One hundred square meters for the Speaker
"A dacha is a place for your own pleasure," Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg (ZakS) Vyacheslav Makarov once said. Today, this expression sounds special. The northern capital finds itself in the center of the scandal. The ground for the scandal is three state dachas in the village of Solnechnoe, which the Speaker rented on a par with large families, disabled people, and veterans of the Second World War.
You can write a whole volume of journalistic essays about the love of Vyacheslav Makarov to real estate objects, but today we will talk about cottages. Not many people know that Vyacheslav Makarov is an ardent admirer of suburban rest. Four years ago, in 2014, he even devoted his speech to this topic at the Day of the Summer in the Petrogradsky district of St. Petersburg during a small rally. Opening the event, the politician stated that "the dacha means much more than a country house with a plot. It is a way of life and a place for your own pleasure, which provides nutriment to creativity." And he called to popularize dacha movement among the citizens of St. Petersburg.
Today the Speaker of the ZakS of St.Petersburg has brought his dream to life. A recent investigation by Novaya Gazeta journalists showed that a person with a similar name, surname, and patronymic rented three cottages of a privileged category for three years from the state, along with veterans, Chernobyl liquidators, and another socially disadvantaged group.
St. Petersburg Kurortny district
The allocation of state dachas in Kurortny district is an old Leningrad tradition. It is regulated by the law "On State Dacha Maintenance of Citizens of Preferential Categories" No. 170-14. The bulk of such cottages is located along the shore of the Gulf of Finland (Lake Krasnoe, Zelenogorsk, Komarovo, Repino, Solnechnoe).
In Soviet times, veterans of the Great Patriotic War, a family of military and scientific workers could rent a room or two in a typical wooden house with a common kitchen and a veranda for a few years. They form entire settlements; this is a Soviet way of country life with knitted tablecloths and tea parties in the evenings. Now there are few such settlements, and only privileged categories have the right to live in the state dacha for at least a year.
According to the Committee on Social Policy, the 2015 preferential program includes about 1747 premises for 1613 preferential tenants. 1834 apartments are considered as preferential dachas in 2016-2019.
According to the extract from the Unified State Register of Taxpayers, Vyacheslav Serafimovich Makarov became one of the happy tenants of three small houses. It is unknown why not a poor and socially disadvantaged statesman needed dachas. Maybe he decided to follow his speech rendered at the Day of the Summer and purchase a few hundred square meters to "raise the prestige of summer residents who grow ecological products for their families on the plots." It is possible. After all, Vyacheslav Serafimovich Makarov is a happy tenant of another elite summer cottage, in the same Solnechny, at 1, Leningradskaya Street.
Photos - Elena Lukyanova / Novaya Gazeta
Our colleagues, who found this story among the beds, believe that the matter concerns the land, as, according to the photo, the rented site was already fenced and the houses are demolished.
The Chairman of the St. Petersburg parliament has special relations to land. So, during the scandal that broke up between citizens and the state over the transfer of St. Isaac's Cathedral, Vyacheslav Makarov showed enviable persistence and continuously repeated that the cathedral should be reversed as soon as possible. Such zeal hit journalists' attention, and the Speaker became a favorite object of slander and jokes. He owns the ascetic dwelling on Kamenny Island, on the 2nd Berezovaya Street. This is a two-level apartment on the territory of the engineer Schwarz’s former summer residence. As the media wrote, Vyacheslav Makarov's mother-in-law Tatiana Selegen’ cooks her favorite dishes on the first floor in a neat apron. She owns a small mansion restored in the style of Art Nouveau (the drawings of architect Vasily Schöne, XIX century). By the way, only VIP-people can live on the island. Here the cottages and residences of the government employees are located.
We can state that the idea of the Speaker of the Parliament to popularize the country holiday movement among the citizens of St. Petersburg is moving ahead in broad strides. After all, at such cottages, as Makarov said, "you can raise healthy children, thanks to crops."
We know nothing about the gathers of Makarov, but they live high.
As the media often write, the Speaker appoints his relatives to high-paid posts. For example, his brother Nikolay Makarov holds the post of deputy director of the state Garden Enterprise Central JSC. Makarov’s family love the native land, but Makarov himself prefers to visit Cyprus to chill.
The cottages are the significant part of the Chairman of the St. Petersburg Parliament. Vyacheslav Makarov considered articles as another round of confrontation with Governor of the city Georgy Poltavchenko and an attempt to fire him from the Speaker’s post.
The story with three houses resulted in a scandal, and today the Head of Parliament hastily refused the rent, saying that he leased the houses exclusively for the benefit of future leaseholders.
At the last briefing, Makarov said that he rented houses at a commercial price, and intended to restore them for the benefit of future tenants. But suddenly changed his mind, because after the repair he would have to pay an even more significant amount. In the end, the Speaker called these houses “the chicken coops.”
Solnechnoe - Ollila originated in 1906 on the land of the village of Kuokkala after the construction of a railway station. The station was built at the expense of wealthy Finnish entrepreneur Olaf (Olli) Ulberg, in whose honor the station and the surrounding area were named.
So, he waits for the legislation to change so that people could reconstruct these houses, and then rent them to the same. But few people believed him because the land plot in the area of 13 acres with no buildings is sold for 1.85 million rubles ($29.100). On the same Nagornaya Street, where the three houses of Speaker Makarov are located, a plot of land with a house and communications costs 18 million 500 thousand rubles ($290.800). After all, this is the same golden land in the resort area of St. Petersburg with its unique microclimate.
The Kurortny district was named Kurortny, as a special microclimate on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, among the pine forests and clear lakes, evolved; it aids recovery for patients with lung and bronchial diseases. Most of the sanatoriums, dispensaries and medical institutions of the city are located there.
This investigation results in nothing for sure. 1967 frame-and-panel houses are in tatters. They cannot be sold - this is the property of the State Dacha Fund. City authorities may recognize them emergency and just demolish. But the land is on the balance of the city, so the authorities may put up land plots for an auction and sell at a minimum price. And the people of interest will buy it.
As we know, the state bidding is a vanity fair. Thus, when all veterans will pass away, mansions of VIP-people will be erected there, including Makarov’s apartments.
Last week, the entire world has celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Internet. In the meantime, the Russian legislators have adopted new laws restricting the development of the Russian-speaking segment of the world wide web. The 'fake news' and 'internet insults' laws adopted under the pretext of protecting the society from manipulations and threat, including external ones, violate the Constitution and some federal laws in relation to the right to search for, obtain, and use information. Furthermore, the bill on ‘sovereign Internet’ passed in the first reading by the State Duma leads us directly to self-isolation.