Internal enemy. Who is responsible for the poisoning of Ulyanovsk cadets? 

Internal enemy. Who is responsible for the poisoning of Ulyanovsk cadets?
The situation in the Ministry of Defense becomes literally unhealthy Photo: The CrimeRussia

Echinococcosis is a disease of spontaneous slaughterhouses, illegal catering and, oddly enough, an elite military school in Russia. 26 students of the Ulyanovsk Suvorov School were found to have the severe helminthic invasion at the same time. The school's management advised the boys to forget about their military career and was engaged in saving their own. While doctors are minimizing the danger of the disease, the officers exaggerate its causes. Enemy sabotage has already become their favorite version. And most likely one will have to look for the enemy in their own ranks.

Diagnosis for the Ministry of Defense

The situation in the Ministry of Defense becomes frankly unhealthy. Until recently, the main disease of the department was corruption. Now the history includes a much more serious disease. On January 28th, the cadets of the graduation school at the Suvorov school in Ulyanovsk were detected to have echinococcosis. The number of sick students is still unknown for sure – even the official figures vary from 25 to 27 cadets. Now all students and staff of the Ulyanovsk School are examined. According to some information, more than a dozen people can fill up the list of cases. Confidently only one thing can be said: the institution’s reputation is being saved more vigorously than the health of children.

Faced with echinococcosis, the military doctors rushed to study not medical encyclopedias, but a dictionary of military terms. And stopped at the word "misinformation." Hastily, the learned knowledge was immediately put into practice, and on February 4, a representative of the school, who reasonably had not identified himself, said that the treatment of the cadets "involves taking a few pills." And then he added: "The disease <...> is not related to the organization of the food intake at the school and the living conditions." To understand the medical cynicism of these words, it is enough to look at the data of the World Health Organization (WHO), which refutes every word of the leaders of the Suvorov School. 


Echinococcosis is an infection of the body with tapeworms (echinococcus). Characterized by the formation of cysts in the organs and tissues of man. Most often, worms affect the liver (75% of cases), lungs (from 5% to 15% of cases), as well as the brain, spleen and other organs. Echinococcosis is most common in countries in Africa, Asia and South America, but even there the incidence does not exceed 10% of the population.

According to the WHO, the main route of transmission of worms is precisely the use of food contaminated with parasite eggs. And only the second way of receiving the infection is the direct contact of a person with a sick animal. The main carrier of the parasite are dogs, but sheep, goats and cattle can be intermediate "hosts." Infection from person to person is impossible.

Echinococcosis requires a long and expensive treatment. Detected cysts are surgically removed, and subsequent anti-relapse treatment can last a lifetime. Not so long ago, the clinical prognosis of the disease was exactly the same as that of oncology. Now most patients manage to save lives, which does not negate the high risk of disability.

Dog training

It was cysts in the lungs of the cadets that made it possible to identify a disease that may be asymptomatic for years. Not “a few pills”, but rather complicated operations and possible disability await each of these boys. The leadership of the school has already advised the cadets to forget about their military career and, it seems, immediately forgot about them. We don’t even consider fighting losses, is it worth holding attention to broken children's destinies? And the brave officers switched to the usual search for the guilty.


Larvae echinococcosis

There was no time to think and read medical textbooks. Without much hesitation it was decide to blame the dogs. However, strategists in uniform cannot yet come up with an idea of how the dogs entered the school, where, as they explained to us, everything is in perfect order with food and living conditions. The Ministry of Health of the Ulyanovsk region also did not come up with anything and limited itself to reading statistics from previous years. Of all the officials, only State Duma deputy Aleksey Kurinniy responded to the parent call for help. A surgeon in the past, he immediately refuted the "dog's footprint," at least because of the unprecedented mass infection. Kurinniy declared a possible sabotage and sent a request to the ICR.  

State Duma deputy Aleksey Kurinniy

State Duma deputy Aleksey Kurinniy

Close rhetoric of the search for enemies did its job, and on February 6 (a week after identifying the disease), the main military investigative department of the ICR filed a criminal case under Part 1 of Art. 236 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Violation of sanitary and epidemiological rules, resulting in the negligence of a massive disease of people”) Apparently, the leadership of the school will have to review their statements about the impeccable organization of the food supplies. By the way, today there is information only about one of the sick from the number of employees of the canteen and not a single confirmed diagnosis among the officers. Knowing the old Russian tradition of setting up a separate (incomparably better) table for officers, it can be assumed that it is the cadets' food that is the most likely source of infection. It is not hard to guess that by the arrival of the investigators; the canteen of the school will resemble an elite sanatorium. We were interested in what it was a few months ago. And then a lot of interesting details turned out.

Parasites among us 

Meals at the Ulyanovsk School were organized by the Pischevik company. However, not for long – only from December 2018. And, it seems, feeding Suvorov’s people was very difficult for Pischevik, which was on the verge of bankruptcy. The CEO of the company, upset about what is happening, is abroad. The Pischevik staff members who remained on the ground echo the military and blame the dogs living "on the territory of the Ulyanovsk Suvorov Military School." No one was able to answer how they got there.

Grilling only Pischevik about what happened is also not entirely correct. On the x-ray of one of the cadets it can be seen how cystic formations filled almost the entire lung. Considering the long incubation period of the echinococcosis, one can confidently say that the disease has been developing for the last six months, and maybe even a year (since the previous medical examination). At this very time, the cadets were fed by Torgovy Dom SPP (TD SPP, Trading House SPP).  


X-ray lung image of one of the cadets    

The company TD SPP, despite the modest authorized capital, feeds half of Ulyanovsk. Judging by the numerous checks of Rospotrebnadzor, it is not very tasty and far from high-quality, but familiar to people. Through the management company Dars, the former deputy chairman of the government of the Ulyanovsk region, Dmitry Ryabov, owns the TD SPP. Nutrition in hospitals, schools and kindergartens has already brought 7.4 billion rubles ($113mln) to Ryabov. The TD SPP institutions listed above, represented by an ex-official, only bring acute intestinal infections and a complete loss of appetite.


Former deputy chairman of the government of the Ulyanovsk region, Dmitry Ryabov

By the way, "about half of Ulyanovsk" was not an exaggeration. Last year, the ICR in the Ulyanovsk region opened a criminal case on the fact of a cartel agreement. As the FAS check preceding the criminal case showed, two cartels rule the Ulyanovsk catering market: the first one includes TD SPP and MobilSvyaz, the second is Alternativa and Simbirsk-Cleaning. This collusion looks much more colorful on a personal level. The former vice-governor Ryabov from the TD SPP agreed with the deputy of the regional Duma Rostislav Edvars (Alternativa) to divide Ulyanovsk in half. On the right bank, children are poisoned by Ryabov, on the left – by Edvars.  


Deputy Rostislav Edvars

Ulyanovsk’s “breadwinners” did not come to this harmony immediately. In 2014, there was a real war for each social entity between the structures. More precisely, Ryabov fought, while Alternativa, thanks to the efforts of Deputy Rostislav Edvars and Human Rights Ombudsman Galina Edvars, “entered” the sites a week or two before the tender. But “having entered” out of habit at the regional psychiatric clinic named after Karamzin, Edvars soon learned that they had been bypassed by Ryabov. Considering the losses from two weeks of free feeding of the mentally ill, the parties decided: it’s time to negotiate. And they agreed so successfully that even the mayor did not object. Since 2016, in Ulyanovsk, joint procurement has been taking place, squeezing out small business from tenders.  

School baiting 

The TD SPP was not worried about the quality of food. Schoolchildren and the sick will swallow everything, and chefs and managers will pay ridiculous fines to Rospotrebnadzor. With the Suvorov School it was a little more difficult. After all, it is an elite educational institution, even the grandson of the governor is studying here. But developing a separate high-quality menu for Suvorov School turned out to be too expensive. Ryabov's company found the best way to optimize nutrition.

At the end of last year, when receiving a bribe, the head of the garrison of the Ulyanovsk school was arrested. And who gave it to the head of the garrison? Employee of the same TD SPP. Now investigators find out how regular their meetings were. After the unsuccessful bribe, TD SPP quickly retired from the school, selling all the purchased products of the Pischevik company. Why should the products be wasted?

The TD SPP meanwhile began to look at other cities. For the most part, those where they also long ago had dealt with small businesses at state tenders. And they found a suitable option – Voronezh. On the school food market in Voronezh, companies that were affiliated with the vice-speaker of the city duma, Leonid Zenischev, were almost undivided. There was his own cartel agreement, as well as in Ulyanovsk, which remained unpunished. The gentlemen sat quietly, did not touch anyone. 


Vice-Speaker of the City Duma, Leonid Zenischev

And suddenly the Voronezh school number 103 makes a contact with the TD SPP, and without any competition. Feeling that Ryabov comes in earnest and for a long time, the competitor was met with a fierce struggle. Both social activists and angry parents participate in it for extras. Despite this, TD SPP soon won five out of ten lots on organizing school meals in Voronezh. However, Dmitry Ryabov knows how to share, he chose a city that is easy to divide into the right and left banks – right along the Voronezh River.

It remains to hope that Ulyanovsk law enforcement officers, at least this time, will seriously investigate the company of the former vice-governor. Otherwise, outbreaks of echinococcosis risk becoming so massive that there are not enough dogs who one can blame. Doctors call helminthiasis a disease of dirty hands for a good reason. It's time to start the operation "Clean Hands."



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