Career of Simferopol Head: from common fund keeper to Mayor
Crimea faces storm again. Sergey Aksenov may lose his post. Perhaps, he decided to play it safe and arrange a public scandal – his appointee to the Head of the Simferopol administration post. It is believed that Igor Lukashev and his seven deputies were allegedly dismissed due to the significant number of complaints from citizens about the traffic collapse, the poor state of road maintenance and cleaning of the city. The CrimeRussia tries to find out the real reason for the resignation of the Simferopol administration.
When dismissing Igor Lukashev, Sergey Aksenov assured that he “tried to improve the situation in the city, but his lack of experience did not allow him to show effective work,” and noted that the official “did not have any issues related to any corrupt or deliberate actions.
Sergey Aksenov and Igor Lukashev
Lukashev, according to Aksenov, admitted his mistakes with “great dignity,” and would continue to work in power structures in the future. In other words, after arranging a public 'flogging,' the head of the Crimea is not going to say goodbye to his protege, who may occupy a decent post once again.
Does the official fail?
In the meantime, ex-vice-speaker of the Crimean parliament Natalya Malenko became the acting head of the Simferopol administration. She has headed the executive authority of the Crimean capital, and the December competition will only be a confirmation of this personnel decision.
But let us return to Igor Lukashev, who became the Mayor of Simferopol with the direct support of Sergey Aksenov: then the Simferopol city council almost unanimously (29 votes out of 30) voted for him. Despite the fact that there was a choice: 10 people submitted applications for an open competition. Thus, Lukashev became the second Mayor of the Crimean capital appointed by Aksenov: Aksenov's previous henchman, Gennady Bakharev, was detained by security forces on May 3, 2018, on charges of Abuse of Official Powers, resulting in serious consequences (part 3 of Article 285).
According to the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Republic of Crimea, the ex-official transferred a land plot owned by the municipality with a total area of about 5000 m² with real estate objects located on it to one of the commercial organizations for use. Bakharev faces up to 10 years in prison; he is under a written undertaking not to leave the place.
It is worth noting that, against the background of the incompetent reconstruction of the center of Simferopol in March 2017, Gennady Bakharev awarded himself a bonus of 50% of salary, which caused an uproar among the local public. And Igor Lukashev oversaw the reconstruction of the center of Simferopol, for which Bakharev was scolded.
“Some media outlets reported that Lukashev is the henchman of Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Nakhlupin arrested on October 18 in Moscow on suspicion of corruption. So, he fell under the “administrative terror” of Aksenov. This statement is false because Nakhlupin enters Aksenov’s inner circle. However, it is possible that Lukashev may appear in the testimony of Nakhlupin.
Therefore, Aksenov, realizing that they are trying to get close to him from all sides, hastily dismissed him, informing that he is leaving because of the lack of a manager's experience. But he appointed Lukashev to the post of the Mayor of Simferopol a year ago. By the way, it is known that Aksenov and Lukashev had the experience of joint “friendship” back in the 90s,” a source close to the mayor’s office of Simferopol told The CrimeRussia.
Lukash kept Salem's common fund
Igor Lukashev became a deputy of the Simferopol City Council in 1996, together with his bros - brothers Oleg and Valery Lyubich, Sergey Voronkov (Voronok), Sergey Mishak (Kryvonozhka) and Alexander Vishnyakov (Vishnya). His official biography says that he worked "in the commercial structures" of the Crimea from 1990 to 2002, in particular, Chair, Scania, Interkontbank, Cardinal, Planeta, the Flamingo restaurant, the Falstaff bar, and also Summit, where almost all the Salem gang top criminals were listed. Thus, in the period 1992-1998, Lukashev was the director general of the Summit JV, the founders of which were members of Salem, headed by Voronkov. In the early 1990s, Krymnefteprodukt, together with the Salem group of organized crime groups, gained control over all oil depots of the Crimea.
It is worth emphasizing that the name of the organized crime group Salem was derived from the name of a multidisciplinary cooperative that became the 'roof' for the Crimean criminals, united around the criminal authority nicknamed Gunya (Vladimir Guzhev, went missing in the late 80s after a series of attempts). In the mid-90s, Salem became the most powerful criminal clan on the peninsula, numbering up to 1200 fighters. The Salem gang smashed Greki and Bashmaki gangs, becoming the first gang on the peninsula. According to the Interior Ministry, 44 active members and leader of the Salem organized criminal group were elected to local councils in 1995: Sergey Mishak, Alexander Vishnyakov (both killed in 1995), Sergey Voronkov (twice convicted), Alexander Kalyus (wanted), brothers Oleg Lyubich and Valery Lyubich (died in 1996), Sergey Galitsky (killed in 2004) and others. The city councils of Yalta, Yevpatoria, Simferopol, and Kerch became the stronghold of the criminal community.
Igor Mikhailovich Lukashev is listed one of its leaders, in particular, a cashier, in operational reports on the Salem gang. On July 28, 1999, Lukashev was detained by the Main Directorate of the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Crimea in accordance with Art. 115 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine for committing a crime, part 3 of Art. 144 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Extortion, criminal case No. 14.03.47). This case, for unknown reasons, did not reach the court.
Lukashev is considered to be a partner of a large Russian organized crime group Solntsevskaya in the Crimea, and he bears the nicknames Lukash and Igor Karate. He is listed on the board of the kickboxing federation of Crimea. Episodes of the Salem in the biography of the ex-Mayor of the Crimean capital:
Salem in power
Gennady Moskal, the Head of the State Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Crimea (1997-2000, August-December 2009, now the head of the Transcarpathian Regional Administration of Ukraine), stated the following in 2009: “Some Crimean deputies are current members of criminal gangs and criminal authorities. Among them, there are Alexander Melnik, Igor Lukashev and Nikolay Kotlyarevsky. I addressed the President, the Prime-Minister and the head of the Verkhovna Rada.”
Alexander Melnik is one of the leaders of the Salem organized crime group. He is suspected of the organization of the murders of three entrepreneurs in Saki in 1996, the explosion of the office of Simferopol firm Iceberg.
It is known that already being the deputy of the Supreme Council of Crimea from the Party of Regions, Melnik was detained on September 29, 2006 at the request of the then Minister of the Interior of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, but was released on October 2 and quickly left Ukraine, where he returned their political activities.
Nikolay Kotlyarevsky (nicknames Kotleta and Kolya the Killer) is the ex-deputy of the Crimean parliament of three convocations. In the period 1992-1998, he was a member of the Crimean organized crime group Yukhnenko, where he was engaged in murder, extortion, robbery, and fraud.
After being shot in February 1997 in the Saki military sanatorium, Kotlyarevsky survived and was elected as deputy to his cousin Vladimir Kuzin, who led the Salem gang in Evpatoria and the Saki district. Becoming the deputy of the Supreme Council of Crimea, he continued to monitor the activities of criminal groups of the North-Western region of the peninsula.
Gennady Babenko, who served as the Mayor of Simferopol in 2006–2009, was a protege of Melnik, Lukashev, and Kotlyarevsky. All of them did not take into account Sergey Aksenov: despite the fact that in the 90s he was a rather active fighter, he did not reach any special authority among the lads.
However, the relations of Melnik, Lukashev, and Aksenov became warmer in 2009. After his appointment to the post of the Head of Crimea, Aksenov, appointed people with criminal past to positions. And now many of them are arrested on charges of malfeasance or dismissed by Aksenov - because the head of the Crimea has to take care of his reputation.
Let's recall the recent history of the ex-Mayor of Yalta, Andrey Rostenko, about whom The CrimeRussia has repeatedly written. A friend and adviser to Aksenov, a native of the Greki organized crime group, who later joined the ranks of Salem participants, was arrested by the Moscow Basmanny Court in May on charges of Exceeding Official Powers (part 1 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Released on Aksenov’s petition, he was appointed a member of the Coordination Regional Headquarters for the implementation of the Federal Target Program (FTP) for the development of Crimea and Sevastopol.
Melya in 1996
“Personnel resolves everything, but such people have to be selected. The result of such management of the Crimea infrastructure is obvious - personnel reshuffle, a lot of criminal cases, the main social and economic programs failed. The Crimean society faces discontent. “So maybe, it would be necessary to have Aksenov on the way out?” Vadim Mordashov, the deputy of the Supreme Council of Crimea of the first convocation, comments on the current situation.
"Surprises" from Moscow
It is becoming increasingly difficult for Sergey Aksenov to change the flea mark to secure his tenure as Head of the Crimea. So, at the end of October 2018, Sergey Karpov, the native of St. Petersburg, was appointed the Head of the Ministry of Transport of the Crimea. Moscow supported him. Before Karpov, the department was headed by Yuri Ovsyannikov, who quit voluntarily after four months of work. Earlier, the Ministry was headed by Igor Zakharov, Andrey Bezsalov, Anatoly Volkov, Anatoly Tsurkin and Yury Shevchenko - all appointed by Aksenov.
A few days ago, a new leader was presented to the staff of the FSB in the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol: Lieutenant General Leonid Mikhailyuk was appointed to this position by presidential decree. It is worth noting that in just one year of work in the above-mentioned area, FSB operatives under Mikhailiuk covered the cell of the Islamic Jihad-Jamaat organization, which was banned in Russia, recruiting terrorists, eliminated a criminal group illegally issuing passports to foreigners, detained several large quantities of drugs and weapons, denounced a group of neo-Nazis and detained Igor Rudnikov, the deputy of the Kaliningrad Oblast Duma, for extortion.
The work in the Crimea is an excellent end for Lieutenant General Leonid Mikhailuk since the Salem has turned the peninsula into the most corrupt region of Russia, where the gangster notions of the 90s still exist. And Sergey Aksenov is ready to tie up loose ends, perceiving signals from above, which may well be the last for the Head of the Republic.