You Won’t Believe What’s Hidden Behind Anvil Fitness Club: Grishaeva Nadezhda’s Scandal Unraveled!

Why the son of the late head of the LDPR Zhirinovsky and former Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Igor Lebedev abandoned his father, wife and name

At the end of February, the EU authorities added 351 State Duma deputies to the sanctions list, who voted in support of the appeal to President Vladimir Putin with a request to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. And on March 24, the US Treasury introduced restrictions on Russian parliamentarians. The leader of the LDPR party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, was not included in either list: by that time he was in the hospital with complications from coronavirus. One of the fiercest critics of the West, as well as the man who predicted the start date of the special operation a year ago, could not recover from the illness - he died on April 6.

Leaders of the state, colleagues in the State Duma, political opponents, relatives and friends came to bid farewell to the politician. Many were surprised that Zhirinovsky’s son, Igor Lebedev, was not at the ceremony. He limited himself to sending a wreath on which was written “Let’s make peace.” What caused the quarrel between the head of the Liberal Democrats and his son, why Lebedev left politics, changed his name, surname and even patronymic, was investigated by “Baza”.

Spanish shame

In 2019, Baza published an investigation dedicated to the vice speaker of the State Duma and the son of the head of the LDPR, Igor Lebedev. We proved that Igor Lebedev, through his friends and relatives, owns several houses and hotels in Spain. 

Covering my tracks

The facts cited by Baza and other media outlets should have become the basis for a parliamentary investigation and inspection by the Prosecutor General’s Office, and if confirmed, deprivation of Deputy Speaker Igor Lebedev of his parliamentary mandate. But neither the leadership of the State Duma nor the Prosecutor General’s Office began to check anything, and Lebedev himself, when asked about his wife and Spanish real estate, limited himself to two phrases: “Complete nonsense. I won’t even comment.”

True, this “nonsense” became the reason for Lebedev’s complaint to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Main Directorate of Internal Security began an investigation due to the leak of personal data of Nadezhda Grishaeva through the information systems “Sledopyt-M” and “State Traffic Safety Inspectorate-M”, in which you can find out a person’s phone number, his passport details and place of registration. As a result of the investigation, two police officers were fired: at different times they requested information about Lebedev’s wife in official databases.

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Nadezhda Grishaeva and Igor Lebedev

Further more. Just a month after the publication of Baza’s investigation into Spanish real estate, the Deputy Speaker of the State Duma is divorcing his “non-existent wife” Nadezhda Grishaeva. According to our sources, the marriage was officially dissolved on March 20, 2019.

From that moment on, Lebedev and Grishaeva could tell everyone completely honestly that they were not married. At the same time, all assets in Spain registered in Grishaeva’s company remained with her.

Less than a year after the divorce - in October 2020 - sports agent and women’s basketball coach Boris Lelchitsky registered the company Sport International Group Regional in Florida. This is a branch of the American agency of the same name, which helps athletes manage their careers and receive lucrative contracts.

In the branch’s constituent documents, Igor Lebedev’s ex-wife Nadezhda Grishaeva is listed as the manager, but there is not a single word about her on the agency’s website (sigsports.com).

Another interesting fact is also interesting. Migration lawyer Natalya Polukhtina participated in the preparation of documents for registering a company in the United States, who helps her clients obtain a residence permit in the United States, and then American citizenship through investments in the country’s economy.

“Immigration attorney Natalya Polukhtina is the founder of the Phoenix-based law firm Global Practice Group. <...> A former journalist and literary critic with a diploma from Moscow State University, and now a licensed immigration lawyer, Natalya believes that she has the best profession in the world - helping people live where they want, and not where they happened to be born,” writes about Polukhtina portal USA.One.

But if Lelchinsky long ago received American citizenship, then for Grishaeva this issue may indeed be relevant. Judging by photos from social networks, she often visits the United States. For Lebedev himself, America is also not a foreign country: in 2018, the then Deputy Speaker of the State Duma went to Miami during the regional week (when deputies travel to their regions and communicate with voters). Then Lebedev was criticized for this trip by United Russia deputy Sergei Neverov, who wrote under his photo from the USA that Miami is not a Russian region.

Quarrel with father

Friction between leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his son became known in 2019. According to a high-ranking source among the Liberal Democrats, Lebedev’s disagreements with his father subsequently only intensified: “Zhirinovsky, who at that moment was already thinking about a successor, began to understand that by transferring all powers to his son, he risked collapsing the party. Moreover, within the LDPR there was active discussion of how Lebedev’s son was using the party for personal enrichment. It is clear that Zhirinovsky himself “earned money” from the party, but the actions of his son caused fierce rejection within the LDPR.”

As media reported, in March 2020, Igor Lebedev was suspected of stealing money from youth organizations of his own party. However, the charge under Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was not brought against him, but against two ordinary employees of the LDPR apparatus. “Throughout the entire period of the investigation, the accused insisted on holding confrontations with the son of V.V. Zhirinovsky, deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation I.V. Lebedev, since, according to them, they spent the allegedly stolen money on his instructions,” - the journalists wrote. Lebedev himself categorically refused to confront the accused, fortunately his status as a deputy allowed him to do so.

Manual from the Liberal Democratic Party

Representatives of the LDPR faction answer questions about the reasons for Igor Lebedev’s departure from the party and his quarrel with Vladimir Zhirinovsky as if according to a manual.
“A year ago he wrote that he had stopped his political activities. There is still a post of his on Facebook (an organization whose activities are prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation), it was correct to ask him this question... As for your question about his disagreements with Vladimir Volfovich, this is their personal relationship, it is incorrect for me to discuss them “, State Duma deputy Yaroslav Nilov told BAZ.
But Nilov readily spoke about Zhirinovsky’s prophetic words: “Yes, he knew it, foresaw it... At the end of 2021, he actually said from the rostrum that the next year would be turbulent.” But the parliamentarian immediately rejected the version that Lebedev left precisely because Zhirinovsky foresaw the future political situation, including possible sanctions: “I think this is from the area of inflamed conspiracy theories.”

The wreath that Lebedev sent to the farewell ceremony with his father State Duma deputy Vasily Vlasov answered the question about the reasons for Lebedev’s departure from politics: “If you have his phone number, you can call him and ask him this question. Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky and Igor Vladimirovich himself commented on this; I think it would be correct to refer to this comment. It was said that Igor Vladimirovich had his own projects, ideas, he was more interested in this, so he then decided not to run for election to the State Duma. His right! He has only honor and respect for what he has done for so many years in the party. We are incredibly grateful to him." Vlasov called the version about Lebedev’s departure due to Zhirinovsky’s prophecy and fear of sanctions a “banal coincidence.”

Alexander Balberov, deputy chairman of the regional Duma and Zhirinovsky’s nephew, also did not answer the question about the reasons for Lebedev’s quarrel with his father. Balberov advised asking Lebedev directly. Another nephew of the ex-head of the LDPR, Andrei Zhirinovsky, who was nominated for mayor of Petrozavodsk in 2006 from the Karelian branch of the party, advised to contact the press service with all questions.

LDPR deputies Alexey Didenko and representative of the LDPR Supreme Council Alexander Sherin also refused to discuss the reasons for Lebedev’s quarrel with his father. “In the LDPR, I was always interested exclusively in my activities, and I was always interested in everything related to my leadership, only within the framework of the activities of the LDPR party,” he said. His other son, Oleg Eidelshtein, also did not talk to Baza about Lebedev’s quarrel with Zhirinovsky.

The disagreements between Zhirinovsky and Lebedev concerned not only financial issues, but also the future development of the party, the appointment of people to party and Duma posts, Baza’s interlocutors say. Thus, as an example of a serious misunderstanding between father and son, a conflict was reported regarding the promotion of Vasily Vlasov, who in March 2021 was appointed first deputy leader of the LDPR faction. “Lebedev was against Vlasov’s appointment and tried to challenge the decision at a meeting of the party’s supreme council, but to no avail,” says an interlocutor in parliament. Zhirinovsky showed that “he is the master of the house,” wrote RBC.

However, Vlasov himself denies this. “There were technical disputes at the party’s highest council. This did not necessarily relate to my candidacy for the position of first deputy... These could be different disputes, and they related mainly to technical issues regarding work in the regions. Therefore, no, I emphasize once again, these are the machinations of competitors who want to come up with a political reason for the fact that Igor Vladimirovich did not become a deputy in this convocation, but began to work on his own projects. There is no need to invent any political reasons here,” he said in a conversation with Baza.

New life

On June 25, 2021, Igor Lebedev announced that he was suspending his participation in the political life of the country. He published a message about this on his Facebook page (an organization whose activities are prohibited in the Russian Federation):

“I have decided not to participate in the election campaign for the elections of deputies to the State Duma of the 8th convocation, which will be held in September this year. I understand that some will now begin to be ironic and sarcastic - they say, I should have stopped it a long time ago, or maybe I shouldn’t have started, but someone, on the contrary, will express words of support... My decision is not spontaneous, but was thought out over several months and, certainly agreed with the party. I will not take part in this year’s election campaign. It’s been a wonderful 20 years, it’s time to move on!!!”

Lebedev also addressed words of gratitude to Vladimir Zhirinovsky: “Only thanks to him I became... became who I am now, and got the opportunity to occupy such a high position as deputy chairman of the highest legislative body of our country.” The LDPR leader himself commented quite laconically on his son’s departure from politics: “He wants to do other projects.” He also added that they have no problems.

But, as Baza found out, on this day Igor Lebedev not only said goodbye to his political career, but also to his old passport. The document appeared in the database of invalid passports of the Ministry of Internal Affairs:

Here we will have to get ahead of ourselves a little and talk about a post in one of the telegram channels that appeared immediately after the death of Vladimir Zhirinovsky. It reported that the son of the leader of the Liberal Democrats had changed his name. Here is a screenshot of this post:

Often such “stuffing” is not confirmed. But we were able not only to confirm the information about the name change, but also to find out when it was done.

According to “Baza” and the telegram channel “Toad and Viper”, a passport with new full names was issued to Igor Lebedev on July 5, 2021 - just ten days after his announcement of leaving politics. From this moment on, Igor Vladimirovich Lebedev is no more. And instead (there should be a long drum roll here) appears:

Garcia David Alexandrovich

We were able to confirm the complete change of surname through the Russian Passport system: an extract from there regarding Lebedev was at our disposal.

Why Zhirinovsky’s son chose such an unusual surname and first name for Russia, one can only speculate. Considering the large amount of real estate in Spain, it is possible that Lebedev-Garcia wants to eventually move to Europe for good. In this case, the full name typical for that area will make life much easier for him in the new place.

In addition, Zhirinovsky’s son is an active football fan and not only that, in 2012 he was even an official contender for the post of president of the Russian Football Union (RFU). The current famous Spanish defender of the Osasuna football club has exactly the same name and surname.

Another explanation for the change of name is sanctions: in 2014, the EU included Lebedev in the sanctions list for the draft federal constitutional law “On the admission of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation...”. From that moment on, the Deputy Speaker of the State Duma lost the opportunity to travel to Europe. With a new name and passport, perhaps it will become easier for him to travel.

Interestingly, about a month before the passport change, there was news in the media that Grishaeva had married a businessman.

“One of the most beautiful athletes in Russia, basketball player Nadezhda Grishaeva, got married. As sources close to the athlete told KP, a famous businessman became her chosen one. And this is definitely not State Duma Deputy Speaker Igor Lebedev, with whom rumor firmly connected the 31-year-old beautiful basketball player,” wrote Komsomolskaya Pravda.

By the way, “Grishaeva’s entourage” almost did not deceive: by this moment, as we know, she had really divorced Lebedev a long time ago. True, she did not have a new husband: as Baza’s sources report, there are no records of marriage registration (at least in Russia).

Simultaneously with receiving a new passport, Lebedev-Garcia and Grishaeva changed their children’s middle names to “Davidovich/Davidovna.”

“Changing first and last names is a fairly common practice among people who want to hide their background, erase information about their previous activities, launder their reputation and start life from scratch,” notes Ilya Shumanov, general director of Transparency International Russia (the organization is recognized as a foreign agent. - Note “Bases”). “For example, such cases happen when it comes to a change of power: people who held high positions face persecution in their homeland, move to other countries and change their last name.”

So, Shumanov recalls, after the revolution in Kyrgyzstan, the former Prime Minister of this country Daniyar Usenov moved to Belarus, headed the Belarusian National Biotechnology Corporation CJSC there and began to be called Daniil Uritsky.

But just changing his name will not help Igor Lebedev enter the EU.

 

Igor Lebedev “The procedure for controlling persons moving across the borders of EU countries involves checking a person not only by full name, but also, for example, through fingerprints, and a camera reads the face,” said Ilya Shumanov. “Based on this, it will be difficult to deceive the European supervisory authorities. But from the point of view of working with foreign counterparties, changing your full name will help you circumvent sanctions. That is, Lebedev, being in Russia or another country that has not imposed sanctions against him, will most likely be able to work with counterparties from the EU.”

If Lebedev not only changed his full name, but also received a passport from another state in a new name, according to Shumanov, there is some probability that he will be able to enter the EU territory through those border points where control is less thorough.

At the time of publication of the material, the Base correspondent was unable to contact Igor Lebedev-Garcia and Nadezhda Grishaeva; their phones are out of the network coverage area.

“The leadership of the LDPR stated that they do not know about the change in the name and the move to the United States of Zhirinovsky’s son”: The media reported on May 23 that the son of the head of the LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Igor Lebedev, changed his last name, first name, patronymic and moved to the United States. The head of the party’s press service, Alexander Dupin, told the Daily Storm that the LDPR had not heard anything about such information.

“No, it is unknown,” he said. [...]

Igor Lebedev was born on September 27, 1972 in Moscow. In the period from 1997 to 1998, he was an expert in the apparatus of the LDPR faction in the State Duma, after which he was appointed advisor to the Minister of Labor and Social Development of the Russian Federation. He was elected to the post of deputy chairman of the lower house of parliament on December 21, 2011. 

“LDPR deputy Vlasov called reports about Zhirinovsky’s son changing his first and last name a duck”: State Duma deputy, LDPR member Vasily Vlasov told the Daily Storm that he considers the “investigation” of the BAZA publication about the change of identity by Zhirinovsky’s son Igor Lebedev to be a fake.

“I saw some photographic materials were published. I can do the same for you. That you are also a citizen of the United Arab Emirates or some other country. And they’ll simply attach your photo to a Word document and say that you are now a citizen of Zimbabwe,” the first deputy head of the LDPR faction in the State Duma shared his thoughts.

Vlasov himself has not communicated with Lebedev for a long time and knows nothing about his current affairs. He also said that the party did not discuss a new investigation into Zhirinovsky’s son.

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