‘New Vasilieva’ battens at the expense of Defense Ministry
The ‘achievements’ of ‘unsinkable’ Evgenia Vasilieva became a thing of the past – so, the Ministry of Defense has found a worthy successor to her. Natalia Krasavtseva, Head of the Public Services Department, has been employed with the military for only a year – but she already ‘spent’ 1 billion rubles ($15.1 million) from the defense budget and paralyzed operations of an entire military unit.
Goddess of the hearth, home, and family
Amid the frosting in the Russian–American relations, cold weather has come to Russia. Ironically, but the military men were the first to feel this. Ostrov-3 (Island-3) military town is freezing in the Pskov region, while air force pilots live in dilapidated housing in Kubinka, Moscow region. According to the Ministry of Defense’s web site, the person responsible for its housing and utility sector is some Natalia Krasavtseva. She is in charge of the Department of Maintenance and Provision of Utilities for Military Units and Organizations. It is her responsibility to ensure that the military men enjoy blessings of civilization, including heated buildings, operating elevators, etc.
But Krasavtseva has no time for this – she is too busy renovating Military Unit № 14118 located in the Sergiev Posad district, not far from Abramovo township. The base is supposed to accommodate a scientific company repeatedly mentioned in the recent years by the President and Minister of Defense. The brain power of this scientific company will be used to develop Strategic Missile Forces Military Unit № 51105 also deployed near Abramovo. Furthermore, it turned out that Krasavtseva, who does not show much care about the heating, capital renovations, and other official duties, used to build this military unit prior to joining the governmental service – i.e. as a private businesswoman.
In fall 2015, some Vesta company belonging to Natalia Evgen’evna Pyataeva (future Krasavtseva) has won a tender to renovate a military base in Abramovo at a cost of 152 million rubles ($2.3 million). The victory of a company having a charter capital of 10 thousand rubles ($151) and no construction experience at a governmental tender carried out by the Ministry of Defense can be explained only by some divine intervention.
According to the contract signed on November 26, 2015, the military base had to be commissioned on a turnkey basis a month later. However, three years later, the construction site still resembles an Apocalypse. The unpreparedness of the contractor is offset by the readiness of soldiers and officers of the scientific company. The researchers in uniform trust figures – they have arrived at the base on time only to face renovation works ongoing at snail's pace and hospitable tents. Six months later, missilemen from Strategic Missile Forces Military Unit № 51105 have offered a shelter to the scientists. Instead of double rooms promised to them, contracted servicemen of the scientific company have to live in barracks of the missile forces unit.
Military Unit № 14118, summer 2018
In the meantime, Vesta has ‘spent’ some 50 million rubles ($757 thousand) and abandoned the construction site. Based on its photos, it seems that the company had never entered it. But everything depends on the point of view – specialists of the Chief Directorate for Troop Accommodations of the Ministry of Defense have signed the acceptance certificate without blushing in September 2018. The document indicates that the construction and installation works have commenced on January 18, 2016 – although the military unit was supposed to be commissioned back in the end of 2015.
Military Unit № 14118, summer 2018
In other words, it seems that the contractor has violated the terms of reference from the very beginning by failing to show up on the construction site in time – while the Chief Directorate for Troop Accommodations failed to notice this. In fact, the customer could not overlook the breaches of the schedule: according to the contract, Vesta was supposed to photograph the work progress on a weekly basis. Too bad, there were no photographers in the company having loyal fans in the Ministry of Defense. Despite the breaches of the contract, not only hasn’t the Chief Directorate for Troop Accommodations terminated the contract with Vesta – but instead awarded a couple of other contracts to it. The cost of one of such contracts – renovation of Vishnevsky Military Hospital – is 695 million rubles ($10.5 million), which is four times higher than the capital renovation of a military base near Sergiev Posad. By the way, the renovation was supposed to be completed last year – but it is still ongoing.
Magic session with disclosure
In 2017, Natalia Pyataeva decided to break with the past and started from troubled Vesta. A three-party agreement with the Chief Directorate for Troop Accommodations and twin company entitled Kompania Vesta and created by Krasavtseva shortly after winning the contract to renovate a military unit has been produced. According to the papers, the Chief Directorate for Troop Accommodations has to pay the new contractor additional 134 million rubles ($2 million). By that time, original Vesta – the recipient of multimillion advance payments – had a huge indebtedness. Construction workers on the site were ready to launch protest rallies. Individual entrepreneur Yuri Matasov was the initiator of the protests; according to him, the workers hired by Pyataeva had started works on the site long before the contract signing. Only the presence of numerous military men in Abramovo prevented protests. But overall, the situation was pretty unpleasant – and this has determined the fate of Vesta.
In May 2017, the company has filed a bankruptcy petition. This document unveils the secret of Vesta’s successes: there is no more Natalia Pyataeva in the company; instead of her, some Natalia Krasavtseva is among the debtors – and she is a full namesake of the Head of the Public Services Department of the Ministry of Defense. The creditors of Krasavtseva and her legal entity are mostly construction companies, including RSK Arsenal and Art Color retained as subcontractors for the capital renovation of Military Unit № 14118 in Abramovo.
The creditors are filing endless appeals – but the court cannot believe that the female official of the Ministry of Defense could embezzle funds from her own organization, especially taking that the total amount of contracts awarded to her twin companies (Kompania Vesta Limited Liability Company and Vesta Limited Liability) is almost 1 billion rubles ($15.1 million). The absence of her material interests is confirmed by the tax declaration filed by Krasavtseva for the year of 2017. The lady owns three apartments with living spaces of 80, 100, and 151 square meters and three parking spaces. The latter implies that she forgot to disclose a few vehicles.
Dame asks cavaliers for a dance
After scraping up a fortune, Natalia Pyataeva has happily married. Her darling is Oleg Krasavtsev, Deputy Head of the Directorate for the City of Moscow and Moscow Region of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation. In the past, Krasavtsev was in charge of the FSB Border Guard Directorate for the Republic of Karelia. According to some information, Krasavtseva acquired the apartment with a living space of 151 square meters after the wedding and it, in fact, belongs to her husband.
Shortly after that, Krasavtseva has been offered to take charge of the Department of Maintenance and Provision of Utilities for Military Units and Organizations. Inspired by her recent marriage, the lady accepted the offer. The Ministry of Defense highly appreciates the extensive management experience of Krasavtseva – although, out of the 23 years of experience attributed to her, only the last 4 years can be verified.
Her achievements include several failed military construction projects and disruption of operations of a military company. This sounds like a sentence of a court martial – not a biography of a governmental official. Apparently, the Ministry of Defense appreciated the sabotage potential of the former business lady and assigned her to finish off the ailing housing and utility sector. It must be noted that the skyrocketing career of Natalia Krasavtseva is credited not to her husband – but to the appointment of Timur Ivanov a Deputy Minister of Defense.
Ivanov was personally responsible for the capital renovation of Military Unit № 14118 assigned to Krasavtseva. It is commonly known that Ivanov never had any material interest in shady schemes – family celebrations in the Imperial Yacht Club and income declarations indicating that Ivanov is the wealthiest functionary of the Ministry of Defense confirm this. However, it is hard to escape similarities with the ‘Oboronservis case’. Krasavtseva has already married – so, to make the resemblance perfect, one more billion rubles ($15.1 million) have to disappear.