On September 29, Russian media and social networks disseminated information about an oil spill in the Sea of ​​Azov, which occurred near the port of Temryuk [1]. It should be noted that due to the specificity of the Azov’s currents, this pollution can pose a direct threat, including to the marine and coastal ecosystems of the northern coast of the Crimea’s Kerch Peninsula. The representative of “Rosprirodnadzor” Svetlana Radionova reports that this significant leak occurred from the tanker “Lady Leila” [2].

According to the international search engines’ data, this ship with the number IMO 9683740 under the flag of Russia with the home port of Taganrog was indeed near the port of Temryuk and she is under the management of the “Alfa-Leasing” company [3]. Those data corresponds to the information in the register book of the Russian Register of Maritime Shipping, where this vessel “Lady Leila” with a same ship-owner got the register number 130079 in 2019, supervised by this sanctions-covered register [4].

This “Alfa-Leasing” LLC, as a ship owner, is directly correlated with the large Russian concern “Alfa-Leasing” [5], [6], specializing in equipment leasing and having assets worth 113 billion rubles, as well as capital exceeding 19 billion rubles [7]. It is noteworthy that there is also a company “Alfa-Leasing” LLC in Ukraine now, which specializes in leasing equipment and has a logo and design of web resources similar to its Russian namesake [8].

The founder of the Ukrainian “Alfa-Leasing” is the Cypriot company “ABH Ukraine Limited”, registered in Nicosia at 5 Temistokla Dervi Street [9]. Internet resources call Israeli citizen Mikhail Fridman living in London as the ultimate beneficiary of the Ukrainian “Alfa-Leasing” [10]. At the same time, the Russian “Alfa-Leasing” (tax number 7728169439) was officially founded by the Russian “Alfa-Bank” [11], and the same Mikhail Fridman, native of Lvov, is among the co-founders of that bank [12], [13]. A version of the essentially same banking structure with similar founders (more than 32% of shares owned by Mikhail Fridman) operates in Ukraine now [14], [15].

It is noteworthy that in November 2002, off the coast of the Spanish province of Galicia, the Liberian tanker “Prestige” sank under the flag of the Bahamas, carrying 77 thousand tons of Russian fuel oil on board. According to the then information of the Russian and Spanish press, the tanker belonged to the “Crown Resources” company, which belonged to Mikhail Fridman’s “Alfa Group” [16]. Then the spilled fuel oil caused an ecological catastrophe off the coast of Spain, because of this the Spanish newspaper “El Mundo” called Mikhail Fridman as “Dirty Mikhail”, by analogy with “Dirty Harry” [17].

Thus, over two decades, little has changed in the “most careful” attitude of the Russian oligarchs to the resources of the World Ocean. Also, little has changed, including after the occupation of Crimea, and in the most careful, without quotation marks, attitude towards the business of these persons in Ukraine.

1. https://portnews.ru/news/319215/

2. https://kubnews.ru/proisshestviya/2021/09/28/v-portu-temryuka-proizoshel-razliv-nefti/

3. https://www.vesselfinder.com/ru/vessels/LADY-LEILA-IMO-9683740-MMSI-273340060

4. https://rs-class.org/ru/register/info/register.php

5. https://www.world-ships.com/company/df472548ea80849cefd0aa0d8342bda6#.YVSrgppBxPY

6. https://www.maritimedex.com/company/alfa-leasing-llc/

7. https://alfaleasing.ru/o_kompanii/kontakty/

8. https://a-l.com.ua/

9. https://nomis.com.ua/ru/33942232-tovarystvo-z-obmezhenoiu-vidpovidalnistiu-alfa-lizyng-ukraina#affiliations

10. https://edr.dominus.kiev.ua/catalog/33942232

11. https://spark-interfax.ru/moskva-meshchanski/ooo-alfa-lizing-inn-7728169439-ogrn-1027739540400-8c23d3a518a84814a05e2cc23e817205

12. https://www.forbes.ru/profile/mihail-fridman

13. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Фридман,_Михаил_Маратович

14. https://alfabank.ua/ru/investor-relations/structure

15. https://alfabank.ua/ru/about/informaciya-pro-bank

16. https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/352282

17. https://www.elmundo.es/cronica/2002/372/1038815093.html