Brechalov’s test | Latest news The Moscow Post
16 June 2021

Brechalov’s "test"

Head of Udmurtia Alexander Brechalov seems to be diligently trying to "remove" the ex-chairman of the State Control Committee, Boris Sarnaev, who has repeatedly caught the authorities "red-handed".

According to the correspondent of The Moscow Post, Olga Filippova, who worked for less than two months as the chairman of the State Control Committee of Udmurtia, has left this position. The reasons for this decision are not officially announced, meanwhile, sources say that she is allegedly detained, and this is due to her previous job in the department of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in the Republic. Filippova was appointed to the post at the request of the governor Alexander Brechalov, who previously allegedly created the conditions for the dismissal of ex-chairman of the State Control Committee of the Udmurt Republic (SCC) Boris Sarnaev.

According to the court decision, the latter was reinstated, but Sarnaev complains that he still cannot get to the working place. May Filippova's departure be the result of an office "war" between the head of Udmurtia and the auditor, who has repeatedly "opposed" him?

Filippova was elected chairman of the SCC after the dismissal of Boris Sarnaev. She started working on January 12, but in early March she wrote a statement "on her own". It is rumoured that this happened after the official was summoned to a conversation with the FSB. According to the authors of the Ochki Brechalova telegram channel, allegedly Filippova was detained by security forces who conducted searches at her former place of work, in the regional Ministry of Justice.

At the same time, the SCC itself does not disclose the reason for her sudden dismissal, which creates favourable ground for gossip. This gives ground to remember the nuances of her arrival in the department: Filippova's candidacy was proposed by Alexander Brechalov. The previous chairman, Boris Sarnaev, was dismissed at the end of 2020 amid a conflict with the republican authorities. The formal reason is the decision of the State Council of the Republic to reduce the age limit for those holding this position from 65 to 60 years. Sarnaev is 62 years old.

As Kommersant wrote, after his dismissal, Sarnaev filed lawsuits for the recognition of these changes as invalid and for reinstatement. On February 26, the Supreme Court of Udmurtia recognized the amendments as legal, but the Leninsky District Court of Izhevsk granted the claim and reinstated Mr. Sarnaev in office the same day. The court ruled that the amendments do not apply to Boris Sarnaev, since he was appointed for a five-year term in 2018 under the previous version of the law.

And although it was not possible to "remove" Sarnaev "retroactively", he is still not allowed to work peacefully. The security of the State Council, in the building of which the SCC is located, simply does not let him pass, for some reason referring to the fact that "the decision must be executed by bailiffs." It seems that the existence of Sarnaev and the court decision made in his favour are simply ignored: after the news about Filippova's resignation, it became known that Marina Olyunina was appointed acting chairman of the State Control Committee of Udmurtia.

It is quite possible that the latter may be a relative of Andrey Arkadyevich Olyunin - either the former or the current deputy head of the anti-corruption Department of the Administration of the Head and Government of the Udmurt Republic. It is difficult to answer this question: for some reason, the page with the government's telephone directory is not available now, but the information is preserved in the web-archive archive. Did Brechalov decide to "erase" all the information about possible connections with the new head of the SCC? In this case, he should be hinted that the Internet remembers everything.

Touched "native"

There is reason to believe that Brechalov is eager to put "his" man in the place of the chairman of the SCC. Not to let Sarnaev return?

What did the civil servants not share among themselves?

And there are really many reasons for conflict. Sarnaev could have been "taken away" because of his principled position within the framework of external financial control. The ex-chairman of the SCC himself accused the head of Udmurtia of pressure. At the end of 2019, the latter stated that the number of employees of the Control Committee of the region is higher than necessary, as Kommersant wrote.

In February 2020, Boris Sarnaev announced financial violations in the execution of the regional budget in 2019 in the amount of 2.3 billion rubles. In response, some deputies called his report nonobjective, and the chairman of the Government of the republic Yaroslav Semenov said that the budget was not damaged and the SCC was looking for violations in order to "increase the significance of its work." Then it was suggested that such a reaction of the State Council was due to the fact that the conclusions could "hit" the deputies themselves. Isn't that why they later passed the law that got Sarnaev removed from office?

By the way, that time Brechalov himself answered the auditors' conclusions. He called the SCC report "not so much a criticism, but a fully formulated accusation," as Izvestia UR wrote.

In its report, the SCC paid special attention to the activities of JSC Development Corporation of the Udmurt Republic. The supervisory authority found violations in the expenditure of budget subsidies to the corporation for a total of 5.5 million rubles, as well as inefficient expenses in the amount of 4.7 million rubles, as Udm-info reported. At the same time, the activities of the organization, in which 70 million rubles were "poured" from the budget, were recognized as "economically impractical". What can be said: it acts as the executor of only one state contract in the amount of 118 thousand rubles. It has many times more orders - as much as 52 million. Does it mean that a corporation can be just a "shell" for getting state money?

It should be understood that the corporation is a completely Brechalovsky brainchild, created in 2017. To manage it, he put a person close to him, once a successful businessman, the owner of a chain of hairdressers, Konstantin Suntsov. The fact that Suntsov has "established bridges" with Brechalov is eloquently indicated by the fact that he is now under the latter’s "wing" - working as Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Udmurtia. The head of the region even dedicated a congratulatory post to this in his Facebook, in which he noted that "47 agreements worth more than 20 billion rubles were concluded, 18 thousand representatives of small and medium-sized businesses were supported under Suntsov."

Could Sarnaev have touched Brechalov’s "native nerve" with his criticism? Is that why he is in such trouble now? Thus, Boris Sarnaev eventually even had to litigate Vice-Speaker Alexander Prozorov and deputy Alexey Konoryukov, who, according to the chairman of the SCC, spread "false information about the violation of the current legislation by the chairman of the State Control Committee of the UR, Sarnaev" as Udm-Info reported.

By the way, among other things, the SCC under the leadership of Sarnaev found about 500 violations in 12 ministries and departments at once for 2.3 billion rubles. It is not surprising that such an inquisitive employee is not very convenient for Mr. Brechalov.

There is reason to believe that they hurried to say goodbye to Sarnaev, so that he would not interfere with the process of privatization of Republican property, which is now under way. Recently, the deputies of the same State Council approved the privatization of Udmurtavtodor. This story was actively discussed by Brechalov himself, referring to the fact that the company needed private investment. But for some reason, before the arrival of the head of the region, Udmurtavtodor had a considerable profit, and then suddenly found himself in a financial "hole". Was it not arranged on purpose to "obtain" the company? In addition, apparently, the head of the republic "pulls" people who have an ambiguous reputation and were "spotted" in scandals with embezzlement to the company. Previously, this story was described in detail by The Moscow Post.

It is very likely that Brechalov may try to appoint "his" person as the chairman of the SCC, who will not hinder and publicly criticize the authorities of Udmurtia. Presumably, Filippova was considered to be such a person, but now they are betting on Olyunina, who may be close to the governor's administration. Despite the decision of the court, Sarnaev continues to walk around his working place. However, will this unique Udmurt story, where the retirement age was not raised, but lowered, moreover "retroactively", attract the attention of the security forces?

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