It is a bizarre tale that involves a Siberian coal mine, a Russian military drone, the glamorous daughter of a senior Kremlin politician, and her tycoon husband living in one of Britain’s most luxurious mansions.
In a case that is likely to cause tension between Moscow and London, Dmitry Tsvetkov, a Russian businessman with British citizenship, has been placed on a Kremlin ‘wanted list’ accused of unknown offences. He claims that if he ever returns to Russia, he will be killed.
Mr Tsvetkov, 39, a father-of-two, has told The Telegraph he has done nothing wrong and instead is the victim of a campaign of intimidation and death threats in a row over ownership of a coal mine in Siberia, conservatively worth half a billion pounds. He is also embroiled in an inquiry into a Russian military drone contract.
He says the strain – he calls them ‘pressure points’ – has caused a temporary split in his marriage to Elsina Khayrova, a model and daughter of Rinat Khayrov, a Russian MP in Vladimir Putin’s ruling party and a former finance minister in the Republic of Tatarstan.
The couple first made headlines in the UK when it emerged two years ago that they had gone on a property spending spree, buying a £22 million home on the Wentworth estate in Surrey (pictured below) and a £10 million flat close to Harrods in central London. The homes, heavily mortgaged, were bought in Ms Khayrova’s name. The couple have also bought four other flats in London.