Putin has repeatedly issued thinly-veiled threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine


  • CarMoney ranked among the top five MFIs in terms of disclosed profits in the first half of 2022
  • CarMoney only came under the ownership of Orcherenaya's offshore company in 2017
  • The ownership has been transferred to Smarttehgroup LLC in an effort to avoid economic sanctions

A company linked to the former wife of Russian President Vladimir Putin saw a significant increase in profits since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine, according to a report.

CarMoney, a company that sells car-secured loans, saw a sudden 66% jump in net profit, or at least 391.3 million rubles ($4.79 million) in 2022 after the war in Ukraine began. The company was established in 2010 and later came under the ownership of Putin's ex-wife Lyudmila Ochertnaya's offshore company Meridian in 2017.

Prior to the transfer of ownership, the company made little progress financially, as first reported by the We Can Explain Telegram channel, citing the company's financial records.

"The ex-wife of the Russian president, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya (nee Shkrebneva), made money on the debts of ordinary people," the channel wrote (via Google Translate). "The related company CarMoney earned a record 391.3 million rubles in 2022. Its net income has grown by 66% compared to peacetime."

In addition to the surge in profits, the channel noted that CarMoney also ranked among the top five microfinance institutions in terms of disclosed profit in the first half of 2022.

As of 2023, CarMoney's ownership has been transferred to Smarttehgroup LLC — a company wherein Ochertnaya's long-time financial associate Anton Zinoviev serves as the general director. The channel said the transfer of ownership was likely a move to evade economic sanctions placed on Russia by the European Union due to the invasion.

Ochertnaya married Putin in 1983. At the time, Putin had still been a low-level officer for the KGB while Ochertnaya was a flight attendant for Aeroflot. The couple stayed together for about 30 years, with Lyudmila largely staying out of the limelight even after Putin was elected prime minister.

Putin and Ochertnaya's marriage ended in 2013 in what they called a "common decision." But their financial relationship still continued. For instance, Ochertnaya's foundation, the Center for Development of Inter-personal Communications, acquired a former government building in central Moscow under Putin's presidency. The building now generates millions of dollars in rent that is paid to a company registered in Lyudmila's maiden name, per Reuters.

The brevity of Surovikin's command meanwhile points to Putin's growing impatience