Rotenberg go through the floodplain: will Makanova substitute Yakovlev? | Latest news The Moscow Post
03 March 2024

Rotenberg go through the floodplain: will Makanova "substitute" Yakovlev?

Deputy Head of the Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation Alexei Yakovlev may be a "scapegoat" for his boss Irina Makanova on the situation with the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain.

The Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal case against the deputy director of the department of state policy and regulation in the development of specially protected natural areas of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia Alexei Yakovlev.

The Ministry of Natural Resources claims that the case is connected with Yakovlev's previous place of work in the Taganai National Park. So far, there is no reliable information about this. According to our sources, the real reason may be completely different - namely, the coordination of the deforestation project in the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain for the construction of a high-speed highway to Kazakhstan there.

The head of Yakovleva, the director of the department, Irina Makanova, turned out to be a long-time employee of the structures of Arkady Rotenberg. The route is being built by the KS KS, which is associated precisely with the Rotenberg family of oligarchs.

Details in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.

Alexey Yakovlev came to the department in 2021 - at about the same time as his boss Irina Makanova. Probably, he became her appointee, because the deputy is coordinated by the director.

In the same 2021, when Makanova began to lead the department, he agreed on a project for deforestation in a specially protected natural area, namely in the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain - a natural park between the Volga and Akhtuba in the Volgograd region. The document allowing deforestation, which can cause irreparable harm to nature, was signed not by Alexei Yakovlev, but by another deputy Makanova Arthur Chertov.

Alexey Yakovlev. Photo:

They had to coordinate the work, assure the expertise and so on, so Yakovlev could well find out about possible violations during the work, or even participate in them. Was it not for this that they decided to "take him out of the game"? Well, the practice, when it is the deputies, and not the immediate leaders sign important documents, is common among officials in order to relieve themselves of responsibility in case of which.

Floodplain disaster

Volga-Akhtuba floodplain is a UNESCO bioreservate. 30 thousand trees should be cut down (and are already subjected to), of which 8 thousand are oaks, many of them centuries old. As a result of the construction of the highway, the hydrological regime will be radically changed - all streams, both surface and underground, will be blocked, which is why the death of the Volga oak forest is imminent, experts say. Inevitably, Red Book animals living in the floodplain will also suffer.

It is not surprising that caring people chest up to the protection of nature, up to unauthorized protests and even the deployment of a tent camp near the site of the work. One of these camps was unceremoniously dismantled with the help of the police and employees of the Committee of Natural Resources of the Volgograd Region, which is supervised by the same Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, where Ms. Makanova and her deputies sit.

The scandal even reached the Human Rights Council in the Russian Federation. Its head, adviser to the President of the Russian Federation Valery Fadeev sent an appeal to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Igor Krasnov in which he directly called the construction of the highway illegal. But, it seems, no answer, no greeting.

CES goes to construction

The project for the construction of a highway through the territory of the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain (Moscow-Kazakhstan road) is one of the largest road contracts in our country at a price of 5.6 billion rubles. The tender was won by JSC "GK EKS" - one of the most scandalous construction companies in the country. Just recently, we wrote about how the reconstruction of the Switzerland park in Nizhny Novgorod, which was carried out by the Civil Code, ended. Namely, a criminal case against its employees and a real headache for both environmentalists and the regional authorities, headed by Gleb Nikitin.

The structure over and over again receives huge construction contracts throughout Russia. They have already accumulated in the amount of almost 300 billion rubles. And this is not surprising if you understand who is behind her.


Alexey Vlasov and Maxim Krylom are considered the key owners of the structures of GK EKS, but on the market the holding is associated with a much larger fish: oligarch Boris Rotenberg, brother of Arkady Rotenberg, one of the largest "kings of the state order" of the country.

Until 2016, the CES Group of Companies was called SPETSREMENERGO JSC, and Elena Petrikova was listed as the founder. In 2018, Elena owned the Smolensk Ring racing track, run by her son Oleg. He was also listed as the head of the Russian ring race series, the general sponsor of which was SMP Racing, owned by Boris Rotenberg. The connection between the former owners of the CEN and Rotenberg was noted by the Company magazine.

"Make Friends" with the Rotenberg

And then there is the department of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, which is headed by Irina Makanova? It turned out that in the past she worked many times in structures close to the Rotenberg. And even before that, at the beginning of the 2000s, Makanova worked in the Ministry of Property of the Russian Federation, where Igor Rotenberg, the son of Arkady Rotenberg, worked at about the same time.

After that, Makanova behind Rotenberg - like thread after needle. In 2004, Igor Rotenberg became vice president of Russian Railways. And Makanova moved there to the department for analyzing the effectiveness of the use of property. After Rotenberg Jr. went into business, became chairman of the board of directors of the management company OJSC "En Pi Vi Engineering." And there the legal department was headed by Irina Makanova.

In 2010, Igor Arkadyevich was appointed chairman of the SD of the enterprise "Fuel and Energy Complex" Mosenergo. " Four years later, he headed the board of directors of Gazprom-Burenie. As a result, it was Gazprom's structures that turned out to be the largest customers of the work at GK EKS.

In 2009, Makanova "suddenly" ended up on the Board of Directors of the Crystal vodka factory. And around the same time, several banks, in the capital of which Rotenberg was present, issued loans to the plant. Among them was the Rotenberg SMP Bank.

As a result, the owner could not pay off loans for 2 billion rubles. And later, in 2019, the land and other property of the plant passed into the ownership of the same "SMP Bank" for debts.

Long before that, the press associated the plant with the interests of the Rotherberg, although formally they did not have any shares in it. They were credited with owning through the owner of trademarks to the key brands of Kristall, namely Real-Invest LLC, which was owned by the Cypriot offshore Ermira Consultants Limited. Behind him, in turn, could be the Rotenbergs.

However, it now turns out that the "presence" of the Rotenbergs could be ensured directly through the board of directors, where Irina Makanova met. But it was she who had to vote to take out a loan from the banks of Rotenberg - which subsequently led to a change of owners of his property.

Heads of Dialogue LLC. Photo:

But there was also an intermediate stage, when 50% of the plant's shares were held by Dialogue LLC, whose general director was Ms. Makanova. After that, the same company "went" to the Virgin offshore company Rogen Enterprises Limited, behind which, again, the Rotenbergs could stand.

"None of your business"

Environmental defenders also drew attention to the probable Makanov-Rotenberg bundle against the background of deforestation in the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain. However, for some reason, no one in the Ministry of Natural Resources and law enforcement agencies wanted to listen to them. But the company, which is associated with Rotenberg, calmly conducts its work in the nature park.

At the same time, this is not the only question that may arise for the official and her deputies in two years of work. Makanova surprisingly neglects the opinion of activists, journalists, and simply not indifferent people when it comes to nature reserves.

This spring, a great resonance was caused by the discussion of the construction of resorts and infrastructure development in the West Caucasus. The speech concerned the concerns of environmentalists with plans for a possible change in the conservation status of parts of the Sochi National Park. Instead of removing the questions of public figures, Irina Makanova suddenly sharply besieged those discussing people who dared to comment on the correspondence of state authorities regarding these plans.

Irina Makanova. Photo:

It turns out that all this is "based on journalists' articles and letters," not "scientific facts." Apparently, raising sharp topics, and even those where there is potential for corruption, does not impress her at all in the public plane. Did her deputy Alexei Yakovlev want to make public some letters between the authorities? Something suggests that Makanova can serve not the Russian state at all, but individual large entrepreneurs.

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