All behind-the-scenes host of Governor Golubev
Another political intrigue is nearing completion in the Don capital. This time it is all about election of local city manager. No one can name the exact reason of manager Sergey Gorban’s refusal to go on repeated term.
No one in Rostov believes that it was caused by the citizens’ regularly requirements of resignation of Gorban – the times, when someone listened to opinion of residents of Rostov have passed long ago. Perhaps, he felt some danger. It is known that security officers had a lot of complaints concerning Gorban. Most often it was about the forcible takeover of city property.
Persistent rumors, telling that Sergey Gorban returns to Moscow area to direct the Khimki district, were not confirmed. Moreover, it is likely he may leave to shade, until he settles his relations with the security forces, who have a lot of questions to him. Obviously, tough and ambitious Gorban did not leave the post of the Mayor of the largest city in the South of Russia voluntarily.
Photo: Sergey Gorban
Nobody was surprised, when the Minister of Transport of the region Vitaly Kushnarev close to the Governor Golubev, was designated on his place. Actually, cancellation of municipal elections in the region was also conceived for the purpose of manual control, when only necessary people from the Governor’s team were put on key posts. It is also known that Kushnarev is not only a member of the governor’s team, but also his relative. In December, 2015 the prosecutor of the Rostov Region Yury Baranov initiated against him administrative case over violations in the sphere of state procurements. The Ministry forgot to pay multimillion contracts to the companies, which were engaged in provision of transport services to the region. In 2015 contractors collected a penalty in the amount of 3,5 million rubles from the regional Ministry through court. According to Baranov, Kashnarev did not agree with the Prosecutor's Office idea of elimination of the violations, but he also did not appear for questioning. It is unknown how everything ended, however probable future city manager of Rostov-on-Don avoided the discharge from position, usual in such case.
Photo: Vitaly Kushnarev
The intrigue appeared when Victor Goncharov's figure occurred in the applicants list. He is not relative, but is connected with the governor business interests.
Nepotism in the Rostov authorities has long been no surprise. This was the case of the former Minister of Economic Affairs of the region Aleksander Levchenko. Right after Governor's elections Golubev declared resignation of frankly weak minister, but on next day returned him back. Local bloggers laughed at quickly changing decisions in personnel policy, suspecting that the governor was threatened by his native wife whose sister's relative, by hearsay, is Levchenko.
It is not the unique precedent. The regional Administration knew that the director of Fund of capital repairs Vladislav Kryukov was a nephew of the Minister of Housing Sergey Sidash and also a common-law husband of the Head of department of reforming of housing and public utilities Oksana Udodenko. Builders massively complained about unaffordable kickbacks for the receipt of orders for major repairs.
After a short break Sergey Sydash, leaving to the post of the adviser to the Governor, returned to the higher position of the Deputy Governor.
Meanwhile, Victor Goncharov is quite a different matter. In 2013 in the Rostov Region there was a scandal, which was followed by a reprimand to the Chairman of regional election committee Sergey Yusov and the requirement to strictly punish the officials responsible for elections to Regional legislative assembly. Under pressure of Moscow, to be exact of the Russian President Administration in January, 2014 Golubev had to dismiss Victor Goncharov (then the deputy) for the organization of mass falsifications on elections. Sergey Gorban after Goncharov's dismissal hinted journalists that he will still be engaged in elections. Such statement was apprehended as ignoring of opinion of Moscow.
What happened in this election, when the Rostov Region again became one of the at fault, confirmed that the lesson of three years ago had not been learned. This time Goncharov was also engaged in elections.
Photo: Victor Goncharov
Then motives of the Gorban’s public statement to journalists remained not clear. It was told in the regional Government, however, that form the very beginning of their joint work there was coolness between them. But the public opposition was not apparent, in the Rostov Region all is hidden under the carpet. Perhaps, Gorban set up then a future mine for the opponent. And the other day it became known that Goncharov withdrew his candidacy on a post of city manager of Rostov-on-Don.
This situation highlighted obvious and very unpleasant fact for the Rostov Region – personnel bench is almost empty, and it means that low-professional people will still come to key positions. It would have been all right, if it did not influence the city life.
The prosecutors want the former Russian Federation Council member to go to prison for 14 years instead of 9 and pay a 500-million-ruble ($8.8 million) fine instead of 70 million rubles ($1.2 million).