PASMI publishes an investigation into the beneficiaries of embezzling billions of rubles on a government contract for the construction of military units in the Arctic zone. The businessmen who built the objects of the Ministry of Defense in Chukotka, after refusing to bribe the official of the Ministry of Defense, found themselves in a detention center. Construction equipment of entrepreneurs worth about a billion rubles was seized, a contract for 4 billion was transferred to a one-day company, the work already done was re-paid. No one knows where the money went. The PASMI investigations lead to the conclusion that former senator Ter-Avanesov and Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov are linked to the raider seizure and embezzlement of state billions.
In recent years, the Russian military has been actively exploring the Arctic zone on the instructions of President Vladimir Putin. According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, for six years beyond the Polar Circle, military units have built up a territory comparable to half of Gorky’s metropolitan park and ten times the size of Red Square in Moscow — more than 710 thousand square meters. The project is really ambitious, given that only the transportation of building materials and workers to remote sites of land and islands in the Arctic Ocean costs hundreds of millions of rubles.
The embezzlements and the level of lawlessness, which curators of the Arctic construction projects allow themselves, have turned out to be just as large-scale - both in Spetsstroy, which has now been liquidated, and in the existing structures of the building complex of the Ministry of Defense. The criminal case of the founders of the RusAlliance Stroy company, Alexey Ekkert and Dmitry Bushmanov, shows how it is possible for formal reasons to remove an intractable company from erecting the objects entrusted to it and to put businessmen in the SIZO. They were accused of lack of results of construction, although the opening of military units has already been demonstrated by federal channels. Moreover, the organizers of the scheme managed to knock out additional funds, without reporting their use. The price of this scheme for the state is 8 billion rubles.
It was possible to turn such an unprecedented scam thanks to high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Defense, relations with an influential ex-senator and participation in the investigation, able to ignore reports on cargo transportation, delivery of buildings and other structures, decisions of the Arbitration Courts, and also television stories that feature built objects. . PASMI talks about the arctic raider scheme and about those behind it.
Return to the North
In the middle of the last century, the Soviet Union began to deploy military installations in the north of Chukotka. A radar station appeared on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean. In 1992, it was closed and for more than 20 years no one, except for the staff of the reserve and scientists observing walrus rookeries and musk ox pastures, did not care about this arctic tundra and glaciers.
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In 2014, after the presidential assignment, Wrangel Island turned out to be a strategic object again, and there, as soon as possible (within a few months), it was necessary to deploy a military base to protect the state’s borders. In the competition for the construction of the object, RusAlliance Story won, familiar with work in permafrost conditions and having experience of cooperation with the military. For the creation of a military camp on Wrangel Island, the company received an advance payment of 1.5 billion rubles, the same amount for the deployment of a similar facility at Cape Schmidt (also in the Chukotka Autonomous Region) and 200 million rubles for the construction of military infrastructure in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago (Arkhangelsk region) .
In the same year, the builders prepared the project, agreed with the shipping companies and began to deliver special equipment and building materials to the objects. About a dozen ships were chartered to deliver cargo to the far northern islands. The road from Arkhangelsk and Vladivostok reached thousands of kilometers. A day of renting an Admiral Makarov icebreaker cost the company up to 2.5 million rubles. Transportation of goods took several months and became one of the most costly parts of the project - only the cost of delivering equipment and building materials to Cape Schmidt and Wrangel Island amounted to 1.6 billion rubles. For comparison: the construction of facilities for the military itself, including the cost of building materials, cost 3.7 billion rubles.
By the end of 2014, the bulk of the work was completed. The military was settled in the barracks, where there was already a first-aid post, a gymnasium, a sauna, and the Internet worked. The units brought supplies, and the contract servicemen began their service. “Channel One” and “Russia 24” told about it in their stories and demonstrated that the conditions of service in the island Arctic are no worse than on the mainland.
Kickbacks and debts
In 2015, builders had to pass the objects. But the contract holder - the Main Department of Engineering Works No. 2 at Spetsstroy of Russia (GUIR # 2 - renamed to FSUE “GVSU No. 2”) refused to accept the buildings. According to businessmen, the acting chief of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Oleg Sirazetdinov and his deputy, Vladimir Khodnevich, demanded a bribe of 20% of the contract amount (approximately 700 million rubles) for work coordination. This version is supported by an audio recording, which businessmen gave to journalists after refusing to pay a “kickback”. So the Rubicon was crossed: the conflict turned into an active phase, and it was impossible to stop it.
The companies of Eckert and Bushmanov required additional funds for the continuation of the work - the expenses significantly exceeded the advance payment of 3.2 billion rubles paid by the military. But FSUE simply refused to pay the remaining amount of the contract.
RusAlliance has a debt to the company “JSC Belomortrans”. This company attracted to the work on the delivery of cargo “Onego Shipping”, a subcontractor of which was, in turn, PJSC “FESCO”, which belonged to the Ziyavudin brothers and Magomed Magomedov. Each of the partners carried out a separate part of the work: “Belomortrans” was engaged in cargo delivery by land and chartering vessels, FESCO provided the vessels and together with the Northern Shipping Company delivered cargo to the islands, and Onego Shipping was engaged in unloading at the facilities.
RusAlliance Stroy was expecting payments from GUIR No. 2, which were guaranteed by a letter signed by Sirazetdinov (available at PASMI). By that time, businessmen, still hoping that additional funding would come in, had invested in the project about a billion rubles of their own and borrowed funds. But payments did not follow.
Instead, the federal state unitary enterprise waited until a contractor had a substantial debt to counterparties: the last link in the chain in the transaction of FESCO Magomedovs PJSC was expecting to pay half a billion rubles. Sirazetdinov bought from Magomedovs the right to reclaim the debt from Onego Shipping and RusAlliance Building. With this “trump card”, the head of the FSUE went to the Arbitration Court, where he filed a lawsuit against these companies for the same 500 million rubles. And the court charged the money. Thus, the “daughter” of the Ministry of Defense Spetsstroy, without spending a penny, received the ordered building materials - they were delivered to Arctic objects.
The remaining participants in the transaction were in a stalemate - out of money and in debt. Sirazetdinov staged the RusAlliance Story shah, pushing for bankruptcy. And then the mat followed - the federal state unitary enterprise tore off the contracts concluded with the company Eckert and Bushmanov, accusing the company of disrupting the construction deadlines. Contractors really did not fit into the scheduled dates of work, but this happened, first of all, due to the fault of the order holders themselves. FSUE initially handed over to the site builders for facilities with a significant delay, as confirmed by the Arbitration Court.
Federal State Unitary Enterprise began to demand from “RusAlliance Building” to return the full amount of the advance payment spent on the construction of the Arctic military units - 3.2 billion rubles. But the arbitration refused to Sirazetdinov’s subordinates these requirements, recognizing that the company had completed all the work stipulated in the contract, both on Wrangel Island (1.5 billion rubles) and on Novaya Zemlya (200 million rubles), collecting approximately 400 million for each of the objects. rubles in favor of RusAlliance. On the dispute concerning the last facility at Cape Schmidt, the court has not yet decided.
Impunity and ties
After the scandal around the publication, audio recordings demanding a bribe Sirazetdinov were simply demoted: the acting chief of the FSUE “GVSU No. 2” was removed from the post and was appointed deputy head of the central board. Then, the official quietly left the military construction in the Arctic in the energy sector, having received the post of director for low-power projects and complete equipment supplies at JSC Rusatom Overseas (part of Rosatom Holding). Now the official who extorted money speaks at business conferences and meets with regional authorities. Sirazetdinov’s place at the end of 2016 was received by his former deputy, Vladimir Khodnevich, who, according to the founders of RusAlliance Building, was also involved in demanding a bribe.
In October 2018, a representative of RusAlliance Story, filed a statement with the police against Sirazetdinov and his deputy, Khodnevich, on the fact of the illegal transfer of 500 million rubles to the company of the Magomedov brothers, bypassing RusAlliance Stroi, Belomortrans and Onego Shipping.
The police found signs of crimes under Article 285.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (misappropriation of budgetary funds) and 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of official authority) in the actions of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise. In early February of 2019, the Ministry of Internal Affairs sent the verification materials to the Investigative Committee, and a preliminary investigation is currently being conducted.
Who is this mediocre official - Oleg Sirazetdinov, who can disrupt the task set by the president of the country, avoid checks after a public scandal demanding a bribe and not be held accountable? According to the biography, he may be familiar with very influential people.
At the beginning of zero Sirazetdinov worked in the management of "Ruspromavto" - the country's largest automotive holding, which managed the Gorky Automobile Plant, the Ural Automobile Plant, Pavlovsky and Likinsky (LiAZ) plants. The general director of the holding was Dmitry Strezhnev, who is on the list of Russia's richest businessmen, according to Forbes magazine.
In 2005, Ruspromavto joined the GAZ group of companies, which today belongs to billionaire Oleg Deripaska.
In 2001-2002, according to SPARK data (when working in a number of companies, Sirazetdinov did not indicate his TIN, therefore it is impossible to say with absolute certainty that this is exactly this person), Sirazetdinov could work as a deputy director in GAZ OJSC (now PAO). At the same time, the deputy director of the holding was Arkady Sarkisyan, a former State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and a former member of the Federation Council from Khakassia. The media calls Sargsyan Deripaska’s right hand.
Ex-Senator and Deputy Minister
In “RusAlliance Stroe” they say that Sirazetdinov and Khodnevich, who demanded a bribe from the enterprise, were patronized by influential people. The beneficiary of the receipt of money called the former senator from the Kostroma region Alexander Ter-Avanesov, who became famous for the fact that his assistant Mikhail Beridze was detained in 2010 for trading posts in the office of the Federation Council and the State Duma. "Crust" cost buyers from 150 to 200 thousand dollars. According to media reports, Ter-Avanesov himself was allegedly associated in the 1990s with members of the Lipetsk organized criminal group, former Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan and the deceased Deputy Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika Sahak Karapetyan.
In 2015, Ter-Avanesov’s career in the federal parliament ended. The senator went to the Legislative Assembly of the Kostroma region, but was so busy that he did not attend a single meeting in a year, setting an absolute record for “absenteeism”. In 2016, Ter-Avanesov left the Legislative Assembly on his own application. After that, the former senator got the position of vice president of VTB Bank.
In “Rusalliance Stroe” they assert that Ter-Avanesov is connected with the former interim head of the “GVSU“ № 2 ”Vladimir Khodnevich. The latter allegedly worked for the senator in the Federation Council. In any case, he certainly worked in the apparatus of Sovfed, PASMI was able to confirm this information.
The name of Ter-Avanesov emerges in another scandalous story about the construction of objects of the Ministry of Defense and extortion of a bribe. We are talking about the construction of a training center (UTC) for the training of personnel of submarines of the Russian Navy in the city of Pushkin, near St. Petersburg.
In June 2014, this contract was placed by JSC Main Directorate of Arrangement of Forces. On the basis of the complex, the submariners had to work out actions to combat the survivability of the ship, as well as undergo rescue and light diving training. The contract worth 731 million rubles was received by the LLC Stroyotdel company, owned by Mikhailova Nadezhda Vladimirovna.
The contractor could not complete the work (they only dug a foundation pit at the site). The money was spent, and the company was bankrupt. Mikhailova explained to journalists the reason for the incident as follows: allegedly they demanded a bribe twice - first the head of GUOV Timur Ivanov, and after he went up and became deputy minister of defense, the new head of GUOV, Yevgeny Gorbachev, needed the rollback. The organizer of the scheme Mikhailova calls the ex-senator Ter-Avanesov. According to her, he allegedly is the organizer of the group, engaged in the theft of money on government orders.
However, there are serious inconsistencies in Mikhailov's version: Gorbachev came to the GUOV one and a half years after Ivanov, and his participation in the history of Stroyotdel LLC seems rather doubtful. But his role in the scheme for the seizure of objects "RusAlliance Building" is obvious. He worked as a lawyer for Tekhnostroy LLC, which Eckert and Bushmanov recruited as a subcontractor to work at Arctic sites. But after the firm could not account for the 90 million rubles spent to it (it did not carry out any work, in fact having stolen the money, as evidenced by the decision of the Arbitrage) it was removed from the project. Then Gorbachev became the founder of Spetsstroy-1, which was handed over contracts to RusAlliance Building after a conflict with Sirazetdinov.
Having made a raider seizure of construction in the Arctic, Gorbachev became an employee of the Ministry of Defense - transferred to AO GUOV, the main construction enterprise of the military, which from 2013 to March 2016 was headed by Timur Ivanov.
While in this post, Ivanov was in fact responsible for all military construction, therefore, the department’s strategic facilities could not escape his control. After the implementation of the scheme with RusAlliance Story, Timur Vadimovich became Deputy Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, but continued to oversee the construction structures. The deputy minister maintains contact with his successor, Gorbachev. They met at joint events.
Evgeny Gorbachev and Timur Ivanov
Familiarity with Gorbachev can be another indirect evidence of Ivanov’s participation in the story of the “Rus Alliance Story”.
By the way, the other day the deputy head of the Ministry of Defense gave an interview to Novaya Gazeta, in which he mentioned the construction of military units on Cape Schmidt, Wrangel Island, on Franz Joseph Land. Ivanov noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had even visited these sites. “These are really fantastic objects to be proud of and not ashamed to be shown,” the deputy minister stressed.
But he forgot to mention that only the buildings of the first stage of construction were erected. It was not possible to complete the work of RusAlliance Stroy, as the company was turned off the objects, and the representatives of the contract holder, GUIR No. 2, confiscated the equipment. After that, the former Spetsstroy allocated money to complete the work, but the objects remained unfinished.
Timur Ivanov is also familiar with another possible participant in the Arctic scandal - the former senator Ter-Avanesov, who in RusAlliance Stroe is called the beneficiary of the seizure of the company's facilities. Apparently, the deputy minister and the ex-senator have friendly relations. Joint photos of their families can be found in the social networks of officials.
In addition, the former senator received loans from the core bank of the state defense order, Promsvyazbank, which actively lends to the Ministry of Defense structures. It was there that GUOV received a loan of more than 5.8 billion rubles, about the repayment of which Timur Ivanov is now negotiating with the head of the bank (the deputy minister’s letter is at the disposal of the editorial board).
Ivanov proposes to bankers to take into account obligations on the loan shares of the company GUOV. Thus, the bank may be left without money, PASMI sources claim: according to them, the company is close to bankruptcy. Indeed, in mid-April, Interfax, citing data from the Fedresource, reported on Alfa-Bank’s intention to file for bankruptcy in a GUOV because of an unpaid loan of more than 5 billion rubles.
Ter-Avanesov also owes Promsvyazbank more than 5 billion rubles. And it seems that Ter-Avanesov has friends among the military who can vouch for such a loan. By the way, precisely because of such contractual loans, a “hole” of tens of billions of rubles could appear in the capital of Promsvyazbank.
Billions for one-day company
After being removed from the work of RusAlliance Building, the projects were transferred to Spetsstroy-1, organizations with signs of a one-day firm with an authorized capital of 10,000 rubles. Its employees seized the technology of the predecessor company. In fact, it was a raider seizure. This is evidenced by numerous videotapes, which show how Eckert and Bushmanov’s employees resist the seizure of equipment and building materials. It comes to conflicts, struggles, and even attempts to crush a person with a bulldozer. According to the management of RusAlliance Building, they have illegally seized special equipment and construction materials worth about a billion rubles.
"Spetsstroy-1" received contracts for 4 billion rubles, half the money - in advance. The Defense Ministry has actually refinanced part of the Russian budget of a part of the work already completed by Eckert and Bushmanov.
The decision to transfer the objects to this company was taken by Islam Pirakhmayev (follows from his official note of September 2015), who then held the position of construction manager at FSUE GVSU No. 2, that is, was subordinate to Sirazetdinov.
Subsequently, Pirakhmayev was conditionally sentenced to two years of imprisonment in a similar case: for a fee, he helped AS-Engineering get a government contract for the construction of stationary facilities of the radar station and aviation guidance point on the island of the Northern Earth Archipelago. The company received as a prepayment 2 billion 273 million rubles, more than 200 million were stolen. They were transferred to the fictitious organization "Demstroy" under the guise of a contract for the supply of block containers and cashed.
Pirakhmayev’s decision to transfer the RusAlliance Building facilities into the hands of Spetsstroy-1 raised questions from the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service. They found that the contracts were concluded with violations. But this did not affect the state of affairs of the FSUE. A new contractor set to work. By the end of 2016, he should have already handed over the objects. Toward the end of this term in the structures of the Ministry of Defense said that the work is in full swing. It was planned to finish work on several buildings on Wrangel Island by 2017. But after these assurances in the media about the construction was not reported.
No objects, no money
Light on the mysterious story with the contract "Spetsstroy-1" shed check Moscow military prosecutor's office. The results of the events are set out in the letter of the supervisory body “RusAlliance Story” dated April 19, 2019.
Judging by the data of the document with which PASMI was acquainted, the new contractor did not fulfill its obligations, that is, he did not finish building the military units on Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt.
Completion of work expired at the end of 2016. But the structure of the Ministry of Defense, responsible for the construction of military units in the Arctic - FSUE “GVSU №2” - for two years did not take any action to bring the contractor to responsibility, return the money and complete the construction of strategic facilities. The contract with the company FSUE broke only in March 2019. The military did not even sue the ghost contractor, simply donating to the company 2 billion rubles from the country's budget. For refusing to demand the return of billions, the head of the federal state unitary enterprise received a submission from the military prosecutor's office.
But the main question remains unanswered: “But where is the money?” But already in May 2019. It seems that no one from the very beginning was going to build anything. The organizers of the scheme just needed to get additional billions from the budget and “master” them.
Recall that the military Federal State Unitary Enterprise, which was supposed to follow the construction from the end of 2016 to August 2017, was headed by Vladimir Khodnevich, the one that, according to sources, PASMI worked in the Federation Council with Senator Ter-Avanesov. Prior to this, Khodnevich was Sirazetdinov’s deputy, by decision of which the contract with the company Eckert and Bushmanov was broken, which in fact led the construction of facilities, but refused to pay a bribe.
So, intractable entrepreneurs engaged in the construction of objects of the Ministry of Defense in the Arctic, are in jail. And the organizers of the scheme for embezzling money from the budget of Russia with the help of Spetsstroy-1 are at large. Against this organization is still not even prosecuted.