Mayors of Vladivostok with criminal reputation fighting for power 

Mayors of Vladivostok with criminal reputation fighting for power
Arrested mayor of Vladivostok Igor Pushkarev and former mayor of the city, head of OCG Vladimir Nikolaev will fight for power Photo: The CrimeRussia

As the CrimeRussia discovered from a source close to Igor Pushkarev, the arrested Mayor of Vladivostok is preparing to leave pre-trial detention center and intends to fight for a chair of the Head of the City Administration.

Mayor of Vladivostok Igor Pushkarev was detained on June 1, 2016 on accusations of official power abuse and of commercial bribery. The court repeatedly prolonged the term of arrest of the city's Mayor of Vladivostok. Pushkarev is currently in the pre-trial detention center No. 1 of Moscow Matrosskaya Tishina.

According to a source of the CrimeRussia in the Administration of Vladivostok, Igor Pushkarev will be released from the pre-trial detention center at the beginning of this year and will take part in the elections of the mayor of Vladivostok scheduled for the fall.

In a conversation with the CrimeRussia Igor Pushkarev's lawyer Alexander Vysotsky told that he would not like to answer any questions on Pushkarev's participation in elections directly as “it is a political question which is connected with many factors”. However he noted that Pushkarev's content under guards is not profitable to anybody, having confirmed information of a source of the CrimeRussia.

“Even from the point of view of regular rationalism, it is profitable to nobody that Pushkarev is in custody – neither to the investigation, nor us. Because sooner or later, the period of investigation will come to an end, and will show us the evidence for acquaintance. It is rather long process. And in the conditions of the pre-trial detention center Matrosskaya Tishina where it is necessary to wait for a meeting from 3 to 8 hours, acquaintance with case papers such rates will take several years. Therefore here it is reasonable to apply any other measure of restraint which isn't connected with imprisonment. Proceeding just from rationalism, not discussing legality, justification and so forth”.

In an interview to the CrimeRussia Alexander Vysotsky told that it has no legal limits on communication with the client, however it is necessary to wait for release of an office in the pre-trial detention center for communication with Igor Pushkarev till several hours: “I had a record: 7 hours 15 minutes I waited until bring Igor Sergeyevich because there were no free offices”.

To recall, in November, 2016, the Basmanny Court of Moscow extended the term of detention to Igor Pushkarev till February 28, 2017.

Igor Pushkarev on check of the repaired Vladivostovk's roads

As Alexander Vysotsky told, Pushkarev's protection sent the claim to the Moscow City Court, and also appeals against the previous prolongation of term in the Supreme Court. Besides, on December 19, 2016 the European Court of Human Rights to production accepted the claim of the lawyer. “All necessary legal mechanisms are involved by us, and we hope that sooner or later Pushkarev will be at least released from under guards. For a start”.


According to the investigators, in 2009-2014 Vladimir Pushkarev organized purchase by the municipal entity Road of Vladivostok from Vostoktsement group of companies of large volume of construction materials. It is interesting that the Vostoktsement company is controlled by close relatives of the mayor, and a founder and the owner of property of state enterprise Roads of Vladivostok is actually the City Administration of Vladivostok.

According to official declarations of the Investigative Committee of Russia, construction materials were purchased on predatory prices, thus the investigation came to a conclusion that thanks to the transaction personally Pushkarev received at least 45 million rubles. According to the Federal Security Service, actions of the ex-Mayor caused to municipal entity Road of Vladivostok damage in the amount of 160 million rubles and formed an accounts payable in the amount of 800 million rubles. Pushkarev, in turn, denies his fault.

Detention of Mayor of Vladivostok Igor Pushkarev

Estimating probability of an exit of Pushkarev from custody at the beginning of 2017, after the meeting on February 28, the lawyer of the Mayor of Vladivostok noted that accusation did not provide proofs that Pushkarev, having appeared on freedom, will interfere with the investigation, and all cases for prosecution are based only on assumptions, so, it is illegal to prolong arrest term.

“We insist on house arrest in Moscow. This measure of restraint will eliminate doubts that my client will influence someone in Vladivostok, – Alexander Vysotsky explained. – But in general we agree to any measure which is not connected with real imprisonment”. At the same time, the lawyer did not report how exactly protection will try to obtain Pushkarev's release that he could participate in elections.

To recall, the investigation did not initiate the resolution on Igor Pushkarev's discharge from a position of the mayor of Vladivostok therefore the arrested official still holds a post of the city's mayor. The lawyer of Pushkarev noted that his client hopes that “the team which he gathered will cope without him without serious losses for the city at this time”.

After Igor Pushkarev's detention in summer of 2016 by the acting as the Mayor his first deputy Alexey Litvinov is appointed. Nevertheless Pushkarev and his colleagues actively prepare for the upcoming elections.

Ex-Mayor of Vladivostok Vladimir Nikolaev will become the main opponent in fight for a management of the city, to the rescue to which his sister Victoria Nikolaeva, who became in the fall of 2016 the deputy of the State Duma, came. She entered the Committee on safety and anti-corruption.

Vladimir Nikolaev, who was already sitting in the Mayor's chair, is known as the seaside mafioso under the nickname of Winnie-the-Pooh. He headed the organized criminal group of the same name in the 90th years. Participated in gang issues using firearms, he was called one of the most wealthy men of Primorye. Vladimir Nikolaev had the interest in the fish, wood and food industry.

He was condemned in 2007 for making of the crimes provided by part 2 Art. 285 (Official Power Abuse) and part 2 Art. 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Exceeding Official Power).

Being the Mayor in 2004−2005, Nikolaev signed contracts with Management of private security in case of the Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Primorye about rendering services in protection of property of the City Administration. Police officers and traffic police began to accompany daily the mayor during his trips around the city, and also militiamen protected his house. According to the status protection to it is not put, but payment of security services passed through the city budget. Nikolaev compensated the Administration of the MIA of Primorye about 400 thousand rubles. Besides, Nikolaev signed the contract with Private Security Company − four employees protected it round the clock, and also got paid from the city budget. Total amount of contracts constituted about 13 million rubles.

The court at the same time was limited for a period of 4,5 years of imprisonment conditionally with a probation period of 3 years.

However in the summer of 2008 Nikolaev left abroad because of what criminal and executive inspection sued replacement of probation by real out. The ex-mayor was put on the international wanted list, but at the end of 2012 the court reconsidered case and cancelled to it a sentence due to the lack of an actus reus. In March, 2013 Vladimir Nikolaev's orientation was removed from the official site of the Interpol.

Владимир Николаев.jpg

Vladimir Nikolaev spent all this time in Thailand and returned home relatively recently – in October, 2016 to launch an election campaign. As local mass media report, Nikolaev's team aims to increase popularity of the ex-mayor at citizens. Its charity foundation quickly reacts on significant for the region and the country of an event. In recent months several actions are organized: sending columns with products and things for victims of a flood in the northern Areas of Primorye, a construction of the children's sports platform on the island Russian, rendering financial support to a family of the pilot Oleg Peshkov hit the Turkish Air Force.

However, the era of elective mayors in Vladivostok came to the end. The following mayor will be already appointed by the City Council and the Governor.

To recall, after Igor Pushkarev's detention within administrative reform the charter of the city was changed. According to amendments, at the upcoming elections of 2017 of the mayor not citizens will choose, and to appoint 8 members of the contest committee created by City Council.

Political scientists are skeptical about Vladimir Nikolaev's prospects to occupy the mayor's chair, so, before to bring the deputies into the Duma of Vladivostok in 2017, extremely. Also, according to some information, growth of its political impact is opposed by security officers of Primorye.

However, on a Mayor's chair there are also other applicants. Even in the summer of 2016 seaside member of the party Just Russia Alexander Yurtaev the first declared determination to fight for a post of the city's mayor.

At the same time supporters of current city's Mayor Igor Pushkarev aim to keep the influence in new City Council. Now, the municipal Duma is controlled by Pushkarev's team, and therefore will be staked now on elections to the local Duma by results of which and it will be clear who will be seated in the Mayor's chair. They will take place this fall in single ballot day. As Deyta news Agency became known, the cost of one deputy place in the Duma of the regional capital can constitute more than 6 million rubles – expenses of the potential candidate in mayors on an election campaign of the supporter – ‘elector’ enter this amount.

However, when elections of the city's Mayor will take place, so far it is unknown. According to the legislation, early elections of the mayor of Vladivostok shall take place not later than in half a year after early resignation of Pushkarev (and it did not occur yet), or entry into force of a conviction of court. And it means that if Pushkarev loses the position in the nearest future, then elections to the local parliament will happen later, than elections of the Mayor, and new deputies will not be able to influence the situation any more. Officially the term of office of Pushkarev expires in 2018.



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