Businessman Mikhalchenko went gone for a shot glass of cognac 

Businessman Mikhalchenko went gone for a shot glass of cognac
Dmitriy Mikhalchenko - "governor 24"

Arrest of an eminent businessman Dmitriy Mihalchenko on a charge of alcohol smuggling amounting to 2 million rubles is actually just a successfully performed operation to neutralize a "governor 24", as he is called behind his back in St. Petersburg. Roots of the operation, according to people familiar with the matter, should be sought in a questionable past of Mr. Mihalchenko and disappearance of support of some higher-ups.

Restaurants and raiders

Today in government, law enforcement and other lobbies there are different rumors and versions concerning the real reasons а for the arrest of a major figure such as Dmitriy Mihalchenko.

Actually, a Dima-Krikun’s (Dima-Yeller) transfer to Kresty (a pretrial detention center in St. Petersburg) had already been expected right after 2007. Vague rumors directly associated him with a no other than another shadow "governor" of St. Petersburg – Vladimir Barsukov-Kumarin. It is commonly known, that the latter is suspected not only in an assassination attempt of a co-owner of the St. Petersburg oil terminal Sergey Vasiliev, but also in numerous numbers of illegal seizures. Among some of them cheerfully loomed the face of Mr. Mihalchenko. Their partner in this uphill struggle, according to some reports, was a well-known Denis Volchek.

Владимир Барсуков (Кумарин) - ночной хозяин Санкт-Петербурга
Photo: Vladimir Barsukov (Kumarin) - night owner of St. Petersburg (by tltgorod.ru)

Seizures were multifarious – trading areas around three large railway stations in St. Petersburg and a handsomely wrested business of video-audio production. 

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Seizure of large trade networks 505, Orbi and taking down of Titanik in the likeness of the fight with counterfeit products happened at the instance of a noncommercial partnership ОКО in 2006. Creation of the OKOwas encouraged by Valentina Matvienko’s call to compose a non-profit partnership to coordinate the work on legalization of audio-video market. Shortly after that OKO appeared. Administrative department of Regional community programme fund of the Federal Security Service Directorate (UFSB) of Russian Federation in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, headed by Dmitriy Mihalchenko and son of satirist Semen Altov, Pavel, became the founder of the fighter-partnership.  


It should be noted, that the networks had a really bad luck, and even written intercessions of Russian pop-stars, which was sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office, did not help. Today, these networks do not exist. Although, using operatives’ locution, a material "has been pining in desks" ever since. And not simple one, but with evidences.

According to the second version, a good many of significant others were annoyed by the fat fingers of Dmitriy Mihalchenko, in which he actually concentrated Federal Migration Service (FMS), Interdistrict Registration-Examinational Office (MREO – the Russian police’s office, which is responsible for the registration and issuing of driving licenses), Federal Registration Service (FRS – Russian service, which organizes a system of the state cadastral registration of real estate) and Federal Tax Service №15 (FNS), and combined them under his roof into a Joint Center of Documents (JCD). Literally under «his» roof - the office of his Forum holding is situated in the same place, where JCD is (Krasnih Tekstilshikov str., 10-12). And from that moment, practically not one arrangement in real estate industries, not one external passport (travel agencies were prohibited from forming external passports), not one document, not one permission to work for migrants could pass by the Joint Center. It became Rome, to where all roads lead, and replaced all numerous short-lived companies. The Center has been rolling in money.

According to rumors, Dmitriy Pavlovich wangled the approbation for the project of the Joint Center out of the head of the Federal Security Guard Service (FSO), Evegeniy Murov. An audience with him in fact has the form of an audience with the Pope, including the indulgence of all the sins (past and present). Reportedly, blessing was given to build Bronka port. After that, the powerful in St. Petersburg shuddered with horror.

Евгений Муров, директор ФСО РФ
Photo: Evgeniy Murov, FSO director (by RuMafia)  

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Dmitriy Mihalchenko’s fortune is estimated at 18 billion rubles. Assets of his prior legacy Forum holding are headed to different directions. Those are the Joint Center of Documents, spinning and weaving combine named after Kirov, Bronka port, manipulating of retail space on the railway stations, highly rated restaurants Buddha-Bar SaintPetersburg, Il Lago dei Cigni, Tse Fung, branded clothing shops, Izmeron factory (one of Gasprom’s main facility supplier) and Baltstroy company – established player №1 on the restoration services market. 


Marquis puddle’s day

The third unofficial version is connected directly with the famous Bronka port. It is not a secret, that the contract for an unknown Forum holding was carved out by Mihalchenko’s former business-partner – major general of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Nikolay Negodov. Half of his command life he was connected with the sea and run the gamut from the motor ship Ilich to deputy of Transport Minister of Russian Federation, where he supervised maritime transport itself.

Порт Бронка.jpg

Photo: Bronka port

In 2003 Nikolay Negodov took charge of Rosmorport, where he was in charge of government property in navigation and maritime port spheres. 

Being a Committee for State Security (KGB) officer to the core since 1977, Negodov managed to activate all his connections and obtained successful commitment of the Bronka port construction contract exactly to Mihalchenko. This is, where his fine connections with the deputies of Transport Minister of Russian Federation – Viktor Olerskiy and Oleg Belozerov – and the head of the Federal marine and River Transport Agency (RosMorRechFlot) Sergey Gorelik came into play. Those persons lobbied the question of the construction public funding. That is how Mihalchenko got his contract bypassing other large companies, which had already had such difficult projects in their business-portfolios. What is more, Mihalchenko’s company did not even have marketing substantiations for such a construction.

Moreover, the construction caused outrage among experts and environmentalists. The port was built on soundings of the south cost of the Gulf of Finland, practically on a bog (average depth is 2 m., while according to the project it was planned 14,4 m.). Marquise puddle, as it is also called, is situated right near a dike. What will happen in case there is an emergency situation? Literally everyone was ringing the alarm bell. However, representatives of the Mihalchenko’s company just squinted their eyes thoughtfully and claimed that the perturbation was just an underhand practice of their direct competitor – owner of a public company St. Petersburg Maritime Port Vladimir Lisin.

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Mihalchenko received profitable Bronka project after sudden deaths of co-owners of a closed company Baltic Transport Systems, Leonid Timofeev and Aleksey Andreev. They died in a car accident in September 2006. 


Nevertheless, the contract was approved. But "governor 24" has never received vital government subsidies. According to rumors, after receiving results of prosecutor’s checks of the Joint Center of Documents, Moscow representatives fairly decided, that with the money, that Mr. Mihalchenko earns, he could build another Baikonur. In this case, asking money from the government is just a dirty thing to do.

Bronka port is a part of St. Petersburg port. It’s intake capacity – 1,9 million TEUS and 260 thousands rolling cargos.

Rumor has it in serious business spheres, that "governor 24" needed this post in the capacity of a disguise, under which he could do his shady "governor" business. In fact, the construction of a federal-level project is nothing else but the very indulgence, with the help of which Mihalchenko tried to prove the government, that he is certainly not a raider and Kumarin’s follower, but a governmental-scale person and patriot. Thus there is no point in peering into his dark past. It is no coincidence, that while appealing his arrest in court, Dmitriy Pavlovich, claimed in attendance of journalists, that "Bronka port has already coasted 23 billion. If I am arrested – the government will stop financing it. The whole business-plan is endangered, it may put the brakes on the realization of the project". Whether it is so or not – time and investigations will show.

Banquet is over

Another nonofficial version of Dima-Krikun arrest is a lack of support from security agencies. His entire doubtful and meteoric career, Dmitriy Pavlovich has built solely on the "shoulder straps" of people, who were interested in him.

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Mihalchenko started his career from the post of a manager in Aquarelfloating restaurant, where all leading officials of the St. Petersburg UFSB had been gathering together. These useful connections allowed him to become a co-incorporator of a non-governmental organization Regional Public Foundation for Supporting the Federal Security Department and the Foreign Intelligence Service (ROF). At the same time, in the early 2000s, Mihalchenko was allotted among co-incorporators of a protection agency Magistral, which was created by ex-deputy director of the St. Petersburg and Leningrad region UFSB, Nikolay Negodov. 


According to rumors, with the help of high-ranking names and surnames, Mihalchenko practiced extortion from businessmen. In this behalf he has beaten his criminal "teacher" Vladimir Kumarin. Evil tongues were saying that Mihalchenko used to appear in offices of his victims or bureaucrats he needed, show his ROF certificate and solemnly claim, that he demanded on behalf of Patrushev, Juriy Ignashenkov, Aleksandr Ruchiev (heads of St.Petersburg FSB at different times).

Serious businessmen have never bought into such tricks. They were very well informed that none of the persons from the St. Petersburg committee mentioned above have authorized Mihalchenko. But there were some, who believed and paid with money or with signature needed. But the thing was, that such raider system could only exist, while there were loyal security-service agents, who could afford Mihalchenko protection in case of any danger. Dmitriy Pavlovcih liked to flaunt his connections. He was said to be very happy when someone compared him to the "night governor" Kumarin. "He was a night governor and I am twenty-four-hour", - used to say Dima-Krikun according to rumors. That is how he explained his nickname "governor 24".

Anyhow, not so long ago "governor 24" was a guest on a 50 year anniversary of an ex-head of the St. Petersburg and Leningrad region General Administration of Internal Affairs (GUVD) Vladislav Piotrovskiy, among other highly respected persons as head of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, St. Petersburg prosecutor Sergey Litvienko, representatives of the central office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Juriy Komarov and Andrey Kemenev, and representatives of the GUVD in Northwestern Federal District and deputy chief of the St. Petersburg and Leningrad region UFSB.

However, today Mihalcneko doesn’t possess the opportunity to be amongst the powerful. Long-sighted people connect it with personnel replacements in Economic Security Service St. Petersburg FSB. Todays power resource of Dmitriy Pavlovich equals to zero. After Piotrovskiy, Matvienko and Manilova were gone, he was practically excluded from the powerful circle. Ex-"untouchable" is under arrest now and his empire is waving, as trees under the weight of hurricane.  The case over an upmarket cognac for restaurants contraband is only a promo-trailer to continuation of Banditskiy St. Petersburg (Lawless St. Petersburg) serial (formerly popular serial based on a Russian journalist’s novels about criminal reality of St. Petersburg of 1990-s).

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