In August 2016, Rinat Akhmetshin Suggested Russian Adoptions Would Resume Under Trump

In this piece on Natalia Veselnitskaya’s version of the June 9, 2016 meeting, I note that she suggested Rinat Akhmetshin attended the meeting not on behalf of Prevezon Holdings (on whose behalf she was in the US), but instead a non-profit called Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative.

This Bloomberg piece makes it clear that Robert Mueller’s team is investigating that NGO — and makes it clear that it’s just a cut-out for the same oligarchs trying to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions.

It was financed by $500,000 in donations, mostly from wealthy Russians with ties to Petr Katsyv, deputy director of Russian Railways


Most of the Russians financing the foundation said in interviews that they knew nothing about U.S. adoptions of Russian children, contradicting the foundation’s U.S. disclosure forms.

The foundation didn’t disclose those donations as a source of funding in lobbying disclosure forms. It reported spending just $50,000, less than the amount reported by outside lobbyists it hired. It disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service $526,740 in contributions and spending of $413,831 on “campaigns relating to human rights issues including foreign adoption.”


Katsyv kicked in $150,000 for HRAGI, making him the biggest donor, according to the person. He then began soliciting donations from his friends who were introduced to him by his father. His two business partners in Russia, Mikhail Ponomarev and Albert Nasibulin, each gave $100,000.

But the most important detail from the piece is that a woman who did or tried to adopt two Russians in 2012 met with Akhmetshin in August 2016 because she has lobbied in support of Russian adoptions. At that meeting and later ones, Akhmetshin told her that “things would change” with adoptions after the election.

It was August 2016 when [Sara] Peterson, of Maryland, traveled to Washington and waited at a train station sandwich shop for a Russian-American man named Rinat Akhmetshin. He wanted to know which members of Congress he should approach, she said. At that meeting and later ones, he said “things would change” after the upcoming elections.

The detail is actually really important: it suggests that someone who attended the June 9 meeting at which dirt on Hillary was offered in exchange for reversal of the Magnitsky sanctions believed that that sanctions relief would come.

And Akhmetshin expressed that confidence before the election.

17 replies
  1. JAAG says:

    Merry Christmas to EW. Your powers of deduction are incredible. Enjoy the holidays, take a break, but not for long.

    Thanks to Rayne, bmaz and Mr. white for the daily grind as well.

    I found the blog in late 2016 and i haven’t come across anything better on the internet since.

    We appreciate the work.

  2. JAAG says:

    Is there any news about Cohen testifying? We all focus on Jared, but it seems like Cohen has been on deck, or thereabouts, for ages.

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    How many moving parts does this scandal reveal?

    I wanna know what “Steel Balls” Ty Cobb is up to?




  4. Erin McJ says:

    Oh. Your last sentence gave me a chill.

    Is Akhmetshin a blowhard? Could his apparent confidence have come from that alone?

  5. bell says:

    Rinat Akhmetshin seems like quite a sketchy personality to be trusting anything he said.. he might be a useful tool though for someone who had a bigger game plan. for more of an overview on him in 2015 prior to this 2016 meeting read half way down this article..

    has anyone looked into the oligarchs responsible for bringing about the magnitsky sanctions? or do the ones trying to remove them only get considered? start with bill browder, lol…

  6. lefty665 says:

    Looks like this activity is consistent with Veselnitskaya’s widely discounted assertions that the June 9th meeting was about adoption and negating Magnitsky. Magnitsky has been expensive for the oligarchs, so it is not terribly surprising they have more than one operation working on its repeal.

    Sounds like the foundation fully disclosed to the IRS in its 990. If they were straight on that, it seems likely they would be forthcoming on lobbyist payments too. Wonder if the fiscal periods covered were different or if payments to organizations like Fusion were split between lobbying and other services.

    Does not seem terribly remarkable that the Russians would expect relations to improve in a Trump administration. That was public positioning from the Trumpies. Renewed American cold war anti Russian hysteria is remarkable.

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      “Renewed American cold war anti Russian hysteria is remarkable.”

      Seriously??!! How ’bout Russian purchase of the American political system and American-Russian oligarchic detante?  JEEzus, this isn’t cold war hysteria this is hysteria about the victory of international kleptocracy 2017!!! My God !!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Norsk!  Enjoy the midnight sun – and the season of darkness – but don’t forget to come back.  Cheers.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    “Adoption” was always cover for attempts to repeal Magnitsky and in general work toward the betterment of Mother Russia – so long as that also promoted the survival and betterment of Uncle Donald.

  8. wayoutwest says:

    There is one flaw in this reality stretching holiday fable. The Red Queen had a comfortable 10 to 12 point lead in both June and August. The Bear with his crack team of meddlers could only hope to shave a few points from that lead. Trump was still the brash reality show celebrity and HP still reported on him in their entertainment section.

    If Akhmetshin was direcing his vague ‘things will change’ after the election comment it would have to have been aimed at the Red Queen’s new regime that was expected to take power.

    • bmaz says:

      You just know a comment is going to be super intelligent when it is framed in terms of “Red Queen”. Grow up and get a grip.

    • dalloway says:

      Except that Akhmetshin probably knew Uncle Vlad had many more cyber-tricks up his sleeve to help the Dotard win and there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that Clinton or anyone in her campaign would listen to what he had to say.

  9. SaltinWound says:

    The detail suggests what you say if we assume Akhmetshin told Peterson the truth. I have no reason to assume he was or wasn’t truthful.

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