How SK Balt-Stroy manages to stay in Kremlin?
In the last two years, the management of SK Balt-Stroy Limited Liability Company was involved into two criminal cases pertaining to embezzlements in the Ministry of Culture (Restorers’ case) and embezzlements during the construction of Vladimir Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogarevo. However, this hasn’t affected the company’s business affairs in any way. Governmental contracts with SK Balt-Stroy are extended on a regular basis. Structures affiliated with the company have been recently awarded a contract to restore the Kremlin towers. The CrimeRussia was figuring out why do the disreputable restorers still continue working in the Kremlin?
A few days before the New Year of 2015, the main Kremlin tower – Spasskaya – was covered by scaffolds of SK Balt-Stroy. At that time, Ivan Orynchuk, the director of the restoration project entitled “Clock and Towers of the Moscow Kremlin”, told the journalists what the clock on Spasskaya tower is going to do on the New Year’s Eve.
Later, in 2015, Orynchuk had presented that project of SK Balt-Stroy at the International Trade Fair for Preservation, Restoration and Museum Technology Denkmal Russia-Moscow.
In total, SK Balt-Stroy Limited Liability Company was involved into the repairs and restoration of six Moscow Kremlin towers in the period of 2014–2016. In the framework of a contract signed with Ateks Federal State Unitary Enterprise of the Federal Protection Service of the Russian Federation, the company had performed works in the Palace of Facets and Grand Kremlin Palace.
Palace of Facets
Grand Kremlin Palace
The construction company was supposed to receive one more contract to renovate the remaining unrestored Kremlin towers – but in March 2016, the court has remanded Dmitry Sergeev, General Director of SK Balt-Stroy, in custody in the framework of a criminal case pertaining to embezzlements committed by supreme functionaries of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.
According to the investigation, Dmitry Sergeev has secured, jointly with Aleksander Kochenov, SK Balt-Stroy Manager, a contract, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, to restore Novodevichy Convent. In April–December 2015, they have transferred 50 million rubles ($856.2 thousand) to the organization as a payment for allegedly performed works. The investigation believes that the works were overpriced.
In August 2017, Sergeev was found guilty in that case and sentenced to a conditional term – but the court has immediately detained him again in the framework of a case pertaining to the embezzlement of 227.5 million rubles ($3.9 million) committed during the construction of Vladimir Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogarevo. Andrei Kaminov, the General Director of Ateks Federal State Unitary Enterprise of the Federal Protection Service, and his former deputy Stanislav Kyuner were remanded in custody earlier – in March 2017.
Andrei Kaminov, General Director of Ateks, and Dmitry Sergeev, General Director of SK Balt-Stroy
SK Balt-Stroy & Co.
It became known in the end of summer that the project to restore and preserve the historical appearance of the Moscow Kremlin is to be completed by 2020. SK Balt-Stroy did not receive a new contract in the framework of this project – instead, the old contract signed with the company in 2014 has been extended, and in April 2017, the Military Unit 48405 of the Federal Protection Service of the Russian Federation provided additional 651.9 million rubles ($11.2 million). The governmental contract to restore the ten remaining Kremlin towers at a cost of 701.9 million rubles ($12 million) has been awarded to Peterburgsky Renessans (Petersburg Renaissance) Limited Liability Company. The Administration of Capital Construction of the Engineering and Technical Support Service of the Federal Protection Service of the Russian Federation acts as the customer. Under the contract terms, all works must be completed in December 2018.
It might seem that a new player has ousted SK Balt-Stroy from a large-scale governmental project. But the point is that, according to the Consolidated State Register of Legal Entities, Peterburgsky Renessans belongs to Ivan Orynchuk and Olga Svyatets (she also was involved into projects of SK Balt-Stroy).
Since 2011, SK Balt-Stroy was the general contractor in the restoration of the Voskresensky New Jerusalem Stavropegial Monastery in Istra. Above-mentioned Ivan Orynchuk was in charge of New Jerusalem Project, while Olga Svyatets was a section supervisor for painting.
Voskresensky New Jerusalem Stavropegial Monastery
Over 4 billion rubles ($68.5 million) have been allocated from the state budget for the restoration works in Istra; in 2008, the Charitable Fund for Restoration of the Voskresensky New Jerusalem Stavropegial Monastery has been established. Its expert board included Ivan Orynchuk, director of the project performed by SK Balt-Stroy, and company technologist Aleksander Svyatets – apparently, the father of Olga Svyatets, co-owner of Peterburgsky Renessans.
In addition to Peterburgsky Renessans, Orynchuk had one more enterprise – Peterburgsky Proekt (Petersburg Project) restoration and production company liquidated in 2016. Peterburgsky Proekt had participated in governmental tenders only once and lost to SK Balt-Stroy – this is how SK Balt-Stroy has got in 2014 a contract worth 5.5 million rubles ($94.2 thousand) to restore the house church in the main building of Mariinsky Hospital of St. Petersburg designated cultural heritage of federal significance.
Patron of SK Balt-Stroy
Sources link the cases pertaining to the restoration-related embezzlements in the Ministry of Culture and embezzlements committed during the construction of Putin’s residence with the name of influential businessman Dmitry Mikhalchenko who used to control the construction market of St. Petersburg. Mikhalchenko was nicknamed governor 24 hours – by analogy with Vladimir Kumarin, an authoritative businessman and leader of Tambovskie organized criminal group nicknamed night governor.
St. Petersburg oligarch Dmitry Mikhalchenko
SK Balt-Stroy and Stroykomplekt company involved into the Restorers’ case are parts of Forum Holding chaired by Mikhalchenko. According to Focus.kontur.ru, Forum Holding Company Joint Stock Company has been established in 2003 by the Executive Office of the Regional Public Fund for Support of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation and Foreign Intelligence Agency of the Russian Federation Autonomous Noncommercial Organization. Currently Forum belongs to Vladimir Rukinov.
In June 2017, Novaya Gazeta newspaper wrote that Rukinov had close ties with Evgeny Murov, the ex-Head of the FSB Directorate in St. Petersburg, offered in 2000 by newly-elected President Vladimir Putin to relocate to the Kremlin and become the Director of the Federal Protection Service. Evgeny Murov was in charge of the Federal Protection Service since 2000 and until 2016. Kremlin-related projects had been awarded to SK Balt-Stroy by the Federal Protection Service and its subordinate enterprise Ateks.
Evgeny Murov, ex-Head of the Federal Protection Service
has been arrested in March 2016 in the framework of an elite alcohol smuggling case. In September 2017, it became known that one third of the container terminal in Port Bronka belonging to Mikhalchenko has been transferred to Lyudmila Murova, spouse of Evgeny Murov, while general’s grandson Nikita Murov has been appointed to a supreme position in the company.
In any case, Dmitry Mikhalchenko still holds his influence, and SK Balt-Stroy continues receiving governmental contracts.