“Self-promotion for them and pain in ass for us”: Volgograd Governor grilled in home of Kadin’s people
Initially media had been linking the attempted arson of the home of Andrey Bocharov, the Governor of the Volgograd Region, with his professional activities. Allegedly, the principled Head of the region had many enemies. However, this entire story could be just a self-promotion – which has unexpectedly exposed links between Bocharov and henchmen of late 'shadow governor' Vladimir Kadin.
The scandal that has erupted after the fire in the home of Andrey Bocharov, the Governor of the Volgograd Region, was immediately linked by media with his professional activities. Allegedly, the arson had been organized by enemies of the Head of the region. Information agencies, citing their sources, have even reconstructed the course of events: an unknown person has got over the fence and thrown a burning item to the property. Apparently, the item was a Molotov cocktail. However, neither the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters, nor the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR), nor the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) had made any official statements with regards to the fire. Journalists have learned about the incident from local residents who told them that law enforcement authorities are questioning neighbors of the Governor.
Bocharov has personally commented the incident and stated that it was an attempted assassination: “This accident, this crime, is very serious, sensitive for myself and my family. All the family could be burnt alive”. After this official statement, numerous questions – with no answers – have popped-up.
The fire occurred overnight into November 16, 2016 in Latoshinka settlement. This settlement near Volgograd is inhabited by the local elite; the home of Bocharov is also located there. The motives behind the alleged revenge upon the Governor still remain a mystery. However, more details about the mansion itself have surfaced.
First of all, the territory of the settlement is guarded. There are no outsiders there, the entrance is possible only through the gatehouse. The home of Bocharov is surrounded by a fence welded of metal bars; it is impossible to squeeze through these bars or climb over the fence due to its height.
Governor’s home in Latoshinka
The home that was set on fire is located on two land lots. There are several other structures there as well. And now it turns out that the home, in fact, does not belong to Bocharov. The Governor has mentioned this while explaining the journalists how he was nearly burnt alive. Allegedly, he is renting the premises at his own expense. But everybody in Volgograd knows that Bocharov does hav a home in Latoshinka. Oblvesti.ru, a local web portal, citing its source in the law enforcement, has provided another version of events that had occurred in that house overnight into November 16, 2016
The house built by…
The house that was allegedly set on fire belongs, in fact, to Pavel Bashelutskov – a person who, according to a CrimeRussia source, owes his successful career to 'shadow governor' Vladimir Kadin.
Pavel Bashelutskov was born on January 8, 1956 in Volgograd. Graduated with distinction from the Baku Higher Combined-Arms Command School. Served in the military until 1993; has left the military service in the rank of major and went into business. Was the Director of West-K Trade and Production Limited Liability Partnership, General Director of Lant Limited Liability Partnership, and President of TKF Tsentr-N Fuel Company Limited Liability Company (a chain of gasoline stations). In 2002, Bashelutskov was appointed the First Deputy Director of the Volgogradsky Distillery; in less than a year, he has become the Director of Rosspirtporm Volgogradsky Distillery Federal State Unitary Enterprise. In that period, he has boosted his fortune – for some time, Bashelutskov was named the richest person in the Volgograd region. He was elected a Deputy of the Regional Duma; after the resignation from the distillery, has transferred the production of vodka to Saratov. Currently lives abroad.
The Governor has been visiting the elite settlement on a regular basis to inspect the construction of his own mansion located nearby. According to the neighbors, the construction is ongoing for a while, and nobody knows when it should be completed. During the inspections, Bocharov stays in the home of Pavel Bashelutskov. However, this house is officially rented not by the Governor – as he had told the journalists – but by Aleksander Sivakov, the First Deputy Head of the Volgograd Municipal Administration. It is unknown on what grounds the Governor lives – even temporarily – in this home.
But the day before the fire, on November 14, 2016, Sivakov was appointed the Vice Governor and Chairman of the Regional Economic Committee. On that post, he would be supervising the Committee for Information Technologies, Committee for the State Property Management, and Committee for Transport and Road Industry.
Newly-appointed Vice Governor Aleksander Sivakov
Was there arson at all?
According to a source in the law enforcement, overnight into November 16, 2016, Bocharov and Sivakov had a meeting in that home. Video surveillance records obtained from neighbors show that there were no malefactors in the settlement. No one had climbed over the fence. The two high-ranked regional administration functionaries were discussing business matters. At some point, they decided to make a barbecue and, apparently, accidentally spilled the lighter fluid onto a wooden structure – that was saturated with an anti-fire substance. A burnt container from a flammable liquid had been found at the place of the alleged arson and a blackened spot – on the wall.
“Two old friends have met to hold, let’s say, a work meeting in an informal setting. They had been sitting together for a while. As far as I understand, both of them had a very difficult day before. So, they were very tired. And being so tired, decided to grill either meat of sausages. Put the wood-fired grill behind the wall. Accidentally – things happen – spilled the lighter fluid, and it blazed up,” – the source provided a version of the incident in Latoshinka.
Governor Andrey Bocharov
When the local journalists became aware of the night fire, no one could provide official information. Perhaps, at that time Bocharov decided to use this episode for his own good. Media outlets controlled by the regional administration have immediately announced that the attempted assassination was linked with the active decriminalization of the key spheres in the region. Allegedly, Andrey Bocharov had repeatedly spoken in public about “attempts to obstruct the establishment of the order”. This is how a sentimental story of a strong-willed Governor unacceptable for the local criminal society was created.
“This is self-promotion for them and pain in the ass for us – at least, six months of paper work,” – the source concluded.
It is necessary to note, however, that this questionable assassination attempt against the Governor is not the only such incident. In 2015, an assassination had been allegedly plotted against Bocharov. There were no official statements about it – but Vice Governor Aleksander Bloshkin had mentioned this at a meeting with Deputies of the Kotovsky District Duma. Speaking about numerous enemies of the Governor, he said that Bocharov had to cancel a meeting. Allegedly the police have found and defused an explosive device in the meeting room.
Smoke without fire?
The local media note that the episode with arson could not have come at a better time – when numerous issues have piled up in the region, including its growing debt, continuous problems with financing of budgetary institutions, and job cuts in the budget sphere. A possible resignation of Bocharov is being discussed in the region on a regular basis. There are numerous speculations about his new workplace after the resignation. Some sources say that he would become a Presidential Envoy in Crimea; others believe that he would represent the President in the Southern Federal District. However, none of these rumors have been confirmed so far. It is impossible to say though how this story with arson and exposed links between Bocharov and henchmen of late Kadin affect his rating.
Murdered Vladimir Kadin