Property ‘empire’ of the presidential family
Vladimir Voronin entered the Presidential Office as a ‘proletarian’, but will go out as a
millionaire at the end of the term
Vladimir Voronin entered the Presidential Office as a ‘proletarian’, but will go out as a
millionaire when his term in office ends. During the last eight years, Vladimir Voronin, his
wife and their children Oleg and Valentina became fabulously rich, gathering an
impressive collection of houses, apartments and plots of land. Some of them were obtained
free of charge or for derisory prices, with the tacit agreement of the authorities.
Furthermore, the head of state during five years kept secret the fact that his wife Taisia has
held an important shareholding in CB FinComBank.
Irina CODREAN and Vitalie CALUGAREANU
For the first time, Vladimir Voronin made public his property in 1996, when he ran for president
of Moldova. He declared a three-room apartment 134 square meters in area privatized for
national patrimonial bonds, located at 26 Serghei Lazo Street in Chisinau; an unfinished villa 6 x
7 meters in area in Parata village (on the left bank of the Dniester) and a car VAZ 2103 bought in
1991 for 18,000 rubles. Voronin‟s property was as modest in 1998, when he was elected MP on the PCRM ticket. During the first three years in Parliament, Voronin purchased a garage 41.1
square meters in area on Stefan Luchian Street in Buiucani district of Chisinau. That‟s all!
The property of Taisea and Vladimir Voronin started to grow at a rapid pace after Vladimir
Nicolaevich was elected Moldova‟s president in 2001. When he became president, he refused to move to the official residence in the municipality of Chisinau, preferring to live in his „modest
apartment‟ located on Serghei Lazo Street. In order to ensure the president‟s security, the police closed this zone for traffic between 19.00 and 7.00. Moreover, a police post was set up in front
of Voronin‟s house, maintained from public money.
Duplex from Lazo St
Vladimir Voronin‟s apartment located on Sergehi Lazo Street was extended from 134 square
meters to 232.7 square meters with the help of his son, Oleg. Officially, the head of state spent
no money on renovation. In February 2003, Oleg exchanged apartments with his father‟s neighbor Oleg Nejivoi. The latter moved to the apartment of the president‟s son situated at
11/3A Miron Costin Street. Oleg Voronin moved to live in his parents‟ block, at least on paper.
The two apartments were merged into a European-style duplex. In 2005, Oleg Voronin donated
officially his apartment to his mother Taisia. Now, Vladimir Voronin is the only owner of the
apartment. In 2004, the duplex was valued at about 2,000,000 lei.
Villas and cars
In 2001, after elected president, Vladimir Voronin said in an interview that he stopped the
construction works on the villa so that “the people do not say hat he became president and the
villa started to grow quickly...” However, until the end of the term, the head of state managed to build the villa in Parata, which is 107.6 square meters in area, and to purchase two plots of land
of 12 ares on the territory of the fruit-growing association “Flora”. Accidentally or not, the president‟s villa had been modernized during 2004-2005 while the Children‟s Center “Concordia – Town of Childhood” (a project of the organization “Town of the Childhood”, which is patronized by Taisia Voronin) was being built nearby.
On the death of his mother in July 2005, the president inherited his parents‟ house in Corjova
village of Dubasari district, on the left bank of the Dniester. The house is 91.9 square meters in
area and has an adjacent plot of 15.4 ares. Meanwhile, Voronin changed the fence and gate and
renovated completely the house. “I conveyed all the construction materials from the right bank of
the Dniester so that he did not pay taxes to the Transnistrian authorities because, if I come from
Moldova to build a house here, Smirnov allows me not to pay customs duties on the construction
materials I transport over the Dniester,” told us Lionea, a man aged 40 native of Orhei, who moved to Corjova. He was pasturing his goats near the president‟s parental home.
Yet, the head of state cannot go often home owing to the restrictions imposed by the
Transnistrian authorities. The house is guarded by a villager. When he saw we were wandering
around, the man came out and told us the house was not for sale. There was a frolicsome dog
with reddish-brown fur guarding the house, who ate chips and biscuits. When we told him we
were journalists, he became speechless and did not talk to us anymore. He entered the yard, took
out the mobile phone and reported somebody the situation.
Until the end of the first term in office, Vladimir Voronin „populated‟ his garage in Chisinau with an M-20 car (Pobeda) and a motor scooter Yamaha 250. In February this year, the head of
state said he sold all the units of transport.
Taisia Voronin, shareholder of FinComBank
Until last year, Vladimir Voronin hid from the fiscal bodies the information that his wife owns
an important shareholding in FinComBank (in 2007, the holding was worth 6,879,700 lei),
whose Administration Board is headed by the president‟s son. Asked by the journalists why he did not declare these securities until 2008, Vladimir Voronin answered: “Earlier, the members of
the family were not included in the income statement. Only a given individual was included. I,
for example. In 2006, my wife was also included. My son offered these shares as gift to my wife
in 2004 or 2005, or 2006. I don‟t remember.”
But the president was not right when he said that he did not have to declare his wife‟s property in
2006. In the income statement submitted to the Central Election Commission (CEC) on
December 25, 2004, when he ran for MP, Vladimir Voronin did not write anything in the section
“shareholdings, including of the members of the family, in the capital of companies owned in the
period between January 1, 2003 and December 30, 2004”.
According to the activity report for 2003 of CB FinComBank, at the end of 2003 Taisia Voronin
owned 8.31% of the bank‟s shares. A year later, the first lady was no more among the
shareholders of FinComBank. We presume that Taisia Voronin „renounced‟ the shares as she
knew that her husband will have to declare them to the CEC, forgetting probably that the income
statement includes the property for the last two years. In 2005, when Voronin was reelected as
president, his wife became again shareholder of FinComBank with a holding of 5.32%....
Under the Penal Code, the non-presentation of the statement of income and property or the
indication of incorrect data is punished with fine of 300 to 500 conventional units (1 c.u. is equal
to 20 lei), with (or without) the deprivation of the right to hold certain posts or carry out certain
activities for a period of 1 to 5 years.
Oleg and the partners
In Chisinau, Oleg and Elena Voronin and their friends own an enviable real estate collection. In
March 2000, the Chisinau City Hall, by decision No.6/28-3, distributed a plot of 0.9 hectares
located on Ciocarliei Street, on which to build an apartment building, to Metal-Market Company,
one of the founders of which is Oleg Voronin. The urbanism certificate No. 809 of April 24,
2000 says that an apartment building will be built there “to improve the living conditioned of the
employees of the society”. Two years later, the Chisinau City Hall allocated two plots of land of
about 5 ares at a free price to Oleg Voronin “for finalizing the designing and building of the private house” located on Ciocarliei Street.
During the next years, Oleg and his business partners (Alexandru Sisterov, Victor Hvorostovski,
Dumitru Tatar, Natalia Tkacenko, Viktor Bolyubakh and others) built there luxurious villas. The
house of the president‟s son is situated at 25/2 Ciocarliei Street. It is a sumptuous building that is 300 square meters in area and has an adjacent plot of about 35 ares. In March 2006, Oleg and
Elena Voronin donated the house to their son Alexei, who is now 25. The house of the
president‟s daughter Valentina Rusu is located nearby, at 25/3 Ciocarliei Street. This house is
more modest. It is about 260 square meters, while the plot of land is approximately 18 ares.
The street section where these buildings are situated is guarded by employees of the State Guard
Service. Only the dwellers and their guests have access to this zone. Our attempts to get closer to
the house of the president‟s son were foiled by the guard. When we tried to enter the „quarter of
grand houses‟, the man with epaulets forced us out of the perimeter. We told him we want to
visit somebody, but he did not believe us. He started to laugh: “I have already seen guests like
you! Go away! You cannot enter without the consent of a dweller! That‟s the rule...” the guard-
policeman told us nervously.
At the end of 2006, Moldconstruct Market SRL, where Oleg works as an economist, while his
friends hold major holdings and important posts, was allocated a plot of land of 2.04 hectares on
Ciocarliei Street by the decision of the Chisinau Municipal Council. The plot was sold for 4.5
million lei, a price that is 6.5 times lower than the market price according to some experts.
Property from Vasile Alecsandri St
Oleg and Elena Voronin own an apartment that is 80 square meters in area and „nonresidential
spaces‟ used as offices that are 280 square meters in area in an apartment building located at 79
Vasile Alecsandri Street in downtown Chisinau. The building was erected at the start of the last
century. The offices had been pledged for several times to FinComBank for taking out loans of
7,000,000 lei. In the same building, one of the apartments is registered as property of SRL
Metal-Market, though, according to the State Registration Chamber, this company was
liquidated in 2003. The firms Moldconstruct Market and Transline, which form part of the
„empire‟ of the capitalist Oleg directly or indirectly, are also regsitred there.
Oleg and Elena Voronin also own the building situated at 81 Vasile Alecsandri Street that
occupies an area of 207.3 square meters and has an adjoining plot of 7 ares. This building was
also pledged to FinComBank during 2002-2006 for obtaining loans worth 5,000,000 lei. The
esthetic medicine clinic Medazur Med Spa SRL, which is owned by Oleg‟s sister Valentina,
worked in this building until last year. The zone between the two buildings situated on Vasile
Alecsandri Street is full of supervising video cameras.
Until August 2006, Oleg Voronin owned an apartment of 100 square meters located at 82/4 Ion
Creanga Street in Chisinau. It was purchased during the Soviet period and was then sold to the
neighbors. Another apartment situated at 11/3A Miron Costin Street belonged to Oleg until 2003.
Oleg Voronin and Brezhnev
In April 2002, by Ordinance No.29-d of the Government, the building located at 67 A. Mateevici
St (where the secretary general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev
lived while he was first secretary of the Communist Party of the MSSR – e.n.), “with all the annexes and adjoining land”, was transferred free of charge to the state-owned company Promin.
Two months later, the building that is 514.1 square meters in area and has an adjacent plot of
22.7 ares was sold to Maxihom SRL by direct negotiations. According to the Public Property
Agency, IS Promin was allowed by the Privatization Department to sell the building without
holding a public auction as “the building was in an unsatisfactory technical condition and its total
value was nil”. Maxihom paid only 260,000 lei (about $25,000) for „Brezhnev‟s house‟ situated in the heart of the capital city, which had the status of “architectural monument of national
The new owner of the building – Maxihom – was registered on December 24, 2001 (i.e. five
months before purchasing the building from the state by direct negotiations). The company‟s director and major associate is Oleg Homin, an old friend of Oleg Voronin, as the president‟s son stated in an interview for VIP Magazin. “Oleg Homin is wise, modest, willing to help,
trustworthy,” Voronin Junior said about his friend. Moreover, the sale-purchase contract was
signed in the name of Maxihom by Dumitru Tatar, one of the shareholders of FinComBank and
SRL Moldconstruct Market. One more detail... In June 2006, the building located at 67
Mateevici Street and the apartment No. 5 situated at 79 Vasile Alecsandri Street (the last belongs
to Oleg and Elena Voronin) were pledged to take out a loan of 37,400,000 lei (about $3,000,000)
from SA Banca de Economii. No comment!
Presently, „Brezhnev‟s house‟ is used as shelter by vagrants and is close to falling into ruin. It seems that Maxihom invested no money in the renovation of the building, using it only as pledge
during all these years.
Until 2004, Vladimir Voronin‟s daughter Valentina Rusu lived in an apartment of 70 square meters situated at 64 Stephan the Great Blvd. in the center of Chisinau. The Rusu Family moved
to the new house located on Ciocarliei Street at the end of the first term in office of Vladimir
Voronin. In 1999, the Chisinau City Hall allocated Valentina‟s husband Eugen Rusu a plot of 5
ares located on Archeologist Ion Casian Suruceanu Street, on which to build a house. Two years
later, the president‟s son-in-law sold the plot. Since 2003, Valentina Rusu has been one of the
major shareholders of FinComBank. She owns over 5% of the bank‟s shares. During the same period, with the help of her brother, she founded the clinic Medazur Med Spa SRL, which she
continues to head. Her husband Eugen also works there. During Vladimir Voronin‟s presidency, his father-in-law Ozea Rusu built a villa in Centru district of Chisinau, located at 17 Mayor Carol
This is a story about the visible domestic property of the presidential family. There are
interesting details about the foreign property of the Voronin Family (Heraklion island in Greece)
and about the businesses owned in Russia and Austria... This will be yet the subject of another
The journalistic investigation was financed as part of the Scoop project (through the agency of
the Danish Association for Investigative Journalism – FUJ).