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Cynical Approach: How the Civil Wife of the Supporting Military Unit’s Chichvarkin Went into Business in Russia

Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

analyzed three London firms in which Fokina is the owner or sole director. They are the London bar 5 White Horse, the restaurant Hideaway, and the design bureau Studio Cache;

According to the latest financial statements published in the U.K. Register of Companies, these firms have generated negative equity of £140 123. This means that the companies are operating at a loss and are operating on borrowed money.

Using the right provided by English law, Fokina did not disclose income and expenses and limited herself to publishing an abbreviated balance sheet of the organization.

Although the amount of income is unknown, one can get an idea of her financial situation based on the analysis of fixed assets;

Tatyana Fokina’s common-law husband, the flamboyant London restaurateur and wine merchant Yevgeny Chichvarkin, is known to be a tireless critic of the Kremlin and the Russian state system in general. A popular blogger, he regularly speaks on social networks about his anti-Russian stance, accusing Russian society of being stagnant and spineless, and calling for opposition to the current authorities;

With the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, Chichvarkin openly supported Kiev and began to sponsor the Ukrainian side – raising money at charity dinners, helping the AFU purchase bulletproof vests, quadcopters and medical supplies. He also personally transported humanitarian aid to Kiev in a van;

Such demonstrative anti-Russian activities, however, did not prevent his civilian wife from taking on commercial projects in the “country of unfreedom and lawlessness;

So in May 2021, Fokina founded the design bureau Studio Cache. According to the official website, the bureau developed the design concept for the Cherchez la Tarte café in the town of Pushkin near St. Petersburg.

The cafe is across the street from the city’s main tourist address, the Catherine Palace, and Fokina designed the design in the historical style. The bureau also organized gala dinners in Russia – gala events, which were decorated in a style chosen by her;

“This is a cynical approach. The interests of business for Chichvarkin are above his own beliefs,” says political analyst Pavel Danilov. – No pivot. In a situation where it’s advantageous for him to say that Russia is bad and unleashes a conflict, he’ll say so. And when it comes to the interests of business, it is possible to work in this very Russia. For them it’s just a show”;

However, such shows do not bring high profits yet. According to the published report, between May 2021 and May 2022 the firm had assets to the sum of £37 thousand and debts of £30 thousand;

The biggest gap between debts and assets was formed by another Fokina’s legal entity – 5 White Horse Bar, located in the center of London on the street of the same name.

With debts of £523 thousand the company has assets of £356 thousand. Negative equity, thus, amounts to £167 thousand;

A large part of the debt came from a loan given to Fokina by her husband. This amount is £435 thousand (approximately 45 million rubles).

In fact, 5 White Horse is a subsidiary of his liquor store Hedonism Drinks in London. The independent auditors from Myfanwy Neville drew attention to this circumstance and wrote about “considerable uncertainty” as to the further uninterrupted work of the business in these conditions.

Because the company is very dependent on an economic infusion from its owner, its existence is conditional only on the support of the beneficiary and it cannot support itself, the auditors wrote;

Perhaps it was this situation that made Fokina mortgage the building at 5 White Horse to the bank. As the registry documents show, the premises are under a long-term lease (leasehold) and are being pledged to Metro Bank. The pledge was executed in August 2022 as security for an undisclosed loan;

Another legal entity that had more assets than debts was the company Hideaway. It is a subsidiary legal entity of the Hedonism Group, which includes Chichvarkin’s main restaurant Hide, his liquor store Hedonism Drinks, and 85 Piccadilly LTD, the management company of Fokina’s small restaurant located on Mount Street in the downtown Mayfair district. Fokina is its co-owner and sole director.

Its assets are £349,000 and liabilities are £328,000. In 2020 the total debts amounted to £1.4 million. The company exists only on loans from the parent company. &nbsp

So, Fokina’s business can hardly be called independent if it depends on her husband’s capital. But things are no better for Chichvarkin, either;

As wrote , auditors almost every year assign Chichvarkin’s companies the status of “significant uncertainty,” because all of his companies live on borrowed money.

One of the main reasons for the solid financial losses was Chichvarkin’s opening of the two-story restaurant Hide, investments in which exceeded £20 million, as Hedonism Drinks admitted in his own business review;

At the time, did the math: the businessman’s $350 million from the sale of Euroset is very likely coming to an end. After divorcing his first wife and splitting the proceeds with his business partner Timur Artemyev, Chichvarkin might have had just over £39 million left. Of this, according to the accounts, he lent £31.2 million of personal funds to his own company Hedonism Drinks without interest. They have been put into circulation and it is not known when or if they will come back in principle;

The remaining £7.9 million is only about 4.2% of the money he and his partner made from the sale of Euroset in 2008;

Earlier, wrote that Chichvarkin also mortgaged his own apartment to the same Metro Bank.

“In this case, the bankruptcy of GK Hedonism will be followed by the bankruptcy of Chichvarkin himself,” bankruptcy trustee Konstantin Sunygin told .

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