Gagik Tsarukyan

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Gagik Tsarukyan
Personal details
Born (1956-11-25) 25 November 1956 (age 59)
Arinj, Armenian SSR, USSR
Political party Prosperous Armenia
Spouse(s) Javahir Tsarukyan
Children 6
Alma mater Yerevan Institute of Physical Culture
Website Official website

Gagik Tsarukyan (Armenian: Գագիկ Ծառուկյան) is an Armenian businessman and politician.[1] He is seen as the most influential of Armenia's government-connected "oligarchs" and key business partner of former President Robert Kocharyan,[2][3][4] owning over a dozen big businesses and living in a large mansion on a hilltop overlooking the northern outskirts of Yerevan.[2] He is better known in Armenia by his nickname "Dodi Gago" (Դոդի Գագո).[2][5][6][7][8][9]

Tsarukyan is the founder and former leader of Prosperous Armenia political party[10] and also the president of Armenia's National Olympic Committee[11] (was reelected on December 4, 2008).[12]

Tsarukyan graduated from Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture in 1989. He was involved in sports, mainly boxing, wrestling and arm wrestling. In 1996 Gagik Tsarukyan has become world champion in arm-wrestling, and in 1998 champion of Europe.[13]

Since 1989 Tsarukyan has been engaged in entrepreneurship. In 1995 he founded and presided Multi Group" Concern group of companies which now includes more than 30 enterprises:[14] "Kotayk" beer factory in Abovyan, Yerevan Chemical Pharmaceutical Company,[15] "Mek" Network of Furniture Stores,[16] Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory,[17] etc. Tsarukyan is accused of depriving ownership rights of foreign investors in Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory.

Since 2003, Tsarukyan has been a RA National Assembly deputy. On May 25, 2003 he was elected as a deputy in the National Assembly of Armenia from District 42 after running unopposed, later becoming a member of the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Defense, National Security and Internal Affairs; he was not a member of a parliamentary faction during this term.[13] In late 2005 he founded the Prosperous Armenia Party.[1] During the first congress of Prosperous Armenia Party, on April 30, 2004, Tsarukyan was elected as its president.[10] During the fourth congress of the party, on February 12, 2009, Tsarukyan was re-elected as the party president.[18] He was re-elected to the National Assembly in the May 2007 parliamentary election from District 28 as a Prosperous Armenia candidate. Following this election he became head of the Prosperous Armenia parliamentary faction and a member of the Committee on the Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs in June 2007.[13]


Tsarukian's mansion perched on a hilltop in the town of Arinj on the outskirts of Yerevan


Gagik Tsarukyan was born in Nikolay and Roza Tsarukyans’ family. Nikolay Tsarukyan, father of the family, is an electrical engineer by profession now is engaged in social activities. Roza Tsarukyan, Gagik Tsarukyan’s mother, is an accountant now is managing research-and-production center of "Multi Agro" LLC[19] and at the same time is the honorable chairman of Prosperous Armenia Party Women council.[20]


Tsarukyan studied at Arinj village school. He met his future wife Javahir Tsarukyan in Arinj school, who was also studying at that same school. Tsarukyan was distinguished with physical abilities which influenced his higher education choices.[21]


The mansion Tsarukian built next to his own for his son

Gagik Tsarukyan’s wife is Javahir Tsarukyan. They have 6 children.[13]

Roza, Gayane and Emma Tsarukyans have graduated from Anania Shirakaci College with honors. Roza and Emma are studying at Yerevan State Medical University. Gayane Tsarukyan has graduated from Yerevan State University Faculty of Law with honors.

Anahit and Nver are studying at Anania Shirakaci College.

Hovhannes, the youngest member of the family, will go to school next year.[21]


Business interests[edit]

Tsarukyan started his business activities in the 1980s. During 1990-1992 Gagik Tsarukyan was the executive director of "Armenia" company and in 1992 he was involved in animal husbandry activities. He established a dairy production enterprise in Arinj village, Abovyan Region (now Kotayk Marz).[14] In 1995 Gagik Tsarukyan founded and presided "Multi Group" concern[22] which now includes Kotayk Abovyan beer factory, Yerevan Chemical Pharmaceutical Company,[23] "Mek" Network of Furniture Stores,[24] Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory,[25] "Ararat" cement Factory,[26] "Aviaservice" JSC,[22] "Multi Stone" stone Processing Company,[27] "Multi Rest House" Company,[28] "Global Motors" CJSC,[29] "Multi City House" Company[30] and other companies and organizations.

In 2002, Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory was given a new lease of life after having a new owner and after becoming a part of Multi Group Concern. With the efforts made by Gagik Tsarukyan 50 million US dollar-equivalent Armenian drams were invested for the modernization and constructional works, in obtainment of new line of bottling and oak barrels. Gagik Tsarukyan took care of one matter the essence of which lies in the specialists and technologists of the factory restoring the factory's wealth of experience that was accumulated during many years of the company’s existence by means of the old manuscripts, museum exhibits and family archives. The lost glorious name Armenian Cognac was also restored. "Ararat" Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory is one of the unique factories, where 50 and more years old cognac spirits are kept.[25] Currently there are several claims pending at Armenian and international courts. A German investment fund accuses Multigroup of having deprived them from their right of ownership.

Gagik Tsarukyan and sports[edit]

Sports achievements[edit]

Tsarukyan took part in sports since his school years. He went for boxing, wrestling and arm wrestling. Tsarukyan graduated from Armenian State university of Physical Education in 1989 was a teacher of physical education and sports and also a wrestling coach.[22] Tsarukyan had achievements in sports, in 1996 he was given a title of world champion in arm-wrestling, and in 1998 champion of Europe.[31]

Armenian National Olympic Committee[edit]

Tsarukyan is the president of Armenian National Olympic Committee, was reelected in 2004.[11] Armenian athletes under the leadership of Gagik Tsarukyan showed an unprecedented result during 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, returning with 6 bronze medals.[32]

On December 4, 2008 Gagik Tsarukyan was unanimously reelected as NOCA president by the general assembly of Armenian National Olympic Committee.[12]

Political Activity[edit]

Gagik Tsarukyan has been engaged in politics since 2000-s. Three years later during third convocation of National Assembly elections which took place on May 25, 2003 Gagik Tsarukyan was elected as NA deputy from 42 electoral district.[13] During NA third convocation years Gagik Tsarukyan acted as independent deputy, was not represented in any faction or any deputy group. From 2003 till 2007 Gagik Tsarukyan was the member of RA NA Defense, National security and Interior affairs standing committee.[33]

Prosperous Armenia Party establishment[edit]

Tsarukyan established Prosperous Armenia Party in 2004. That same year, during the party's first congress which took place on 30 April, Gagik Tsarukyan was elected as the president of the Party. As a result of the National Assembly elections of 12 May 2007, Prosperous Armenia Party received 204 443 votes[34] receiving 25 mandates in NA.[13] During the fourth congress of Prosperous Armenia Party which took place on February 12, 2009, Tsarukyan was reelected as its president.[35] As a result of Prosperous Armenia Party fourth congress 93 member PAP political council was elected. Gagik Tsarukyan is the chairman of newly elected PAP Political council.[36]

Gagik Tsarukyan–the chairman of NA Prosperous Armenia Party faction =[edit]

Prosperous Armenia Party has 27 deputies in Armenia's National Assembly[37] and Prosperous Armenia faction led by Gagik Tsarukyan, is the second in NA by its number of representatives.[13] There are 25 members in "Prosperous Armenia" faction. Deputies Martun Grigoryan[38] and Rustam Gasparyan[37] are also the members of Prosperous Armenia Party.

Business assets[edit]

Tsarukian owns several businesses and rose to prominence in the late 1990s as a minority shareholder in a French-owned brewery in Abovian. His business holdings have since expanded, aided by his close ties with then President Robert Kocharian.[39]

Tsarukian's holding company is "Multi Group" which comprises over 40 small and large businesses.[40] In March 2006, Tsarukian sold his 29 percent stake in the Kotayk brewery to French beer magnate Pierre Castel for about $4 million.[41]

Businesses that are part of the Multi Group conglomerate include:

  • Multi Lion, an Armenian supplier of liquefied gas to households, cars and buses, is fifty percent owned by Multi Group and fifty percent owned by Aleksandr Sarkisian, the brother of Armenia's president Serge Sarkisian.[42]
  • Multi Stone, stone processing company[43]
  • Yerevan Ararat Brandy, Wine and Vodka Factory[43] Currently there are several court hearings pending concerning the method used by Tsarukyan to gain sole ownership, including one by a German investment firm that accuses Tsarukyan of having illegally taken their stake in the company.[44]

Low income reporting and tax payments[edit]

Despite maintaining an extravagant lifestyle, Tsarukian's companies post only modest revenues. His cement factory in Ararat—officially the most profitable of his businesses—occupies only the 45th place in the Armenian Statistical Service's annual ranking of tax payers, with tax contributions totaling 1.3 billion drams in 2007 (about $3.8 million USD in 2007). In contrast, another smaller Ararat-based plant (which smelts gold ore) paid more taxes despite standing idle during much of 2007 due to a change of ownership.[45]

Despite being lucrative, the vast majority of Tsarukian's Multi Group businesses were not included in the list of the country's leading corporate taxpayers released by the Armenian government in early 2005.[42]

Links to criminal leaders[edit]

Close ties between Pzo and Chairman of the Prosperous Armenia Party Gagik Tsarukyan were covered on media from time to time. Tsarukyan ensured Armen Ghazaryan's (nicknamed Pzo) safe entry to Armenia through the mediation of the former chief of Armenian Police Hayk Harutyunyan.[46]

Awards and medals[edit]

In 2002 Tsarukyan was awarded with St. Grigor Lousavorich order by the Supreme Patriarch of all Armenians Garegin II highly evaluating Mr. Tsarukyan‘s activity towards church construction.[13]

In 2003 upon the decree determined by the president of the Republic of Armenia Robert Kocharyan the president of Armenian National Olympic Committee Gagik Tsarukyan, who had his great input in the development of RA sports, was honored with Movses Khorenatsi medal.[47]

On September 17, 2008 upon RA president Serzh Sargsyan decree, Tsarukyan was honored with "Services provided to the motherland" first rank medal for the great input he had in the development of RA sports and physical education.[48]

On May 11, 2009 Tsarukyan was awarded with "European of the year"[49] by the International European movement.

On September 12, 2009 European Judo Federation honored NOCA president Gagik Tsarukyan with gold medal.[50]


  1. ^ a b Liz Fuller, "Armenia: Election Campaign Gets Off To Uneasy Start", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, April 19, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Danielyan, Emin (March 3, 2006). "ARMENIA: "OLIGARCHIC" PARTY GAINING GROUND AHEAD OF 2007 VOTE". Retrieved June 30, 2009. Tsarukian, better known to most Armenians as Dodi Gago, is thought to be the wealthiest and most influential of Armenia’s top government-connected entrepreneurs, owning over a dozen big businesses and living in a huge villa perched on a hilltop overlooking the northern outskirts of Yerevan. Like other "oligarchs," Tsarukian moves around in a motorcade of luxury cars with virtually identical license plates, surrounded by intimidating bodyguards.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "EuNet-Mar2-2006" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ David Petrosyan. The Political System of Armenia: Form and Content. Caucasus analytical digest (No.17. 21 May 2010) "The Prosperous Armenia party is a political project founded by former President Kocharyan and led by the oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan, who is a key business partner of Kocharyan"
  4. ^ "Prominent Oppositionist Set To Lead Armenian ‘Oligarchic’ Party". Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL). January 11, 2006. Retrieved June 20, 2009. Tsarukian is seen as the most influential of Armenia’s government-connected "oligarchs" who are not averse to flaunting their wealth amid widespread poverty. They usually live in huge mansions and travel in motorcades made up of luxury cars with virtually identical license plates. Most of them hold sway in a particular area of the country. Tsarukian and Aleksanian, for example, ran unopposed and were easily elected to parliament from their de facto fiefdoms in the last election held in May 2003. 
  5. ^ Ishkhanyan, Vahan (March 3, 2006). "Mean Streets: A rare look at Armenia’s Capital clans". ArmeniaNow. Retrieved June 29, 2009. One of the most powerful, most infamous and famous "akhperutyuns" of Yerevan is Gagik "Dodi Gago" Tsarukyan, who is a close associate of the President’s family, and a Member of Parliament since 2003. 
  6. ^ Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Different Election, Same Story: Money for votes gives oligarch’s protégé control of city district. "The outcome of the race was all but predetermined by the fact that Hovannisian is actively backed and sponsored by Gagik Tsarukian (popularly known by his nickname, “Dodi Gago”), one of the country’s richest and most feared men, who is close to President Robert Kocharian"
  7. ^ Matthew Collin. The Moscow Times (29 January 2007). "These are high times for the man they call Dodi Gago... His real name is Gagik Tsarukyan, although many Armenians know him better by his nickname"
  8. ^ Tony Halpin. Money, muscle and a menagerie win power. The Times (May 14, 2007). "He remains a physically powerful man a decade after winning world and European arm-wrestling championships. His muscle-bound image led many Armenians to call him “Dodi Gago”, a nickname he despises because it means roughly “stupid Gagik”. Few would dare say it to his face."
  9. ^ Dr Armine Ishkanian, "Democracy building and civil society in post-Soviet Armenia", Routledge, 2008. P. 42-43. "In the above interview, Rosa refers to Penzagalonki (petrol station) Vartan. Such nicknames are common among oligarchs and their bodyguards, whom she refers to as 'gorillas' in the quote above. Many of these men are better known by these nicknames than by their proper names. For instance, the following are the nicknames of oligarchs who are also MPs in the Armenian National Assembly: Lfik (brassiere) Samo, Alyuraguhtsi (flour mill) Lyovik, Tsaghik (flower) Rubo, Kombikormi (animal feed) Vlad, Lady Hagop and Dodi (idiot's son) Gago. Most Armenians know these individuals solely by their monikers and would be hard pressed to give their proper names. Some of these names reflect the products these oligarchs traded in prior to becoming wealthy, while other monikers refer to some personal characteristic. Oligarchs are actively engaged in politics through their election to the National Assembly in 2003 or the creation of their own political parties. In 2006, one of the wealthiest oligarchs, Gagik (Dodi Gago) Tsarukian. established the Prosperous Armenia (Parkavatch Hayastari) political party. Within a few months, this newly created party had over 300,000 registered members and subsequently came in second, gaining 14.7 per cent of the votes behind the leading Republican Party."
  10. ^ a b "Gagik Tsarukyan:: Political Career". Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  11. ^ a b "The president of Armenian National Olympic Committee Gagik Tsarukyan". Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  12. ^ a b "Gagik Tsarukyan was reelected as ANOC president". Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h Profile on Armenian Parliament website.
  14. ^ a b "Gagik Tsarukyan:: Career in Business". Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  15. ^ "Gagik Nikolay Tsarukyan the president of branchy concern "Multi Group"". Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  16. ^ ""Mek" Network of Furniture Stores". Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  17. ^ "Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory". Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  18. ^ "Gagik Nikolay Tsarukyan was unanimously reelected as the leader of the party". Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  19. ^ "Roza Tsarukyan; Director of "Multi Agro" LCC". Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  20. ^ "Party delegates started for Gegharkunik marz headed by PAP women council honorable chairman Roza Tsarukyan". Aravot. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  21. ^ a b "Gagik Tsarukyan’s family". Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  22. ^ a b c "Gagik Tsarukyan the founder of Multi Group branchy Concern". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  23. ^ "Gagik Tsarukyan the president of "Multi Group" branchy Concern". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  24. ^ ""Mek" Network of Furniture Stores". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  25. ^ a b ""Ararat" Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  26. ^ ""Ararat" cement Factory". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  27. ^ ""Multi Stone" Stone Processing Company". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  28. ^ ""Multi Rest House" Company". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  29. ^ ""Global Motors" CJSC". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  30. ^ ""Multi City House" Company". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  31. ^ "Gagik Tsarukyan graduated from Armenian State university of Physical Education in 1989, was a teacher of physical education and sports and also a wrestling coach". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  32. ^ "Armenian athletes returned with 6 bronze medals". Archived from the original on 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  33. ^ "From 2003 till 2007 Gagik Tsarukyan was the member of RA NA Defense, National security and Internal affairs standing committee". Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  34. ^ "As a result of National Assembly elections which took place on May 12, 2007 Prosperous Armenia Party led by Mr. Tsarukyan got 204 443 votes.". Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  35. ^ "Gagik Tsarukyan was unanimously reelected as the leader of Prosperous Armenia Party". Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  36. ^ "Gagik Tsarukyan is the chairman of newly elected PAP Political council". Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  37. ^ a b "Two nonpartisan deputies became members of Prosperous Armenia Party". Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  38. ^ "The deputy elected from Gyumri Martun Grigoryan is now a member of Prosperous Armenia Party". Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  39. ^ ARMENIA: "OLIGARCHIC" PARTY GAINING GROUND AHEAD OF 2007 VOTE, Eurasianet, December 20, 2006.
  40. ^ Sarkisian Denies Link With ‘Oligarchic’ Party, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), January 16, 2008.
  41. ^ Press Review, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), March 30, 2006.
  42. ^ a b Sarkisian’s Brother Admits Business Interests Abroad, Armenia Liberty, October 3, 2005.
  43. ^ a b MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA, National Assembly of Armenia, 2008.
  44. ^ Ownership of NOY in question
  45. ^ Mining Giant Remains Armenia’s Top Taxpayer, Armenia Liberty (RFE/RL), January 29, 2008.
  46. ^
  47. ^ "Gagik Tsarukyan was honored with Movses Khorenatsi medal". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  48. ^ "Gagik Tsarukyan was honored with "Services provided to the motherland" first rank medal". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  49. ^ "Gagik Tsarukyan was awarded with "The best European of the year"". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  50. ^ "Gagik Tsarukyan was honored with gold medal by European Judo Federation". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 

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