Perishing Uralchem grasping at Manturov straw | Latest news The Moscow Post
27 October 2021

Perishing Uralchem grasping at Manturov straw

In an attempt to save Uralchem from imminent bankruptcy, its owner Dmitry Mazepin uses his connections in the Government and the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia.

A few days ago, Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin signed an indictment against the former head of Togliattikhimbank Alexander Popov, launching a new round of raider attacks on the Togliattiazot Chemical Plant. For ten years, oligarch Dmitry Mazepin has been unsuccessfully trying to seize control of this enterprise, however, he has  only brought his own Uralchem to almost inevitable bankruptcy so far. Mazepin's last hope to improve his affairs is melting before his eyes, and for the sake of success, according to sources, he may resort to extreme measures, involving his friend - Federal Minister of Industry Denis Manturov.

Testimony with the smell of explosives

The case against Alexander Popov was based on testimony given in a very timely manner by a former employee of Togliattiazot, Oleg Antoshin, directly from the colony where the main prosecution witness is serving a three-year term. The reason for Antoshin's imprisonment is directly related to the case and deserves to be described in detail. Ten years ago, as head of the Togliattiazot security service, Antoshin staged the work of a terrorist cell on the territory entrusted to his protection – he helped plant a bag with a Mukha grenade launcher, ammunition and extremist literature at the chemical plant. Together with Antoshin, the former security guard of Boris Berezovsky, Sergey Sokolov, Zakonovskiye OCG, and already familiar to us Dmitry Mazepin, who financed the whole scam in an unsuccessful attempt to take over the coveted chemical plant under the guise of noise were involved in the case.

This story alone makes us suspicious of Antoshin's sudden "remorse" – he testifies very consistently against his former employer, or, which is essentially the same thing, in the interests of Mr. Mazepin. There is another reason for doubt – the testimony given in places of detention is very difficult to consider sincere and free from pressure.

The Federal Penitentiary Service has increasingly been losing credibility and public trust recently. What is worth only the protection of illegal call centres, in which fraudsters lured credit card details of credulous interlocutors using mass phone calls. It is obvious that if sufficiently reputable people (and Russian oligarchs are certainly quite reputable) ask the colony's management to help them get the necessary evidence, they will not be refused.

Minister as an evidence

According to sources in Telegram, Denis Manturov, the Minister of Industry of the Russian Government, may be another fairly authoritative participant in the pressure on Togliattiazot. It turns out that this fan of living in luxury apartments for half a million rubles a day (at state expence) is oligarch Mazepin’s close friend. As well as a "push-lobbyist" for his business interests.

It seems that the children of these outstanding characters are also friends – in any case, Leonela Manturova and Anastasia Mazepina were seen together at the Tatler ball. And the oligarch's son Nikita, who is making a career in auto racing, as the same sources say, uses not so much natural talents as the support of his father's friend.

Will Russia's richest government official Manturov participate with money in saving the business of his friend Mazepin? Or will he find another way to help him? In any case, the support of the entire profile Minister Mazepin is vital – after all, his main assets, the companies Uralchem and Uralkali, are hopelessly unprofitable and are credited as much as 11 billion dollars, and their shares are mortgaged in banks. The capture of Togliattiazot would help the case, but Mazepin does not succeed in completing it. So it is necessary to initiate legal proceedings with strange witnesses as the only source of information.

Now the Central district court of Togliatti will decide if the words of Antoshin can be believed. And we can only hope that no more evidence that finally turns the Russian justice system into an instrument of raider wars and redistribution of financial flows will appear from the depths of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

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