“No access for strangers.” Chairman of St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly hides elite mansion? 

“No access for strangers.” Chairman of St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly hides elite mansion?
The tax declaration of Vyacheslav Makarov, Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, does not mention the expensive dwelling Photo: The CrimeRussia

Vyacheslav Makarov is a former military man and, according to his own words, prefers ascetic lifestyle. However, instead of the declared small apartment, he has opted to live in a luxury mansion located in an elite neighborhood.

‘Makarov’s Country House’

As it turned out, the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg prefers to live in one of the most upscale districts of the city – on Kamenny Island. He is frequently spotted in Dacha Schwartza (Schwartz’s Country House) residential complex. The complex consists of newly-built mansions with duplex and triplex units. The only link between the new dwellings and the historical country house of railway engineer Alfred Schwarz built by architect W. Schoene in 1899–1890 is exterior appearance. After demolishing the old buildings, new mansions have been constructed in 2000 using the old sketches and modern materials. The interior of the new residences has nothing to do with the historical home. Therefore, the country house of S.N. Vinogradov (A.A. Schwarz) has been excluded from the List of Newly-Identified Objects of Historical, Scientific, Artistic, or Other Value by an Order of the Committee for State Control, Use, and Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments №8-37 of April 24, 2003.

The residential complex is located in an elite neighborhood. Local real estate is advertised for sale on respective web sites describing the location as follows: “Only a few individuals are allowed to build homes on the island; they must recreate historical mansions using existing sketches. Governmental country houses and residences are located there. There is no access for strangers. Exuberant greenery, silence, clean air, isolation from the hustle and bustle of the city – this is a unique combination of advantages for living close to the St. Petersburg center”.

Of course, Vyacheslav Makarov could come on Kamenny Island to visit a friend. However, Transparency International has found that Tatiana Selegen, mother of the son-in-law of the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, owns a unit on 2nd Berezovaya parkway. According to an extract from the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr), the duplex apartment with the living space of 288 square meters belongs to her since 2004.

The advertisement of a next-door unit in Dacha Schwartza residential complex allows to get an idea what does the Makarov’s residence look like.

The cost of a similar apartment with the living space of 308 square meters is 109 million rubles. The guarded territory of the residential complex includes a parking lot, fountain, and garden and flower beds.

Dacha Schwartza Dacha Schwartza Hostroom WC with a window Dacha Schwartza
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Amid this superb residence, the official income declaration of Vyacheslav Makarov looks really strange – it states that he has earned 3.6 million rubles in the year of 2015.

His wife has earned some 115 thousand rubles. Officially, the spouses own an apartment with the living space of 50.6 square meters, another apartment with the living space of 51.3 square meters, small country house, land lot, and Volga car. The expensive mansion is not mentioned in the documents.

Family ties

The family plays an important role in the life of the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg. Almost all relatives of Vyacheslav Makarov have cushy jobs in St. Petersburg. For example, his daughter Anna Selegen owns a half of Petrostroy company. Its another half belongs to Vera Pshenichnaya – an aunt of Anna’s husband Sergei Selegen and, accordingly, sister of Tatiana Selegen, the official owner of the mansion in Dacha Schwartza residential complex. This little-known company has become one of the leading contractors for Gazprom structures. The successful partnership began in December 2011 – after the election of Vyacheslav Makarov the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg. Since then, Petrostroy has been awarded several major contracts; their total amount is at least 1.7 billion rubles. However, in 2016, Anna Selegen has transferred her share in Petrostroy to her father-in-law Vladimir Selegen.

Marina Lybaneva, another daughter of Makarov, has been appointed a Deputy Head of Administration of the Petrogradsky District of St. Petersburg in March 2013. In addition, she is – contrary to the legislation – a Deputy of Chkalovskoe Municipal Entity.

Marina Lybaneva

Marina Lybaneva, Deputy Head of Administration of the Petrogradsky District of St. Petersburg

Evgeny Kukushkin, a nephew of Vyacheslav Makarov, is the Head of the Health Department of the Administration of the Petrogradsky District. His spouse Alena Kukushkina has been elected a Deputy of the above-mentioned Chkalovskoe Municipal Entity in 2014. In addition, she is employed – contrary to the law – with the Administration for Inventory and Technical Support of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg. Niece Alena Kukushkina is a Deputy of Chkalovskoe Municipal Entity where Vyacheslav Makarov himself used to work; concurrently she is the Chairperson of the Commission for Prophylactics of Nationalism, Extremism, and Terrorism among Youth.

Vasily Makarov, a brother of the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, is a Deputy of Chernaya Rechka Municipal Entity, which is a part of the electoral territory of Vyacheslav Makarov. Nikolai Makarov, his another brother, is a Deputy Director of Tsentralnoe Park and Garden Enterprise in the Petrogradsky District.

In addition, the Anti-corruption Foundation has found that some former comrades-in-arms of Vyacheslav Makarov, who used to serve together with him in Mozhaisky Military Space Academy, are employed with Chkalovskoe and Petrovskoe municipal entities.

The Anti-corruption Foundation has calculated that 37% of the total budget of municipal entities in the Petrogradsky district (212 million out of 557 million rubles) have been distributed in 2014 between the officials, Deputies, and their relatives.

Speaker Vyacheslav Makarov had been denying all nepotism allegations until recently. Only a month ago, he has admitted that his daughter Anna is married to businessman Selegen. Apparently, his ties with the mansion in Dacha Schwartza residential complex would be denied as well.

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