Konstantin Malofeev: The Oligarch Behind the Controversial St. Basil the Great Foundation

Patriarch Kirill and Konstantin Malofeev
Patriarch Kirill and Konstantin Malofeev

Short summary: the St. Basil the Great Foundation, led by its founder Konstantin Malofeev, is one of the tools of Russian influence and has been involved in the following activities:

  1. In 2014, the foundation collected humanitarian aid for separatist groups in eastern Ukraine, and several individuals associated with the unrest in the region have ties to the foundation.
  2. The U.S. Treasury has described Malofeev as having a “vast global network of cut-outs and proxies” to evade sanctions and conduct malign influence activities.
  3. The foundation and its leadership has been accused of promoting anti-western conspiracy theories and being an instrument of the Kremlin’s power schematic.
  4. The foundation has been accused of attempting to manipulate public perception and launder its image.

More detailed information
The St. Basil the Great Foundation is led by four key figures: Konstantin Malofeev, Michael Yakushev, Father Tikhon, and Alexey Komov.

Konstantin Malofeev, also known as the “Orthodox Oligarch,” is the founder of St. Basil and holds a majority ownership in several other organizations including the Safe Internet League, Marshall Capital Partners, Tsargrad Conglomerate, and Gilroy Trading Company.

Michael Yakushev, who is also sanctioned, serves as the Vice President of St. Basil and holds leadership positions in the sanctioned organizations Katehon and Vladimir Yakunin’s St. Andrews First Foundation.

Father Tikhon, also known as “Putin’s Confessor,” is a Russian Bishop known for his anti-western conspiracy theology. He has received large sums of money from Russia’s government and state-owned companies and has been linked to providing support to separatist forces in the Donbas region.

Alexey Komov, while not officially listed in the organization’s hierarchy, acts as an international liaison and manages various projects on behalf of the foundation. He also holds leadership positions in the controversial groups World Congress Families and CitizenGo. It is through his involvement in these “traditionalist” organizations that Malofeev is able to improve his and Russia’s reputation while influencing discourse in the EU and US.

This foundation is especially famous for its fundamentalist initiatives. For example, it was he [Tikhon] who became the founder of the Safe Internet League, an organization that stands at the origins of censorship in RUnet. Back in 2014, the Fund collected humanitarian aid for the Russian-created proxy “respublics”, the main instigators of the unrest that Russia then staged in eastern Ukraine are associated with it.

For example, the first prime minister of the DPR[so called “Donetsk People Respublic”], Alexander Borodai, was an adviser to Malofeev. And Igor Strelkov (Girkin), who began war in Ukraine back in 2014 with the capture of the Ukrainian Slavyansk, and then was the Minister of Defense of the DPR, worked in the Malofeev Foundation.

Last but not least, Konstantin Malofeev together with Aleksandr Dugin, was the main organizer of relations with European ultra-conservative forces over the past years. Dugin, on the instructions of Malofeev, created the so-called “black International” to use the ultra-right in Europe to achieve Russia’s political goals

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