Russian Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack planes fly in formation over the Red Square during the Victory Day parade in Moscow.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Leviev Group, the umbrella organization for the numerous businesses and charities owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, on Wednesday denied suggestions that a man being referred to by some media channels as his son was behind the wheel during a 200-kph car crash in Moscow last Friday.
“We hereby express our deepest astonishment and outrage at the fact that the leading Israeli and world media published false and blatantly unfounded reports regarding the alleged involvement of the prominent businessman, Mr. Lev Leviev’s son, in a severe car accident in Russia and his subsequent leaving of the scene of the accident,” the group’s representative said in a statement provided to The Jerusalem Post.
Reports emerging from Russia in recent days have suggested that Thomas Leviev, a student at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations, age 18, was the son of Lev Leviev.
According to an article in the Moskovskij Komsomolets newspaper published on Tuesday, Thomas Leviev was at the helm of a Ferrari worth 13 million rubles (NIS 800,000) when it crashed on the Crimean Bridge in Moscow, while he was taking part in a car race.
Initial Russian law enforcement agency reports quoted by the Interfax news agency indicated a possible connection between Thomas Leviev and Lev Leviev. These allegations were subsequently denied by the Leviev Group, and noted in a subsequent article published by Interfax.
The Leviev Group, in a separate comment to the Post, specified that Lev Leviev “does not have a son called Thomas.”
Speaking to the Post, Andrei Siliantiez, vice rector for International and Public Affairs at the university that Thomas Leviev attended, revealed that he had a difficult track record as a student, entering in autumn 2014 before being expelled after failing his exams in March 2015. He reentered the university in September 2015, and remains a student there pending the verdict from Russian authorities on the causes of the car crash.
Commenting on the possibility of there being any connection between Thomas Leviev and Lev Leviev, Silantiez said: “I cannot confirm or deny that Lev Leviev is his father. We know that his father is a businessman, but do not possess specific information beyond this.”