Officers with reserves
The Officers of Russia non-commercial organization gains more and more weight in our society. The official goals of this organization include protection of officers’ rights, crime prevention, and patriotic education. It turned out, however, that the Officers of Russia also have pretty mundane objectives.
These days, the Officers of Russia non-governmental organization is frequently mentioned in media headlines. This publicity, however, is not always positive. The most remarkable episode involving the organization was a scandalous shutdown of Jock Sturges’ exhibition, Absence of Shame, when the social activists had, in fact assumed functions of law enforcement authorities. Such an excessive activity has attracted close public attention to the Officers of Russia – and, as it turned out, for a reason.
Formula for success
The Officers of Russia have become famous nationwide back in 2012 – when, according to Transparency International, they received a 3-million-ruble grant from Soprotivlenie (Resistance) Inter-Regional Human Rights Public Organization for implementation of a project “We do not leave our own behind”. The funds had been provided to the Officers of Russia All-Russian Charitable Public Fund for Facilitation of Social Projects. It is necessary to note, however, that this structure consists of three organizations and also includes an All-Russian Public Organization for Facilitation of Development of Patriotic Law-Abiding Society and a Fund for Implementation of Social Programs and Socially-Important Initiatives of the All-Russia Charitable Public Fund for Facilitation of Social Projects. All these organizations have the same name: the Officers of Russia.
The project “We do not leave our own behind” became a true gold mine for the Officers of Russia. The National Charitable Fund has provided two grants, 5.5 million rubles each, for its implementation in 2013 and 2014. In addition, according to Transparency International, the Officers of Russia Public Organization for Facilitation of Development of Patriotic Law-Abiding Society has received in 2016 a subsidy from the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation in the amount of 12 million rubles. We would like to note that this organization does not publish its financial reports, and it is virtually impossible to find out the exact number and total amount of grants received by it. The utmost non-transparency of the organization conceals plenty of obscure secrets. Take, for example, the personality of Anton Tsvetkov, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Officers of Russia.
Anton Tsvetkov, the leader of the Officers of Russia
According to his personal web site, Anton Tsvetkov was born in a military family – although he never served in enforcement structures. The web site also provides his academic degree and the subject of dissertation. In 2013, Dissernet.org portal has analyzed the scientific studies of Tsvetkov and found complete paragraphs of plagiarism on more than 50 pages of his dissertation. This is just a small stroke to the portrait of the leader of the Officers of Russia.
But the most important aspects of his biography are related not to the science, but to business affairs. There are some humble premises in the center of Moscow with the total area of 309.1 square meters belonging to a namesake of the Chairman of the Presidium of the Officers of Russia – Anton Vladimirovich Tsvetkov. Perhaps, no one would ever hear about it – but the premises have been leased to the Central Suburban Passenger Company (CSPC). This deal seems absolutely flawless – except for two unfortunate details. First of all, the CSPC has leased on the same day other premises with the total area of 119.2 square meters. The landlord was a namesake of the Chairman of the Tomsk Branch of the Officers of Russia – Viktor Nikolaevich Kinev. By the way, the leader of Tomsk officers had tried himself in politics this year – and the extensive list of real properties in his election declaration includes premises in Moscow with the total area of 119.2 square meters. Prior to Kinev, the property on Kotelnichesky lane used to belong to some Anton Vladimirovich Tsvetkov.
Draft sublease contract for premises with the total area of 309.1 square meters
Draft sublease contract for premises with the total area of 119.2 square meters
And secondly, both tenders to lease premises had been conducted by the same company – Masterskaya Nedvizhimosti (Real Estate Workshop). A humble firm with charter capital of 10 thousand rubles has a management company with the same name. Olga Bagryantseva is the owner and general director of both legal entities. She is also a cofounder of the Officers of Russia Public Organization for Facilitation of Development of Patriotic Law-Abiding Society. The term namesake is not applicable here because both companies and the public organization are not only registered at the same address, but also have the same contact phone number. It is necessary to add that namesakes of Tsvetkov and Kinev have earned 2 million rubles each on the lease of the above-mentioned premises.
Election declaration of Viktor Kinev
Gratuitously does not mean for free
The story with the lease of the two properties has affected the CSPC as well. Two months after signing the lease contracts, the CSPC has conducted a tender won by a sole bidder – the Agency for Implementation of Social Projects Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization.
The name of this non-commercial organization is almost identical to the name of one of the dedicated centers of the Officers of Russia – the Center for Social and Legal Protection. Interestingly, for three – out of the five – dedicated centers of the Officers of Russia, almost namesake – but independent – non-commercial organizations can be found. The two other twin non-commercial organizations are: the Center for Legal Aid and Protection of the Public Non-Commercial Partnership and the Center for Malefaction and Crime Prevention Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization. Valery Stepanov is the Head of the Center for Malefaction and Crime Prevention; he is also the pro bono Deputy Head of the Central Executive Committee of the Officers of Russia.
Going back to the tender conducted by the CSPC: in December 2015, the Agency for Implementation of Social Projects has won on a sole source basis a contract to provide informational and referential services related to monitoring and analysis of civil order in suburban trains with the total cost of 9.44 million rubles. Upon the expiry of this contract, the CSPC has conducted a new tender for the same services (based on the draft contract) but this time with the cost of 118 million rubles. The Center for Malefaction and Crime Prevention Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization has won this tender on a sole source basis.
So who maintains the civil order in suburban trains in reality? The same Officers of Russia through its dedicated Center for Malefaction Prevention. Although Anton Tsvetkov denies links between the Officers of Russia and acquisitions of the Central Suburban Passenger Company, the Center for Malefaction Prevention openly posts thanks from passengers on its Instagram account.
If the Officers of Russia have not participated in the CSPC tenders, on what grounds do they patrol the trains? The organization is registered in Moscow; therefore the Center for Malefaction Prevention, being its structural unit, can voluntarily carry out patrol only in the capital. In other words, instead of crime prevention, the patrolling volunteers violate the law themselves. And the main question is: how does the Center for Malefaction and Crime Prevention Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization work off its 118 million rubles? Anton Tsvetkov does not provide answers to these questions.
There are plenty of other questions to the Chairman of the Presidium of the Officers of Russia. For example, is the work of the volunteers really gratuitous, as he states? This spring, members of the Youth Task Unit of the Officers of Russia had been testing the Assistant Moscow application for Android. All the testers shown in a TV report by Vesti TV Channel can be found on the official web site of the organization. The testing had been performed in the framework of two tenders for technical maintenance, refinement, and tuning of Assistant Moscow won by Infokompas company. The total amount of the contracts was 27.5 million rubles. The web site of the Officers of Russia has no references to voluntary participation of the Youth Task Unit in the testing of Assistant Moscow. It would be logical to assume, therefore, that members of the Youth Task Unit had been working for a compensation. The Officers of Russia also publish their vacancies on recruitment portals – for example, an ad for an Inspector in the Monitoring Department with a salary of 35 thousand rubles can be found on Superjob.ru.
Vacancy published by the Officers of Russia
The Officers of Russia pay special attention to their presence in the Internet and have even registered their official web site as a mass media resource. However, this web site does not publish financial reports of the organization. In February 2016, Transparency International has surveyed the transparency of Russian non-commercial organizations. A transparency rating of non-commercial organizations’ web sites has been produced in the framework of this study – and the Officers of Russia were on the 72nd position in this rating. What gratuitous deeds are humbly concealed by Anton Tsvetkov? Perhaps, it is not only about modesty?