Rostov Governor celebrates retirement of Deputy Prosecutor General
A ‘celebration party’ has been held in Old House Resort & Spa – a respectable private hotel located by the side of the Don River in the Azovsky district.
Sergei Vorobiev, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation for the Southern Federal District, has retired. CrimeRussia insiders had earlier reported the upcoming resignation of Vorobiev, and on March 1, 2017, the Council of the Federation has released him from this position.
It is necessary to note that the press started discussing the resignation of Vorobiev a couple of weeks ago. The official web site of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Southern Federal District has stated that Sergei Vorobiev would be temporarily absent, and Yuri Chaika, Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, decided to assign Yuri Ponomarev, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation for the Southern Federal District, to replace him.
According to the CrimeRussia sources, Governor of the Rostov Region Vasily Golubev can’t hide his joy after the resignation of Vorobiev and has already celebrated it in Old House Resort & Spa – a respectable private hotel located by the side of the Don River in the Azovsky district.
The relations between Governor Golubev and Vorobiev have become uneasy recently. Personal tensions between the two functionaries started after the conflict between Golubev and Sergei Gorban, former City Manager of Rostov-on-Don and member of the Vorobiev’s team. Golubev has made every effort to discredit the City Manager and managed to push his nephew Vitaly Kushnarev to this post. Later all the municipal administration officers close to Vorobiev were fired.
But this was not the end of the confrontation.
Although Golubev had put ‘his own man’ in charge of Rostov-on-Don, Kushnarev has openly made a stand against him. On February 9, 2017, at a session dedicated to the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, he said that there are no funds in the budget to repair the roads and buildings. The funds allocated earlier have disappeared without a trace. In other words, the preparations for the championship are disrupted. Vasily Golubev suggested him in a harsh tone to find money to complete the approved program.
Amid these events, several days later – on February 14, 2017 – Vladimir Artsybashov, a highly experienced functionary of the municipal administration, has unexpectedly resigned from the post of Deputy City Manager for the Housing and Public Utility Sector. Currently the municipal administration has no clue where to look for money.
But according to the CrimeRussia source, it is premature for Vasily Golubev to rejoice. Sergei Vorobiev, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation for the Southern Federal District, was not the key figure in the region, and it is a big mistake to celebrate his resignation.
Vasily Golubev and Sergei Vorobiev
Ill-defined staffing policy of Golubev and regular scandals pertaining to arrests of his subordinates raise questions in the Presidential Administration. Several commissions dispatched from Moscow work in the region on the permanent basis to identify embezzlements of public funds. The number of arrests is not high because, according to the source, the main goal at this point is to replenish the budget. All the recent staffing replacements in the regional administration are linked with the work of these commissions. Out of public view, the sources say that all persons suspected of larcenies receive a proposal: either to return the stolen funds or go to jail. The recent resignations of Minister of Energy Aleksander Grebenshikov and Sergei Zhukov, Vice Governor for Combating the Corruption, were directly linked with such situations. It is also necessary to note a criminal case against Andrei Sadymov, Head of the Tsimlyansky District of the Rostov Region, who was appointed by a direct order from Vasily Golubev. The case has been initiated under Article 293 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Neglect of Duty) due to violations in the provision of housing for orphaned children.
According to the source, the ‘next in line’ for termination is Vice Governor Yuri Molodchenko. He might become a suspect in a criminal case pertaining to machinations with tenders for works involving Russian Railways. Billionaire colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko was also mentioned in this context – according to the investigation, he had assisted in the laundering of huge sums siphoned from the budget of the Rostov region. The CrimeRussia wrote earlier about the links between the Deputy Head of the General Administration for Economic Security and Combating the Corruption of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation and Yuri Zykov, the ex-Head of the Administration for Combating Organized Crime of the MIA General Administration in the Rostov Region. As for Zykov, he is a close friend of Nikolai Simakov, the Head of the Administration of the MIA of Russia for Transport in the North-Caucasian Federal District, who maintains direct contacts with persons conducting tenders for works involving Russian Railways.
Vladimir Ustinov, the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Southern Federal District
The recent resignations of people from the ‘inner circle’ of Golubev are, most likely, linked not with retired Sergei Vorobiev, but with Vladimir Ustinov, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Southern Federal District, who is currently putting much pressure on the Rostov Governor. Before the election of Vasily Golubev to a second term, Ustinov had said backstage that the “team of Golubev” would stay in power “only over his dead body”. At that time, Vasily Golubev managed to win the elections – but he received an unambiguous warning from Ustinov. The Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy did not attend the inauguration ceremony but instead sent an original telegram of congratulations. In this telegram, Ustinov noted that “the potential for citizen activism has considerably grown in the Rostov region due to price hikes, insufficient health care level, salary arrears, corruption in governmental agencies and law enforcement structures, discontent with housing conditions, issues in the housing and public utility sector, and poor social security system”.
In other words, Vladimir Ustinov has warned Golubev that it is premature to dismiss him. This is confirmed by the permanent presence of commissions dispatched by the Presidential Administration to the region whose scathing findings are to be unveiled in the nearest future.