Alisher Usmanov, potential Arsenal chairman, is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist 18

I thought I should make my views on Alisher Usmanov quite plain to you. You are unlikely to see much plain talking on Usmanov elsewhere in the media becuase he has already used his billions and his lawyers in a pre-emptive strike. They have written to all major UK newspapers, including the latter:

Mr Usmanov was imprisoned for various offences under the old Soviet regime. We wish to make it clear our client did not commit any of the offences with which he was charged. He was fully pardoned after President Mikhail Gorbachev took office. All references to these matters have now been expunged from police records . . . Mr Usmanov does not have any criminal record.

Let me make it quite clear that Alisher Usmanov is a criminal. He was in no sense a political prisoner, but a gangster and racketeer who rightly did six years in jail. The lawyers cunningly evoke “Gorbachev”, a name respected in the West, to make us think that justice prevailed. That is completely untrue.

Usmanov’s pardon was nothing to do with Gorbachev. It was achieved through the growing autonomy of another thug, President Karimov, at first President of the Uzbek Soviet Socilist Republic and from 1991 President of Uzbekistan. Karimov ordered the “Pardon” because of his alliance with Usmanov’s mentor, Uzbek mafia boss and major international heroin overlord Gafur Rakimov. Far from being on Gorbachev’s side, Karimov was one of the Politburo hardliners who had Gorbachev arrested in the attempted coup that was thwarted by Yeltsin standing on the tanks outside the White House.

Usmanov is just a criminal whose gangster connections with one of the World’s most corrupt regimes got him out of jail. He then plunged into the “privatisation” process at a time when gangster muscle was used to secure physical control of assets, and the alliance between the Russian Mafia and Russian security services was being formed.

Usmanov has two key alliances. he is very close indeed to President Karimov, and especially to his daughter Gulnara. It was Usmanov who engineered the 2005 diplomatic reversal in which the United States was kicked out of its airbase in Uzbekistan and Gazprom took over the country’s natural gas assets. Usmanov, as chairman of Gazprom Investholdings paid a bribe of $88 million to Gulnara Karimova to secure this. This is set out on page 366 of Murder in Samarkand.

Alisher Usmanov had risen to chair of Gazprom Investholdings because of his close personal friendship with Putin, He had accessed Putin through Putin’s long time secretary and now chef de cabinet, Piotr Jastrzebski. Usmanov and Jastrzebski were roommates at college. Gazprominvestholdings is the group that handles Gazproms interests outside Russia, Usmanov’s role is, in effect, to handle Gazprom’s bribery and sleaze on the international arena, and the use of gas supply cuts as a threat to uncooperative satellite states.

Gazprom has also been the tool which Putin has used to attack internal democracy and close down the independent media in Russia. Gazprom has bought out – with the owners having no choice – the only independent national TV station and numerous rgional TV stations, several radio stations and two formerly independent national newspapers. These have been changed into slavish adulation of Putin. Usmanov helped accomplish this through Gazprom. The major financial newspaper, Kommersant, he bought personally. He immediately replaced the editor-in-chief with a pro-Putin hack, and three months later the long-serving campaigning defence correspondent, Ivan Safronov, mysteriously fell to his death from a window.

All this, both on Gazprom and the journalist’s death, is set out in great detail here:

Usmanov is also dogged by the widespread belief in Uzbekistan that he was guilty of a particularly atrocious rape, which was covered up and the victim and others in the know disappeared. The sad thing is that this is not particularly remarkable. Rape by the powerful is an everyday hazard in Uzbekistan, again as outlined in Murder in Samarkand page 120. If anyone has more detail on the specific case involving Usmanov please add a comment.

I reported back in 2002 or 2003 in an Ambassadorial top secret telegram to the Foreign Office that Usmanov was the most likely favoured successor of President Karimov as totalitarian leader of Uzbekistan. I also outlined the Gazprom deal (before it happened) and the present by Usmanov to Putin (though in Jastrzebski’s name) of half of Mapobank, a Russian commercial bank owned by Usmanov. I will never forget the priceless reply from our Embassy in Moscow. They said that they had never even heard of Alisher Usmanov, and that Jastrzebski was a jolly nice friend of the Ambassador who would never do anything crooked.

Sadly, I expect the football authorities will be as purblind. Football now is about nothing but money, and even Arsenal supporters – as tight-knit and homespun a football community as any – can be heard saying they don’t care where the money comes from as long as they can compete with Chelsea.

I fear that is very wrong. Letting as diseased a figure as Alisher Usmanov into your club can only do harm in the long term.

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18 thoughts on “Alisher Usmanov, potential Arsenal chairman, is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist

  • DC

    I can assure you sir, Arsenal fans are NOT happy about this movement. Your piece is strikingly honest, and people will appreciate the detail you have most obviously wanted to express. However, simply visit a site such as and you will see the true views of a vast majority of Arsenal supporters

  • Bubaganoosh

    Thankyou for an insightful blog. Although I am not surprised by what I read, it is useful to get an informed opinion of this crook.

    As an Arsenal fan and a Russophile, I would just like to say that I am totally against Usmanov's investment in the club. I would rather struggle to compete with the Chelsea and Man Us of this world, as long as dirty money does not become involved with the club.

    Through my education and time spent in Russia, I discovered what kind of a character Roman Abramovich is. I duly disrespected Chelsea football club as a consequence. The sad thing is that it appears that Alisher Usmanov is an even more unsavoury character.

    I would be immensely ashamed of both Arsenal football club if he gains significant control and also of those Arsenal fans who do not care where 'our' money comes from, as long as we can compete with Chelsea.

    Up until now, Arsenal football club has a deserved reputation of integrity and class, so please, no one be fooled by Alisher Usmanov or David Dein.

  • jp33afc

    Dear Mr. Murray.

    Thank you for shining your light on this man. David Dein's actions bring deep shame and embarrassment to Arsenal and England as a nation. It's truly pathetic how he and a few others are bowing down before such a repellent ogre as Usmanov.

    For the sake of those who have suffered at the hands of Usmanov and for the small remaining shred of integrity remaining in the game I can only hope that David Dein fails.

    Up the Gunners!

  • George Dutton

    All I can say about Alisher Usmanov is he seems to meet all the criteria needed to join any of Britains three main political parties, as they say "that'll do nicely" as long as it's backed up by great wads of cash.

    Regarding your article in the The Mail…

    "On the face of it, Britain is better placed than most of the EU because very little of our natural gas comes from Russia and we have entered long-term contracts that tie up most of Norway's production."

    This brought back memories of Thatcher standing outside No 10 saying this "I have aginised over this decision but feel it is the best thing to do" what she was referring to was the burning off,off 20/25 years supply of britains north sea gas into the atmosphere. She said it was to expensive to store it,(she wanted the money to give tax cuts to get re-elected). Norway on the other hand did spend the money to store their north sea gas and are now selling it to us.

    Thatcher also closed down our world leading clean coal technology centre well she didn't like miners and her friends in the nuclear industry didn't want coal. Came across this the other day…

    "Jeff Ennis (Barnsley, East and Mexborough) (Lab): Does my hon. Friend recall that, in the early 1980s, this country led the world in clean coal technology, through the fluidised bed plant at Grimethorpe colliery power station in my constituency? That plant was funded by more than 20 countries, including America and Japan. Unfortunately, the facility was closed down by Mrs. Thatcher. Does he agree that this country continues to regret that decision to this day?"

    "Huw Irranca-Davies: Indeed, and I am sure that all Members here will agree that we want to regain that lead in clean coal technology to take us forward through not only the next few years but the next few decades. The export potential is massive, but it will not happen without investment and prioritising clean coal and carbon abatement technology."

  • Peter Gasston

    Let me add my voice to those other Arsenal fans here who are disgusted by this development. If winning is dependent on receiving money from this vile man, then I'd rather we spent the next decade in mediocrity until he sells his shares.

  • quasimodomouse

    I don't mean to be petty here but I wouldn't count a "…diplomatic reversal in which the United States was kicked out of its airbase in Uzbekistan…" as a strike against this arsehole. Might be the only decent thing he's ever accomplished.

  • Kim Stian Ervik

    Thanks for letting us know the background on this carachter that Dein has brought to Arsenal. I am quite sure Wenger himself is shocked at what Dein has done.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Tonys Akiller

    I abandoned Arsenal football club over its perverse dealings with Zionist killers… see:, which is a pity as I found their football on the pitch a pleasure to watch. However, I'm not going to sanction the massacre and brutal oppression of the long suffering Palestinians.

    They say sport and politics shouldn't mix, but when that politics is the of the rotten stench so commonly courted by the UK interests (i.e. a wealthy elite in the UK acting solely for THEIR best interests), then of course, it's "investment" and "opportunities", everything is alright.

    Pity the dealings with the most vile racist supremacist people haven't caught the imagination as Alisher Usmanov has. I hope it's just a lack of awareness thing.

  • Jamest519

    God, you're all so naive. Usmanov already has an executive box at Arsenal – it seems they don't mind taking big money from the Russian "murderer and rapist", or perhaps they turned a blind eye. What do you think???

    This is big business, big business is ugly, criminal – you don't make billions without being ugly and criminal. Isn't Fiszman in the diamond trade? Not a nice business, you don't make money in that business unless someone has been gunned down or murdered in cold blood somewhere along the line.

    I don't like the takeover any more than you do and I guess if Arsenal fans really hate Usmanov they can vote with their wallets when or if he takes over. But if they care so much perhaps they should be doing that NOW, as he has a box at Arsenal and while you're at it you can chuck Fizsman off the board, the diamond trader who lives in Switzerland and doesn't even bother to watch Arsenal. Yeah right, he's not in it for the money is he? Where was he when Dein was watching reserve games for 10 years?

  • Tonys Akiller

    For heavens sake Julian, show some spine!!! You are merely citing someone's work.

    Issue your own letter referencing illegal and unwarranted threats.

    Put the post back up.!!

  • andy cyan

    Julian – i thought that was a sly move, leaving an abbreviated link up along with news of the lawyers threat. Your spine is still thicker than most.

  • Tonys Akiller

    Thicker than most yeah. Its not hard to have more than nowt.

    Dont cave into these thugs. Their simply threatening you – with no legal basis. Giving in to thugs like this is partly why we have allowed the UK to sink to the bottom of the septic tank in the first place. Raise middle finger to them Julian and them to swivvel.

  • Moses

    Being a BSW(social work) student and most of all, as a resident of Uzbekitan, I strongly disagree with your points since they're all biased and even fabricated, just think about it – the whole world is just like that, i mean everything is all about business, take the US 4xample; the war in Iraq is all about geopolitical influence and oil in the first place. And DO YOU KNOW that some of the HUGE US corporation leaders have always had ties with MAFIA, they still do, and will always influence US policies overseas, right. Chelsea for example, is now of the finest world clubs due to Russian investments. Every other UK resident wants to greet Mr. Abramamovich. As for our country however, we have great and tremendous changes by now brought about by foreign investments and particularly due to Alisher Usmonov. the situation is way better since the time you, SIR, were kicked out of this country because of your immoral behaviour with Uzbekistani prostitutes. how can you fucking claim he is a criminal if you can't even prove his guilt, what you said above are just nothing but rumors. You, sir, are the one to be refered to as criminal and charged with SEXUAL DEPRAVITY or even a harrasment since you were with underage non adult prostitutes at Tashkent nightclubs, namely SKY CLUB while you were working as a British ambassador in Uzbekistan. P.S. life never stays the same and people like Alisher Usmanov are the ones to make a REAL DIFFERENCE, but never you !!!! since an asshole is aways an asshole!!!!!!

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