St. Basil the Great Foundation

Last updated: 18/09/2023
Location: Moscow, Russia
Address 1: 142260, Moscow region, Serpukhov district
Mission Statement

The Foundation of St. Basil the Great sees its main goal in the implementation of charitable and educational activities aimed at creating a favorable spiritual and moral environment in Russian society, in strengthening traditional family values, and in the growth and development of the younger generation…In realizing its strategic goal, the Foundation has found a faithful ally in the Russian Orthodox Church.”

The St. Basil the Great Foundation (a/k/a “St. Basil") was established by sanctioned oligarch Konstantin Malofeev in 2007. Supposedly one of the largest Orthodox charities in Russia, St. Basil has lobbied for various “traditionalist” causes in and outside of the country as well as having built a school with religious and tsarist flavor.

Although there has been some turnover in terms of leadership, the main core of St. Basil has, more or less, remained intact since at least 2012. While the foundation may remain a positive contribution inside of Russia, its inception and international activity remain a wellspring of controversy as it is 1: founded by a well-known sanctioned Russian oligarch; 2: part of an anti-western conspiracy theology (Orthodox vs. Decadent West); and 3: behavior consistent with attempting to whitewash backgrounds as well as laundering narratives.


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There are four individuals that are worth illuminating within the organizational leadership structure: Konstantin Malofeev, Michael Yakushev, Father Tikhon, and Alexey Komov. Presently sanctioned by the EU, UK & US, Konstantin Malofeev (a/k/a the “Orthodox Oligarch”) serves as the Founder of St. Basil. In addition to serving as the founder, he possesses  50%+ ownership of the following entities: St. Basil, Safe Internet League, Marshall Capital Partners, Tsargrad Conglomerate, and Gilroy Trading Company.

The VP of Saint Basil is Michael Yakushev, a sanctioned individual, who occupies positions of leadership in Katehon (sanctioned) and Vladimir Yakunin’s St. Andrews First Foundation. Standing as one of the leading lights of modern anti-Western conspiracy theology, Russian Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov)–a/k/a “Putin’s Confessor”–has become an instrument of the Kremlin’s power schematic; in particular, there are two notable developments, amongst many, involving Bishop Tikhon: his receiving of $332 million dollars (20 billion Rubles) from Russia’s government and state owned companies and his complicity with Malofeev in providing support to Donbas separatists.

Alexey Komov is not officially listed within the organizational hierarchy; however, he functions as an international liaison by managing various projects on behalf of the organization. Moreover, Mr. Komov occupies leadership positions within World Congress Families (WCF) and CitizenGo, both of which are not without political controversy. And it is through this “traditionalist” vein, via the Komov linchpin, that Malofeev is able to whitewash his as well as Russia’s reputation while simultaneously laundering weaponized narratives into the EU and US discourse.

The constellation of activities associated with this charitable foundation and its founder are aptly characterized by iStories:

“This foundation is famous for its fundamentalist initiatives. For example, it was he [Tikhon] who became the founder of the Safe Internet League, an organization that stands at the origins of censorship in RUnet. Back in 2014, the Fund collected humanitarian aid for the self-proclaimed LDNR, the main instigators of the unrest that Russia then staged in eastern Ukraine are associated with it. For example, the first prime minister of the DPR, Alexander Borodai, was an adviser to Malofeev. And Igor Strelkov (Girkin), who began hostilities with the capture of the Ukrainian Slavyansk, and then was the Minister of Defense of the DPR, worked in the Malofeev Foundation.”

And the U.S. Treasury has described Malofeev’s efforts in the following manner:

“Subject to sanctions by the U.S. and a number of other jurisdictions, Malofeyev has needed to rely on a vast global network of cut-outs and proxies to attempt to evade sanctions and conduct malign influence activities. Today, OFAC is taking action against that support network.”

Third sector organizations such as nonprofits, think tanks, or foundations possessing meaningful links to or behaviours consistent with: malign influence and finance; financial and organised crime; narrative or reputation laundering; or espionage, amongst others, may morally corrode the nonprofit space. Additionally, any organization engaged in or associated with such activities can potentially serve as a vector for undermining western institutions and values as well as transatlantic relationships. Open-source information indicates St. Basil the Great Foundation's senior leadership and its direct as well as indirect activities warrant the designation of this organization as a “high-risk NGO”. Therefore, St. Basil has been placed onto the Institute for European Integrity’s NGO Watchlist.


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