Sergei Kukura (born in 1953, Brest, Byelorussian SSR) graduated from the Ivano-Frankovsk Institute of Oil and Gas, where he specialized in oil and gas industry management. He holds a title of a doctor of economy.
1979-1980 engineer for production installations rebuilding at Megionneft Oil-and-Gas Production Directorate of Nizhnevartovskneftegaz Production Association
1980-1987 economist of the labour department, head of the department, deputy director for economic affairs at Povkhneft Oil-and-Gas Production Directorate of Bashneft oil company
1992-1993 vice president of Langepasuraikogalymneft Group
He has been the first vice president of LUKoil, Russia’s second oil major, since 1993.
On 12 September 2002, Kukura was abducted when he left his country house near Moscow to travel to work. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of $6 million.
On 25 September 2002, Kukura was released.
In late September 2002, the kidnappers freed vice president of LUKoil Sergei Kukura after a week from the man’s disappearance. The police said that no random had been paid. It emerged by the end of the day, that Kukora had refused to talk to investigators and prosecutors or had had nothing to say. According to a source close to the investigation, he was drunk or on drugs. It might have been LUKoil itself that hired the kidnappers. The kidnapping looked very strange from the very beginning. For instance, Kukura’s bodyguard did nothing to thwart the criminals. The kidnappers’ decision to free the abducted people safe and sound without remuneration seem even stranger. Another thing is that before the kidnappers released Kukura they injected him expensive, but more or less safe heroin instead of cheap, but detrimental clonidine.
Source: Kommersant, 26 September 2002
Contact was established with the kidnappers within one day of Kukura’s disappearance, that is on 13 September. The kidnappers contacted Sergei Kukura’s private doctor and named a certain place at the cemetery, where the police and LUKoil security service found videotape, containing Kukura’s address to the company. The abducted vice president of LUKoil asked head of the company Vagit Alekperov to pay the kidnappers 3 million US dollars and 3 million euros.
Source: Izvestiya, 3 October 2002
The police have solved one of the major kidnapping cases. The local prosecutors of the Smolensk region brought charges last week against the kidnappers of Sergei Kukura, a chief financial manager of LUKoil. The court is due to issue international arrests warrant against them. The police have already arrested the alleged hiring party - mobsters Yury Statsenko and Igor Ryabokon. There is no official information about the possible motives for the crime. The investigators say that the kidnapping was committed for a purpose of extracting a ransom payment from the company.
An unnamed source in Russia’s special forces told Vremya Novostei that the things were not as simple. Prior to the kidnapping, LUKoil owed to the Federal Road Building Foundation, which is a state agency. To repay the debt, LUKoil committed itself to build a motorway in the Smolensk region. On paper it was a classical netting of debts scheme. But in reality, the road was not completed. The regional government shut their eyes to the fact, presumably expecting a sort of remuneration from the company in a form of a few millions of dollars as kickback to corrupt officials. When they did not receive any money, they decided to target the vice president of LUKoil, hiring mobsters to abduct him. It is not clear why the kidnappers released Kokura. LUKoil might have paid the ransom in the end, or it might have paid the officials. Another version is that Statsenko and Ryabokon may have been frightened by the scandal and decided to free Kukura. Whatever the reason were, they took Kukura in the Bryansk region and left him at the road on 25 September.
Source: Vremya Novostei, 20 January 2004
Stetsenko, suspect in the Kukura’s kidnapping case, revealed under questioning that they had planned to seize popular singer Alsu, who is a daughter of LUKoil former head Ralif Safin, but finally they chose Kukura. The kidnappers took him in Khislavichesky District of the Smolensk region. They demanded 3 million dollars and 3 million euros as a ransom payment. The sum included what LUKoil had to pay to the officials of Smolensk plus the money Vinokurov wanted for arranging the kidnapping, investigators believe. It is uncertain whether the oil company paid anything, but soon Ryabokon and Statsenko freed Kukura. Vinokurov, who allegedly arranged the kidnapping, accused his accomplices of appropriating the payment and threatened to murder them. But, Ryabokon and Statsenko killed Vinogradov. The police caught them on charges of murder. The prosecutors are due to bring charges of the kidnapping against Ryabokon and Statsenko in the days to come.
Source: Vremya Novostey, 15 March 2004
On 15 June 2005, first vice president of LUKoil Sergei Kukura appeared in the Court of the Smolensk Region as a witness. He told judges about his kidnapping and two weeks he spent in a small village near Smolensk. Kukura said his car had been pulled over by two strong men in camouflage military uniform. When the kidnappers put the handcuffs on Kukura, one of them asked him: “How much would you give for your life?” Kukura replied: “Right at the moment, not a single penny.” Kukura said that the kidnappers had kept giving him drugs, which made him sick: he suffered from vomiting and could not sleep for three nights. The criminals gave him potatoes and tinned meat. They even had tea together. The criminals were wearing masks. Between themselves, they discussed the fate of the kidnapped: either to cut their fingers, or to cut their ears. Before they freed Kokura, the kidnappers gave him a shot of cognac, saying: “Don’t think ill of us, but take care of your wife and children”.
After Kukura finished talking to court, another witness was summoned - Stanisalv Izotov, head of corporate security department of LUKoil. He told court that the negotiations with the kidnappers resulted into the ransom payment being lowered from $10 million first to $3 million plus €3 million, and than to $1 million. Neither the typescript of the negotiations, no the videotape with Kukura’s asking to pay ransom for him has not yet been presented to the court. It is not clear under what conditions the kidnappers freed Kukura.
Source: Kommersant, 16 June 2005
The Court of the Smolensk Region reached a verdict in the trial of two people accused of the kidnapping of Sergei Kukura. Surprisingly, the court found Ryabokon and Statsenko not guilty of the kidnapping. However, both will not escape punishment for another felony. They were found guilty of the murder of Vinokurov, a criminal himself. The court sentenced Ryabokon to 20 years in prison, Statsenko to 19 years.
Source: Gazeta, 29 September 2005
Early in January 2011, the list of most expensive real estate objects in Moscow has been publicized. According to the publication, Arbat Neighborhood is the most attractive area to build expensive housing. People, such as Norilsk Nickel owner Vladimir Potanin, president of LUKoil Vagit Alekperov, vice presidents of LUKoil Sergei Kukura and Leonid Fedun, Su-155 company owner Mikhail Balakin, chairman of the board of Volga pulp and paper mill, former deputy minister of state property Shalva Breus, VIM-Avia owner Rashid Mursekaev, are among owners of the flats in Skatertnoi Street in the Arbat area. Price for a square meter of the housing in that area could be something between $9.900-45.300.
Source: km.ru, 6 January 2011
Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) has this month renewed its battle against LUKoil for the latter’s alleged theft of multi-billion diamond mining rights at the Verkhotina deposit in the Arkhangelsk region of northwestern Russia. The new claims were lodged in the US District Court in the District of Colorado on January 6.
Details of the illegal scheme alleged in the new court papers include tax fraud, cash smuggling, money laundering, false expenses accounting fraud, and mail and wire fraud.
Those named in the January 6 filing as implicated in the illegal scheme include Sergei Kukura, currently chief financial officer of LUKoil in Moscow. Two Americans are identified as having helped run the money through front companies used in the illegal scheme — Barry Glasswasser, a resident of Florida; and Dean Sillerud, a Colorado resident.
Source: Businessinsider.com, 18 January 2012
On 11 January 2012, Russia’s largest Sberbank put two representatives on the board of its Swiss daughter company, SLB Commercial Bank AG. Alexandr Bazarov, member of the board of Sberbank and director of the bank’s major clients directorate, was appointed the chairman of the board, while Oskar Ratsin, corporate-and-investment business bloc executive director, joined the board. At the same time, two representatives of LUKoil, vice-president Alexadr Matitsin and first vise-president Sergei Kukura, left the the board.
Source: Finmarket, 11 January 2012