By Will Stewart for MailOnline
Published: 22:03 BST, 1 December 2012 | Updated: 10:00 BST, 4 December 2012
Russian display what’s more, mold symbol Elena Perminova is a commonplace installation in the world of haute couture. Yet today, the striking Siberian-born 26-year-old wears a profound frown.
Elena has irrefutably done well out of the rough-and-ready private enterprise of post-Soviet Moscow what’s more, however presently she faces the grave risk that the father of her two youthful children could be tossed into imprison for up to five years.
Even more chilling is the truth that her spouse Alexander Lebedev â€“ previous KGB spy, very rich person businessman, funder of a few English daily papers counting the Autonomous what’s more, the London Evening Standard, what’s more, anti-corruption campaigner â€“ may be confronting a Russian mafia contract on his life after bothering criminal warlords with his battle against gambling.
Happy family: Alexander Lebedev with Elena Perminova with children Nikita, three what’s more, Egor, one
Indeed, Mr Lebedevâ€™s eldest child Evgeny, 32, revealed last week that his father fears being sent to jail could adequately mean a passing sentence. â€˜Itâ€™s an simple put for someone to be taken out. Itâ€™s extremely concerning,â€™ he said.
If Mr Lebedev is detained (or worse) for his part in an on-air TV spat, he will be seen as the most recent casualty of Russiaâ€™s clampdown on dissent.
The points of reference are clear: legal advisor Sergei Magnitsky, who revealed large-scale Government corruption, passed on in police guardianship in 2009 what’s more, two individuals of the punk band Pussy Revolt are presently detainees of modern-day gulag work camps.
Whistleblower: Nataliya Magnitskaya, mother of Sergei Magnitsky who passed on in police custody, laments over her son’s body amid his burial service at a graveyard in Moscow
Fatal decision: Magnitsky was held in Butyrka remand prison, a most extreme security prison, where he was over and again squeezed to sign a admission conceding he had been capable for the impose trick yet he refused
Putin is obviously taking his claim stand against bureaucratic what’s more, political defilement â€“ amusingly following much of what Lebedevâ€™s Russian daily paper started.
And in the event that anybody questions life can be alarmingly modest in current Russia, consider the case of Alexander Litvinenko, lethally harmed with radioactive polonium in London in November 2006.
Clampdown: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is taking a stand on corruption
Surrey Police are as of now exploring the suspicious passing two weeks prior of another banished Russian, Alexander Perepilichnyy, who was a witness in a enormous defilement investigation.
At the Lebedevsâ€™ house in the elite Rublyovka locale on the edges of Moscow, Elena concedes she is anxious about indeed talking about her husbandâ€™s case.
â€˜I stress so much for him,â€™ she says.
â€˜I know heâ€™s a great man. I know how much great he has done sacrificially for other people, his philanthropy work, making a difference youngsters with leukaemia. What is going on is so unfair. My little kids cherish him so much what’s more, I do too.â€™
The â€˜crimeâ€™ that could see Mr Lebedev, 52, behind bars stems from a peevish what’s more, provocative TV banter about in September last year when, in a minute of high drama, the previous spy all of a sudden punched another guest, agent Sergei Polonsky.
The episode moved toward becoming a short-lived web sensation, yet would have been before long overlooked without the mediation of President Putin, who named the act â€˜hooliganismâ€™ â€“ the same offense that saw the Pussy Revolt combine censured to the gulags.
Even then, practically a year passed some time recently the specialists chosen to act. Elena doesnâ€™t fault Mr Putin for the lawful action, be that as it may the contending Kremlin groups who continually strive to if it’s not too much trouble him.
Eventually, prosecutors dressed up the charge as â€˜hooliganism driven by political hatredâ€™, which conveys a sentence of up to five years.
Such a jail term would hurt his business career. Indeed, the weight is as of now appearing â€“ last week heÂ openly looked for an financial specialist to offer assistance run the Free titles in Britain.
Moment of madness: Autonomous proprietor Alexander Lebedev lashes out at Sergei Polonsky amid a Russian Television debate
Meanwhile, Elena uninhibitedly concedes that the broadcast punch was not her husbandâ€™s finest hour.
â€˜He called me promptly a short time later what’s more, told me what happened. He said, â€œI donâ€™t truly get it it myself. Polonsky started to insult me. He needed to hit me soÂ I had to hit him first.â€
â€˜I thought he had likely just pushed him away, until I saw the show.
â€˜I observed it at my maternity center â€“ I was eight months pregnant at the time â€“ what’s more, I was shocked. Iâ€™ve never seen him do anything like that before.
‘But equally, I never anticipated it to be taken so much further. Yet these days, you make a little slip, a mistake, what’s more, they say, â€œAh, weâ€™ve got you .??.??. â€?â€™
With a estate close Paris, Evgenyâ€™s home at Hampton Court, what’s more, their two children, Nikita, three, what’s more, Egor, one â€“ to whom Mr Lebedev is clearly dedicated â€“ has she not recommended to him that he steers clear of politically touchy subjects or, on the other hand evacuates for all time abroad like so numerous other affluent Russians? Her eyes streak angrily.
Worried: Elena Perminova is anxious about indeed talking about her husband’s case
â€˜He wonâ€™t. This is his country what’s more, why ought to he go? What did he do off-base here? He has never done anything bad,â€™ she says indignantly.
â€˜Heâ€™s a man of standard what’s more, I appreciate him so much for this,â€™ she rapidly adds.
â€˜When we had our to begin with child, at that point the second, he progressed toward becoming a bit calmer,â€™ she says, alluding at a slant to Mr Lebedevâ€™s constant battle to uncover defilement in the cloudy Russian undergrowth that interfaces wrongdoing packs to twisted officials.
â€˜But he is exceptionally strong. He knows what he needs what’s more, what he has to do.
â€˜I get it that individuals say, â€œHe must get away from here â€“ thereâ€™s a danger for his family.â€ No one feels it like I do, accept me. I figure it out much more than most individuals what the dangers are. Yet he will not leave.â€™
Elena has more understanding than most into the workings of the Russian equity system. Indeed, had she not met Mr Lebedev, she might still be in jail herself after her to begin with genuine sweetheart â€“ twice her age â€“ constrained her to move toward becoming an happiness merchant from the age of 16. She was gotten what’s more, in 2007 condemned to six a long time in prison.
â€˜It was as it were much obliged to Sasha [her friendly name for Alexander]Â I wasnâ€™t sent to jail,â€™ she says.
Thanks to his intervention, her sentence was suspended as she had co-operated with police to trap a Mr Huge who had vile official protection.
The memory is agonizing what’s more, ElenaÂ is close to tears as she reviews how, as of now a well-known demonstrate in Siberia, she was captured in a sting operation. â€˜I was alone in the cell, this tiny press cage,â€™ she says.
â€˜There was a stinking can what’s more, no soap. I keep in mind I had messy hands from the fingerprinting, what’s more, I couldnâ€™t wash them.
â€˜There was an press bed cinched to the divider what’s more, floor, what’s more, 20 canines around the cage. I was so shocked.â€™
She chosen to offer assistance criminologists trap the drugs baron. This driven to a emotional police operation with covered up microphones, thousands of dollars secured in a extraordinary powder, what’s more, a astounding auto crash arranged to stop him escaping.Â
With the merchant arrested, a major supply chain dried up, what’s more, for ten days Elena was given full-scale equipped watches to secure her from his gang. Yet they lost intrigue and, in spite of gambling her life to move toward becoming an informer, she confronted prosecution.
Her father asked Mr Lebedev, at that point an MP, to help. â€˜He was a true legend for me â€“ somebody who flew in to spare me. My guardians could do nothing.â€™
Today, Elena is severely fair over her claim behaviour. â€˜I conferred such a appalling sin,â€™ she says. â€˜Only presently Iâ€™m a mother can I see this.
â€˜I am admitting presently to you that IÂ truly lament so much that I have done this. Presently I live a ordinary life withÂ wellness what’s more, health, Iâ€™m a profoundly family-orientated individual â€“ what’s more, I just canâ€™t envision myself in drugs.â€™
But her encounter has given her a clear understanding of the dangers her spouse faces. She is determined on what his foes are looking for to do, saying bluntly: â€˜I think the assignment is to wreck his business, destroy his notoriety in society what’s more, rebuff him too. Possibly jail, possibly something else.â€™
Poisoned: Previous KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, 43, imagined cleared out in great wellbeing what’s more, right amid his last hours, passed on in Concentrated Mind Unit of College School Clinic after radioactive polonium-210 was found in his body
Dressed calmly at home, where she cushions around her Russian home shoeless in vintage Levi pants andÂ a dark-blue Louis Vuitton top, she knows a few things are more vital than her jet-setting life. Â
â€˜I come from an common family,â€™ she says. â€˜I developed up with a basic way of life in Siberia. I have been with Sasha for eight years. Itâ€™s a agreeable life yet this is not in my veins, what’s more, I know what the vital things are.â€™
Despite her husbandâ€™s lawful problems, Elena has been in incredible request on the global design circuit â€“ what’s more, is presently solidly set up as a star of a select what’s more, chic Russian mold pack.
A top choice of Chanel what’s more, Dior, she has been shot at home by Karl Lagerfeld what’s more, was last month shortlisted for Marvelousness Russiaâ€™s Lady Of The Year title, which went to her friend, supermodel Natalia Vodianova.
Elena moreover gives numerous hours to philanthropy work, yet she demands that worldwide victory in the mold world implies nothing without family. â€˜Money doesnâ€™t mean dependability to me. Of course itâ€™s vital what’s more, good, be that as it may being close to your family is so much more important.
Death sentence: Russian extremely rich person Alexander Lebedev fears a imprison term would make him defenseless to assassination
â€˜I need my spouse to be with me, healthy, free what’s more, alive with our children, not in jail. In the event that Sasha does go inside, I will be holding up for him. We will keep battling to get him out. We are not going to give up. Heâ€™s a solid man. Be that as it may I canâ€™t envision how it will be for him inside there.
â€˜He continuously says thatâ€™s not the most unpleasant calamity that can happen to us .??.??. I concur that some place thereâ€™s a contract out on him.â€™
The conceivable thought process has driven to fevered hypothesis in Moscow: it could be Mr Lebedevâ€™s hard-hitting investigative Russian daily paper Novaya Gazeta â€“ which he co-owns with Mikhail Gorbachev â€“ has disturb somebody important. Or, on the other hand revengeÂ for his uncovering screwy merchants or, on the other hand burrowing into political murders that authorities lean toward not to solve.
Or it could be more unmistakably political â€“ his bolster for the most verbalize of all resistance politicians, Alexei Navalny, whom he facilitated on to the board of Aeroflot.
Meanwhile, there have been attacks by intensely armed, veiled policeÂ on his National Save B