In November or December 2010, documents leak in which prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, reveals she had “documented proof that some powerful criminal structures are behind the RosUkrEnergo (RUE) company.”
The documents also reveal that Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, who owns 50% of RUE, admitted in a meeting with Tymoshenko that Semion Mogilevich was the “real power” behind his gas business.
A 2008 memo by William Taylor, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, also appeared in the documents. According to the memo, Firtash told the ambassador about his dealings with Mogilevich two years before the leak.
“He [Firtash] acknowledged ties to Russian organised crime figure Semyon Mogilevich, stating he had needed Mogilevich’s approval to get into business in the first place.” Taylor said the “softly spoken” Firtash had come to see him on 8 December 2008 and “spoke at length about his business and politics in a visible effort to improve his image with the USG [United States government]”.
Taylor grilled the oligarch about his alleged ties to Russian organised crime. The Ukrainian press had widely reported that RUE’s circle of true beneficiaries included Mogilevich. Firtash countered that it had been impossible to approach a government official for any reason “without also meeting an organised crime member”.
The cable stated: “Firtash acknowledged that he needed, and received, permission from Mogilevich when he established various businesses, but he denied any close relationship to him.”
At least three years prior to the ambassador’s meeting with Firtash, the FBI had already identified two other Semion Mogilevich Organzation members as the real leaders behind ETG: Ivan Fursin and Oleg Palchikov.
According to Business Insider, “one of Mogelivich’s most concerning characteristics is his influence in Europe’s energy sector… He controls extensive natural gas pipelines in Russia and Eastern Europe.”
Beginning in 1991, Mogilevich got his hands dirty in the petroleum industry through a company called Arbat International. Mogilevich owned 50% of the company. The other 50% was split between Vyacheslav Ivankov, Sergei Mikhailov, and Viktor Averin.
In 2002, an Israeli lawyer, Zeev Gordon, created Eural Trans Gas (ETG) and connected the natural gas industries of Turkmenistan and Ukraine. Gordon had represented Semion Mogilevich for over 20 years. When Gordon registered the company, he did so under the name Dmitry Firtash, the Ukrainian oligarch mentioned before.
In July 2004, Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma struck a deal to replace ETG by merging Russia’s state-run energy leader Gazprom (Michael Caputo’s former employer) and Ukraine’s Centragas Holding AG into one company: RosUkrEnergo, or RUE. The new company’s ownership was split between Dmitry Firtash and Gazprom.
Red Mafiya by Robert I. Friedman, p. 243