Large ‘division’: governor and head of Krasnoyarsk Region Accounting Chamber squabbling over forest?
The uncontrolled felling of Siberian forests has been talked about for a long time. It seems that the taiga has thinned so much that even the officials noticed it. The first to catch herself was the head of the Accounts Chamber of the Krasnoyarsk region, Tatyana Davydenko – an experienced pilot has a better view. Governor Aleksandr Uss was the next one to get alarmed. Although he does not fly, but he sits very high and, it turns out, he finds food in the forest. Now, not only forests are burning in the region, but political intrigues are also heating up. How will the conflict between Davydenko and Uss end: a criminal case for the auditor or the resignation of the governor?
Scandal in the noble government
The Krasnoyarsk region was engulfed in a crown fire. Not only the taiga flared up, as it usually happened, here a tip of a different kind — the entire regional government, headed by Governor Aleksandr Uss, is on fire. Tatyana Davydenko, the head of the Accounts Chamber of the region, became a troublemaker. Throughout the spring, the main Krasnoyarsk auditor reported on the terrible collapse in the forest industry. The April report was devoted to firefighting, or rather its complete absence in the province. Fire, as noted by auditors, carried away 1.6 million hectares of forest and 4 billion rubles ($63.3mln).
May statements, according to the established tradition, were the most stunning. This time, Davydenko turned to law enforcement agencies with data on 7 billion rubles ($110mln), that was not received by the budget from the investment projects that had been degenerated into profanation, although the timber in the Krasnoyarsk region is cut down to 47 billion rubles ($743.5mln) annually. And at the end of May, Davydenko completely criticized the regional forestry ministry, in fact accusing the entire ministry of making dubious deals and the complete disintegration of forest areas. Deputies and officials remained cold to the hot figures. However, it later turned out that this coldness was caused by Davydenko’s audacity.
Head of the government of the Krasnoyarsk region, Yury Lapshin and Minister of Forestry of the Krasnoyarsk region, Dmitry Maslodudov, took the allegations to heart, obviously believing that they were to blame for everything. Guilt was promoted by active assistance of the FSB to the auditors of the Accounts Chamber. It is difficult for one to answer for the whole ministry, and nobody really wanted to. The best defense known is to attack. Especially when you attack one person together. Therefore, Lapshin and Maslodudov asked the prosecutor Mikhail Savchin to comprehensively check the Accounts Chamber and Tatyana Davydenko herself. They asked to check the latter one on the subject of a conflict of interest with her daughter’s business. While Savchin was rehearsing an astonishment as if he was hearing about Davydenko’s daughter, her business and the phrase “conflict of interests” for the first time, the head of the Accounts Chamber made a knight's move. And the knight was a Trojan one.
The multi-profile journalist Andrey Karaulov, who combines a hatred for corruption, a love for security officials and a personal acquaintance with all of them at once, played the role of a Trojan horse. In the author's program, he listened as best he could to Davydenko. The head of the Accounts Chamber even managed to insert into the monologue the lead theses of the report, mention the prosecutor’s check and give a hint at threats. The latter was accompanied by the staging of "strong women cry too."
Bite on that
Karaulov's experienced eye saw in the female tears a reflection of the governor Uss. Recently, Karaulov has often seen Aleksandr Uss – the recent conversations with authoritative oligarch Anatoly Bykov, who was extremely concerned about the governor, have an effect. At some point, Bykov gets disappointed by all the governors of the region, but the “current” has become a “moment of truth.” And then there's the scandalous facts from Tatyana Davydenko. So Uss became the main opponent of Davydenko in the cautious formulations of Karaulov.
Video: Dialogue with Tatyana Davydenko, Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Krasnoyarsk region
Karaulov's interview with Tatyana Davydenko (part 1)
Siberia again picked up the exposing relay race. Krasnoyarsk Anti-Corruption Fund headquarters found the connection between Uss and the forest industry long before Andrey Karaulov chose the right words. And even before Davydenko presented her scandal-stirring reports. The connection was quite simple. Governor Aleksandr Uss had a countless amount of property. The palaces in Akulinino of Moscow region and Sochi, apartments on the most prestigious streets of the capital, from Prechistenka to Molochny Lane, and, of course, the manor’s estate in the pine forest of the Krasnoyarsk region. Plus, land, luxury cars and water transport. Everything's costs approximately 1.5 billion rubles ($23.7mln).
Video: Davydenko's report to Krasnoyarsk deputies
Reaction of the deputies
Owners of KrasnoyarskLesoMaterialy
An inconspicuous offshore owns a decent package of KrasnoyarskLesoMaterialy (KLM). The mother (25.9% in the company) and father's advisor Andrey Karpov (47.3%) help Artyom Uss understand the local specifics. KLM is called the leading woodworker of the region. Some kind of invisible hand was leading it – we will consider it the hand of the market. It gave the company loans and other preferences. Now the company is in the process of bankruptcy, but this is only a formal change of ownership. Production lives, axes knock, orderlies of forest cuttings are not asleep.
Is it any wonder that Aleksandr Uss was outraged by none of the figures in the audits of the Accounts Chamber? In principle, Davydenko should not have bothered even the FSB, conducting her calculations. She could go to the first lady and ask how are things in the forest? However, Tatyana Davydenko sees everything with her own eyes. As an avid aviator, she must have often seen thinning forests from a bird's eye view. By the way, it was this little hobby of the head of the Accounts Chamber that made the deputies doubt her care about the forest.
First of all, personal accounts
Here it is worth returning to the prosecutor's check of the Accounts Chamber, conducted at the request of the Krasnoyarsk Forest Minister Maslodudov. What conflict of interest did he recall there? But we are talking about the story that everyone in Krasnoyarsk knows. Tatyana Davydenko’s daughter is the co-owner of Aeroprom, the main “extinguisher” of all forest fires in the region. The company has a portfolio of contracts for 408 million rubles ($6.5mln). Aeroprom ousted the state-owned KrasAvia from its business niche long ago. In the Maslodudov's statement a malicious hint can be noticed - they say, the head of the Accounts Chamber guards her business. She does not have an “airbag” in the form of Sibugol affiliated with Uss. On the other hand, saving is a noble cause, even if we are talking about trees. Why be shy?
Karaulov's interview with Tatyana Davydenko (part 1)
However, Tatyana Davydenko does not want to share information on this topic. So, she did not open it to her confidant Karaulov either. She only said that her daughter became the director of Aeroprom after the death of its owner, Pyotr Shvetsov. And she immediately turned to the story of how the wives of poor lumberjacks called her. Maybe it is embarrassing for Davydenko that she checked the purchases of her competitors' subsidiaries under a magnifying glass, but did not touch the relative one? In the end, to see the “mote” of 9 non-alternative contracts in the eye of the regional KrasAvia and not to notice the “log” in the form of 39 contracts signed with Aeroprom, is not good for a truth-seeker auditor. How a “cadet” Maria Davydenko got not only in the directors, but also in the owners - is also a good question. True, only for those who are far from Krasnoyarsk. The Krasnoyarsk residents themselves have long considered Shvetsov to be the nominal owner, and they are sure that the head of the Accounts Chamber lacks such a quality as embarrassment.
Accounts Chamber's verification of tenders in the field of extinguishing forest fires
The flourishing of Aeroprom miraculously coincided with the transfer of Davydenko from Krasnoyarskstat to the Chamber of Accounts, that is, to the levers of financial control. Established in 2011, Vostok-Avia (ex-Aeroprom), from a company that did not own any aircraft, became a leading state contractor in two years. What helped is Davydenko’s involvement in the Khloponin's team, thanks to which the big business gave Vostok-Avia aircrafts for rent to the side with “how can we help you,” and the technical change of the stubborn director of KrasAvia. The new one was quicker and smarter – here he will not provide the whole package of documents for the tender, there he would miss the deadlines. State contracts went to Vostok-Avia. So the head of the Accounts Chamber could solve the problem of forest fires right at the kitchen table. And it is not necessary to dirty the paper, it is also made of wood.
The company felt completely untouchable and, in fact, it was. In 2014, Vostok-Avia submitted deliberately inaccurate information to the tender, which was the subject of a legal dispute with FAS. Despite the obviousness of this case and several judicial victories of FAS, Vostok-Avia sued the department in a parallel process. With great difficulty the FAS could recognize the state contract invalid.
Formally, Vostok-Avia was owned by Pyotr Shvetsov; informally, its owners were Tatyana Davydenko and the then Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Elena Vavilova. By the way, the latter’s problems with the law (she is also accused of machinations in the forest industry) were attributed to Davydenko’s hands. The reputation ahead of the head of the Accounts Chamber stated: “whoever goes against Tanechka will have problems!” Vavilova, on the other hand, had the imprudence to attack Vostok-Avia with criticism. The forests were all burning, and the planes broke down and refused to put them out. The minister had to maneuver between her own business and power. Perhaps that's what she paid her price.
Maria Davydenko (then Kedrinskaya) was also always there. She headed Aviation Technologies (AviaTech). Its co-owner was all the same Pyotr Shvetsov. Things at the company immediately improved. It is interesting that Kedrinskaya contributed to the registered capital of the company land plot No. 24:04:0101002:446, which by its standards was worth 2 million rubles ($31,600). This plot was given to Davydenko’s daughter by a certain Aleksandra Pleshkova.
On the plot of the agricultural land AviaTech developed a booming activity. However, before this, the plot with air speed was transferred to the category “lands of industry, energy, transport, communications, broadcasting, television, informatics, lands for space activities, lands of defense, security, and lands of other special purposes”. In 2015, the tax authorities found out that the cost of the plot was underestimated by 100 times and amounts to more than 218 million rubles ($3.5mln). The case was limited to the additional tax charge. Who and for what gives the daughter of the head of the Accounts Chamber hundreds of millions, is still unknown. But it is quite possible to find out.
Probably, deputy Lyudmila Magomedova hinted at such a development of events, saying that after the intervention of the siloviki "there will be no winners." However, not everyone is in a hurry to take the side of Governor Uss. Having learned from bitter experience and the fall of Viktor Tolokonsky, Elena Vavilova chose to take Davydenko’s side, calling Uss a “director of forest scandal”. As they say, bets are made – there are no bets anymore. And the taiga is also being cut down and burned.