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Latest 11 April 2023

Revealed: The Tories are still receiving funds from Russia-linked donors

Original image: Travel-FR/Shutterstock

A year on since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, we can reveal that the Conservative Party is still receiving large donations from individuals and companies with links to Russia.

Our investigation has found that, since the start of the war in 2022, the Conservatives have accepted at least £243,000 from Russia-associated donors – including at least £61,000 flowing into Tory coffers in 2023 alone.

Here’s what we discovered:

Lubov Chernukhin, a Russian Conservative donor, has continued to donate large sums of money to the Party. The Tories reported in February this year she had donated £10,000 to Brandon Lewis MP and a further £34,000 via ‘auction prizes’.

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Since the onset of war, Mrs Chernukhin has handed £175,000 to the Tories. Overall, she has donated more than £2m to the Conservative Party.

Lubov Chernukhin, a British and Russian citizen, is married to Vladimir Chernukhin, a former deputy finance minister under Vladimir Putin and former chairman of Russian state corporation VEB.RF, which remains sanctioned by the UK Government.

Both Lubov and Vladimir Chernukhin have attracted controversy in recent years. The Pandora Papers investigation revealed the couple’s vast tax haven-based empire which raised the possibility that Vladimir Chernukhin ‘may be the ultimate source of some of the cash flowing into the Conservative party’.

Aquind, a British cabling company controlled by Russian born oil tycoon Viktor Fedotov, has donated £42,000 to the Conservative Party in the past 14 months, including a £10,000 cash donation to Liam Fox MP reported in January this year.

Fedotov’s ties to Russia have been well documented, with reports suggesting he made at least £72m from an offshore financial structure that appears to have funnelled money from Russian companies.

Alexander Temerko, a major Tory donor and Aquind director, has donated a further £10,000 to the Tories during the same period. Temerko has donated over £700,000 in total.

Aquind is seeking approval for a controversial undersea power interconnector between Portsmouth and Normandy in France. After a recent High Court case, the £1.2bn project has been referred back for approval by the UK’s Business Secretary.

A spokesperson for Aquind said  Termerko who is Ukrainian-British has been a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin and the current Russian regime” adding “Alexander’s donations, and Aquind’s donations with Alexander as founder and director, are in keeping with his belief in the Conservative Party’s platforms, but also its ideals”.

We approached the Conservative Party for comment.

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