We shall state as our correction to the Article “GEOPOLITIK 1: THE RUSSIAN ARE COMING AND NOT LEAVING”, and information contained in it the following:
The Article fails to mention that charitable organizations in Russia are subject to extensive regulatory framework provided by the applicable legislation and bound to publish their annual reports and financial statements.
The Article fails to mention that all or almost all data referred in it was published by the regulators and was never hidden or concealed from the public.
The Article has been prepared without any attempt to contact the entities in question to comment on the allegations contained in the Article.
As a result of these deficiencies, which could easily be remedied had the authors followed ethic rules of journalistic profession, the Article makes a number of claims based on erroneous assumptions.
The foundations mentioned in the Article have used funds exclusively for charitable purposes and the activities have been transparent. The inaccuracy of the allegations made in the Article could have been and can be verified from publicly available documents. The funds have not been used to promote the private interests of Oleg Deripaska or others. The information on the ultimate recipients of the charitable funds is directly available to the auditors, the Ministry of Justice and the Tax Service. Donors are free at any time to demand much more extensive disclosures with respect to any donations made in the past being entitled under Russian law to claw back any funds, if misused.
Without prejudice to the general misleading nature of the Article, it shall be noted in particular that:
A. The moneys accumulated by ANO New Generation School by the end of 2019 were assigned to various charity programs to be carried out in 2020.
B. Volnoe Delo Social Innovation has, as can be seen from publicly available reports, spent e.g. in 2019 around RUB 400m on various charitable programs. The figure of RUB 126m of administrative costs is caused by the fact that Volnoe Delo Social Innovation acts as a cost center for other charitable organizations associated with it and is therefore bearing majority of all operational costs. For example, Volnoe Delo Social Innovation has around 50 employees who support operations of the Volnoe Delo Social Innovation, other Volnoe Delo funds and ANO Next Generation School. Consequently, about 80% of those administrative costs are salaries, medical and social insurance, and other expenses related to personnel. Therefore, any suggestion that administrative costs are disproportionate or used for some collateral purposes are false.
C. With respect to the funds accumulated by Rassvet by the end of 2019, the funds had been assigned to the project of a kids camp at the Black Sea seaside in Krasnodar Region. Due to intervention of third parties and legal issues that arose, the project has been suspended. In 2020 those funds were re-assigned to other charitable programs.
United Company RUSAL Charitable Organization Foundation Center for Social Programs