Over the past two or three days there have been several significant events, but before starting to cover them, it is necessary a small digression. Not only the facts covered by the media were interesting, but also those that, as if on command, no longer interested the media. Thefts in Rosagroleasing and the Ministry of Agriculture suddenly went out of focus. The “pipe case” in St. Petersburg followed them to information vacuum. And if in the second case, the cause may be features of operational investigative activities, and then the first one reflects some new trend.
Between Murmansk and Moscow region
But massaging of criminal activities in the Ministry of Defence continued (an impression is created that the Znamenka street is transforming into an analog of Santa Barbara - by the number of persons involved, by the depth of intrigue and by endlessness). There was another criminal case involving illegal sale of the property of the military institution initiated. This time it is about a realization of oil transshipment complex in the Murmansk region at the price below the market one by 240 million rubles. According to a prosecutor's investigation, this complex, which provided fuel to the ships of the Northern Fleet, in 2010, was transferred to the district material warehouse of the Moscow District of the Air Force and Air Defense. Soon the industrial complex was converted into a joint stock company and its property was privatized without compensation.
On December 6, investigators conducted investigative actions in the directorate of financial security of the Ministry of Defense of the Nizhny Novgorod region. Searches in the apartments of the suspects were held in three cities of the region.
There was information about a serious conflict of ex-Minister Anatoly Serdyukov with security services. Confirmations of our information that the compromising, which formed the basis of criminal cases of Oboronservis, was collected exactly by security service officers and not by the Main Military Prosecutor's Office, began to come in.
The Moscow region continued the series of corruption scandals – a fraud with state land was detected. The Head of Rosreestr of the Ramensky district was already arrested on the case. As it was specified in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, officials of a department of Rosreestr in Ramensky District, former law enforcement officers and employees of real estate agencies were in the criminal group. The scheme was as follows: the deliberate criminals made fictitious certificates on ownership of land of a pattern of 1992 and letters of attorney on the right of disposal of land and registered them on false or casual people, then on their basis, using the provisions of the so-called “dacha amnesty”, they claimed their rights for land plots and received original certificates. After that the land plots were sold at market prices to interested parties. Thus more than 300 hectares of land was derived from the state ownership, the damage is estimated at 1 billion rubles.
Generals’ career broken
A cross-cutting theme for all the media became the coverage of riots in the colony No 6 near Kopeisk and personnel decisions taken by the President of Russia in connection with these events.
Vladimir Putin dismissed four generals of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Deputy Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) Alexey Velichko and the Head of the SK RF in the Kirov region Alexander Panov. The relevant decrees posted on the Kremlin website on Tuesday. The reason for dismissal of Velichko was a riot of convicted criminals near Kopeisk. Open disorders began on November 24. According to various estimates, from 250 to 500 prisoners climbed onto roofs of buildings and a water tower and unfolded posters. They complained of beatings, extortion, demanded weakening of the detention regime. On the other side of the barbed wire, several hundred relatives of the convicted criminals gathered. It went so far that OMON (riot police) dispersed the excited crowd. As a result, there were victims both among the relatives and among law enforcement officers, five criminal cases on the facts of violence against government officials and 250 applications to the Investigation Committee from the prisoners.
According to human rights activist Olga Trufanova, there were several departments in the prison camp: sewing, furniture, as well as a department for processing of medical materials and production of souvenirs. The last two were absolutely illegal. Investigators found in the prison camp territory a department for production of cold-steel weapon (up to sabres), the existence of which wasn’t known to the administration. But this is very interesting: it is possible that soon the State Duma will consider amendments to the Criminal Code under the article of “use of slave labor”, isn’t it? And, furthermore, what were the FSIN officers engaged in other than extortion and abuse? To overlook an adjusted production of cold-steel weapon, one has to try very hard.
In the Ministry of Internal Affairs, chief of passport control and registration at the Federal Migration Service, Major General Mikhail Utyatsky was also dismissed. He was followed by two deputy heads of regional central boards of the Ministry of Internal Affairs: of the Nizhny Novgorod Region (Major General of internal service Victor Kabatsky) and of the Samara region (Major General of internal service Andrew Shuhorov), and also the chief of a state institution NGO “Special equipment and communication” of the Ministry of internal Affairs Colonel of Internal Service Alexander Kvitko.
The reasons for dismissal were not disclosed. While, for example, at the beginning of last month, the Kvitko's department was exposed in illegal expenditure of budgetary funds for performance of developmental works. The Main Internal Security Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia reported that in 2009 within the state contract for the supply of special equipment in the amount of 6.4 million rubles, it was delivered products not corresponding to the terms of the contract.
In company with officials
Another debated topic was an upcoming fundamental change in the approach to management of public companies. The government of Dmitry Medvedev was forming new lists of boards of directors. The leitmotif was the return of senior officials, whom the very Medvedev being the President had ordered to drive out of governing structures of state-owned companies.
Both in the first and in the second case, Medvedev declared that the initiated process would reduce corruption and improve investment climate in the country. To bring in a government official in management of a commercial company to reduce corruption? .. It is a very interesting approach, to be sure.
According to data announced in the media, government officials are to join the governing bodies of 70% of state-owned companies. For example, there will be significant changes assumed in the gas monopoly. The Deputy Minister of Economic Development Sergey Belyakov, Deputy Minister of Regional Development Vladimir Kogan, Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Fedorov can join the board of directors of Gazprom. They have to take places of three top managers of Gazprom - head of the department Elena Karpel, deputy chairmen of the board Mikhail Sereda and Vitaly Markelov. Four top-manager have been included into the board of the monopoly for many years, but now it will be only the head of Gazprom Alexey Miller there. Similar changes will occur in the Transinzhstroy: the number of officials will grow at the expense of top managers from five to eight.
In most other state-owned companies, there will be less significant changes planned. Basically, it is planned to include there one or two officials of deputy minister level, head or deputy head of the department. For example, it is offered to introduce in RusHydro Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Kurbatov and a representative of Rosimushchestvo (the Federal Property Agency) of a level of deputy head of the department. Together with a middle official of the Ministry of Economic Development, Mr. Kurbatov can join the board of directors of Inter RAO UES as well. The same Mikhail Kurbatov can join the board of directors of IDGC Holding, and it will be headed by the former energy minister and now a member of the Presidential Commission for Energy Sergey Shmatko. The situation is similar in the FGC.
It is planned to introduce representatives of the Ministry of Defense to state-owned companies of the military-industrial complex. In particular, it is about MIC NPO Mashinostroyeniya JSC (Machine building) and Concern PVO Almaz Antey OJSC.
It is curious that actually the only large state-owned companies, which are not mentioned in the list, are Rosneft and Rosneftegaz. They, as it is known, are under control of the presidential ally Igor Sechin.
The only one who remembers
And finally, the last. This week the world celebrates the International Day against Corruption.
The first (and the only) person who congratulated his colleagues and all Russian citizens on this holiday, was Vladimir Zhirinovsky. It is also a trend, however.
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 agreed one.
Source: newsru.com on November 24, 2009
In April 2010 the Defense Ministry announced the public procurement of 125 pieces of furniture at 18.3 million rubles. The military took everything - from wardrobe to the floor cloakroom. It was reported that, under the terms of the contract, the country of origin of most of the furniture was Italy.
Source: newsru.com on April 21, 2010
In April 2008, the Chamber published the data on that in 2006-2007 the Ministry of Defense spent 164.1 million rubles inappropriately.
Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 04.04.2008
In January 2010, the press reported with reference to the source in the appropriate committee of the Federation Council that according to the Chamber, in 2009, the Defense Ministry paid in the budget a sum 10 times less than that agreed in the sale of property projects and military equipment: not 10 billion rubles, but 1.5 billion.
Source: Interfax, 03.01.2010
In March 2010, Chief Military Prosecutor (CMP) of Russia reported that in 2009, public procurement for the defense order damaged the state at 1 billion rubles.
" A person familiar with the matter " in the Defense Ministry told reporters that in fact the corrupt picture looks even gloomier: perhaps, not less than 50% of funds allocated for arms purchases is spent in vain. And this is more than 200 billion rubles only for the year 2009.
Source: "Komsomolskaya Pravda", 06.03.2010
In the press viewed the relationship between Anatoly Serdyukov and the group "Soyuz" uniting producers of furniture. It is reported that the de facto leader of this enterprise is a respected businessman Alexey Sargin, known as "Lesha-fat" in some circles. According to some information, Sargin is protected by one of the leaders of the Tambovskaya criminal group - Vasily Vladykovsky, nicknamed "Vasya-Bryansky". The former head of raider tax inspection # 15 in Petersburg, Sergey Markevich is among the founders of "Soyuz"; he is rumored to enjoy the favors of Serdyukov during his time in the tax authorities. It was also reported that Serdyukov was on friendly terms with other co-founders of "Soyuz", the closest business partners of Sargin are Brothers Alex and Peter Usov, the rumor is they belong to the Tambovskaya criminal group.
Sources: apn-spb.ru 2007-02-27, fontanka.ru on 17/05/2010
In June 2009, media sources reported that representatives of the Russian mafia (including Malyshev and Petrov), detained in 2008 during Operation “Troika” maintained an active relationship with the authorities of Russia. As reported, Defense Minister Serdyukov was among them.
Sources: svobodanews.ru from 08.06.2009.
According to Internet resource Ruspress, Alexander Malyshev and Gennady Petrov controlled "Spanish channel" of illegal supply of Russian arms to Iran. Petrov’s discussion with Defense Minister Serdyukov was intercepted by the Americans. Then there were reports in the Spanish press that Petrov’s group was engaged in illegal arms trade and had contacts with senior officials of Russia. After that, reportedly, an attempt was made to revive arms sales to Iran via Algeria. But the cargo ship «Arctic Sea» was intercepted on its way from Kaliningrad (Russia) to Bejaia (Algeria). According to the press, Operation of search and return of «Arctic Sea» was commanded by the Defense Minister Serdyukov personally. On August 19, 2009 Estonian admiral, an expert on the EU in anti-piracy Tarmo Kyuts declared publicly that "Arctic Sea" had been carrying an illegal cargo of weapons for Iran.
Source: rospres.com 11.11.2009
In 2003 the tape scripts of the alleged recording of telephone communications between head of Rosneft Sergey Bogdanchikov and head of the office of Russia's President Igor Shuvalov appeared on the internet. The interlocutors discussed with Stanislav Belkovsky, a political expert, possibilities and chances of picking on Khodorkovsky. Political ambitions and plans of the oligarch filled the Kremlin with apprehension.
Source: Utro.Ru, 4 August 2004
Sechin was reported to have been able to show whatever he wanted to the President. Some believe it was Sechin who brought in a report of the Council for National Strategy think tank. Published in May 2003 by Stanislav Belovsky, the report “Russia faces the oligarchs’ takeover” dealt with the internal affairs of Russia. Some analysts say the report was part of a “smear campaign” against head ofYUKOS company Mikhail Khodorkovsky. They claim that anti-oligarch report of the Council was initiated by the siloviki group (high-ranking former officers of the KGB and other security agencies), namely Sechin’s group and the group of the then Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov.
Source: Izvestya, 9 June 2006
In 2003 a struggle between two factions inside the Kremlin - «old-timers» (led by head of the Staff of the President Aleksandr Voloshin) and «new-comers» (led by Sechin) - was in the focus of attention. Voloshin was reported to back Khodorkovsky. Late in October 2003 he resigned after the arrest of Khodorkovsky. Sechin, an alleged “eminence grise” behind all what happened, did not leave his office, Dmitry Medvedev appointed to Voloshin's post (head of the Staff of the President).
Source: Vedomosti, 3 November 2003
Sechin was deeply involved in the economic policy of Russia. In 2003 he counteracted the attempt to carry out governmental reform of Gazprom holding, the company supervised by Medvedev.
Some analysts claimed that Sechin and president of Rosneft Sergey Bogdanchikov stood up for the criminal prosecution of YUKOS oil-company. On September 2, 2003, Gleb Pavlovsky, head of Foundation for Effective Policy think-tank, publicized a memorandum in his Russian Magazine. According to the paper, Bogdanchikov and Sechin were in charge of the YUKOS case. There were reports, that at the same time in 2003 Sechin offered Mikhail Kasyanov to support the attack against YUKOS in exchange to the presidential post in 2008.
Source: Kommersant-Vlast, 1 December 2003.
Igor Sechin's interest in the conflict between Sergey Bogdanchikov and YUKOScan be explained by the fact that Sergey Bogdanchikov was affiliated with head ofMezhprombank Sergey Pugachov. They had established a joint enterprise (withMezhprombank), called Russian Coil. The same bank financed politically significantRosneft project of oil production in Chechnya. Mezhprombank was the bank of St Petersburg team (people from St Petersburg who got high positions after Putin came to power). Sechin was in this team.
Source: Novaya gazeta, 17 July 2003
The majority of analysts considered Sechin's joining Rosneft as a preparation to get hold of the assets of YUKOS. According to the reports, Sechin's nomination to a high position at Rosneft was indirect evidence that it was he who spearheaded the company to capture YUKOS.
Source: Moskovskiye novosti, 30 July 2004
Sechin's daughter Inga have had something to do with the Moscow's branch ofSurgutneftegazbank since 2004. The banks core shareholder (94.152%) isSurgutneftegaz oil and gas company. Neither Moscow's branch ofSurgutneftegazbank, no the bank's main office gave comments on the situation or confirmed that Sechin's daughter was a shareholder or an employee.Surgutneftegaz's head of PR department Yury Gushchin told journalists that at the time of Boris Yeltsin's presidency there had been nothing wrong in participation of the relatives of those in high eschelons in business, but times changed when Putin came to power. Inga Sechina's husband is Dmitry Ustinov (she became Mrs Ustinov in 2003). Dmitry is a son of former Prosecutor General of Russia. Recently he has joined the Staff of Russia's Presidently. Coincidentally Sechin is in charge of personnel policy at Ustinov's new place of employment.
Source: Novaya gazeta, 2 August 2007
In September 2006 Andrey Patrushev, head of the FSB Nikolay Patrushev's son, became an advisor to chairman of the board of Rosneft Sechin.
Source: Kommersant, 13 August 2006
Sechin’s economic and administrative might became apparent whenVneshekonombank (VEB) “acquired” 50% stake in Tomskneft from Rosneft, a mysterious deal which took place in 2003. Rosneft (Sechin is the chairman of the board) bid for the office building of YUKOS, but lost to previously unknown company Prana, which paid 100.9 m roubles ($3.4 m) for the asset.
Later on, Rosneft managed to buy the office from Prana. The refiner decided to sell 50% stake in Tomskneft to VEB in order to realize necessary $3.4 m. But what happened next was a mishap. Rosneft made a statement that the deal had been secured, half of Tomsneft gone to the bank and the money received. On the contrary, VEB made a statement that it had not bought anything. As a result the bank's supervisory board (which sits minister of finance Aleksey Kudrin and minister of economic development and trade German Gref) turned down the deal.
According to a source in Vneshekonombank, brothers Kovalchuk were a force behind Prana. Rossiya bank's chairman of the board Yury Kovalchuk had institutedOzero co-operative society (together with Vladimir Putin). Eventually he became a largest shareholder of Rossiya bank, the bank considered to be a financial stronghold of the president's friends from St Petersburg.
During the period when Rosneft was looking for the money to buy YUKOS' office, Igor Sechin rang up Vladimir Dmitriyev, the bank's chairman. Such telephone call left no doubts that the acqusition of 50% in Tomskneft had been approved at the very top. But when the situation reached ears of Gref and Kudrin, it became obvious that there was no consensus pertaining the deal. According to the sorce, Gref replied: «You have attacked the wrong bank…» After that it was decided that the bank would play back, but Rosneft already made a statement about the deal and the receit of money.
Source: Novaya gazeta, 2 August 2007
In 2007 the media published articles about a number of Petersburgers who had long-standing good relations with Sechin and, according to some sources, thanks of this acquaintance, were appointed to high-level positions. Among them were such people as Defense Minister, Anatoly Serdyukov (February 2007); the head of the Central Election Commission, Vladimir Churov (March 2007); and Chairman of the Investigating Committee at the Prosecutor's Office, Alexander Bastrykin (September 2006).
Source: Kommersant, 22 June 2007
Media linked Sechin to the situation surrounding the oil company Russneft and its former president Mikhail Gutseriyev. On July, 30, 2007 Gutseriyev voluntarily resigned from his presidential position. According to some sources, on the same day Russneft was scheduled to be sold to a holding company Basic Element owned by Oleg Deripaska, but this did not happen. Allegedly a third party interfered with in the execution of the deal. On July, 31, 2007 100 percent of Russneft shares were arrested and on August, 28, 2007 the Tver court of Moscow arrested Gutseriyev in absentia. Later the entrepreneur, according to some unconfirmed reports, asked the British authorities for political asylum. Deripaska personally cleared the purchase of Russneft with President Putin and some of the presidential administration officials. The media reported that the third force to the situation was Sechin since he had an interest in Russneft.
Source: Kommersant, 29 August 2007
In November-December 2007 the media published an interview with the co-owner and president of financial-industrial group Finansgrupp, Oleg Shvartsman. In the interview Shvartsman told about the business he headed in which relatives of people employed in the power unit of the presidential administration were involved. He also mentioned the possible establishment of a state corporationSocial Investment and spoke about weaning private assets in the "velvet re-privatization." When answering a journalist’s question about who instructed those who Shvartsman worked for, he replied: “The party! ... And for us the party is represented by the power unit, which is headed by Igor Sechin.”
The publication of this article caused a huge scandal. Sechin’s reaction to the article is unknown.
Source: Gzt.ru, 04 December 2007
In December 2008 the US newspaper The New York Times presented Sechin in one of its articles as the main raider in Russia who organized takeovers "sometimes to the benefit of the state, or sometimes to the benefit of companies that are friendly to him.” The newspaper told the story of Sechin taking interest to the situation around the company Uralkali after an accident at one of its mines in Berezniki. Sechin threatened to impose high fines on Uralkali that could cripple the company's work and the government refused to the company owner’s proposal to offset some of the damage caused by the accident. The New York Timesinterpreted the two facts as evidence that the Kremlin wanted to entirely takeUralkali over.
Source: The New York Times, 07 December 2008
In February 2009 Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin lobbied for the appointment of a person close to him as first CEO Deputy of IDGC Holding JSC, which controlled the power delivery network. The mentioned person was Nikolai Shvets, a former adviser to the head of Russian Technologies, Sergey Chemezov. The holding CEO, Alexander Kazakov, three times refused to hire Shvets. In the beginning of the last week of February allegedly Vladimir Putin personally telephoned Kazakov and asked him why he was leaving work. Putin had on his table a decree on Kazakov’s resignation. At that moment the decree was not yet signed.
Kazakov replied that he had no intention to leave, and that someone around him was plotting. The Prime Minister allegedly reassured Kazakov and told him to continue working and not to worry. On February, 26, Kazakov was dismissed from work and Nikolai Shvets became head of IDGC Holding JSC.
Source: Newsweek, 10 March 2009
In February 2010 the media published an article by Andrey Odinets about Russia's interests in Latin America that claimed the existence of links between Russian investments in the economies of several countries in the region and support that these countries showed to Russian politics. Sechin harshly criticized the publication and, in particular, flatly rejected the assertion that Russia could encourage investment in the Latin American economy in exchange for recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, calling the assertion biased and aimed at the jeopardizing confidence in Russia.
Source: Kommersant, 15 February 2010
At the end of March 2011 President Medvedev announced that all the vice-premiers and ministers of the Russian government must withdraw from the boards of directors of state companies by mid-summer 2011. On April, 11, 2011 Sechin resigned as board chairman of Rosneft, but remained on the board until the annual meeting of shareholders.
Source: Marker, 11 April 2011
Zhirinovsky repeatedly applied for admission to the Communist Party, but they would not let him join even the army, despite the fact that he worked there in the Political Department. The part refused to admit him allegedly due to the fact that his views were not consistent with the program and ideology of the party. According to some reports, in 1977 he nearly became a member of the underground party. Its members were arrested before the meeting Zhirinovsky was to be present at.
Source: Bolshaya Politika, December 2005
On December 13, 1989 Zhirinovsky at the invitation of Vladimir Bogachev took part in the meeting of the initiative group of the Liberal Democratic Party of the Soviet Union (LDPSS). Zhirinovsky gave the party his new program and became the leader of this organization. He received permission from the District Communist Party Committee and the KGB to hold the constituent congress of LDPSS, which took place on 31 March 1990; he became chairman of the party. On October 6, 1990 there was the second (extraordinary) Congress of LDPSS, during which at the suggestion of Bogachev, main coordinator of the Central Committee of LDPSS, Zhirinovsky was dismissed from his post as chairman and expelled from the party. Zhirinovsky did not recognize the congress and its decision and the party split in the LDP and LDPSS. On October 20, 1990 Zhirinovsky held a conference of LDPSS, during which those behind the previous congress- decision were excluded from the party.
Source: Novy Chronograph, 22 October 1990
In 1995, Torah Annunziata (a city near Naples) city prosecutor accused Vladimir Zhirinovsky of supplying the Serb Army of Radovan Karadzic with so-called fuel-air explosives and heavy multiple rocket launchers BM-30 Smerch. Zhirinovsky was working with a Slovenian businessman Nicholas Oman, which in turn cooperated with the Srpska Garda (Serbian irregular militia) and Radovan Karadzic. Weapons came from Tula. Karadzic received a toll of 6 million German marks. The money was transferred to an account at Banca del Gottardo, an offshore company owned bySarmos Establishment Vaduz.
The Italian police, when investigating the scheme of arms supply on several contracts with Bosnia and Kosovo, encountered a structure, which was even bigger than expected. "Most transport was provided with bank guarantees from a Swiss lawyer”, says Giovanni Lepori, Carabinieri general (Italian police). “As soon as we were able to find out who paid for the guarantee, we noticed that all these people are somehow connected with "Al-Qaeda."
Further investigation results of were shocking. The underground organization not only sold weapons to Karadzic, but also to anyone acting on a global scale. Vladimir Zhirinovsky was just one of many suppliers. A small Sicilian community, Gamma centre, turned out to be the coordinator. Michel Papa, president of the company was at the same time head of the Islamic Centre of Catania and the Italian-Arab national association.
In 2000 a Venice court found all Italian companions of Zhirinovsky guilty. If only Zhirinovsky appeared in court, he would also have been convicted.
Source: Vslukh o.., January 2004
In February 1996 there was a murder attempt aimed at Aleksander Vengerovsky, former deputy chairman of the State Duma from the Liberal Democratic Party. Vengerovsky said that at first Zhirinovsky saw a competitor in him, then sold his post $ 4.5 million to the Ingush tycoon Mikhail Gutseriev, and when the deputy speaker protested, he was shot in the knee. In an interview with journalist Andrey Karaulov, Vengerovsky directly accused Zhirinovsky of the assassination attempt, citing information received from the deceased Shevchenko and a call from Zhirinovsky, who allegedly wanted to know the outcome of the attack exactly 10 minutes after the shot. In addition, the victim accused those close to the head of the Liberal Democratic Party of several criminal episodes and pointed out that the liberal-democratic members of parliament, Sergey Abeltsev, Michael Musatov, and Sergey Sigarev defiantly refused to give testimony in the case.
Source: Ruspres, 20 November 2009
Back in 1992 all property of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, according to available records, consisted of only a Volga car (GAZ-2410) and a small one-bedroom flat on Sokolnichesky Val, provided for him be the department of municipal housing in Moscow.
Living entirely on a single salary of an MP, from 1994 to 1997 deputy Zhirinovsky spent just under 12 billion rubles only for the acquisition property and real estate. According to the documents, he is the sole owner of the acquired property. Cited facts are only those confirmed and proven by the tax authorities. At the same time, absolutely all 122 apartments in 44 federal entities Zhirinovsky paid for in cash only.
Source: Novaya Gazeta, 06 October 1998
On September 30, 2004 Iraq Study Group, established by the Ministry of Defense and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, released a report which indicated that Saddam's Iraq violated the UN-imposed sanctions and sold oil, using a system of double contracts. Vladimir Zhirinovsky was mentioned among others on the list of Russian recipients of vouchers. According to the ISG, in 1999 Nafta-Moscowbought on his voucher, 550 000 tonnes (3.85 million barrels) of oil. In the second half of 2000, Zhirinovsky also received vouchers for 9 million barrels of oil, which were used through Tyumen Oil Company (TNK).
Source: Vedomosti, 02 December 2004
In 2004 Vladimir Zhirinovsky was a witness in the trial over the murder of Galina Starovoitova, who had been killed in her apartment building in St. Petersburg on November 20, 1998. At the time of the murder Ruslan Linkov, an assistant to the deputy, was with her and was shot in the head. The investigation found the killers and the organizer of the murder. They were sentenced to terms ranging from 11 to 23.5 years in prison.
Zhirinovsky was summoned to the city court of St. Petersburg as a witness. He volunteered to participate in the litigation over the murder of Starovoitova after Lyudmila Narusova, a member of the Council of Federation, said in court that Starovoitova and MPs from the Liberal Democratic Party had a serious conflict. Zhirinovsky said that Starovoitova really was for him the main political opponent, but the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party did not aim to murder her.
Source: Lenta.ru, 19 November 2004
Media wrote that the relationship between Zhirinovsky and Starovoitova was so nasty that when he returned to St. Petersburg to testify in the case, on the sixth anniversary of her murder Zhirinovsky made a cynical show at the grave. Although the tomb was on the restoration, the main Liberal Democrat demolished the fence around it, put a table with vodka on the tombstone, started speculating over the nasty character of the murdered MP, and hoisted a bottle of cologne named after himself on Starovoitova’s gravestone. Just to think of it, contracting the murder of a person you hate so much even years after the death is not so rare a thing to do.
Source: Nasha Versiya na Neve, 27 November 2009
Yury Kolchin, the convicted organizer of the murder of State Duma deputy Galina Starovoitova, said during questioning that the contractor was a former State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party, Mikhail Glushchenko.
Meanwhile, Starovoitova’s assistant had no doubt concerning being involved in the murder, but stresses that one should judge all the parent organizers. "My personal opinion is that Glushchenko should be responsible for the death of Galina Starovoitova. But charges should also be brought against those who gave him orders ", said Linkov. “I would like to hear the names of all of them”, he added.
Source: Ediny Rossiysky Portal, 04 March 2011