Vice-Governor of Nizhny Novgorod owns undeclared €1.5mn helicopter, journalists say
The media accuse Deputy Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region Roman Antonov of corruption – the official owns a 1 ha country cottage, 'purchased' for 6 thousand rubles ($104), and a €1.5-million helicopter, which he uses for personal purposes.
The journalist, who wished to remain anonymous for his own security, has posted a video titled Roman Antonov: Corrupt relations and secret helicopter of Deputy Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region on the Youtube channel Pravdivaya Zhurnalistika ('Truthful Journalism'). The video received 620 thousand hits in four days.
The anonymous journalist accused the official of corruption and presented photo and video proof of his words in the video.
According to him, the anti-corruption investigation revealed an undeclared Eurocopter EC120-B Colibri worth €1.5 million in Antonov's possession. At the same time, the official uses the aircraft for personal purposes, including for flights to his country house. Meanwhile, experts estimate each flight on this helicopter at 200 thousand rubles ($3.4 thousand).
According to the journalist, the official uses the helicopter with serious safety violations. In particular, Antonov parks his aircraft in the courtyard of his house in a residential area of Nizhny Novgorod.
The media representative also pointed out to the fact the official has Lukomorye country house in the resort area on the shore of the Gorky reservoir. The total area of the site is 10,600 m², however, documents say Antonov has bought this house for 6 thousand rubles.
Active supporters of the above Youtube channel call to consider the video as an official appeal to law enforcement agencies and power institutions, asking the latter to give a legal assessment of the information presented and the official's actions.
As Federal Political Expert Vyacheslav Smirnov wrote on his Telegram channel, "it is high time to think about the legislative initiative to ban flights to certain categories of regional officials, so as not to incite hatred among citizens."
It is also noteworthy that information on the incomes of Deputy Governor Roman Antonov can be found in the public domain on the website of Government of the Nizhny Novgorod region. According to the declaration, he does not have a helicopter or a country cottage of 10 thousand square meters; his income for the last year amounted to only 2,702,229 rubles and 47 kopecks ($46.9 thousand).
In his declaration, the official indicated only 4 plots of land (with an area of 670 m², 850 m², 800 m², and 860 m², respectively), a house with a living area of 817 m², and a 20 m² garage. At the same time, no car is indicated in his declaration.
Video: Roman Antonov: Corrupt relations and secret helicopter of Deputy Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region