The Bakurov empire

In public promotions fronted by Bakurov, his group of companies is referred to under the overall brand ‘ExportLes Group’: it even has a flashy animated logo.42 There is no legal entity of that name, however. Confusingly, the group’s website also still refers to it under its old name of the Sibwood Group, which isn’t a legal entity either.43 The group does exist, but the links between its separate parts are more complicated than would be expected. Earthsight has identified 16 different registered Russian companies which are either owned, managed or closely connected to Bakurov. They include:

Forest leaseholding companies

Bakurov is the sole owner of five companies to which leases for logging in the Bratsk region have been issued. These are the companies Vilis LLC, Kalinov Most LLC, Vertical-B LLC, DeepForest LLC and Noviy Les LLC.44 He is also the registered Director of the first three of these firms.45

Logging, timber processing and trading companies

Cutting, processing and trading of wood from these forest leases is handled by a raft of other Bakurov-linked firms. Angri LLC is owned and operated by Bakurov himself46, while multiple sources show that firms Kapel LLC (which carries out logging in Bakurov’s leases) and ExportLes LLC (which handles exports) are connected to Angri and part of the wider group47, though Bakurov is not a formal shareholder. ExportLes is the listed consignee on all of the Bakurov group’s direct exports overseas48, but the other Bakurov firms are not formal subsidiaries of it.49 Another trading firm, Sibwood LLC, was owned by Bakurov before being liquidated in 2013.50 Not to be outdone on the shadiness stakes, Bakurov’s group also has a company in a secrecy jurisdiction: Comtel Trade Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands.51

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