The end of Agalarov Bolshoi and small: is nationalization inevitable?

After a series of high-profile scandals, including the proceedings on the Vostochny cosmodrome and the horrific terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall, the assets of the Agalarov family may be nationalized.


After a series of high-profile scandals, including the proceedings on the Vostochny cosmodrome and the horrific terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall, the assets of the Agalarov family may be nationalized.

As the correspondent of UtroNews reports, the directorate of the Vostochny cosmodrome asks the Moscow Arbitration Court to recover more than 522 million rubles from the Crocus International JSC company, which is part of the development Crocus Group of the controversial oligarch Araz Agalarov.

The grounds for the claims are not provided by the court. The case may be related to the contract for the construction of the airport for Vostochny, which is due in 2025. The corresponding contract for 28 billion rubles was signed between Crocus and the Directorate in 2020. Moreover, the purchase was made from a single supplier - without real competition and reducing the cost of the contract (i.e. without saving for the budget).

Why - the former head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin and the then head of the Cosmodrome Directorate Andrei Novikov probably know. Previously, the latter was the founder of the construction CJSC FSO Group, liquidated in 2013.

Corruption "carousel" Rogozin

The appointment of Andrei Novikov occurred after a series of corruption scandals and the failure to meet the deadlines for the first stage of the construction of the cosmodrome.

Then, under the "hot hand" of Dmitry Rogozin, the former head of the Directorate, Yevgeny Rogoza, fell - he was fired. At the same time, the head of Roscosmos reprimanded Andrei Okhlopkov, general director of the Center for the Operation of Ground Space Infrastructure Facilities, and Vladimir Zhuk, chief engineer of this organization.

Soon Zhuk was detained by security forces. According to the investigation, Zhuk was involved in signing documents on the compliance of the constructed objects of the first stage of the cosmodrome with the requirements of the design documentation, while the objects had critical comments issued by the State Architectural and Construction Supervision (GASN) of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

A little earlier, the director of the Vostochny space center, Roman Bobkov, was arrested. He was accused of fraud with the commissioning of three water intake facilities of the cosmodrome.

Both before and after these events there were still a lot of corruption scandals. About a year before the signing of the contract with Crocus, the authorities cited disappointing statistics: every tenth ruble could be stolen at a construction site. 58 persons were sentenced in corruption cases. By that time, the total cost of Vostochny had exceeded 300 billion rubles.

Agalarov's space appetites

Apparently, Araz Agalarov also wanted to sip from the budget river. Moreover, the prospect of getting into a corruption scandal did not scare him - judging by all his recent actions, he can generally consider himself untouchable.

But his appetites are great: back in 2019, at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov (the current head of Roscosmos then oversaw the project from the White House), he said that Crocus Group would not apply for the construction of the second stage of the facility due to the fact that too little money was allocated for it (according to Agalarov).

Apparently, they would barely be enough for the construction of the spaceport itself. And what, there's nothing to steal?

Then "Crocus" really did not show up. But after the money, apparently, we agreed - already at the airport. Apparently, the Agalarovs' "appetites" were taken into account there. But this is not enough: in January 2023, the same Crocus received from Vostochny another large contract for 15 billion rubles - for the construction of a technical complex for assembling and testing the Angara launch vehicle.

The end of Agalarov Bolshoi and small: is nationalization inevitable?

Vostochny Airport has not yet been completed, but has already become the subject of litigation? Photo:

Agalarov is given confidence by the fact that over and over again his companies and he himself manage to get out of the water dry. I recall the story of the construction of one of the stages of the Central Ring Road (TsKAD) around Moscow.

Crocus performed a contract worth 42 billion rubles. To do this, he received an advance payment of 12.5 billion rubles. But then another 2 billion rubles - and this has already exceeded 30% of the contract amount, which is prohibited by law. As a result, law enforcement agencies became interested in the actions of Crocus. At the same time, it turned out that the company, instead of spending this money on construction, decided to receive interest from them.

Agalarov has an amazing commercial vein. And the supposed high patrons. Indeed, he came out of that scandal without loss - except perhaps for reputational ones. But then the then head of Avtodor Sergey Kelbakh came under investigation, who signed a contract with the oligarch's company.

The investigation charged Kelbach with large-scale abuse of office during the construction of the Central Ring Road in 2014-2018. According to the TFR, the actions of the ex-official led not only to a violation of the construction time of the road, but also to a multibillion-dollar increase in the estimated cost of the facility.

The end of Agalarov Bolshoi and small: is nationalization inevitable?

One Sergei Kelbakh (pictured) "answered" for the Central Ring Road. Photo:

As a result of the "fruitful" cooperation, Avtodor filed a lawsuit against Crocus for 5.4 billion rubles, but there were no complaints from law enforcement officers against the oligarch. It is interesting that even then the construction of the Central Ring Road was compared with Vostochny.

Crocus leaked

Another scandalous story happened with the construction of a campus for the Far Eastern Federal State University (DFSU) on Russky Island nearby. The general contractor was Crocus Group Araz Agalarov.

A few years later, a big scandal erupted. It turned out that the roof of the campus was leaking in many places, and people were forced to sleep, it seems, in almost half-baked rooms.

Then a document got on the Web - an official letter to the adviser to the President Anton Kobyakov on behalf of the acting Head of the DFSU Boris Korobets. The letter said that these negative consequences (leaks) are a consequence of the destruction of the enclosing structures - roofs, facades and stained glass windows, and cannot be eliminated by the university itself. Including, even with the attraction of funds annually allocated for the organization of the forum, and this is about 200 million rubles.

The end of Agalarov Bolshoi and small: is nationalization inevitable?

Photo: / @ bapaxlo/12679

And a letter it was sent after the visit to DFGU of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. But even then to Agalarov didn't make any complaint. That it is even more surprising, after completion of construction the oligarch complained that he worked to himself nearly at a loss, and isn't going to participate in such large undertakings more.

The idea about "altruist" Agalarov who for the sake of the state interests worked in zero looks just absurdity for all who though I am a little familiar with works of his reputable construction group.

In this regard other large-scale project - construction of Republican hospital in Simferopol is remembered. Initially AFK "Sistema" of Vladimir Yevtushenkov was engaged in his construction. The volume of investments - 10 billion rubles.

But when the hospital was already almost constructed, the project was suddenly transferred to Araz Agalarov and his "Crocus". At the same time Agalarov in addition requested 2 billion rubles - on already almost ready object. As a result the hospital was handed over after all, but on what this money - not clearly left. But Agalarov precisely worked in plus.

But Agalarov can easily give up those undertakings where "feeding trough" is small - even if it is a social object for people. We will give a medical cluster in Sevastopol as an example - infectious diseases hospital, oncology dispensary and hospital of ambulance. At first "Crocus" undertook it, but then refused. According to evil tongues, allegedly I could not agree upon levels of "kickbacks" to the governor of Sevastopol of that time, and nowadays London dandy Dmitry Ovsyannikov.

"Whipping boys" and terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall

We won't forget also other sign object of "Crocus" - stadium in Rostov-on-Don (Rostov Arena). In 2018 the PASMI edition (it is recognized as the foreign agent in the territory of the Russian Federation) assumed that the stadium can just fail as at his construction could steal thousands of tons of building materials.

And subsequently criminal case really appeared. Only not concerning the Crocus and its owner, and concerning the former head of Ministry of Construction of the Rostov region Nikolay Bezuglov. Together with him law enforcement authorities had questions to heads of the company subcontractor which was engaged in improvement. Later the penal on the same situation was got also by the former vice governor of the Rostov region Sergei Sidash.

And here Agalarov appeared again there is nothing.

The end of Agalarov Bolshoi and small: is nationalization inevitable?

The volume of government contracts of the main legal person of "Crocus" passed for 77 billion rubles. Photo:

Returning today, still all have a very famous terrible terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall - the concert and trade and entertaining venue built and controlled Krokus Group.

Still there is a mass of questions of the organization of fire protection and safety of this object. Not less terribly the fact that, according to the statements of the survived people, in the building didn't work (or didn't work at all?) fire alarm. How many people could die because of it, but not because of fire of terrorists? But also here from Agalarov the bribes - are smooth!

Terrorist attack happened on March 22. And while the whole country grieved, Agalarov continued to earn money. Allegedly, already on March 28 in the neighboring building - "Crocus Expo" (also belongs to the oligarch) the construction and architectural exhibition "Beautiful houses took place. Spring of 2024". A grief a grief, and money love the account.

The end of Agalarov Bolshoi and small: is nationalization inevitable?

Terrible terrorist attack in "Crocus" didn't prevent Agalarov to continue to earn. Photo:

But also after that Agalarov kept afloat and continues to receive government contracts. There is an impression that he feels impregnable. But he after all forgot something.

The country any more not that that was prior to the beginning of SVO. Now to such "liberties" the relation will be much more strict. Too there is a lot of to the oligarch and to his business collected claims. Especially, we already saw examples of nationalization of the enterprises received by their owners in the illegal way or whose work was accompanied by serious violation of the Law.

At the same time the structure has a huge debt load and can simply fail. As of 2021 "Crocus" owed about 120 billion rubles! Not therefore whether the oligarch has a ball?

And so - now untouchable isn't present. According to our sources, there can soon be a question of possible nationalization of Krokus Group or a number of her subsidiaries which could allow serious violations of the law. And for Agalarov it will be still good - will get off light. If, at last, a complaint isn't made to him personally.