this firm over the course of seven years. It has been suggested that Kumarin maintains good relations to Russian politicians Mikhail Glushenko and Alexander Filatov.

After Putin became president in 2000, Kumarin sought to clean up his image via donations to charities and the Russian Orthodox Church of which he was a devout follower as well as securing the release of two kidnapped children. During this period his celebrity grew as well. He played the role of King Louis XIV in a film and dozens of celebrities and politicians attended his 50th birthday party in 2006.

Allegedly after refusing to back down from a business deal in favour of a politician close to Vladimir Putin, Kumarin was raided and arrested by 300 special forces officers on August 24, 2007. Prosecutor General Yury Chaika accused him of banditry and organizing a gang. He is also accused of the murder attempt on businessman Sergei Vasiliev, a rival in the oil business. In 2006, two men with automatic rifles sprayed Vasiliev's car with gunfire, wounding him and killing one of his bodyguards.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison for fraud and money laundering on November 12, 2009.

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