James Ball, excerpts:
At first glance, little separates Andrey Pavlov from thousands of other wealthy Russians who do business in the West. The lawyer, who turned 40 last year, travels across Europe’s luxury resorts, stays in five-star hotels, eats in the best restaurants, and hires concierge services to track down exclusive $17,000 Hermès handbags for his wife.
But Pavlov, an unassuming man of middling build and height with short brown hair, may be one of the most influential Russians you’ve never heard of, with a set of unique connections across the elites of Russia and Eastern Europe—not to mention London and Washington, D.C.—which typify the elaborate networks of connections and influence that have come to attract huge media and government attention in the early years of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Pavlov has engaged some of the world’s biggest law firms to act on behalf of him and his clients, has encouraged a former U.K. attorney general to lobby on his behalf, and has hired the consultancy firm part-owned by U.K. and Australian election maestro Lynton Crosby.
Yet he’s also embroiled in a huge international row over an alleged $230 million Russian fraud that left a lawyer tortured to death in a Russian prison; is closely tied to the Russian and Kazakh interior ministries; and is even alleged to have acted as a mediator between a Russian whistleblower and an alleged criminal gang, shortly before the whistleblower was found dead—with U.S. intelligence pointing blame for the death directly at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Pavlov’s jetset lifestyle embodies the elaborate network of connections between the Russian state and Western elites that special counsel Robert Mueller is now charged with investigating. Like most people in this world, Pavlov has always been a closed book—until now.
This rare cache of documents, plus court records from cases across the U.S. and detailed reporting, give a rare insight into the complex nexus of connections in which Pavlov resides—a network that draws in interests connected to Putin and also business connections of President Trump.
How a little-known lawyer is at the center of a complex nexus of connections between Western fixers, Russian oligarchs, Vladimir Putin—and even Donald Trump
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