The decade of the reign of Vladimir Putin is most associated with two extremely negative phenomena for the country - an unusually high level of arbitrariness and corruption.
In terms of corruption, Russia is in the 154-th place from 178 countries. Such data are given by the influential international organization Transparency International for 2010 year.1. Next to us are the most backward countries of Africa (Congo, Guinea-Bissau), as well as Papua New Guinea and Tajikistan. Transparency International has recognized Russia as the most corrupt country among the leading countries of the world included in the G-20. Our BRIC colleagues — Brazil, China, India (69, 78, and 87 — respectively) look much better.
The statement that in Russia the African level of corruption does not fully correspond to reality for a long time. In many African countries, the level of corruption is lower than in Russia. In Egypt, hundreds of thousands of citizens, outraged by the corrupt power of Mubarak, took to the streets of cities and achieved his resignation. At the same time, the level of corruption in Egypt is one and a half times lower than in Russia, and the country is on this indicator in the 98-th place.
The myth that Putin has put things in order, having strengthened state power, breaks into reality.
Below we present a graph showing Russia's place in the list of corrupt countries:
The place in the list of corrupt countries is determined based on the index of perception of corruption. If there is no corruption at all, then the index is 10, and if it is infinite, then the index is 0.
The Russian corruption perception index, calculated from the 1996 year, that is, from Yeltsin’s second presidential term, indicates the following. The average value of the index for the late years of Yeltsin’s rule was 2,4. After Yeltsin’s resignation, when Putin came to power, the situation with corruption began to improve, the average value of the index reached 2,6 (the first term of Putin’s presidency). This was affected by the renewal of the state apparatus, the simplification of taxation, the reduction of administrative regulation, the number of permits and licenses.
However, starting with Putin’s second term and up to the present, the situation was rapidly deteriorating. The corruption perception index in 2010 fell from 2,6 to a record low - 2,1. Russia did not know of such theft and bribery. history. Putin’s advocates often claim that the corruption of “dashing 90's” was no lower than the current one. But the facts say the opposite. If we turn to the data of Rosstat on the number of corruption crimes, then the dynamics is obvious - an increase from 2700 in 1990 to 13 100 in 20092.
The scale of corruption under Yeltsin and under Putin is incomparable. This is especially clearly seen in the example of the unprecedented enrichment of the Luzhkov family - Baturina. The loudest corruption scandal 90-x, associated with this family, was around the installation of plastic chairs at the stadium "Luzhniki". The tender announced by the Moscow government was won by the mayor’s wife. The price of the issue - 700 thousand dollars. The scandal broke out incredible. In 2008, the tender for the repair and reconstruction of the monument “Worker and Kolkhoz Woman” by the famous sculptor V. Mukhina was held. As before, she won Baturin. However, the transaction price was already 100 million dollars. And while there was no scandal, there was no investigation.
Another example is the so-called writers case. In 1997, a grand scandal broke out over the fees of several government members for a book on privatization. The fee was 90 thousand dollars. The scandal led to a government crisis, in the spring of 98, the government was dismissed. Reports of Putin's villa officials worth tens of millions of dollars are of no interest to anyone, and these people themselves continue to work. The watch of V. Resin, the first vice-mayor of Moscow, who has never worked in business, worth 1 million, is also not a basis for the current regime to investigate and remove from office.
Currently, the corruption situation has become much worse than in 90.
Corruption in Russia has ceased to be a problem, but has become a system. She metastases bound the economic and social life of the country. The annual corruption turnover in our country reached 300 billion dollars.3that is comparable with the annual Russian budget and makes up 25% of the country's GDP.
The growth of tariffs and prices is also largely due to the corrupt activities of officials at all levels and Putin’s monopolies. Kickbacks, cuts and requisitions reach 50 and higher percentages of the cost of work. That is why the cost of building gas pipelines in the Gazprom system is three times higher than in Europe.4. The laying of pipelines is also accompanied by theft and kickbacks of tens of billions of rubles.5. In the cost of housing, bribes amount to 30%. Obviously, in order to cover all these constantly growing costs of monopolies, the country's leadership is continuously raising tariffs for gas, heat, electricity, and the prices of everything are rising. We have to pay for corruption and theft of Putin's "vertical of power".
The Putin system is characterized by widespread and open coalescence of officials and business, the participation of relatives, friends and acquaintances in the development of budgetary funds and state property, the irremovability of power and the closeness of its functioning.
Extremely negative role is played by censorship in the media, the actual destruction of parliamentarism. The lack of parliamentary control over the executive power, multiplied by the absence of serious journalistic investigations of corruption activities, creates a breeding ground for corruption lawlessness.
Corruption corroded and destroyed the law enforcement system. The main priority of many police bosses is personal enrichment.6. The fight against terror and the safety of citizens in their priorities are not included7.
The regime of the bureaucratic vertical was destroyed by an independent court. Administrative pressure has made the judiciary incapable and totally dependent on corrupt government.
Corruption is aggravated by Putin’s main principle of management: “Friends are everything, the rest is lawlessness”. Compliance with the law, justice is not the responsibility of Putin's officials. The main thing is personal loyalty. "Loyal - steal, not loyal - sit down" - another guiding principle of the current government.
President Medvedev began his work with the creation of a commission to combat corruption, which he himself headed. However, the result of the declared anti-corruption struggle is zero, if not negative. The regime strictly protects the interests of corrupt officials. According to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court V. Lebedev, as a result of the consideration of corruption cases, which were a little more than 10 thousand for the whole country, 65% of the accused received only a suspended sentence8. Thus, in the mafia system, corrupt officials are immune from serious punishment.
There are many countries in the world that successfully defeat corruption. A vivid example of a successful struggle was demonstrated by Norway, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United States and Singapore. The most recent successful example is Georgia. The creator of the Singapore miracle Lee Kwan Yew, who managed to eradicate corruption and achieve fantastic economic success, identifies three main principles for solving the problem of corruption9:
- pure central authority;
- the inevitability of punishment;
- good remuneration for work and stimulation of honest work of civil servants
None of these principles is valid in today's Russia. We are convinced that without an honest central government, the problem of corruption cannot be solved. The fish rots from the head. And while at the head of the country is kleptocracy oriented towards personal enrichment, the problem cannot be solved. That is why in this report we do not touch upon all aspects of corruption, but focus readers' attention only on the situation in the higher echelons of power.
We present the facts of unprecedented, flashy corruption in the higher echelons of the Russian authorities. We will talk about how Putin’s friends in the Ozero dacha cooperative have turned fabulous businessmen from inconspicuous entrepreneurs into dollar billionaires. We will talk about the luxurious living conditions and activities of the country's leaders. How these conditions are created at the expense of us.
Finally, in the final chapter, we present our plan for anti-corruption actions. We understand that destroying corruption completely will not succeed. However, reducing its scale from the level of Guinea-Bissau to at least the level of Eastern European countries and Georgia is quite realistic and necessary for the development of the country.
Without solving this problem, Russia is doomed to eternal backwardness, eternal poverty and the eternal lack of rights of its citizens.
Enrichment of participants of the cooperative "Lake"
The Lake Ozerniy consumer cooperative on the shores of Komsomolskoye Lake in the Priozersk District of the Leningrad Region was established in November 1996 by eight citizens Vladimir Putin, Yuri Kovalchuk, Nikolai Shamalov, Viktor Myachin, Vladimir Smirnov, Vladimir Yakunin, as well as brothers Andrey and Sergey Fur, and brothers Andrei and Sergey Fur, and Vladimir Smurnov, Vladimir Yakunin, as well as brothers Andrey and Sergey Fur, and Vladimir And Smirnov, Vladimir Yakunin, and brothers Andrei and Sergey Fur, and Vladimir Sergeyev, and Vladimir Yakunin, as well as brothers Andrei and Sergey Fur, as well as brothers Andrei and Sergey Fur.
The occupation by one of the participants of the cooperative "Lake", Vladimir Putin, the position of President of the Russian Federation in 2000, led to the subsequent rapid enrichment of the founders of "Lake". First of all, we are talking about Yuri Kovalchuk and Nikolay Shamalov, who are on the list of Russian billionaires and control respectively 33,5% and 12,7% of St. Petersburg joint-stock commercial bank (AKB) Russia.
At the beginning of V. Putin’s reign, the Russia Bank was a small bank with assets of less than a billion rubles, which was not even a hundred of the largest Russian banks. However, later on, under the decisions of the state, large financial and media assets formerly owned by the state-owned company Gazprom were transferred to the control of the bank at low rates. Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov wrote in detail about these schemes in their reports. “Putin. Results и Putin and Gazprom. Here is a brief chronology of the withdrawal of Gazprom assets in favor of Russia Bank:
- In 2004, Gazprom sold its subsidiary, the Insurance Company for the Gas Industry (Sogaz), one of the largest insurance companies in Russia, which was ultimately controlled by the structures of Bank Russia. 50% of Sogaz shares were sold by Gazprom for 58 million dollars, whereas at present the value of Sogaz, by our estimate, is 2 billion dollars.
- In August, Sogaz 2006, already owned by Russia Bank, bought 75% plus 1 a share of the Leader company that manages the Gazprom pension fund Gazfond.
- Gazfund is the country's largest non-state pension fund, whose pension reserves today amount to almost 300 billion rubles.
Leader’s shares were sold to Gazfund by Sogaz itself, the transaction amount was just 880 million rubles, although according to 2006, only Leader’s net profit amounted to 1,2 billion rubles. By the time of the purchase of the Leader management company, the owners of the Russia Bank were already prepared to establish control over the pension fund: in 2005, Yury Shamalov, the son of Nikolai Shamalov, a shareholder of the Russia Bank and one of the founders of the cooperative, became the Gazfond President ".
As a result, Jr., as head of Gazfond, sold the shares of the company that manages the country's largest non-state pension fund to the bank of his father Shamalov Sr.
After establishing control over Gazfond, Bank Rossiya established control over Gazprombank, one of the country's largest banks. Gazprom, instead of selling Gazprombank's shares at a public auction for money, at the end of 2006 gave up their Gazfund controlled by Russia Bank through a money-free exchange scheme, as a result of which by April 2007 control over Gazprombank (50 % plus 1 share) consolidated Gazfund, controlled by Kovalchuk, Shamalov and Co. Gazprombank, the market value of which, according to expert estimates, reaches 25 billion, went out of control of Gazprom, while Gazprom did not receive a penny of cash for a valuable asset.
In July 2005, the shares of Gazprom-Media Group and NTV and TNT TV channels were transferred to Gazprombank, Gazprom only received the entire 166 million from Gazprombank. However, after 2, after Gazprom-Media of the assets of Gazprombank came under the control of the Bank “Russia”, the Deputy Prime Minister (at that time) Dmitry Medvedev announced the new valuation of the assets of Gazprom-Media - 7,5 billion dollars. Based on this assessment, it turns out that Gazprom gave these assets in 45 are cheaper than their real value. All these transactions were approved by the board of directors of Gazprom, the majority in which in the 2000s always belonged to representatives of the state who directly received directives on voting for decisions made from the leadership of the government subordinate to V. Putin. The first of the transfer of assets of Gazprom under the control of the bank "Russia" took place in the summer of 2004, a few months after resigning from the post of Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Kasyanov.
As a result of these manipulations with the withdrawal of assets from the state-owned company Gazprom under the control of AKB Russia, the net assets of the bank increased from 6,7 billion rubles. at the beginning of 2004 of the year (70-e place in Russia) to 231,7 billion rubles. on 1 October 2010 of the year (19-e place in Russia).
The total amount of assets withdrawn from Gazprom (that is, withdrawn from state ownership to private property of V. Putin’s neighbors in the Lake cooperative) is about $ 60 billion (or 1,68 trillion rubles - twice the deficit of the Pension Fund of the country)10.
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These transactions have contributed to the growth of the material well-being of not only Vladimir Putin’s partners in the Ozero dacha cooperative, but also Putin’s relatives.
In particular, another shareholder of the bank "Russia", which, through the Petersburg firm "Accept" controlled by him, owns 3,9% of the bank's shares, is Mikhail Shelomov, great-nephew of Vladimir Putin. Mikhail Shelomov is the grandson of Ivan Shelomov, the former head of the 7 division of the 1 division of the SFT of the NKVD of the USSR and the elder brother of Maria Putin, the mother of Vladimir Putin.
Shelomov through Accept (he controls 99,99% of its shares) also owns 12,5% of the shares of the insurance company So-gaz, the one that was withdrawn from Gazprom at 2004 at a reduced price.
In the same insurance company Sogaz, today one of the largest insurance companies in the country, it works as the deputy chairman of the board. Mikhail Putin, another great nephew of Vladimir Putin. In 2004 — 2007, Mikhail Putin headed the medical department of OAO Gazprom, through which medical equipment was procured for a hundred million dollars a year.
As a result of all state-authorized transactions to transfer assets of Gazprom under the control of AKB Russia, the founders of the Ozero cooperative Y. Kovalchuk: and N. Shamalov today are included in the official list of Russian billionaires. In the billionaires rating of Finance magazine, published in February 2011 of the year, Y. Kovalchuk ranks the 115 line with the state of 30 billion rubles, N. Shamalov is the 184 line with the state of 18 billion rubles.
In the same list are other shareholders of JSCB "Russia" and part-time old acquaintances of Vladimir Putin. In particular, 17-th line in the ranking of billionaires with a fortune of 271 billion rubles. takes Gennady Timchenko, co-owner of the oil trader Gunvor, which will be discussed separately. Timchenko owns an 9,6% stake in Bank Russia, and he also directly benefited from the sale of Gazprom’s assets to the bank at reduced prices.
182-th line in the list of Russian billionaires according to the magazine "Finance" with the state 18 billion rubles. takes another shareholder of the bank "Russia", Dmitry Gorelov, who owns the 12,7% stake in the bank. D. Gorelov is the President of Petro-Med Holding, one of the founders of AOZT / CJSC Petromed in 1991, whose co-founders were the Committee on Foreign Economic Relations of the St. Petersburg Mayor’s Office under the leadership of Vladimir Putin.
Vasily’s son of Dmitry Gorelov is co-owner of the Vyborg Shipyard, which in 2006, immediately after it was acquired by this group of owners, received a contract from Gazprom to build two offshore platforms for developing the Shtokman field worth 59 billion rubles. Prior to this, the plant had no major orders for 10 years.
By the way, the younger son of Nikolai Shamalov, Kirill Shamalov, is also “attached” (the eldest son, we recall, is headed by Gaz-Fond) - he works as vice president of the Sibur oil and gas holding for “administrative support of business” (in other words, on using administrative resource), which was assigned to 26 years, less than 4 years after graduating from St. Petersburg State University.
The Sibur petrochemical holding belonged to Gazprombank, but at the end of December 2010, Gazprombank sold 50% of Sibur to Leonid Mikhelson, the head of Novatek, whose major stake belongs to the already mentioned Gennady Timchenko, a shareholder of Russia Bank. During 2011, as planned, Gazprombank will completely relinquish control of Sibur (100% of shares) to the head of Novatek.
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Other founders of the dacha cooperative “Ozero” after Vladimir Putin came to power also occupied leading positions in federal authorities and state-controlled companies:
- Vladimir Yakunin in 2000, he was appointed Deputy Transport Minister, later 1-m Deputy Minister of Railways, with 2003 - 1-m Vice-President of Russian Railways, and since June 2005 has been headed by Russian Railways, whose annual revenue 2010 year closer to 2 trillion rubles.
- Vladimir Smirnov in May, 2000 was appointed General Director of the FSUE Enterprise for the Supply of Products of the Administrative Department of the President of the Russian Federation, and in 2002 — 2007 he headed the JSC Techsnabexport — the enterprise of Minatom. It is one of the world's largest suppliers of goods and services in the nuclear fuel cycle, providing uranium enrichment services for about 40% of the world market. In 2007, Smirnov moved to the position of advisor to the director of Atomenergoprom concern.
Vladimir Smirnov in his work was closely associated with the well-known “authoritative” businessman Vladimir Barsukov (Kumarin), who is now in custody. In 1994, Mr. V. Smirnov headed the St. Petersburg branch of the German company SPAG, while Kumarin was a member of the board of this branch. In 1999, SPAG was accused by the German security forces BND of money laundering, both for Russian criminal groups and for Colombian drug traffickers, Rudolf Ritter, director of SPAG, was arrested in 2000. In 1996 — 2001. V. Smirnov - in senior positions at CJSC Petersburg Fuel Company (PTK). During these years, the vice-president of PTK was Coumarin-Barsukov, who actually controlled the company. The security agency "Rif-Security", controlled by Kumarinu-Barsukovu and V. Smirnov, provided protection for the dacha cooperative "Ozero".
- Sergey Fursenko, in 2003 — 2008, he worked as director of Lentransgaz, one of the largest subsidiaries of Gazprom (2008's revenue was almost 50 billion rubles); from 2008 he headed the National Media Group controlled by Russia ( NMG), which includes the TV channels REN-TV "Fifth Channel" and the newspaper "Izvestia", and since the end of 2010, the 25% of the First Channel of Russian TV, purchased from Roman Abramovich. In addition, S. Fursenko became the head of the Russian Football Union.
- Andrey Fursenko in 2001 — 2003 - Deputy Minister, 1-th Deputy Minister, Acting Minister of Industry, Science and Technology, from 2004 - Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (this ministry administers federal budget expenditures on civilian education and science, which in 2011 will be almost 800 billion rubles).
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Bank “Russia”, which had been incredibly enriched as a result of the generous concession by the state of Gazprom assets, is in fact thus a “family enterprise” of the founders of the Ozero cooperative: more than 50% of the bank’s shares belong to Y. Kovalchuk, N. Shamalov and relative to Putin M. Shelomov , in the structures of the bank, their relatives work in high positions - the son of Shamalov heads the pension fund Gazfund, Putin’s relatives own shares of the insurance company Sogaz and occupy high-ranking positions in it.
Putin and his billionaire friends
The story of the enrichment of Putin’s acquaintances and friends is not limited only to the fate of the members of the Ozero dacha cooperative. In this chapter, we describe in detail the story of Mr. Timchenko, a longtime friend of Putin, and the Rotenberg brothers, who are familiar to Judo with Putin since his youth.
Putin met with Gennady Timchenko at the end of 80's. At that time, Gennady Nikolayevich worked at an oil refinery in the city of Kirishi and held a low-profile position in the sales department of the plant. Timchenko's competence then included the organization of transactions for the export of petroleum products. The first joint business of Putin and Timchenko began when the future president worked as Deputy Sobchak and headed the department of foreign economic relations. It was at the beginning of 90's, the time was not easy, there was not enough food, medicine, basic goods. At that time, through the efforts of Sobchak, the mayor’s office of St. Petersburg received the right to sell metals and petroleum products for export in exchange for food.
Golden Gate was created11, the founders of which were the Department of Foreign Economic Relations (Putin) and the structure of Mr. Timchenko. Soon the company sells 100 thousand tons of petroleum products. At current prices, this is about 70 million dollars. However, no products arrived in St. Petersburg.12.
The deputies of the Lensoviet, led by Marina Salie, created a commission to investigate frauds related to Putin’s foreign economic activity and the mayor’s office. The results of the commission were made public.13. However, before the criminal case is not reached.
Subsequently, Mr. Timchenko continues to export oil products, and in 1999, he emigrates to Finland. At that time, Mr. Timchenko was an unknown oil trader. According to the Finnish tax inspectorate, its income amounted to 327 thousand euros. However, after Putin came to power
Things Timchenko sharply went up the hill. Already in 2000, he declares more than a half million euros, in 2001 - almost 5 million
In 2008, Timchenko falls into the Forbes list of dollar billionaires with a fortune of 2,5 billion. In the latest ranking of Russian billionaires in Finance magazine (February 2011 of the year) Timchenko is on the 17 line with a fortune of 271 billion rubles.
The reason for the rapid take-off of a little-known St. Petersburg businessman lies in the scale of oil and oil products exports. Being a Finnish citizen and paying taxes in Switzerland, this gentleman controls more than a third of Russian oil exports.14.
It is extremely important to emphasize that Timchenko sells mainly oil from the state-owned oil companies Rosneft and Gazpromneft, as well as being closely associated with the government of Surgutneftegaz.15.
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Starting from 2007, Timchenko exported from 60 to 90 million tons of oil with revenues up to 80 billion dollars through the company. Moreover, his companies have the most favored treatment. When Russia had a conflict with Estonia, exporters experienced considerable difficulties in handling oil products through this country. All but Timchenko16. The Russian authorities did not prevent him from exporting raw materials, despite the large-scale interstate conflict.
It is well known that export issues of state-owned companies are to a high degree the prerogative of the president and the government. This is a strategic resource of Russia, and the attention to this problem from the government is traditionally great. How and on what basis Timchenko got the right to export state oil, what role Putin played personally in this - all this remains to be seen. Just like why Timchenko is selling oil to the former Yukos company and why he was one of the founders of the notorious “Baikalfinansgrupp”, through which Rosneft received Yukos17. This one-day company, registered in Tver in the building of the glass "London", still remains a mystery. Putin only said about her that its founders are well-known to him people who have long been working in the field of energy.18.
In addition, Timchenko together with Mr. Kovalchuk is the largest shareholder of the bank "Russia". This once unknown St. Petersburg bank currently controls the most liquid assets of Gazprom (Gazprombank, Gazprom Media, Gazfund, Sogaz, and others). The control over these assets went to Timchenko and Kovalchuk almost for nothing. No tenders for you, no contests - nothing. The Gazprom-controlled state company, controlled by Putin, gave Timchenko and other shareholders a royal gift - a total cost of tens of billions of dollars. It’s just why Kovalchuk and Timchenko went to Gazprom’s multibillion-dollar assets.
Until recently, Timchenko’s construction companies received extremely lucrative contracts worth tens of billions of rubles. for the construction of objects of "Gazprom". Now this privilege is with other friends of Putin - the Rotenberg brothers (which is discussed below). But Timchenko didn’t stay for nothing. He is now one of the prime contractors for state-owned Rosneft and Transneft.19.
Among other things, Timchenko is the largest shareholder in the country's second-largest gas company, Novatek, after Gazprom. This company enjoys unique preferences from the state. As is well known, Russia has introduced a monopoly on gas exports. Gas can only be sold abroad by Gazprom. However, Timchenko made an exception. Novatek exports gas using a nominal agreement with Gazprom! In 2010, the state-owned Gazprom sells a block of shares (9,4%) of Novatek to Timchenko’s structures. There is nothing unusual about the deal. If it were not for the price of 1,9 billion dollars. This price is lower than the market by 1,3 billion dollars. Thus, at the expense of the state (Gazprom), Timchenko and his associates became richer by another 1,3 billion dollars.
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No less exciting is the fate of the Rotenberg brothers' business, Arkady and Boris. In 60, he and Putin practiced judo. Subsequently, Arkady Rotenberg became president of the Yavara-Neva sports club, where Putin is the honorary president, and one of the founders is still the same G. Timchenko20. However, sporting youth and adolescence is not the only thing that binds Putin and the Rothenberg. Few well-known entrepreneurs in the 90-ies, Rotenberg now dollar billionaires. They are the largest suppliers of pipes for Gazprom and the largest contractors in the construction of gas pipelines. Having bought Gazprom’s construction assets at almost the starting price, Rotenberg set up the Stroygazmontazh company. And in 2008, the company began to win one after another tenders for the construction of gas pipelines21. The company won a tender for the construction of Nord Stream. At the same time, the construction cost was three times higher than the construction of similar gas pipelines in Europe! Although the salaries of our workers are several times lower than in Europe.
In addition, without any tender, the Rotenberg received from Gazprom a contract for the construction of the landmark Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline. Astronomical construction price - 210 billion rubles.
The Olympic gas pipeline Dzhubga - Lazarevskoye - Sochi worth 22 billion rubles. also went to Rothenberg without competition.
The Russian government annually raises gas tariffs. In turn, this leads to an increase in utility tariffs. Each of us must understand that the reason for growth is in this kind of "friendly" criminal deals. Where, on the one hand, the state is represented by Gazprom, and on the other, Putin’s friends.
in the report “Putin. Results 10 years we wrote about the disastrous alcohol abuse of Russia22. On average, for every inhabitant of the country, including women, old people, children and non-drinkers, there are 18 liters of pure alcohol per year. The key reason for soldering citizens in the incredible availability of vodka. Low excise taxes on alcohol and vodka led to the fact that a bottle of vodka is comparable in price to two or three bottles of beer. This has never happened in Russia (and in the world). Nor was it a bottle of vodka equivalent to 4 subway rides. We then did not know the reason for this policy. However, now, having found out the structure of the Rotenberg business, we have found that they control at least 11 alcohol plants.23included in the system Rosspirtprom. In particular, Bryanskspirtprom, Kristall, Astrakhan Distillery, Mordovspirt, Smolensky Bakhus, Cherepovets Distillery, Yaroslavl Distillery and others.
Is this not the reason for the low taxes and excise taxes on vodka in Putin's Russia? Why should Putin raise taxes on business friends? After all, the lower the price, the higher the sale. And that the people of a huge country are getting drunk - this is not the biggest problem for the current authorities.
The scandalous history associated with the construction of the toll road Moscow - St. Petersburg through the Khimki forest is well known to all. The decision to build was made by Putin. Putin was unmoved when public protests began. He stood his ground stubbornly and when D. Medvedev suspended the construction of the road. In the end, it was decided to build the road through the forest, despite the indignation of Khimki’s residents and environmentalists. Now the reason is clear - a contract for the construction of a toll road worth 63,4 billion rubles. got the company Rothenberg24.
Putin's state is ready to allocate for these purposes 23 billion rubles. budget funds. And the proceeds from the operation of the toll road will go to Rothenberg.
The same with the road Moscow - Minsk. There, another friend of Putin, Y. Kovalchuk, got in a row (for more on Kovalchuk, read the chapter on the participants of the cooperative “Ozero”). The state pays, and Putin’s friends make a profit.
The Rotenberg brothers, using their long-standing ties with V. Putin, were engaged in protecting multibillion-dollar businesses. So, for example, they became shareholders of the Novorossiysk seaport (the country's largest oil port), offering shareholders A. Ponomarenko and A. Skorobogatko their services to protect their business from another acquaintance of Putin, Nikolay Tokarev (Transneft)25. Approximately the same thing happened with the business of Ashot Egiazaryan. In order to protect his business from the encroachments of Luzhkov’s wife, Baturina, Yeghiazaryan was forced to cede 50% of his business (building the Moscow Hotel) to the Rothenberg brothers for free26.
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Putin does not forget his loyal oligarch colleagues of the Yeltsin draft - Abramovich and Deripaska. In the 2005 year, Gazprom and the state are buying for the space 13,7 billion dollars. Sibneft, owned by Abramovich. Abramovich becomes the richest man in Russia.
When the crisis began, Putin makes a decision to help not even large families and people with disabilities, but oligarch friends. Abramovich's company "Evraz" receives from the state pension (!!!) National Welfare Fund 1 billion dollars.
Saving the business of another oligarch O. Deripaska from bankruptcy, V. Putin allocates 4,5 billion dollars from the same National Wealth Fund.27
This money would be enough to build 5 million square meters. m housing. Living conditions could improve 100 thousand families! But the oligarchs were closer to Prime Minister Putin.
Two slaves. On gold galleys
Recently, Vladimir Putin originally answered the question about the meaning of life: the main thing for a man is new sensations.
The Russian ruling "elite", which emerged from the meager Soviet childhood and youth, with a frenzy attacked the items and attributes of luxury that had once been seen in foreign films about "beautiful life" that occasionally reached Soviet screens. The arms race was replaced by a luxury race - in a country where 70% of the population live in poverty and even outright poverty. Politicians and officials, who officially live on the same salary, strive to keep up with their friends — dollar billionaire oligarchs — in consuming the most expensive goods and services, the most exquisite amusements and pleasures, competing with the Russian tsars and aristocrats of the past and the Arab sheiks of the present. A personal example in the race for the luxury of the entire lower “vertical” is served by the first persons of the state.
At the beginning of 2011, a new, just bought by the Presidential Administration (that is, money from the budget) yacht Sirius executive class worth 26 million pounds sterling (1,2 billion rubles) came to Sochi. The yacht is designed for 11 guests and 12 crew members. On it, the president plans to receive the heads of state and government. Including the days of the Olympics in Sochi in 2014 year. On the yacht 6 VIP-cabin, its length - more than 50 meters. On the "Sirius" to the services of the head of state - a wine cellar, a mess room with a panoramic view of the sea, a SPA-pool with a waterfall, a jacuzzi, a barbecue and other pleasures. The normal cost of maintaining such a yacht is 10% of its value per year, that is, 120 million rubles. (which is equivalent to the average annual pension of 1400 Russian pensioners).
For comparison: few state heads of state have government yachts. For those who have them, the courts are not much more modest. For example, the Finnish President’s yacht costs about 2 million euros, the king of Belgium’s yacht is “total” 4,6 million euros, and the Queen of Great Britain Elizabeth II is left without a yacht after the “departure” of the famous Britannia.
According to the official version, “Sirius” replaced the recently decommissioned presidential 45-meter yacht “Caucasus”, built in 1980 for Leonid Brezhnev, which recently (at the beginning of 2000-s) underwent costly modernization, costing taxpayers, according to various sources , in the amount from 1 to 2,8 million dollars. On the now decommissioned yacht, then new air conditioners, a home cinema, furniture and decoration made of expensive wood and the like appeared.
In addition, for walking on rivers and lakes at the disposal of the head of state there is an old (1973 of the year) Soviet motor ship “Russia”, also modernized at 2005 in St. Petersburg's “Severnaya Verf” and commissioned personally by the president’s administration V. Kozhin, Matvienko and presidential envoy I. Klebanov. There are three luxury cabins, nine 2-local cabins, a conference room and a mess room, a restaurant, and a sauna at Russia. The length of the vessel - 86 meters. The cost of work on “Russia” is kept strictly confidential (which in itself is strange, because we are talking about budget expenditures), but presumably it was more than $ 1,2 million.
These yachts are not limited. As journalists of “Novaya Gazeta” found out, under Putin, the purchase and use of luxury yachts were put on stream.
By the 300 anniversary of St. Petersburg (2003 year) in the Netherlands was developed, and in Moscow built the yacht "Pallas" (4 — 6,7 million dollars) - 32 meter in length. It has the same luxurious style: teak decks, expensive furniture, armchairs and sofas made of white leather. Three decks, cabins and salons with a total area of 390 square. m. Shaded windows, one of the decks is hidden from the external observer. On board there is a sauna, home theaters, the yacht is designed for 8 guests. Everywhere - picturesque portraits of Peter the Great. In May, the 2003 of the year aboard the Pallas in St. Petersburg with Vladimir Putin dined, among others, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder.
By the same glorious jubilee of the city on the Neva, the Burevestnik VIP-site worth 3 million dollars was purchased, which is now listed at the Leningrad naval base of the Russian Navy.
The genuine “diamond” of the Kremlin flotilla you can call the luxury megayacht "Olympia", which appeared in the seaport of Sochi in the summer of 2002. This 57-meter five-deck yacht worth about $ 50 million (1,5 billion rubles) is one of the hundred largest megayachts in the world. The annual operating costs of Olympia are approximately 150 million rubles, respectively. The yacht is also built according to royal standards: mahogany and palm tree rattan, gilding, jacuzzi, bar and barbecue, a colonnade of valuable maple species, a huge marble bathroom and so on.
The connection of Olimpia (registered to foreign offshore companies) with the Kremlin is confirmed not only by the stories of employees of the Sochi port, but also by the fact that the FSO was noticed in the security of the vessel, and a special commission arrived from Moscow to accept the yacht for operation. The use of the yacht by President Putin was reported by sources in the Kremlin. Olympia was managed by Unicom Management Services, a subsidiary of the Russian company Sovkomflot, in 100% of a state-owned company, headed by Putin’s aide at the time, Igor Shuvalov, President’s Aide. Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire and a good friend of Vladimir Putin, was named among the buyers and, accordingly, the “donors” of Olimpia.
At the beginning of December, 2010, a British judge Andrew Smith, ruled against Sovcomflot for the case against its former CEO, D. Skarghi, and businessman Y. Nikitin. There is a curious fact in the court decision: D. Skarga mentioned during the hearings about the yacht donated to Putin. At the request of Forbes magazine about what yacht he had in mind, D. Skarga gave a link to an article in Novaya Gazeta telling about the yacht Olympia. Where is Olimpia now, who is the real owner and whether the top management of Russia still uses it - is covered with darkness.
So let's summarize. At the disposal of the Putin-Medvedev tandem there is a mini-flotilla of luxury yachts and boats in the amount of 5 units, with a total cost of at least 110 million dollars (or 3,3 billion rubles), the contents of which cost hundreds of millions of rubles. annually. In this regard, the Russian rulers are not in the same row with the heads of the leading democratic countries of the world and even the BRIC countries, but together with the King of Saudi Arabia and his family (15 mega yachts) and other Arab sultans and sheikhs (9 mega yachts), as well as with a friend Silvio Berlusconi with his 4 yachts. However, Berlusconi officially declared his yachts, because before coming to power he was a businessman and a billionaire - unlike the Russian leaders.
Villas and palaces
The Russian tandem is no less passionate about luxury villas, estates and palaces than with respect to yachts. Their presence is carefully hidden and disguised, luxury real estate is often formally recorded on the balance of state corporations and even private individuals from close friends of Putin and Medvedev. However, information about palaces and villas still leaks to the media.28. In addition, the belonging of one or another “object” to the highest officials of the state can be identified by indirect signs: for example, by their regular appearance there or by special measures of secrecy and security (protection of objects by the Federal Security Service (FSO), whose main task is to protect first persons of the state).
In total, the use of 26 luxury real estate objects, both in Russia and abroad, is associated with the president and the prime minister. At the same time, the number of villas and palaces only grew during the years in which our “heroes” were in power.
Officially, the first two persons of the state five residences. Dmitry Medvedev: “Gorki-9” (Moscow region), “Bocharov Ruchei” (Sochi) and “Long Brody-Valdai” (Novgorod region). Vladimir Putin: Novo-Ogaryovo (Moscow region) and Riviera (Sochi).
In addition, the state’s balance sheet (that is, also on the maintenance of taxpayers) is still 10 objects at the disposal of the country's leadership: Konstantinovsky Palace (Strelna near St. Petersburg); Shuyskaya Chupa (Karelia); Volzhsky Utes (in the Kuibyshev reservoir on the Volga); "Tantalum" (on the Volga, near Saratov); "Angarsk farms" (Irkutsk region); "Small Source" (near Yekaterinburg); "House of Sevastyanova" (Ekaterinburg); "Pines" (Krasnoyarsk Territory); “Mein Dorf” (Gothic-style castle on Rublevskoe highway in the Moscow region); "Rus" (Tver region, hunting economy "Zavidovo"). Many of them have been empty for years, but at the same time huge funds come from the budget for their maintenance, protection and constant readiness to accept high "owners".
Russia is great and beautiful, and new and, of course, the most beautiful and protected corners continually look at the members of the tandem. Yes, and the reasons for the construction of new residences enough. A new residence is being built in the Far East - on Russky Island (occasion - two days APEC Summit 8 — September 9 2012). The residence will occupy 560 hectares in Boyar Bay, the construction could cost the budget 7,7 billion rubles. In the same year 2012 a new state residence should be put into operation on the Baltic Sea coast in the Kaliningrad region, close to the famous Curonian Spit (before the war it was considered the best resort on the Baltic and East Prussia - then the city was called Neukuren).
In addition, the press somehow connects such objects as Lunnaya Polyana (a ski resort in Adygea, on the slope of the Fisht mountain), Barvikha (a state house on Rublevskoye Highway in the Moscow region) to the names of the first persons of the state Moscow under the name of the ABC, "The cottage of Dr. Winter" (Sortavala, Karelia).
Considerable interest is the story of the so-called “Guest House” near Paris, which, according to the press, was built by the Office of the President for 30 million euros with a luxury worthy of Versailles. Who is the owner, who paid for the expensive work, what is the purpose of this castle - covered with a veil of secrecy29.
It is characteristic that the journalists' inquiries about the real estate objects at the disposal of the first persons of the state and the money spent on it are answered by the officials that these information is a state secret (!). And this is despite the fact that the “beautiful life” of the first persons of the state is paid from the budget, that is, from the pockets of taxpayers, which means that this information cannot be classified. Sergey Karpov, an entrepreneur from the Sverdlovsk Region, who applied to the Prosecutor General’s Office on this matter, estimated that the cost of building and maintaining all of this luxury infrastructure cost Russian society 164 billion rubles. (three annual budgets of such a large region as the Altai Territory, with all its schools, hospitals, cultural centers, and 2,5 million people!).
By the way, the beauty of the Altai Mountains, it seems, also attracted Vladimir Putin, who fell in love with rest in the Altai Republic. At the confluence of the Ursul River into the Katun, a grandiose, by local standards, construction is underway. Formally, the customer and owner of the future Altai Compound is Gazpromneft’s daughter Gazprom, ready to put at least 1,5 billion rubles on its construction. In addition, the budget promptly allocated 21 million rubles for the new road to the estate (a territory was allocated for it - several thousand hectares) from the Chui tract with a length of 190,5 km in mountainous terrain. per kilometer (!) - more than 4 billion rubles. (including 120 million from the poor republican budget). Thus, 5,5 billion rubles will be spent on the cozy “courtyard” for the oil companies of the state-owned company and taxpayers. - with the budget of the entire Altai Republic (for 2011) 9 billion rubles! For some unknown reason, the construction of a corporate recreation center is also guarded by employees of the FSO, access to the territory is strictly prohibited, everything happens in a state of utmost secrecy. In addition to the latter fact, the connection of the Altai Compound personally with Putin is confirmed by the statement of the Altai Senator Ralif Safin made at the meeting of the republican parliament. Needless to say, the construction of the road and the estate goes without the necessary permits, the mountains explode and the unique landscapes deteriorate, 40 archaeological monuments have already been lost. A “power line” with a power of 110 kilovolts was built to the “farmstead”, while up to 100 units of heavy equipment were working on the track.
However, all these stories fade against the background of the latest "palace" scandals associated with the first persons of the state. At the end of 2010, businessman Sergey Kolesnikov, who had left the country, who was previously close to Putin’s friends, wrote an open letter to President Dmitry Medvedev that a luxurious palace was being built on the Black Sea coast for the personal use of Prime Minister V. Putin, worth more than 30 billion rubles. (1 billion dollars).
As Novaya Gazeta found out, the decision to build a palace near the village of Praskoveevka near the town of Gelendzhik, Krasnodar Territory was made back in 2005, the documents were prepared and signed by the divisions of the Office of the President’s Affairs, and all the work was carried out by the cooperative member "Lake" Nikolai Shamalov.
As a result, a luxurious town appeared on the Black Sea coast, including a huge Italian-style main building with palace gates decorated with a double-headed eagle, a health complex, a helicopter platform for three helicopters, a tea house, elevators to the beach and much more. And all this is on the territory of a felled relic pine forest, which was removed from the forest fund by the decision of the state. A road is built to the complex through the mountains. The territory is carefully guarded by local police, a private security company and, of course ... FSO.
In a “miraculous” manner, not only the palace with all the buildings, but also a huge chunk of state land was transferred to Mr. Shamalov’s company (in fact, into his private property). The relevant decisions were signed by the President’s Administrator, V. Kozhin. According to S. Kolesnikov, V. Putin paid personal and constant attention to the construction of the palace, and the money at the disposal of N. Shamalov was the result of "a combination of sources such as corruption, theft and bribes." In total, 148 million dollars turned out to be in the hands of Shamalov under corruption schemes, part of which was most likely aimed at building a palace near Gelendzhik. The construction is carried out by the Federal State Institution "Military Unit 1473", and the protection of the "private palace" is carried out using FSO officers. What money is the palace built on? How did state land end up in private hands? Who is the true customer and owner of the new "Black Sea Versailles"? While these questions remain unanswered.
After S. Kolesnikov's letter received wide publicity, in March 2011, a new deal with the palace near Gelendzhik was hurriedly carried out - it was acquired by A. Rothenberg’s partner, co-owner of Novorossiysk Sea Trade Port A. Ponomarenko (presumably for 350 million dollars) . However, S. Kolesnikov argues that the purpose of the palace will not change it. Many experts called the last deal "feigned", in order to confuse the situation and remove from the blow of the main customer.
A similar muddy story unfolds around the construction of a new palace on the territory of the nature reserve Big Utrish - not so far from the same Gelendzhik. This equally secret "object" is associated with the name of another member of the ruling tandem - Dmitry Medvedev. This time, the official “legend” is a “sports and recreation complex”, the initiators of the construction are once again called the structures of the Office of the President’s Affairs. The site in 120 hectares was removed from the reserve and transferred to 2008 for 49 for years to the Dar Foundation, a non-profit project fund whose chairman was Ilya Eliseev, who studied with D. Medvedev at Leningrad University and worked for a long time at Gazprom "At the time when Medvedev was the chairman of the monopoly's Board of Directors. In this case, there is also no clarity as to the sources of financing the construction, the expediency of withdrawing the land plot from the protected natural territory, and also for whom the new palace is being built on the reserved land as a result.
In October, 2009, a loud “time scandal” broke out in Russia. The newspaper "Vedomosti" published the results of its investigation of the hours worn by Russian officials. It turned out that the highest Russian "elite", including state employees who had never worked in the business, loves super-expensive chronometers. Thus, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank A. Ulyukaev showed up watches for 78 800 dollars, the head of the presidential administration S. Naryshkin - for 29 700 dollars, the Minister of Finance Kudrin for 14 900 and so on. The first vice-mayor of Moscow, Vladimir Resin (whom the “fight against corruption” did not touch in the capital) did not touch the “record” shocked everyone with his watch for a million (!) Dollars.
The first persons of the state did not come out of the general "elite" system in this case either. In 2009, Prime Minister Putin twice presented “ordinary Russians” with Blancpain watches worth 10,5 thousand dollars each. Lucky son of a Tuvinian shepherd and a locksmith from Tula. In addition, in August at the construction site of the Nizhne-Bureiskaya HPP, he threw another Blancpain at the same price into the liquid concrete (“lucky”). So, in a short time, the prime minister easily parted with the watch, the total cost of 2010 thousand dollars (or almost 31,5 million rubles). The media noticed on the hand of the prime minister and other copies of expensive watches - he gave and threw in concrete, he was far from the last of his collection. On his right hand were, for example, gold Patek Philippe for 1 thousand dollars, as well as such expensive brands as A. Lange & Sohne (60 — 20 thousand dollars), Breguet (for 30 thousand dollars), gold Calatrava (20 thousand), IWC (20 — 3 thousand dollars). All this together (only noticed by observers) costs approximately 4 thousand dollars (160 million rubles).
According to Prime Minister V. Putin’s income statement for 2009 a year, he earned 4 622 400 rubles at his place of work. (385 200 rubles per month) plus military pension in the amount of 100,6 thousand per year. Thus, the cost of the premiere hours alone exceeds its annual income. Do we need more arguments for the introduction of mandatory declarations on the expenses of officials in the legislation - to start from the highest echelon (the so-called category "A")?
Dmitry and Svetlana Medvedev are not far behind Putin. At the beginning of 2009, Andrei Vasilyev, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Kommersant, was suddenly sacked. This followed the publication of photographs of the wife of the president with expensive Breguet watches on the wrist (30 thousand dollars - yellow gold, 128 diamonds, natural mother-of-pearl and silver, etc.). It was also reported that the wife of Dmitry Medvedev has other watches of the same brand, simpler (10 — 15 thousand dollars). Prior to that, in the same edition there was a photo of Medvedev himself in the watches of the same brand (32 200 dollars). During one of his visits to Ukraine, Medvedev was seen in Glashutte watches for 28 100 dollars. He also has at least Franck Muller for 18 thousand and Jaeger-LeCoultre (from 8 thousand). At the same time, the official revenues of the presidential couple are comparable to the income of the Prime Minister.
To the Vedomosti question about the Prime Minister’s watch, his press secretary answered that this is an incorrect question, since "Concerns the personal life of the prime minister." However, the Prime Minister and the President are officials who are obliged to report on their incomes, and if their expenses clearly exceed incomes, this is not a personal life issue, but a question of corruption.
Flats and cars
Against all this background, officially declared apartments and cars of the first persons of the state are the utmost nonsense. Two apartments of D. Medvedev in Moscow (174 and 364,5 sq. M) and one in St. Petersburg. In the larger Moscow apartment 4 there are bedrooms, an office and a dining room, a luxurious living room, 3 toilets, cast rock crystal columns, marble floor. The monthly expenses for the maintenance of this apartment are about 5 thousand dollars. The cost of the apartment itself is 5 — 7 million dollars (150 — 210 million rubles). Vladimir Putin officially has almost no real estate - an apartment in 77 meters, a small plot of land and a garage. Of the cars - Putin’s new “Niva”, Medvedev’s rare “Victory”, a few old cars by the Prime Minister, and the same Skif trailer. Svetlana Medvedeva has her own Volkswagen Golf 1999. However, having a fleet of yachts, dozens of residences, a fleet of the most luxurious cars paid from the state budget or state corporations, you can not take care of all this.
Systemic corruption threatens Russia's national security. The flight of capital (in 2010 more than 38 billion dollars), the lack of investment primarily in the non-primary sector stimulates the transformation of Russia into a raw materials appendage not only of the West, but also of China.
Emigration from Russia 300 thousand people a year, mainly entrepreneurs, professionals, educated youth, sharply reduces business activity in the country.
The monopolization of the economy, its concentration in the hands of Putin’s friends and acquaintances, leads to a rapid rise in prices for goods and services, reduces the standard of living of citizens.
The dependence of the courts on the executive branch leads to lawlessness, lack of rights of the population.
Colossal corruption is rapidly pushing Russia into the third world. There is no question of any modernization or innovation economy with African corruption.
The country urgently needs a national program to combat corruption.
The Popular Freedom Party proposes:
In the political sphere
- To limit the tenure of the president, governors and mayors to two terms - not only in a row, but also with a break. To this end, it is necessary to amend the Constitution and laws prohibiting being in these posts for more than eight years, as well as returning to power.
- Cancel actual political censorship. First of all - on television and in mass editions.
- Return fair free elections with the participation of real political opposition.
- Return the election of governors and mayors of cities.
- Ensure the institution of parliamentary investigations.
- To achieve real independence of the judicial system and the responsibility of judges for their decisions.
In the legislative sphere
- Oblige officials to declare not only income, but also expenses, as well as property. In case of discrepancies between expenses and property incomes, confiscate property in court.
- Ratify the 20 th article of the UN Declaration on Anti-Corruption. This article deals with the confiscation of the property of corrupt officials in the event of a mismatch between income and expenses. That is why the Putin government refused to ratify it.
- To introduce additional legislative guarantees to prohibit the relatives of officials from engaging in business activities in areas where these officials provide regulation (then, in principle, Luzhkov-Baturin stories will not be in principle).
- Adopt a law on mandatory publication and access of any citizen to all decisions of the authorities without exception. Documents classified as "Secret" should relate exclusively to issues of national defense and security. Secret decisions should be subject to parliamentary control.
In law enforcement
- To conduct an independent investigation of the activities of Putin and his friends - officials and businessmen on the subject of corruption. The results of the investigation to publicize.
- Reform the Interior Ministry, the FSB, the prosecutor's office.
- The social package for law enforcement officials should stimulate fair and long-term work.
In the economic sphere
- Reduce the number of officials by 800 thousand. Exactly on the number by which the bureaucracy grew during the years of Putin's rule.
- The Prime Minister must also be the head of the antimonopoly department. The main task of the head of government is to protect the equal conditions of competition, to prevent the monopolization of markets, to support small and medium-sized businesses.
- To abolish state corporations. Investigate their activities. Investigate the activities of the management and managers of state monopolies, incl. "Gazprom" and "Transneft", on the subject of corruption.
- To hold joint-stock companies and privatization in the free market of state municipal property, leaving state control exclusively in natural monopolies. Reducing the state's share in the economy will reduce the degree of influence of officials on business decision-making, which means corruption.
- Do not allow tax increases. Cancel social tax increase to 34% as corrupt, leading business into the shadows.
These measures are guaranteed and in a short time will lead to a reduction in corruption from the level of Guinea-Bissau to the East European (Georgian) level. To implement them, only one thing is necessary - the political will and honesty of the country's top leadership. The current government has neither one nor the other. And we have.
Popular Freedom Party