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Russian Duma Deputy Anton Gorelkin

Anton Gorelkin is one of the most “noticeable” parliamentarians of the Russian State Duma, famous as the generator of strange laws. One of his draft bills once brought about a market crash of the Russian technological giant Yandex. Few people know, however, that Anton Gorelkin was one of the “masterminds” behind the Kuzbass propaganda machine. Even before Kremlin trolls invaded the Internet, Anton Gorelkin steamrolled the media space of Kemerovo Oblast.

Many in Russia remember how after the fire in the Winter Cherry mall, which killed 60 people (including 34 children), Gorelkin said during his TV talk with the ill-known propagandist Vladimir Solovyov that he had been well aware of the corruption in the construction industry and supervisory authorities in the Kuzbass. When asked why he had known and kept silent, Gorelkin could not give any reasonable answer. In his emotional video message, Anton Gorelkin blamed the deaths on the systemic corruption. Strangely though, he could not voice any names of the corrupt officials, except one—Tanzilya Kamkova, Head Inspector of the state construction supervision of Kemerovo Oblast.

Gorelkin began his career as a journalist. He was born in 1982, graduated from Kemerovo State University, worked in a number of the regional media, and even for the TASS agency, whose glorious history goes back to the Soviet times. His career took off in 2011 when he joined the administration of the Kuzbass Governor Aman Tuleyev.

At first he dealt with economic issues, but soon got the position of Head of Media Relations. Thanks to his efforts, Tuleyev enjoyed very special relationships with media. Local sources spoke only positively of him; federal media had to fight him off in court. Governor Tuleyev never lost in court to his opponents: he won against Gennady Zyuganov and Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leaders of the Communist Party and the Liberal Democratic Party respectively, against high-ranking officials, and against the press. After several years as a PR manager for Tuleyev, Gorelkin was elected to the Russian Duma, where he joined the dedicated committee on information policy. He now dealt with the federal media.

“The Kuzbass Media Group is our reliable partner in holding various events,” Gorelkin said in 2016, shortly before moving to the Russian parliament. “Your company is the leader in the Kuzbass media space. To think that in only five or six years, the My City TV channel has won a solid audience, and built a highly professional team that is trusted to implement large projects!”

By the way, Gorelkin’s seat in the Duma is next to Pavel Fedyaev, son of the owner of the Siberian Business Union company (Russian: Сибирский деловой союз, or Sibirskiy Delovoy Souz (SDS)). It is worth mentioning that he did not receive his parliamentary mandate by winning the support of voters. He became a parliamentarian after Yevgeny Choinzonov, director of the Tomsk Research Institute of Oncology, had given up his own Duma career. Had the scientist not decided to focus on the medical institution he headed, Mr. Gorelkin’s chances of getting the Duma seat would have been zero.

Anton Gorelkin’s Income

Financial statements show that since 2016, when Anton Gorelkin was elected to the Russian Duma, his wife’s business has been going uphill. The revenue of Kuzbass Media Group has increased from RUB 34.4 million in 2016 to RUB 67.5 million in 2018. The companies in which Kuzbass Media Group has a share have also been growing. Advertising agency Business Souvenirs Studio increased its revenue from RUB 71.9 million to RUB 133.4 million, and another advertising firm, Media Agency, grew from RUB 51.5 million to RUB 125.2 million.

As for Mr. Gorelkin himself, he earns several times less than his wife: he made RUB 2.3 million in 2016, and RUB 4.6 million in 2017, which corresponds to the average Deputy salary. His wife's income is growing much faster—RUB 44.8 million in 2020 against RUB 9.7 million in 2018.

Anton Gorelkin’s Propaganda

Few people know that "cyber troops" have existed in Kemerovo Oblast since 2010. You probably imagine a group of hackers sitting at powerful computers, rapidly hitting all sorts of keys. No, it's not like that at all. Aman Tuleyev’s cyber army was a collection of bloggers, journalists, and propaganda websites. They generated a slew of materials, usually either to compromise objectionable persons, or to render support for the great Governor Aman Tuleyev. The rapid career rise of Anton Gorelkin was directly connected with these cyber troops. At first, he was finding his rails, misbehaving at times, but after employment by the Governor’s administration, he proved to be a hard worker. A few tricks helped him become Head of Media Relations; he took Alexey Dorongov as his deputy, and got very busy. A number of propaganda websites have been created with direct participation of the two. We decided to check all the sites for some leads. An interesting picture transpired.

The Novolitika website was one of the first resources created for the “cyber war”. Not only is it a popular reference in the media, it also appears a lot in court cases. At the moment, the address is In 2011, it was located at The site was very active in 2012, during the presidential elections.

False stories popped up galore at Novolitika, and then a simple scheme worked. Since Novolitika was just a random website, the stories somehow had to find their way to “official media”. Therefore, paid materials were placed there, and then some Kuzbass newspaper would reprint them, with a link to the site. How convenient! And you could not even sue the obscure website, since it was impossible to find the owner.

The Novolitika site neither offers contact info, no indicates the owner—just a non-existent media license number, and the email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you search for the email address, you will see that one more website is associated with it.

So, the “cyber war” began in 2010. In 2011, Anton Gorelkin became Head of Media Relations in the administration of the Kemerovo Oblast. New developments followed. In 2013, there appeared another resource called Native Novokuznetsk (—the “yellowest” of all.

It was not the last site created by Anton Gorelkin. What was the purpose of this activity? Simple. Not yet a seasoned professional, but already a hardcore propagandist, he used the most primitive tool—the rotten herring—to “destroy” unwanted persons.

In 2015, a fictitious e-mail address was registered, very similar to the address of the environmental activist Maxim Uchvatov, a well-known public figure in the Kuzbass. The fake address was used to send a request to all the Kuzbass vice governors, allegedly from Mr. Uchvatov, to allocate funds for the development of his Open City website. Literally the next day, a large number of compromising articles against Maxim Uchvatov appeared on sites controlled by Kuzbass propagandists.

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Schematically, the propaganda sites work like this:

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In the past, Gorelkin used to work in advertising. When employed by Aman Tuleyev’s press service, he started advertising Aman Tuleyev. Simple as that—he worked with what he had. He even organized real cyber wars in the Oblast, to the best of his understanding. For example, the website, featuring Anton Gorelkin's quite official email, used to post home-grown ratings of Russian governors, with Tuleyev unvaryingly at the top.

Anton Gorelkin’s Family

Gorelkin's mother is the head and owner of the Delovaya Kniga (Russian for “Business Book”) company, a publishing house modest but handy: it brings Lyudmila Gorelkina government contracts—modest, but regular. The Gorelkin family, sure, are anything but ungrateful. Until Anton Gorelkin moved to the Russian Duma, the Business Book publishing house controlled the MediaKuzbass resource, another outlet to tout Tuleyev's success, vigor, and tireless labor. Later, and until its liquidation, the resource was controlled by Bipiar Company. Until 2017, the CEO of Bipiar Company was Inessa Kostyakova, Anton Gorelkin's sister. The woman also “inherited” the Kuzbass press service of United Russia Party from her brother, but she quickly got tired of writing about one and the same thing—about Governor Tuleyev, that is.

Another interesting fact: MediaKuzbass was officially founded by Svetlana Rybalchenko (TIN 420700674249), sister of Mikhail Fedyaev, the owner of SDS Ugol (Siberian Business Union Coal, or SDS Coal).

The story continues. Today, Anton Gorelkin’s wife Anastasia Gorelkina (maiden name Tanasyuk), is actively “spinning” the wheel of propaganda in the Kuzbass.

Thanks to these people, in the Kemerovo region for many years there have been “no problems” with open-pit coal mining, the environment is “in good condition”, and unwanted public figures are being destroyed through a series of discrediting materials on resources controlled by the Kuzbass Government Administration.

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