Is career of head of Khakassia Victor Zimin finished?
Talks about early resignation of ‘unsinkable and constant’ Victor Zimin resumed in Khakassia. Putin and Shoygu who arrived for day to have a rest in the Khakass taiga, did not show willingness to meet the head of the region. The local public interpreted it as a sign: the federal center is dissatisfied with Zimin who has safely survived accident on Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station, the terrible fires with not less terrible elimination of their consequences. Will the head of the republic fill up the list of the resigned governors?
Within the Asian tour President Vladimir Putin traditionally arrived to Khakassia which he indulges by his attention. For only one 2015 Putin has visited the republic three times with official visits and several times – with informal. And in 2014 the President celebrated his 62nd birthday in the Khakass taiga. Even his first presidential vacation in 2001 he decided to spend in the Khakass ski resort on Gladenkaya's mountain.
Most likely, the head of state very much likes picturesque and original Khakassia, which is often called the ‘Siberian Switzerland’. Last year also found time to come around on favourite ‘ziminka’ – thus hunting place, where Putin was resting, was nicknamed in the republic by the name of head of the region. As usual, Sergey Shoygu was resting from public affairs with Putin in marching conditions, in taiga. But this time, for some reason, the distinguished guests did not wish to visit Governor of Khakassia Victor Zimin. The visit was awaited in the republic as he corresponding sign of stability and trust to the operating regional power, but when the meeting did not take place, conclusions were made: time of Zimin’s government has come to an end, it is time to prepare for his early resignation.
Vladimir Putin visited Khakassia (February, 2010)
Several reasons were called: first, Zimin’s relations with Shoygu were spoiled. Friendly relations between future Minister of Defence and the future Governor of Khakassia developed in the early nineties. Then Zimin founded hunting economy and a horse farm in the village of Katanovo, where Russian officials enjoyed resting, first of all Shoygu. Even now Zimin possesses two trucks URAL 375 specially equipped for VIP-guests which with comfort will deliver them wherever they like. However recently machines stand idle: Shoygu prefers, to organize tours for the President on the Siberian taiga independently, without the aid of Zimin.
Secondly, for Zimin growth of social tension in the republic can turn back career catastrophic crash. In Khakassia the entities, key for the region, go bankrupt, unemployment grows, social programs break. loyment grows, social programs break. The republic – one of the leaders in quantity of poor people in relation to population among regions of Russia. And the republican authorities periodically discredit themselves with the juicy scandals. Thus, the houses for fire victims built on the grant of the federal budget after the terrible fires which left homeless more than one thousand families were unsuitable for life. No wonder: even the careful Audit Chamber of Russia in conclusions officially declared that contractors for fire victims got out to a construction of houses without tendering. Instead of 40 thousand allocated for square meter to builders send in addition only 5−7 thousand for meter, at the same time they were obliged to buy materials from the Chernogorsk Otdelstroy company under control of the head of the republic and his friends. This company also became the general contractor on a construction of houses in the settlement of Shira. As a result concerning the founder of this firm Vladimir Smolnikov two criminal cases were brought directly: under part 4 Art. 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (assignment or waste, that is plunder of someone else's property on especially large scale) and under part 5 of Art. 291 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (bribery to the official on especially large scale). According to the investigators, Smolnikov spent 17 million rubles allocated from the federal budget for a construction of houses for fire victims. And to receive this money, bribed in the amount of 200 thousand rubles to Yury Protasov − to the leading construction supervision engineer of state governmental agency Management of Capital Construction. Then he disappeared from security officers in Thailand, but by means of the Interpol was deported to Russia, and now his case is considered in court.
Ex-deputy of Khakassia Vasily Smolnikov
The Audit Chamber came to a conclusion that injured farmers for some reason got by 30% less money, than the federal authorities sent to the region. And the Respublika charity foundation which is closely connected with Zimin's family spent 110 million rubles collected for fire victims on unknown needs. In such context it is natural that in Khakassia signatures for Zimin's resignation regularly collect and hold meetings.
Nevertheless as the main reason of possible resignation of the head of the republic, disgrace of the federal center is called. Recently Khakassia has been regularly shaken by juicy corruption scandals. 9 high-ranking officials from Zimin's environment are under arrest already. Thus, the second person in the republic – now the former head of administration of the head of the region, Prime Minister Vladimir Byzov became the person involved in criminal case about a fraud in the sphere of purchase of the medical equipment and drugs recently, what the CrimeRussia reported earlier. The former employee of FSB and the member of regional political council of United Russia is accused of making of crimes under part 4 Art. 159 (swindle committed by a group of persons by previous concert on especially large scale) and part 6 Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (taking of a bribe in especially large size). On March 3 the court extended to Byzov the term of detention for 5 months.
Head of administration of the Governor Vladimir Byzov
But arrest of Byzov was not the end of the story. As it became clear, also officials from the Center of purchases and the chief physician of republican hospital of Khakassia Vladimir Semenov, the arrested on suspicion of taking of a bribe were a part of a fraudulent organized criminal group. Together, according to the investigation, they caused damage to the budget in the amount of 195 million rubles.
Soon one more criminal shipping conference as a result of which action the budget lost about 600 million rubles was revealed in Khakassia. Evgeny Rukosuyev, director of LLC Akvadez became the main person involved in this case. Together with heads of several affiliated legal entities delivering the medical equipment they signed the verbal agreements designed to exclude competitors from participation in the biddings. And as a result, ‘right’ participants with the price which was repeatedly exceeding market won at auctions. The same Byzov for the help in the conclusion of contracts got from Rukosuyev's structures a bribe in the amount of 17 million rubles.
And on March 6 criminal case concerning one more regional official − the deputy head of department of Federal Treasury on the Republic of Khakassia Vyacheslav Giter, the brother Alexander Giter who is already arrested in the matter of Byzov, the territorial manager of JSC R-Pharm was brought. Giter Sr. is suspected of crime execution under part 1 Art. 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (official powers abuse, use by the official of the office powers contrary to interests of service from mercenary or personal interest), part 3 Art. 183 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (the illegal disclosure of the data which are a bank secrecy, made from mercenary interest). According to the investigators, in September of last year Vyacheslav Giter without consent of the owner of one of the commercial organizations provided information on its bank accounts and transactions on them to third parties. Besides, Giter Sr. is incriminated mediation in transfer of a bribe to Byzov in the amount of more than 2,5 million from the Krasnoyarsk entrepreneur Sergey Puzankov, the CEO of LLC Experimental Design Bureau Eniseypry. On March 6 the Abakan city court imprisoned the defendant in crime execution under part 5 Art. 291 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (bribery), Puzankov into custody for 2 months. The entrepreneur became the twelfth person involved in the pharmaceutical scandal which burst in the republic after Byzov's arrest. At the same time Vyacheslav Giter did not get to the pre-trial detention center, continues to be under recognizance not to leave and is still a member of electoral commission of Khakassia with the right of a casting vote.
Deputy manager of Federal Treasury Department of Khakassia Vyacheslav Giter
After series of juicy corruption scandals in Zimin's environment the CPRF local office published the open address to the president of Russia with the requirement to discharge the head of the republic of a post. Authors of the address reminded how many regional officials were under the investigation since that moment as Zimin headed Khakassia. Investigation of criminal case concerning the former Minister of Finance of the republic Semyon Ayeshin suspected of abuse of office and an inappropriate expenditure of budgetary funds in case of a construction of the republican perinatal center continues. In court cases of the Former first Deputy Governor of Khakassia Alexander Golyshev invited by Zimin from Krasnoyarsk, the ex-Minister of Construction and Housing and Communal Services Sergey Novikov and the ex-chairman of the State Committee on rates and an energy drink Oleg Baziyev are considered – they are accused of a fraud and a withdrawl from the republican budget more than 100 million rubles. The former assistant to the Governor of Khakassia Alexander Zhukov is accused of abuse of office in case of acceptance of works on repair of a boiler room of the city of Sorsk. And the former head of SUE Resfarmation Marina Isakova was accused of causing property damage to state-owned company by supply of medicines. Communists believe that total corruption in Khakassia “at least speaks about Victor Zimin's inability to appoint people to executive positions and as the maximum calls into question decency and the head of the republic”.
By way of illustration of Zimin's relations to corruption scandals authors of the address provided story with the Deputy Governor of Khakassia and the Minister of Agriculture of the republic Ewan Wagner in the command. In 2015 this official was accused of fraud, abuse of ex-official full powers and illegal participation in business activity. The general damage caused to the budget by criminal activities of this minister, the investigation estimated by more than at 2 billion rubles. But recognition of Wagner being guilty person under corruption article did not prevent Zimin to appoint him the first assistant, and at the end of 2016 the deputy. However, Zimin accurately designated his line item in relation to corrupt officials when he achieved early resignation of the prosecutor of Khakassia Victor Lomakin who brought a number of criminal cases against his team. Only it is possible to explain with the help of high patrons in Moscow that objectionable Zimina Lomakin was dismissed in November, 2015 though the term of its powers expired only in 2017.
The opposition accuses Victor Zimin of not only personnel failure, but also budget policy. On budget deficit Khakassia is among leaders among regions of Russia, as well as on fall of the income of the consolidated budget and own budget revenues. The public debt of the republic by the beginning of 2017 reached nearly 22 billion rubles. In 2017 the income of the republican budget is planned at the level of 22 billion rubles, expenses − by 26 billion rubles. The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation estimated quality of management of regional finance on the lowest, III degree. Following the results of 2016 Khakassia took the 74th place in the rating of creditworthness of territorial subjects of the Russian Federation of National rating agency. And the republic gets into debts under inconceivable percent more and more deeply: last fall the Khakass journalists found on the website of state procurements of Khakassia the announcement of search of the structure capable to provide to the region directly two credit lines for 250 million rubles. Benefit of the creditor on each of them will make over 110 million rubles – nearly a half from the busy amount. And next day on the same portal there was an order for two credits, on 200 and 250 million rubles.
At the same time, situation with Zimin and his family is not very bad. The entities belonging to them literally are filled up with grants, subsidies and other payments from the republican budget. Periodically, however, around them there are juicy scandals as it occurred after accident on Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station. It became clear that the Prommetall company belonging to the governor's spouse Tatyana Zimina sold to China under the guise of scrap of ferrous metals high-quality electrotechnical steel from the destroyed hydroaggregates. This scandal cost positions to two deputies of the Minister of Energy of that time of the Russian Federation Sergey Shmatko. And Zimin quietly overstayed a storm in the chair and even threatened to file a lawsuit against the Khakassia news agency, which disclosed swindle details.
It was necessary to make Prommetal bankrupt, but LLC Sintez-M which is engaged in the same field - right there was born are contracts on utilization of metal at JSC RUSAL Sayanogorsk Aluminium Smelter and JSC RUSAL Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Smelter − Oleg Deripaska's entities, one more old friend of Zimin. One of founders (60%) of this firm is the confidential accountant of Zimin Ekaterina Primolennaya, the managing director of all finance of a family for a lot of years.
This lady heads the Respublika charity foundation, which also cut a poor figure after the fires, is a chief accountant of country farm Zimina Alyona Viktorovna for whom the daughter of the governor buys expensive stallions – thus she raises for the father and his high-ranking guests herd of racehorses in one thousand heads. One of these racers as Victor Zimin likes to brag to a near environment, costs more than 5 million dollars and it is only allowed to ride it to the governor himself and ‘dear friend Sergey Kuzhugetovich’. By the way, successful Zimina peasant Farm regularly gets a financial support from the regional authorities. And the company of the governor's daughter regularly wins competitions selling municipal property. And the price at which it receives the second-hand equipment can not be surprising. For example, PAZ Alyona Zimina of all got the bus for 58 thousand rubles. Parcels of land also depart to her at a very cheap price.
Ekaterina Primolennaya is also unique founder of LLC Davydkovo, one of the largest agricultural enterprises of the region. The regional authorities also with an enviable regularity allocate to this entity of a subsidy from the republican budget − for insurance of crops and animals, for purchase of breeding producers, etc.
Ekaterina Primolennaya is registered also as the co-owner (50%) of LLC Vizor which in recent years is actively buying up the Khakass media including such large as the Khakassia inform agency. As one would expect, after change of the owner all of them cease to criticize the regional authorities and begin to eulogize them.
Besides, Primolennaya is the CEO of LLC Los which founders are the governor's spouse Tatyana Zimina (75%) and his nephew Oleg Zimin (25%).
LLC Los manages all affairs of the Abakan hippodrome, recreation facilities and hunting farms by means of which Victor Zimin constructed his career.
Oleg Zimin – one more person on which the governor writes down the entities belonging to him. The nephew possesses 50% of LLC Soyuz which gets support from the republican authorities under the pretext of “subsidizing of costs in case of leasing of the equipment” from year to year. Oleg Zimin is also among owners of LLC TD Avtotekhtsentr Hakasii prospering on contracts with professional schools of the republic. Besides, he possesses 30% of shares in LLC Ekosib which is engaged in wholesale trade by nonfoods, completely − LLC Podtayezhnoye, engaged in the organization of hunting, fishing and tourism and LLC Abakanskaya apteka delivering drugs to the region.
Generally, the whole family does alright. And VIP-persons from the federal center are always waited by two magnificent cottages built by Zimin on the bank of Yenisei in the settlement of Ust-Abakan on Naberezhnoy Street. The recreation facility Knyazhy Dvor − with several pools and to huge Jacuzzis, which can be considered even in satellite pictures adjoins to the territory of the estate.
However, recently there becomes less persons interested to have a rest in this magnificent place. Therefore inhabitants of Khakassia begun to hope that the republic will have new ‘prince’ soon.
In early November 2017, Basmanny Court of Moscow has satisfied the motion brought by the Main Investigations Directorate in the City of Moscow of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) and remanded Aleksander Shukyurov, Director of the Capital Renovation Directorate State Budgetary Institution of Moscow, in custody. The head of the institution subordinate to the Department of Capital Renovation of the City of Moscow that had acted as the client in tenders worth dozens of billions of rubles is suspected of swindling on an especially large scale.