‘Effective authorities’ in Moscow suburbs: Where do budget funds go?
Early in 2017, “My Lobby” Program – a personal initiative of Andrei Vorobiev, Governor of the Moscow region – has been launched in the metropolitan area. In the framework of this program, lobbies of residential buildings must be brought to statutory condition as soon as possible. The goals have been set, objectives identified, and funds allocated. The CrimeRussia has reviewed the program implementation in Khimki Urban District and calculated the budget funds flowing away in an unknown direction thanks to actions of the Khimki officials and personally Dmitry Voloshin, Head of the Urban District.
According to the official information, some 800 lobbies should be renovated in Khimki in the framework of the Governor’s program at the cost of some 144 million rubles ($2.4 million) allocated from the regional and municipal budget – i.e. it is planned to spend roughly 200 thousand rubles ($3363) on each lobby. The Khimki Administration is actively reporting the successful implementation of the program by posting a map and list of addresses where the renovations have allegedly been completed on Dobrodel web portal. However, auditors of the State Residential Inspection believe that the renovations have been performed only on paper. Aleksander Smirnov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Budget, Financial, and Tax Policy of the Moscow Regional Duma, has confirmed this: “the facts indicating poor quality of renovation of lobbies in the town of Khimki have been confirmed through personal inspections and meetings with representatives of the State Residential Inspection”.
The tremendous fraud has been uncovered in the course of an inspection of several dozens of buildings. For instance, the home located at 28 Akademika Grushina street was officially listed among the renovated ones.
A ‘renovated’ lobby in Khimki
According to The CrimeRussia sources, such a picture is pretty common in Khimki: the renovators either haven’t touched the lobbies at all or just put another layer of paint on the walls.
The Municipal Administration of Khimki demonstrates much more interesting math: the officials decided to renovate three offices and the entrance space at the cost of 7.5 million rubles ($126.1 thousand).
According to the official information published on the governmental acquisitions web site, it is intended to spend 3.3 million rubles ($55.5 thousand) to renovate offices №№ 304, 305, and 306 located in the building at 4 Kalinina street, Khimki and used by the Executive Office of the Administration Municipal Budgetary Institution. Additional 4.1 million rubles ($68.9 thousand) have been allocated to renovate the entrance space in the Administration building. We were unable to obtain photos of these offices, but according to people who were there, the premises do not require renovations. However, a photo of the entrance space is available, and it is obvious that spending several million rubles on its ‘improvement’ could be legally defined as “an inappropriate wasteful spending of budget funds”.
Khimki officials intend to spend over 4 million rubles on this glass entrance
According to the same governmental acquisitions web site, a month ago, some 500 thousand rubles ($8.4 thousand) have been allocated for “floristic improvement” (purchase of 3.4 thousand natural flowers – roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, etc.) of the Municipal Administration. And this is not the first ‘weird’ acquisition made by the Khimki Administration: in August 2017, a tender to purchase items with “Khimki U.D.” logo for the total amount of almost 2.5 million rubles ($42 thousand) has been posted on the governmental acquisitions web site. The list of items included 1190 umbrellas at the cost of 1.428 million rubles ($24 thousand), 350 plaids – 332 thousand rubles ($5582), 365 thermocups – 292 thousand rubles ($4909), 400 paper bags – 40 thousand rubles ($673), and 350 thermos jugs – 367.5 thousand rubles ($6179). All these purchases have been made in the framework of the program “Effective Authorities of the Town of Khimki”.
In addition, in September 2017, in celebration of the Town Day, subordinates made a gift to Khimki Mayor Dmitry Voloshin. “Establish, since September 9, 2017, a salary supplement for work with classified data for Dmitry Vladimirovich Voloshin, Head of Khimki Urban District of the Moscow Region, in the amount of 50% of the salary,” – states the document submitted to Aleksander Dryannov, Chairman of the Council of Deputies of Khimki Urban District.
Of course, it is great that the Mayor has finally passed security clearance. Unfortunately, his earlier income declarations cannot be found in open sources. But according to the income and asset declaration for the year of 2016 published on the Municipal Administration web site, he has earned in the last year slightly more than 3.2 million rubles ($53.8 thousand) – i.e. his monthly salary was some 260 thousand rubles ($4371). Up until September 2016, Voloshin was the First Deputy Head of the Khimki Administration, so it is logical to assume that in his new Mayor’s capacity, his salary has increased – and then another 50% raise! By the way, according to the local press, in May 2017, Voloshin has got a longevity increment for the years spent at the municipal service.
Khimki Mayor Dmitry Voloshin at a municipal festival. Why not to dance?
By the way, the sad reality is as follows: the municipal budget of Khimki does not have enough funds to cover heat and hydro in schools and kindergartens. The urban district is encumbered with a half-billion-ruble loan, and its budget is falling apart. Forecasts for the upcoming fiscal year are discouraging as well.
“The budget for the year of 2018 has been drawn up in a way that no positive trends could be expected from its implementation. Its approval would again consolidate all the funds of the urban district in the hands of one person – Natalia Gur’eva, the Head of the Financial Department of the Municipal Administration. This raises a question: is it possible to entrust the municipal finances to a person who managed to dissipate all the funds saved for many years in a short time, thus, putting the urban district into debt pit – and it is totally unclear how to get out of it? How is it possible to entrust drawing up the budget to people making all the industries wailing?” – Andrei Zaitsev, Deputy of the Khimki Urban District Council, asks.
We have found out, however, that at least two industries in Khimki don’t wail: some of their representatives operate in full harmony with the local authorities. According to the available information, some 200 apartment buildings may soon be transferred for management from DEZ ZhKU (local housing maintenance offices for housing and communal services) to Zhilekspert Limited Liability Company controlled by notorious garage raider Aleksander Kupchin. Tsenturion (Centurion) Limited Liability Company also belonging to Kupchin – who, according to the sources, is currently hiding abroad – already manages over 20 high-rise buildings.
Khimki residents claim that this management company has been imposed upon them by the Municipal Administration; it is impossible to get rid of it because all the methods from the ‘turbulent 1990s’ are used: powerfully built young men use the raiders’ arsenal – fists, sledgehammers, and traumatic guns – to break the doors and block dispatching offices of the legitimately elected management company.
Garage raider Aleksander Kupchin has reportedly fled Russia
Tsenturion personnel put pressure upon the residents and make it plain that they are supported by the administrative resource and no other company would ever operate there. The bros are impertinent; they send to consumers unsigned notifications of allegedly incurred arrears to Tsenturion from email@example.com mailbox. According to The CrimeRussia sources, Tsenturion Management Company (former Stolitsa (Capital) Management Company) had earlier operated in the town of Shelkovo of the Moscow region with support of the local administration. The outraged residents managed to ‘evict’ the company – and now it has settled in Khimki.
The CrimeRussia already wrote about the ‘formula for success’ used by Aleksander Kupchin in Khimki. In spring 2017, Dmitry Alekseevich Kaigorodov became a Deputy Head of the Urban District. Kaigorodov has ties with structures belonging to Kupchin – he used to work in Tsenturion, Temir Trans Group, and Zhilekspert.
It is necessary to note that in October 2017, the Administration in the Moscow region of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation has ruled that the residential property management preferences provided by the Khimki Administration violate the antimonopoly legislation. But the things haven't budged an inch.
Dmitry Kaigorodov, Deputy Head of Khimki Urban District
In addition, the Khimky authorities have excellent business relations with developers, including Stroygrup Limited Liability Company. Back in 2016, the Arbitrazh Court has prohibited the construction of high-rise buildings in this urban district because the noise from aircraft taking off and landing in adjacent Sheremetyevo district exceeds the maximum permissible level manifold.
However, in early August 2017, the Ministry of Construction Complex of the Moscow region has issued a permit to demolish a park in Skhodnya micro-district and erect a high-rise building there. Residents of the micro-district had even addressed Vladimir Putin asking to protect their rights. In mid-October, Dmitry Voloshin has promised the people that the land owner – Stroygrup Limited Liability Company – won’t get a cutting permit. But contrary to the Mayor’s promise, the developer has illegally obtained the permit. Thus far, the builders attempt to cut down the trees on a regular basis and encounter active resistance of the residents. Recently Andrei Vorobiev has dismissed Sergei Pakhomov, the Minister of Construction Complex of the Moscow region, – reportedly, the reason behind this termination was the scandal in Khimki.
After scaring Dagestan with inspections, arrests, and searches, the interdepartmental commission of the Prosecutor General’s Office and ICR has identified key priorities for the regional watchdog authority. After the crackdown on the old clan-based system, the management reforms became more constructive – however, another wave of criminal cases, terminations, and arrests is expected in the republic. The CrimeRussia was figuring out what other Dagestani officials are currently at risk.