The New Year's libations and tourist trips ended. The country is slowly involving in a normal pace of life. There was nothing fundamentally important in the first two weeks of the year, but there still were some interesting points in the media slipped. Assuming that Depardieu and Brigitte Bardot have been left by the corner.
Information about future total changes in the leadership of the federal TV and radio channels has caused half-forgotten “sense of deep satisfaction” in the minds of many people. The ORT (Russia One Channel) is allegedly being left by Konstantin Ernst. The reason is his condescending attitude to Vladimir Pozner, who not only has several citizenships but also called the State Duma a “state fool” (for the vote on the law prohibiting adoption of Russian orphans by Americans). It extremely doesn’t please the deputy head of the presidential administration Alexey Gromov, supervising television.
The departure of Oleg Dobrodeyev from the VGTRK (the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company) is being also expected for he has done everything needed for commercialization and “establishing a mode of stability and intellectualization” in our television. Anymore is possible. And it's time, for example, to be appointed Ambassador to France.
The same Alexey Gromov doesn’t want to see Vladimir Kulistikov at the head of NTV (Russian TV Channel). And so the former press minister and member of the directors of the National telecommunications company Mikhail Lesin does. Not occupying any state position nowadays, he still has rather great influence on media scene – he ties to the National media group (NMG) controlled by Yury Kovalchuk.
In this case, the problem is not so much in the very Kulistikov but in the head of the Gazprom-media holding Nikolay Senkevich (the NTV is owned by the holding). After Lesin had ceased to be an adviser of the President in 2009, he joined the board of directors of the Russia One Channel, from where he was soon fired. In 2010, Tricolor TV Company went for sale and Lesin in this transaction, according to the media, protected the interests of the NMG. However, the assets left to Gazprom, which head Alexey Miller under the guidance of Senkevich complained to President Dmitry Medvedev.
Another annoying factor was the former closeness of Senkevich, and, accordingly, Kulistikov, to Vladimir Gusinsky. In October, Senkevich was detained at customs. During the search, they found at him an antique medal «For Diligence» with a portrait of Nicholas II. According to insiders, the award was intended to the disgraced oligarch on the 60-th anniversary.
Russians know how to walk
Here Sergey Polonsky and his two friends are on the front burner. They arrived in Cambodia, drank, chartered a yacht with a crew, again drank, sailed, drank ones more, launched fireworks, drank on this occasion, had a long ran on a yacht catching the crew members, then caught them all and locked in the cabin, drank again and pulled out all the members of the crew one by one from the cabin and with laughter and jokes like “the first is getting off” thrown all them overboard.
Then they drank again, got tied, went to bed and were arrested by the police arrived on a boat. And for long they even didn’t understand why it was, but then they understood: “our” and “their” calendar dates of celebrating New Years didn’t coincide. Then they offered a lot of money to the King of Cambodia but he didn’t take and still hasn’t taken yet. And Polonsky and his companions still are in prison.
Runners-up are, of course, representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party. The State Duma deputy and party curator of the Urals Vladimir Taskaev, as a true patriot, had a rest in Russia but with fun – hunting. Being in drink, he was detained by officers of the traffic police of the Sverdlovsk region in the car full of carcasses of shot animals hunting on which was prohibited. He came into a conflict with police officers and was detained.
Symbolic persons of the media world tried to equal as well. Konstantin Meladze knocked down and killed a woman in the Kiev region. So far he is considered a witness in this case, but offered 250,000 dollars to the family of the victim. The law enforcement officials and the family in Ukraine are conducted difficult negotiations on how to divide the money.
Wasn’t written down, so immediately admitted
Only professional military personnel continued to work in the New Year holidays. And even they were providers of most important information. In the case of corruption in the Ministry of Defense, new faces, new facts and unexpected recognitions appear.
The Center of Legal Support “Expert” (led by Ekaterina Smetanova who has entered into an agreement with the investigation) and MIRA JSC selling objects of the Ministry of Defense are affiliated with the SU-155 (Construction Department). A member of the Board of Directors of Oboronservis Evgenia Vasilyeva was formerly one of the owners of the SU-155 St. Petersburg LLC, where Smetanova also previously worked. According to the SPARK-Interfax database, now MIRA LLC is owned by Eviya LLC. In turn, according to the Official Single Register of Legal Entities, the Eviya LLC has even several owners: Russian House JSC, Wiesel LLC, Menelaus LLC, Sergey Golovin, Nadezhda Andrianova and Sergey Promzelev.
According to the same database, Menelaus LLC Wiesel LLC, Nadezhda Andrianova and Mikhail Balakin are co-founders of SC SU-155 - Russia's largest construction company, which operates in 54 regions of the country. Mikhail Balakin is the main shareholder of SU-155, an official of the Moscow construction complex in the past.
The deputy chairman of the security committee of the State Duma Alexander Khinshtein believes that investigators have good reason to call in for questioning the principal shareholder of SU-155 Michael Balakin as well.
The former defense minister still came in for questioning. The work of his lawyers inspires respect: they prepared for Anatoly Serdyukov a written explanation to all conceivable questions of the investigator (and it is correct for it is necessary to take into account mental development of clients).But they didn’t provide one of the questions. As a result, Serdyukov admitted commission of a criminal offense.
It is about illegal construction of a 8 kilometers road to a commercial object owned by a Serdyukov’s relative. The investigative authorities have estimated the damage at 18 million rubles. It is possible that Serdyukov can be brought to criminal responsibility on this episode. However, hehas developed a line of defense: his competence was to sign directives, and it was problems of performers to supervise how his directives were executed.
It has been reported, by the way, that after this the investigator quickly stopped questioning. Perhaps, he was frightened if he suddenly would ask something to what Serdyukov didn’t have a prepared written response.
And happy end
After all we were celebrating not only the New Year, but also Christmas. And what is Christmas without Christmas stories? Like everything goes badly, badly, but still justice comes.
The story of this kind should be in the end here. On January 14, the Arbitration Court of the Sverdlovsk Region dismissed a lawsuit of the SUE SO Sverdlovsk Region Ministry for State Property Management to City Without Drugs foundation with the requirement to free the occupied premises.
City Without Drugs has been based at Belinsky street, 19 in Yekaterinburg for about 13 years. In August 2011, the regional government’s order provided the organization with the building granted for free use up to the year 2020, thus freeing the fund from a rent. In October 2012, the Regulatory Directorate of the Sverdlovsk region Ministry of State Property Management (MUGISO) addressed in the arbitration court with the claim about recognition the contract unconcluded. The court rendered the verdict as soon as Old New Year had been finished celebrating.
In October 1986 Gusinsky's associates applied to the police. Police department opened a fraud case against Gusinsky under the article 147, part 1 of the RSFSR Criminal Code. One of Gusinsky's friends demanded from Gusinsky recovery of the debt, while another one accused him of missapropriation of the money Gusinsky had been given to buy a car by proxy. In December 1986 the case was dismissed under the article 8 of the RSFSR Code of Criminal Procedure "due to changing circumstances"
Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 1 November 2003
In October 1989 Most-bank was established. Gusinsky became its president. The bank entered top ten list of the largest Russian commercial banks because of its share capital, totalling 18 billion 250 million rubles, and became an authorized bank of Moscow Government. Financial rise of the bank and its president was associated with Gusinsky's close relationship with Moscow authorities. Accounts of large municipal and government agencies were opened at Most-bank at that time.
Source: Sovershenno sekretno, 8 September 2003
In December 1992, during the 8th Congress of People's Deputies of Russia,Business politcal initiative alliance established by Gusinsky and other major businessmen, spoke of the need for a compromise between the executive and legislative authorities and protested against "direct presidential rule and abolition of the Deputies' Congress". Businessmen insisted on "serious protection policy for Russian business."
In 1993 Business politcal initiative was split by a conflict between Menatep Group operated by Konstantin Zatulin, Mark Masarsky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Gusinsky's Most Group. Tension was generated after Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov appointed Most-Bank as the authorized bank of Moscow Government.
Source: Grani.Ru, 14 December 2000
On 2 December1994 officers of the Presidential Guard were ordered by their chief Alexander Korzhakov to raid Moscow office of Most-bank, located at the City Hall quarters in Novy Arbat street. Officers blocked the office for several hours. A criminal case on the raid was dismissed "for lack of corpus delicti''. Moreover, chief of Moscow FSB office Evgeni Savostyanov, who then had come to the aid of Gusinsky along with his officers, was immediately fired. Soon after that Gusinsky left for London and spent five months there. It was the first overt conflict between Korzhakov and Gusinsky-Chubais alliance.
Source: Vremya novostey, 16 June 2000
In 1994-1995 Gusinsky was at war with businessman Boris Berezovsky. Berezovsky and president of REN-TV company Irina Lesnevskaya even claimed that Gusinsky had been involved in the murder of popular television journalist and ORTV director-general Vladislav Listyev. However, in 1996 Gusinsky and Berezovsky became friends. They allied with Anatoly Chubais in the struggle for re-election of president Boris Yeltsin.
Source: Panorama newspaper, 23 January 2006
On 13 June 2000 Gusinsky was summoned to the Prosecutor General's Office for questioning on the case of Russkoye Video company. As prosecutors claimed, being a manager of Russkoye Video, Gusinsky had illegally seized the 11th channel of St. Petersburg TV company. The channel, valued at $ 10 million, was allegedly purchased by Gusinsky for $ 5000 and one million dollars was spent on the bribe for director-general of Russkoye Video who helped to arrange the deal.
Right at the prosecutor's office Gusinsky was arrested and immediately put to Butyrskaya prison. On 16 June 2000 Gusinsky was charged with committing a serious fraud, but a few days laterthe case against him was suddenly dismissed, most likely, in exchange for Media-Most shares.
Source: Vremya Novostey, 11 December 2003
Being released from prison, Gusinsky left for Spain, but at the end of December 2000 he was arrested at the request of Russian prosecutors there. Prosecutors not only resumed the case of Russkoye Video, but also opened a new case against Gusinsky. Gusinsky, along with CFO of Media-Most Anton Titov were claimed to transfer illegally credits received from Gazprom corporation to foreign accounts. A month later Gusinsky was released from prison on bail and stayed under house arrest at his own villa. President of the USA Bill Clinton, who was about to resign then, Israeli minister Shimon Peres and members of World Jewish Congress appealed to Spanish king Juan Carlos and asked him to protect Gusinsky. Fifteen months later Gusinsky was released since Spanish authorities did not find sufficient grounds for extradition.
Source: Kommersant, 26 February 2007
In 2002 Gusinsky was mentioned by Russian media in connection with the so-called ''writers' case''. Chubais and Alfred Koch wrote a book on specific traits of privatization in Russia and got over 100,000 dollars as inadequately high fee. TV journalist Sergei Dorenko, when interviewed by Vlast magazine, stated that ''writers' case'' had been a result of earlier conflict of interests between Gusinsky and Vladimir Potanin.
Source: Kommersant-Vlast, 18 November 2002
In September 2003 Gusinsky, who had gone to Greece, was arrested again at the request of Russian prosecutors, circulated by Interpol. Again, certain politicians and even organizations supported Gusinsky. Gusinsky spent a few months in Athens prison. But then Greek court refused to issue an extradition order and recognized Gusinsky as a victim of political repression.
Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 1 November 2003
At the beginning of October 2009 The Marker Israeli economic newspaper published an interview with Gusinsky. He expressed his willingness to return home, if allowed by Russian authorities. This interview drew wide public response and was even commented by Gusinsky's former competitor Boris Berezovsky. Berezovsky said their names had been mentioned together too often before, but they would no longer be closely associated.
Source: Kursor Israeli newspaper, 12 October 2009
The press informed that Sergey Polonsky very easily adapted in Moscow developer market. The businessman explained the success as he could quickly establish relations with local business environment and city administration. Polonsky also mentioned the mayor of Moscow Jury Luzhkov and his wife, the head of "Inteko", Elena Baturina.
Source: "Vedomosti", 7/11/2007
It was informed that, under some data, "Mirax Group" was managed through a network of offshore and fly-by-night companies. And, on the hearings, Polonsky transferred money received from investors into personal accounts abroad.
Sources: Compromat.Ru, 10/8/2008, lenta.ru referring to The Moscow Post from 3/23/2009
In the beginning of 2000s Sergey Polonsky appeared in a press at the description of the crisis situation in Moscow and Petersburg markets of share building in connection with ZAO "RosGlavMaterials". In particular, as mass-media informed, shareholders of the objects constructed by ZAO "RosGlavMaterials" picketed Smolny and demanded from the city authorities to help with solving their problems. According to the press, in 2004 the founder of ZAO "RosGlavMaterials" Evgeny Dondurey declared that Sergey Polonsky actively used "black PR" and threatened the competitors. However, the press informed also that company "RosGlavMaterials" was renamed to "Stroymontazh" and tried to be advertised under a name of the company of Polonsky and Kirilenko.
Sources: lenta.ru referring to The Moscow Post from 3/23/2009, B-f.rufrom 5/27/2004, «Company Secret» №5 2/7/2005
According to the press, Sergey Polonsky is not charitable at all. It was informed that in 2007 at divorce in with the mother of his second son, the proprietress of company "Stroyconsultgroup" Natalia Stepanova he sold OOO "Mirax" to the Netherlands offshore. The press connected it with unwillingness of the businessman to pay huge alimony to the ex-spouse. It was informed that Stepanova did not manage to seize 250 million dollars (a quarter of jointly acquired property) at Polonsky and she could count only on 150 thousand roubles monthly for the child. Polonsky declared that his son would live as "crown prince".
Sources: RB.ru from 7/11/2007, "Vedomosti" from 7/11/2007, «Express newspaper» from 10/22/2008, "Compromat.Ru" from 10/8/2008
According to the press, Sergey Polonsky's behavior is at least extravagant. It was informed that in March, 2008 at cocktails party in honor of opening of an exhibition of real estate MIPIM-2008 in Cannes he as declared: "Those who do not have a billion, can go to hell!" In February, 2010, during session of Board of directors of "Mirax Group" he unexpectedly thrown phones of several top-managers of the company to the wall then left. Polonsky declared that «he lay the whole day in real coffin driven by the real nails, at real cemetery surrounded by real dead men». When the economic crisis begun the businessman promised «to eat his tie» if in one year and a half the price for his apartments would not grow up for 25 %. Polonsky shocked people when he gave names Mirax to the son and a dog and also declared that he wished to buy the Moon.
Source: Compromat.Ru from 10/8/2008, news agency Rosbalt from 3/1/2010, «Your day» from 2/27/2010
The press wrote about the conflict between Mirax Group and the developer company
"Sistema-Gals". As it was informed, in December, 2007 Mirax and "Sistema-Gals agreed that the corporation will get at "Sistema-Gals" 50 % in the joint project of the elite house on a building place of "Literary newspaper" in Kostyansky lane in Moscow. According to mass-media, "Sistema-Gals" fulfilled obligations of the transaction, and Mirax ostensibly did not transfer payment. The sum of transaction, as press wrote, made $24 million. "Sistema-Gals" applied to Moscow arbitration with the requirement to withdraw with Mirax Group the back payment and the penalty. In August, 2009 "Sistema-Gals" assign 20 million dollars debts of Mirax Group to BVT Group to which it ran into debt with the similar sum. BVT Group, in turn, had debts to Mirax for payment of premises in the project "Wellhouse on Dubrovka" and a business center "Federation" in Moscow IBC "Moscow-city". So as a result, according to mass-media, all three companies actually exchanged debts.
Source: riarealty.ru from 22.09.2009
According to the press, in summer of 2009 «Mirax Group» had debts for $550 million, the basic creditor - "Alfa bank".
As it was informed, «Mirax Group» faced serious problems in 2009. The company could not pay a debt in 265 million dollars to the Swiss bank Credit Suisse, and also to pay off with other creditors. The total sum of debts of Mirax was estimated in 779 million dollars. In July, 2009 a debt of "Mirax Group" at Credit Suisse was redeemed by "Alfa bank". Right after that the bank submitted the claim to Arbitration court of Moscow, having demanded to withdraw a part of the debt from the company - about 242 million roubles.
Sources: "Kommersant" № 128 (4183) from 7/17/2009, "Vedomosti" from 8/4/2009
In this connection in a press the opinion was expressed that "Alfa bank" could continue to redeem debts of "Mirax Group», to lead the company to bankruptcy and to take it under the control. As it was informed, in August, 2009 under the claim of "Alfa bank" the court seized accounts and property of affiliated companies of "Mirax Group" – OAO "International centre" and ZAO "Mirax-city".
Sources: «Business newspaper» from 20.07.2009 "Kommersant» № 151 (4206) from 8/19/2009
On August, 20th Polonsky shower his powerlessness, having published in the blog in the Internet that the real estate of "Mirax Group" ceased to be on sale and that the companies refused to give out credits, and because of shortage of means terms plant handover was postponed. Polonsky also assumed that affiliated companies «Mirax Group» would pass into the ownership of "Alfa bank".
Source: Gazeta.Ru from 8/20/2009
As it was informed, in September Mirax agreed with "Alfa bank" about debt re-structuring for 18 months, having promised to pay a half with money, and another – with the areas in a tower "Federation".
Source: realty.newsru.com 17.02.2010
According to the press, today "Alfa" continues to entangle Mirax with debts. In particular, "Alfa bank" declared readiness to finance end of construction of a tower "Federation" in "Moscow-city" raised by «Mirax Group». In December, 2009 when the tower "East" of a complex "Federation" reached 64 floors Sergey Polonsky declared that the building would not be completed to originally conceived height in 94 floors as «Mirax Group» could not take the credit below 25-40 % annual. To complete a tower "East" to originally conceived height, according to the press, it is required about $240 million
As it is informed, for March, 2010 a total sum of debts of «Mirax Group» was estimated in $550 million. According to the developer, delayed debts on 2009 make $120.8 million. Debt to structures of "Alfa" excluding the bought up credit at Credit Suisse makes $99 million and $44 million from which are delayed.
As it is written in a press, "Alfa bank" in the beginning of 2010 tried to receive the control almost over all debts of «Mirax Group»: negotiations were carried on for the repayment of promissory notes at other creditors of the company, in particular, - at fund Carval ($42,7 million) and CLN and bonds holders (the largest — Bank of Singapore, Promsvyazbank). As it is informed, company debts under bonded loans make 1.84 billion rubles (about $62,7 million, from which 923 million rubles are delayed since September, 2009), on CLN — $236 million According to mass-media, except "Alfa" the developer owes $27 million to MDM-bank (repayment term expired on March, 1st) and still to a number of banks. According to one of experts, Mirax is in default or pre-default condition with a number of obligations.
Source: «Kommersant» № 48/P (4348) from 3/22/2010
Company "Stroymontazh" which Sergey Polonsky divided with Arthur Kirilenko and in which he kept 10 percent of shares could not overcome crisis times at all. It was informed that on the end of 2008 a debt of the company to creditor banks and investment companies made 6,1 billion roubles. In the end of December, 2008 in Arbitration court of St.-Petersburg two claims to "Stroymontazh" from the Baltic bank for 967 million roubles ($28,5 million) come. In April, 2009 “Alfa bank” submitted the claim to the company to Moscow arbitration having demanded to return more than $13 million
Source: "Kommersant-SPb" № 57 (4112) from 4/1/2009
In June, 2009 as it was informed in a press, the Petrograd district court of St.-Petersburg made decision to withdraw debts of corporation "Stroymontazh in the sum about billion roubles in favor to the Baltic bank”. Money must be paid personally by the president of the company - Arthur Kirilenko acting as the guarantor under credits. On October, 22nd at the initiative of the Baltic bank all real estate belonging to "Stroymontazh" was put arrest. Having suspected "Stroymontazh" of transfer assets out, the Baltic bank applied to police. In September, 2009 criminal case about deliberate bankruptcy with the search at office of "Stroymontazh” was submitted.
Except Baltic bank and "Alfa bank" "Stroymontazh" ran into debt still to variety of banks. In the end of November, 2009 in "Stroymontazh" external management was entered.
Sources: "Fontanka.ru" from 06.10.09, pro-n.ru from 11/26/2009
As press wrote, because of financial problems Sergey Polonsky had to leave to one of the largest hotels at Turkish coast Sungate Port Royal.
In January, 2009 Polonsky wrote in the blog about plans to sell Sungate Port Royal, and also yachts and the house at Azure coast to get money for the further construction of the objects. Then, as mass-media informed, it became clear that Mirax Group could not serve the credit taken for purchase of hotel in Vakif Bank. According to the press, the bank refused re-structuring and raised the rate under the credit up to 24 % annual.
In February, 2010 it was declared that Sungate Port Royal was sold to Turkish investors for 190 million euro - 150 million more cheaply than structures of «Mirax Group» bought it three years ago.
It was informed that as the buyer of hotel there was the consortium of the Turkish investors which participants were clients of Vakif Bank. Thus, press wrote the debt for Vakif Bank was completely covered.
Sources: "Kommersant" №31/С (4331) from 2/24/2010, newsru.comfrom 2/24/2010
In February, 2010 on request of ecologists building of a mounting skiing resort which was conducted by shareholders of "Mirax Group» in Switzerland was suspended. The project with total cost of 300 million dollars caused censures from local branch of the World fund of the wild nature (WWF) and Fund of protection and landscape arrangement. After the petition of ecologists, Council of the Swiss canton Valais came to a conclusion that examination of water protective constructions was done improperly and also all consequences of building on dry mountain plateaus which were nature sanctuaries of federal value were not investigated. As a result the decision of a commune of Mollen (part of Valais) which in the end of last year gave out construction license to the Russian investors (the main of them - shareholders of Mirax Sergey Polonsky, Maxim Temnikov and also their partner Vladimir Marakutsa) was cancelled and building of mountain-skiing complex Aminona-Est was postponed. «Mirax Group» declared that all wishes of local authorities would be taken into consideration and also the company would start project realisation.
Source: realty.newsru.com 25.02.2010
On February, 17th, 2010 the press informed that the head of affiliated structure of Mirax - "Mirax Group Ukraine" - Nikolay Nikitenko was detained at the airport of Kiev (in Ukraine company Mirax builds a multipurpose complex "Mirax Plaza"). In Security service of Ukraine (SSU) they declared that Nikitenko was suspected in corporate raids. Representative of SSU informed that Nikitenko was forbidden entrance to Ukraine for a period of five years as, under data available for special services; he used the offshore companies and the Ukrainian commercial enterprises for illegal assigning to himself or the third parties of the property right to the Ukrainian enterprises. SSU also declared carrying out of investigation which should establish participation of Nikitenko in crimes, in particular, - to raids in territory of Ukraine concerning the Ukrainian enterprises.
According to mass-media, Nikitenko who has Russian and Swiss citizenship connected the troubles with "people from the leaving power". As it was informed, representatives of "Mirax Group» applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia to solve the situation. In the end of March Nikitenko was permitted to enter Ukraine. According to the press, SSU took away from him charges and suspicions in creation of threat to economy and safety of the country. In «Mirax Group» in this connection it was declared that "new management and Security service of Ukraine resolved a current situation quickly and effectively".
Sources: newsru.com 17.02. 2010, pravo.ru from 3/30/2010
In February, 2010 the claim about bankruptcy of OOO "Mirax city" (a part of Mirax Group), the investor of building of Well House in Dubrovka was submitted. In Arbitration court of Moscow one of designers of Well House - Institute of metal constructions applied. The sum of claims made about 140 thousand dollars. According to the representative of the Institute "Mirax city" didnot pay for design works of the object for the sum of 4,25 million roubles that was confirmed by Moscow arbitration and the Ninth arbitration appeal.
Source: realty.newsru.com 17.02. 2010
In March, 2010 Institute of metal constructions projecting also the tower "Federation" submitted also the claim regarding bankruptcy of "Mirax-city" - the customer of building of a tower. As it was informed, claimants demanded for 4,6 million roubles.
In a press the conflict between Sergey Polonsky and the owner of "Independent newspaper» Konstantin Remchukov is described. On February, 27th, 2009 «IN» published an article "Mirages from Mirax Group" in which it was said that the company could not pay off with creditors and because of that it froze a part of projects. In the publication it was also supposed that Sergey Polonsky could repeat destiny of the founder of financial pyramid МММ Sergey Mavrodi. Polonsky accused Remchukov of the publication of an invited paper and, having addressed in court, demanded to deny the information. «Mirax Group» estimated moral harm in 100 thousand roubles. Then on air of radio station "Echo of Moscow" Polonsky accused Remchukov of he "took money" for the publication of the negative information about Mirax Group and "should be imprisoned". Then Remchukov demanded to involve Polonsky in the criminal liability for the insult: the edition management declared that it brought the claim about an honour and dignity protection to Sergey Polonsky and prepared the reference in Office of Public Prosecutor with requirement to involve it to the criminal liability for the insult in mass-media. Then, as press wrote, Remchukov and Polonsky met and discussed a current situation. Then, in the end of March, 2009, Mirax Group and "Independent newspaper" declared the conclusion of the agreement of lawsuit.
Source: «Kommersant» № 53 (4108) from 3/26/2009
On April 1, 2010 «Mirax Group» appeared in the centre of the next scandal. Mass-media informed that the search was conducted in the company office in a tower "Federation" organised by management of the capital Municipal Department of Internal Affairs with the assistance of employees of department of economic safety (DES) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. According to the press, seizures of documents were connected with criminal case concerning the former top-manager of the company Maxim Privezentsev. It was informed that case under article 165, point 3 of the criminal codes of the Russian Federation (causing of a property damage by a deceit in especially large size) was raised already on September 18, 2009. Privezentsev was accused being among other things a head of condominium partnership «Golden keys» he made unapproved connection to the electric system of this association. As a result, on a version of the investigation, in premises of the trading-entertaining centre and the sport complex located at the same address in 2006-2009 stolen electric power was illegally used. The damage, on a version of the investigation, made 4,1 million roubles.
Experts assumed that criminal case concerning Privezentsev could be initiated by Mirax Group. According to the press, on March, 25th 2009 Sergey Polonsky at press conference accused Privezentsev of theft of one of the companies of «Mirax Group» and $40 million As it was informed, till October, 2009 Privezentsev was the co-owner and the chairman of the board in Mirax Group. And also had a share in "Mirax-service" which was engaged in modernisation of Kursk station. It was informed that in this project Mirax Group enclosed about 40 million dollars. According to some information, Privezentsev supervised over the project joint to the Russian Railway through under controlled "BFM-KURSK station". Referring to a source in «Mirax Group» journalists wrote that Privezentsevostensibly stolen the company which was engaged in reconstruction of Kursk station, and refused to transfer it to Mirax Group until Polonsky pays off with him.
According to the press data, the company is the owner of «Golden keys» and the case for Privezentsev could be initiated by «Mirax Group». It turns out that Sergey Polonsky's company is an affected party. It looked suspicious that Polonsky informed about search carrying out in his blog (with a mark "it not a joke"), and the videoclip in which as it was informed in a press, employees of the company did not look not frightened but rather interested was downloaded operatively to web-site of Mirax Group and in the ending the cheerful laughter similar to laughter of Polonsky sounded.
Sources: forbesrussia.ru from 4/1/2010, realty.newsru.com from 25.03. 2010, from 4/2/2010
As mass-media wrote, in crisis Mirax Group lost the basic top-managers who stood at its sources. It was informed that in December, 2008 the corporation was left by Alexey Adikaev, in 2009 — Maxim Privezentsev and Dmitry Lutsenko. Journalists noticed that, despite financial problems, Mirax Group actively hires new managers. As it was informed, in 2009 the company management included the ex-head of Gosstroy, the head of Russian Builders’ Association Nikolay Koshman and also Mikhail Dvorkovich, the brother of the assistant to president Arcady Dvorkovich. Koshman held a post of the first vice-president of board of Mirax Group, and Dvorkovich — the adviser of the chairman of board of directors (Sergey Polonsky). In the beginning of 2010 the top management of the developer was filled up with the son of the head of department of city construction of Moscow - Oleg Kosovan, who was appointed to the post by directors for management of investment projects of Mirax Group. The press wrote that new appointments could help corporations to survive within financial crisis. In particular, referring to a source in the government of Moscow, it was informed that with the appointment of Kosovan Mirax Group can cut down the organizational expenses connected with registration of the project documentation and receiving of approvals for new constructions.
Source: "RBC daily" from 2/2/2010
In summer 1996, during presidential campaign, Moskovsky Komsomoletspublished sensational materials. Khinshtein transcripted a tape recording of a conversation between Anatoliy Chubais, Viktor Ilyushin and Sergei Zverev, members of Boris Yeltsin's election stuff. They talked about recent ''photocopier box incident '', when Eltsin's assistants were detained while carrying photocopier box full of money out of the government quarters. After this publication the journalist became widely known. In April 1997 the case on "serious illegal operations on foreign currency " was closed as investigators never discovered the identity of the person who put 500 000 dollars into the box.
Source: Kto est kto 30 September1997
In 1999 Khinshtein published several articles directed against businessman Boris Berezovsky and his security service, Atoll private security firm. As Khinshtein stated, Atoll initially protected Berezovsky and his business, but later the company got engaged in surveillance and gathering compromising materialsagainst politicians, including members of so-called ''family", people close to president Yeltsin.
Besides, Khinshtein wrote about the relationship between Berezovsky and governing body of the RF Interior Ministry. In particular, he adduced evidence of close friendship between Vladimir Rushailo, who at that time was Deputy Interior Minister, and Boris Berezovsky. In January 1999, after Khinshtein's article had been published, Prosecutor General's Office launched a criminal investigation against Atolland searched offices of the company, but did not find anything illicit.
Source: Moskovsky Komsomolets, 2 February 1999
On 14 May 1999 on Volokolamskoye highway Khinshtein was stopped by traffic police for traffic violation. Khinshtein produced a document giving its owner a right to avoid being checked by the police, and then produced a service certificate of intelligence service captain in the name of Alexander Matveyev. When Khinshtein's car was inspected another high rank certificates were also found. Reports say that Khinshtein himself said that all those certificates were his ''undercover documents''. Khinshtein was detained, but in a day he was released after he had signed a letter undertaking not to leave town.
Source: Kommersant, 18 May 1999
A case against Khinshtein caused rumours about his relation to the secret service. In February 2000 it was reported that Khinshtein's fellow officers of the Federal Security Service were seriously concerned about Khinshtein's probable conviction and regarded removal of the Interior Minister as the only way to save the journalist. That media report made Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov petition for Khinshtein in front of Vladimir Putin.
Source: Kommersant, 02 February 2000
In 1999 Khinshtein published a number of articles about Rushailo and his assistant, Major General Alexander Orlov, police officer. Khinshtein claimed that Orlov was related to St. Petersburg mafia. An article directed against Orlov was published right at the time when Orlov was checking in at Sheremetyevo airport as he was leaving Moscow for good. Orlov had time to move to Israel before the article was published, despite the fact that Khinshtein, as he stated in the article, had been gathering compromising materials for two years, that is, he had enough time to publish the article before Orlov's departure.
In response to the publication Rushailo called Khinshtein a "sick man". "We've got his medical card. He needs treatment. He has serious brain disorder..."
Source: Literaturnaya Gazeta, 1 December 1999
In February 2000 Khinshtein voluntarily had a medical examination at a mental health clinic under the RF Health Ministry. Health authorities found no signs of mental abnormality. Soon a criminal case on forged documents against Khinshtein was closed. However, it became known that as far back as 1986 Khinshtein was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In 1991 his diagnosis was confirmed.
Source: Vokrug novostey, 23 December 2007
When in 2003 Khinshtein ran for the State Duma as a candidate from the Nizhny Novgorod region, he used all the techniques he could think of. The Interior Ministry worked for Khinshtein as well. The Ministry forced Novgorod businessmen to contribute to Khinshtein's election fund. Bribery of voters and ballot manipulations were also used. Each voter was given money or alcoholic drinks.
While being a member of the Russian State Duma Khinshtein did not protect his voters' interests, he visited Nizhny Novgorod very rarely and mostly was drinking hard during his visits.
Source: Nizhegorodsky rabochy, 11 April 2003
On 31 October 2005 Khinshtein's apartment was robbed. A golden watch and jewelry were stolen. However, Khinshtein stated that burglars had intended to steal documents on the case opened against former premier Mikhail Kasyanov for illegal privatization of Sosnovka state dacha.
Source: Gazeta.Ru, 1 November 2005
On 29 September 2006 it became known that an action group of Nizhny Novgorod citizens would seek Khinshtein's recall as a member of the State Duma. Initiators considered that "deputy Khinshtein had not justified people's confidence. Instead of carrying out his duties, namely law-making, Khinshtein was busy with his own shady dealings". Valery Sergeichev, who was Khinshtein's assistant until July 2005, was reported to mastermind the campaign against Khinshtein.
Source: Gazeta.ru, 29 September 2006
In September 2011 Khinshtein made a denunciation against General Vladimir Markin, official of the RF Investigation Committee. Khinshtein claimed that Markin's certificate of law degree, giving him a right to hold the rank of general, was not valid. Prosecutor General's Office and State Education Department made an inspection and found out that diplomas of Moscow School of Economics and Culture were issued improperly. This fact made Markov's future career impossible.
Source: Moskovsky Komsomolets, 28 September 2011
As written in the press, in the 80’s Serdyukov traded walls in a furniture store "Dresden" in Leningrad, then he had obtained serious relationships, friendships with the directors of major department stores.
Source: "Moskovsky Komsomolets" from 01.03.2007
It was reported that head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, deputy head of presidential administration, then presidential aide - Viktor Ivanov played a key role in Serdyukov’s appointment in November 2001.
The press wrote that when leading the Federal Tax Service, Serdyukov had completely changed the people who hold key positions in those areas working with major taxpayers. Colleagues of Serdyukov from St. Petersburg replaced them.
Source: "Kommersant" from 16.02.2007
It was reported that under Serdyukov the FTS went permanently closed to journalists.
As written in the press, some experts estimate the activity of Serdyukov as head of FTS in a positive way, while others were of the opinion that he had ruined the tax office.
Source: Vedomosti , № 28 (1802) on 16.02.2007
In 2004, the press mentioned Serdyukov in connection with the scandal of tax claims by OAO “VimpelCom” for 157 million dollars. As reported, Serdyukov dismissed Alexey Klimov – manager who had been bent on that interregional inspection N7. The official reason for dismissal was that Klimov had willfully filed the claims against the company, without consulting the leadership. But the press noted that he could hardly dare to undertake such a step. The shareholders of VimpelCom were Alfa Group and holding Telenor associated with the Norwegian Government. The tax claims against VimpelCom, as written in the press, could have appeared in connection with the conflict over the shares of MegaFon, and Minister of Communications Leonid Reiman allegedly had been linked to it partly. According to the media, dismissal of Klimov could mean that VimpelCom had agreed with the stakeholders – i.e.government and those who had relation to the shares in MegaFon.
Source: skandaly.ru on 10.02.05 with reference to the "Novaya Gazeta», newsru.com of 15 December 2004
In 2005, the press reported that Serdyukov, as the head of the Federal Tax Service, was able to convey his opinion to President Putin, bypassing his supervisor - Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin. As reported, Serdyukov did so through the then deputy head of Kremlin administration, Igor Sechin. As written in the press, the most famous example of insubordination was a letter by Serdyukov writing they needed to change the system for collecting tobacco excise taxes, which fell to Putin’s table without a visa of Ministry of Finance, which had the opposite opinion on the matter.
Source: "Kommersant” № 145 (3229) on 06.08.2005
According to the press reports, the appointment of Serdyukov, who did not know military affairs and military language, the post of defense minister was a shock. Some called it a "humiliation of the army", which "will not help stabilize the country." Others felt that an "apparatus for implementing the president's plans” had been created." Still others argued that Serdyukov was to restore in the military financial discipline.
Sources: Kommersant »№ 25 (3601) on 16.02.2007, skandaly.ru on 18.09.07," The New Times "on 14.05.07
In 2007, the press reported that Defence Minister Serdyukov was rumored to be a candidate number 3 to "receive" Putin's presidency (the first two - Dmitry Medvedev and Sergey Ivanov).
Source: "Dengi” № 24 (630) from 25.06.2007
In March 2007 the press reported about the intention of the Minister of Defense to pass a crash course of training at the Military Academy of the General Staff designed specially for him so that he could get an idea of the strategy and operational art, the theater of operations, knowledge of the organization and management of the Armed Forces.
Source: "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" on 30.03.2007
Becoming Defense Minister, Serdyukov’s first impulse was to change out the army uniform. A competition was held, and the fashion designer Valentin Yudashkin won it. But the mass production of the new form, which would cost 2.2 billion rubles, did not occur: the economic crisis impeded.
Kommersant № 79 (4134) on 05.05.2009
As written in the press, the new Minister Serdyukov began his work with stripping the army leadership from henchmen of the former Defense Minister, as well - with getting control over the huge financial flows passing through the military department.
Source: "The New Times" on 14.05.07
In October 2008, Serdyukov announced the beginning of the military reform, which provided a significant reduction in the total number of the armed forces. It was reported that the officer corps should have been be reduced from 315 thousand to 150 thousand people, the Institute of Ensigns and Warrant Officers was eradicated, the number of generals was reduced and the apparatus of the Ministry of Defense will decrease by two and a half times. According to the press reports, the system of military trade, military agriculture and some military federal state unitary enterprises were planned to be transferred to civilian OAO “Oboronservis”, and Center for procurement and supply of material and technical logistics means was redefined in the civilian Federal agency of procurement and supply.
As written in the press, shortly after the reform, information about it has become very proportioned. And in November, a disposal appeared prohibiting from distributing information about the progress of reforms, the problems and the morale climate of the troops.
Meanwhile, the press reported that due to existing disagreements with the reform, starting from the fall of 2008 a number of senior military commanders began to resign. It was also reported that representatives of the Communist Party openly challenged the reforms, saying the reform was"expensive" and "ill-conceived", "posing a threat to the country's defense”, as the army was loosing " highly qualified cadre” as a result of the downsizing . As the press wrote, the communists, even demanded the resignation of Serdyukov.
Source: Kommersant, № 218 (4035) 29.11.2008, Kommersant, № 196 (4013) on 28.10.2008, Kommersant, № 221 (4038), 04.12.2008, "Noviy Region 2", 03.12.2008
On February 21, 2008 Acting Chief of Service quartering and resettlement, Colonel-General Viktor Vlasov committed suicide. The press reported that on the eve of the death Vlasov had a conversation with Serdyukov, during which they discussed the fact that in the course of official inspections numerous violations had been revealed in the service controlled by Vlasov.
Source: newsru.com February 27, 2008, "Strana.ru" from 03.03.08
Serdyukov was mentioned in the press in connection with the scandal, which caused the death of hockey player of Omsk Avangard - Alexey Cherepanov. It was reported that the Chief of Cherepanov, the commander of the 48-th separate railway Omsk brigade Oleg Alborov, was proposed to write a letter of resignation. Alborov turned to reporters instead and published information about the corruption that pervades the system of the Army Sports. In particular, the colonel claimed that Cherepanov had never seen him. After the publicity Serdyukov signed an order of Alborov’s dismissal because he did not pass Certifying Commission in 2008.
Sources: Kommersant № 237 (4054) on 26.12.2008," Noviy Region "from 30.10.08
According to the press, in the summer of 2008, foreign observers pointed out that there was a struggle for control over the army in Russia. And at that time civilians headed by the Minister Serdyukov were winning the fight.
Source: newsru.com December 3, 2008
In April 2009 the press reported that the Defense Ministry suspended the dismissal of generals and officers due to the restructuring activities. In this case the soldier was supposed to be paid a sum equal to 185 thousand rubles. In the absence of funds they began to offer the troops to quit on their own will, of course, without any compensation payments.
Source: newsru.com April 15, 2009
In April 2009 the press reported that Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov finished trimming the top management of the former personnel of Ministry of Defense. It was reported that almost all the key positions had been taken by Serdyukov’s insiders.
Source: novayagazeta.ru from 29.04.2009
In early 2010 the foreign press noted that despite numerous permutations in the leadership of Defense Ministry, Serdyukov failed to control the Russian armed forces.
Source: newsru.com on January 14, 2010
As written in the press, by December 2009, despite strong performances by opponents of the reform, the management structure of the army was considerably changed, and the officer corps was reduced significantly - from 355 thousand officers' posts to 150 thousand.
Source: “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” 30.12.2009
As written in the press, most of the leaders of Defense from Serdyukov appeal had never experienced the major military posts, had not fought in the hot spots.
Source: newsru.com March 24, 2008
It was reported that the reorganization of the army property was taken up by a group of people formed of top managers of the St. Petersburg construction companies connected with the corporation LSR (Lenstroyrekonstruktsiya in some way; it belonged to Senator Andrey Molchanov. According to the sources in the military directorate, there were such assistants to Serdyukov as Lev Vinnik (former head of the St. Petersburg administration of investments and top manager in LSR), Leonid Sorokko (ex-director general of ZAO "Petr Veliky”) and Alexander Gorubnov (resigned director general of St. Petersburg defense plant “Leninets ").
Source: Moskovsky Komsomolets on 13.11.07
As written in the press, the arrangement management of the Defense Ministry troops was led by Oleg Koval, who had previously worked as a foreman in various civil construction projects and rose to general director of OOO "Block Monolith”. Koval was reported to have no experience in military construction.
Source: Kompromat.ru, February 2008
According to the press, Serdyukov put Gregory Naginsky as the head of the quartering and arrangement. In the press he is told to be the father-founder of the construction company "Titan-2", a member of the Federation Council and the uncrowned emperor of Sosnovy Bor. As written in the press in early 2010, he is to dispose of 113 billion rubles allocated for the construction of housing for defenders of the Motherland in 2010.
Source: "Nasha versiya na Neve" from 28.01.2010
The press describes a number of scandals associated with the privatization of military equipment, referred to Serdyukov.
According to media reports, Serdyukov has gained the right to sell a number of properties belonging to the Ministry of Defense. The relevant documents reportedly were signed by the then Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.
Source: versia.ru on July 21, 2008
They wrote that Serdyukov obtained the right to "sell" the military objects in violation of the Russian law. He was supposed to sign the relevant papers not with his father-in-law, but with the head of the Federal Property Fund, as it is required by law.
Source: newsru.com24 March 2008
Press reported that with the advent of Serdyukov a project on the General Staff of the Navy, the Academy of Peter the Great, CSK complexes and many other objects moving from the capital to other cities has begun. They wrote that the building of the Minister of Defense on Myasnitskaya Street went by auction, thus, an old mansion of quartering and settlement service in the heart of Moscow was released from the officers.
Source: Kompromat.ru, February 2008
According to media reports, Serdyukov said that in 2008 the Defense Ministry planned to sell at auction more than 20 empty military installations throughout the country, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad and Vladivostok. As he insisted, all the money was to be solely for the acquisition of permanent housing and the construction of social facilities for the military.
Source: Kommersant-Online, 27.05.2008
Press wrote that a reformed Ministry of Defense auctioned off the two military camps in Moscow at a time: at the Rublevsky highway and in the Levoberezhny area.
Source: newsru.com on March 24, 2008
According to the press, the First Deputy Defense Minister, Colonel General Alexander Belousov was allegedly fired, due to the fact he did not want to give to the civilian businessmen the two land areas. Air Force Commander Vladimir Mikhailov was reported to be a wrong person, as he was against the withdrawal of the Academy n.a. Zhukovsky from Moscow. And besides, he opposed active usage of military transport aircrafts on commercial purposes and insisted on dominance of the military in the ground-based deployment, not of civilian air fleet. Former Chief of Military Medical Command Igor Bykov reportedly opposed the transfer of military hospital from the Kamenny Island in St. Petersburg or its transfer to civilian businessmen.
Source: "Vremya novostey", 22.02.2008
In 2008, as written in the press, the Defense Ministry began to struggle for the property, land and finance of the public organization ROSTO (DOSAAF). There were about 7 thousands of real estate and land in most regions of Russia. By the end of 2009 the status of the ROSTO was changed from a public organization into the social and state one. Defense took control over financial flows of the organization, which was 12 billion rubles by 2008. Property value of ROSTO was estimated to be worth up to 1 trillion rubles at the time. They wrote that the leaders of ROSTO called the attack on the social organization a "blatant corporate raid."
Sources: Kommersant № 71 (3888) on 25.04.2008, Kommersant № 229 (4284) on 08.12.2009
Serdyukov was mentioned in the press in connection with the scandal of the Kubinka airfield realigning –it was used to be a base for the famous aerobatic teams of "Strizhi" and "Russkie Vityazi" - into an airport for business aviation. According to the press, ZAO "Airport" Kubinka” embarked to implement this project (owned by OOO "Nafta-Moscow", included in the financial-industrial group of Suleiman Kerimov).
Source: novayagazeta.ru from 15.06.2009
In 2008, the press reported that as a part of the deliverance of "unnecessary" property by the Ministry of Defense, the Military Engineering Academy was evicted from the Bulvarnoe Koltso, and the editorial department of the Military University - from the Sadovoe Koltso. Defense also gave up on Aviation Engineering Academy n.a. Zhukovsky and the Academy of Strategic Rocket Forces n.a. Peter the Great in China-town.
Source: "Vremya novostey", 22.02.2008
According to press reports, the actions by Serdyukov on selling military lands were clearly endorsed by the top leaders of the country. For example, Dmitry Medvedev under his campaign announced a few abstract ideas formed by the team of Serdyukov. Among those were - the need to create a fund for the land owned by the Ministry of Defense which is not used for its original purpose, as well - the privatization of excess military property in the cities of Russia.
Source: newsru.com from 27 February 2008
The press noted that the lack of money the Defense Ministry did not prevent him from making expensive purchases and investing in questionable projects.
As written in the press, in December 2008, Serdyukov, together with the head of bank VTB Andrey Kostin and governor of Saint Petersburg Valentina Matvienko signed a memorandum on the establishment of a joint military training and research center the Naval Academy in Kronstadt. «The project was proposed by the company "VTB-Development" led by the son of Matvienko - Sergey, and is estimated at over 100 billion rubles.
Source: "Kommersant» № 233 / P (4050) on 22.12.2008
In November 2009, according to the media, Serdyukov demonstrated to Putin 450 homes purchased by the Ministry of Defense for military personnel in the cottage settlement "Novaya Izhora” in the southern part of St. Petersburg. It was reported that each house cost 6-6.5 million rubles. The press noted that Putin was not surprised that Serdyukov told him about the purchase only then. Besides, the law did not provide the purchase of houses for the military, but apartments only. And the footage was several times greater than the a