On October 18, Press Secretary of the Armenian Foreign Ministry Tigran Balayan reported the
death of businessman Levon Hayrapetian. According to Sobesednik newspaper, he died in
Mordovian colony 12.
Levon G. Hayrapetian was born in 1949 in the village of Vank (Nagorno Karabakh). Graduated
from the Philosophy Department of the Moscow State University. In the early 1970s, he began
working as a journalist for Komsomolskaya Pravda and Sobesednik newspapers and Ogonyok
In 1991-1994, he worked as the Director General, and since 1994 - the Chairman of the Board
of directors of the publishing house Sobesednik. According to the mass media, in the early 1990s, he was involved in opening dealer centers for foreign automakers in Russia, including the General Motors. Later, he was one of the shareholders of Uniastrum Bank and co-founder of the Social Services Fund for the population, owned a number of oil trading firms in Ufa, was a co-owner of the Moscow President-Hotel. He implemented charitable activities in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian mass media called Mr. Hayrapetian one of the greatest patrons of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. He lobbied at the international level for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
In July 2014, Levon Hayrapetian was arrested in Moscow by the FSS agents. The businessman was accused of extorting $700.000 from the mother of former Bashkiria Senator Igor Izmestyev, sentenced to life imprisonment for terrorism. According to the investigation data, he promised to achieve a softer sentence for the ex-Senator. Mr. Hayrapetian did not admit his guilt. In June 2016, the Zamoskvoretsky Court of Moscow sentenced him to four years in prison and obliged him to pay 20.8 million rubles to those suffered. Initially, the investigation agents also accused the entrepreneur of "stealing and subsequently legalizing" the Bashneft shares in 2009.
In December 2014, Mr. Hayrapetian was operated on. While imprisoned, he had been repeatedly hospitalized. In April 2016, an open letter, signed including by the French chansonier, Charles Aznavour, was sent to Vladimir Putin with a request for a change in the imprisonment conditions for the businessman who sought parole for health reasons.
Levon Hayrapetian was born in 1949 in the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region, in the village of Vank, Martakert region.
He graduated from the Philosophy Department of the Moscow State University. He worked as a journalist for Komsomolskaya Pravda and Sobesednik newspapers and Ogonyok magazine. He is the founder of Sovremennik publishing house. He dealt with oil sale business.
Levon Hayrapetian actively participated in the establishment of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and was one of its main sponsors. He is considered the greatest investor in the contemporary history of Nagorno Karabakh. He implemented different programs in Stepanakert and in the village of Vank, Martakert region. In 2000-2002, the businessman funded the reconstruction of the Gandzasar Monastery Complex (13th century), which is considered one of the most well-preserved churches in Karabakh. Significant investments were made in the development of the infrastructures located near the Monastery Complex, in the village of Vank. A woodworking factory, a luxury hotel with the Chinese cuisine, resting zones, and a school were built there. Levon Hayrapetian also took up the construction costs of the North-South highway passing through the Gandzasar Monastery Complex.
In 2007, Levon Hayrapetian funded the construction of a 2.5-million-cubic-meter water reservoir on the Khachen River in the Martakert region. The construction of just a 26-meter-high dam cost the benefactor $7 million. Construction of tourism infrastructure and recreation zones around the future reservoir was planned.
On October 16, 2008, the benefactor organized a festive wedding in the ancient town of Shushi and historical Gandzasar. The ceremony, with the participation of 700 young people, was the first in its kind not only in Artsakh, but throughout Armenia. On the big wedding day, 200 couples got married in the Gandzasar Monastery. A few hours later, 500 couples more got married in the Ghazanchetsots Church in Shushi. Everyone had his seat at the tables laid at the stadium. This unique wedding ceremony complied with the national traditions. People watched the ceremony from the nearby hills. For the implementation of this initiative, Levon Hayrapetian Foundation funded the renovation of the staircases leading from the Renaissance Central Square to the Stepanakert Central Stadium. "Our goal is to promote the demographic development of Karabakh. Its population should total up to 300,000 people. Each sponsor should become the Godfather for a few families, which supposes certain responsibilities and duties: the first baby born in a family will be granted $2.000, the second - $3.000, the third - $5.000, the fourth - $10.000, the sixth - $50.000, and the seventh - $ 100.000", said the businessman. In the native village of Vank, he founded hotel complexes, banks and a celebratory hall. The zoo and botanical gardens of Artsakh were improved. Many inter-state and republican roads of Artsakh were reconstructed. One of the priority programs of the benefactor was the establishment of a Military College in Artsakh aimed at preparing high-ranking officers for the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and the Republic of Armenia. In 2012, Levon Hayrapetian realized the initiative and funded the construction of a Military College in the village of Vank, Nagorno Karabakh.
Let us remind that Levon Hayrapetian was arrested on July 15, 2014 in the framework of the investigation of the Kingisepp criminal gang’s activities, and he was sentenced to four years in prison. The head of the gang was Sergey Finagin. Former Senator Igor Izmestev, sentenced to life imprisonment, informed the investigation bodies about Hayrapetian's possible involvement in the latter’s activities. During his stay in prison, Levon Hayrapetian’s health condition became critical, and many activities were carried out to support him, including a Facebook page titled Liberty to Levon Hayrapetian was opened. His lawyer Haykaz Makarian had repeatedly appealed to the authorities of Armenia for raising the issue of Levon Hayrapetian's extradition.