Echo of the "water blockade" of Crimea: Zelensky can say goodbye to assets in Russia?
In Russia, the assets of the current President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, registered with trusted people, could remain.
The Crimean authorities billed more than 152 billion rubles to the Ukrainian authorities. It was in this amount that the damage from the water blockade was estimated. The corresponding claim entered the arbitration of Crimea, and the defendants in it are three departments of Ukraine.
But it is not enough to sue the damage, it still needs to be recovered, it is unlikely that Zelensky and his entourage will pay something voluntarily. At whose expense can you pay off this damage in Russia? Details - in the material of The Moscow Post.
"Water blockade" of Crimea haunted Ukraine in court
On July 3, 2023, a high-profile lawsuit announced by the authorities to recover billions of rubles of damage for a water blockade entered the arbitration of Crimea. The amount of the claim of the Council of Ministers of the region is 152222772066,81 rubles, the defendants are the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the Office of the North Crimean Canal and the State Agency for Water Resources of Ukraine.
Water and energy blockades of Crimea occurred back in 2014-2015, therefore, simultaneously with the filing of the lawsuit, a petition was also filed to restore the missed procedural period. The lawsuit itself has not yet been accepted for production, and a date for the hearings has not been set.
Filing a lawsuit is one of the stages of the work of the relevant working group of the regional parliament, which is working to calculate in detail the damage from Ukraine's actions during the water blockade. The situation is similar for the energy blockade.
Recall that after a coup d'etat occurred in Kyiv in 2014, and Crimea returned to Russia, the Ukrainian authorities staged a food, water and energy blockade against the peninsula.
In 2014, the Ukrainian authorities cut off the water supply to the North Crimean Canal, which provided up to 87% of the peninsula's needs. Partially this problem was solved in Crimea due to the use of underground sources, the creation of new artesian wells and the reconstruction of reservoirs. But the unsightly situation with land irrigation remained for a long time, which led to damage to agricultural producers and fish farms. In a number of areas there were problems with drinking water. It is for such bullying by Ukraine that the Crimean authorities demand more than 152 billion rubles.
As for the power unit, things were even worse there and were direct sabotage by illegal armed groups, which in 2015 damaged energy supports and lines in the Kherson region, which led to the de-energization of the peninsula. For about six months, residents of Crimea lived in the mode of saving electricity and under the emergency mode. Only the construction of an energy bridge from the Kuban helped to resolve the issue.
Criminal cases on the blockade: from whom is the demand?
In August 2021, the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case on the fact of "Ecocide," as investigators called the water blockade.
From the materials of the investigation it is known that from April 26, 2014, the supply of Dnieper water through the canal stopped as a result of the construction of a dam in the Kherson region. Due to the lack of proper water supply to the region, there was a depletion of agricultural land, a change in the ecosystems of Sivash Bay and its shallow bays, as well as the state of animal populations. So, in six years, the salinity of Sivash has tripled, and the populations of biological resources, including those listed in the Red Book of Russia and the Red Book of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, have decreased, some species can already be considered extinct. Investigators also noted that the overlap of the North Crimean Canal had an impact on the quality of water used for domestic and drinking water supply, since exceeding the maximum permissible standards of salinity and rigidity negatively affects people's health.
In July 2021, First Deputy Chairman of the State Council of Crimea Efim Fix said that the working group had already collected information about 12 citizens of Ukraine who were the organizers or justified the blockade of Crimea. The list, among others, included ex-deputies of the Verkhovna Rada Andrei Senchenko and Refat Chubarov, as well as ex-commissioner for Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev and two former presidents - Petro Poroshenko and Leonid Kravchuk. They also included the former Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Lenur Islyamov, who, according to the court, had a relationship to the power unit and the undermining of the energy support.
They will answer for ecocide with a wallet
Even if the Crimean authorities can sue the three Ukrainian departments for the requested 152 billion rubles, the main problem will be their real recovery. We very much doubt that Zelensky and the company will compensate for the damage voluntarily. The only way out of the execution of the court decision is to search for the Russian assets of all those defendants who are responsible for ecocide and their seizure.
Moreover, the Crimean authorities have quite a lot of experience in seizing the property of Ukrainian oligarchs and authorities. Let us recall how in November 2022 the head of Crimea, Sergei Aksenov, announced that "Russia's enemies will not earn in Crimea." Then the list of nationalization included JSC "Bakhchisarai plant" Stroyindustriya, "OJSC" Shipbuilding plant "Zaliv" and the company "RusLine," associated with the Kyiv oligarchs Alexander and Galina Gerega. Gerega were also deputies of the Verkhovna Rada and the Kyiv City Council, both are ardent supporters of the Zelensky regime. They owned Gerega assets through an offshore company registered in the Marshall Islands. That is, they did everything to hide their traces in Russia, without abandoning this source of income. And how many more are there in the vast expanses of not only Crimea, but also Russia?
In March 2023, RIA "Novosti Crimea" reported that earlier the Crimean authorities nationalized about 700 objects of movable property and real estate of Ukrainian oligarchs, politicians and businessmen, including 12 Ukrainian banks. At the same time, in the spring, Aksenov noted that the list would be replenished. The property, which includes land, buildings, premises, unfinished buildings and other assets, will be sold at auction, and the funds will go to the most vital needs. It was stated that auctions for the sale of nationalized objects will begin in 2023.
As The Moscow Post found out, of those whom Fix once called as defendants in the "water blockade" case, at least three have property in Russia.
Islyamov: defendant with a term
The first of them is Lenur Islyamov, who in 2020 was sentenced by the court in absentia to 19 years of strict regime for organizing sabotage at an energy facility. In absentia, because the former official disappeared in Kyiv. Today, a bankruptcy case against him is being heard in Russia, an asset search is underway.
It is worth noting here that the same Islyamov, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers of Crimea, who was dismissed in May 2014 "for unsuitability," as part of the bankruptcy case, the State Unitary Enterprise of the Republic of Kazakhstan Krymenergo also filed claims for the power unit. The amount exceeded 1 billion rubles.
If you study the business portfolio of this gentleman, you can find something to compensate for debts and damage.
Islyamov was the owner of the Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR, which already during the blockade and flight of the defendant to Kyiv (in 2016-2018) received over 300 million rubles from the Ukrainian budget. He is also the former head of the board of directors of the Russian Just Bank, which burst in 2015, and its only shareholder. For the debts of the latter, Islyamov was also brought to account. Earlier, Islyamov's assets included such now liquidated legal entities as Attashebank LLC (co-owner - Vyacheslav Mkrtychev, successor - Reso Credit Bank JSC), Kvingrup Crimea LLC, Radio Leader LLC, Atlant-SV TK LLC, KKK LLC Artbaba Production, LLC Crimea Media, LLC KM/Ch - Lipetsk 2, LLC Bürgerhoff and a stake in Moscow Bank Reso Credit
Islyamov's firms are legally of course liquidated, but was someone really looking for their assets? Have business connections and possible conclusions of these assets been checked? And we are not talking about the possible withdrawal and concealment of assets in vain. For example, Islyamov liquidated his Attashebank, but the successor of this bank is quite working - JSC Bank Reso Credit and it works in Moscow, having a whole bunch of related assets. The beneficiaries of JSC Bank Reso Credit for June 2021 were brothers Nikolai and Sergey Sarkisov (through the RESO-guarantee insurance company), who, judging by the report on affiliates, live alone - in Monaco, the second - in Dubai. The Moscow Post reported in detail earlier about who the Sarkisov brothers are and their possible role in the conflict in Donbass.
Or - in LLC "TK" Atlant-SV "among Islyamov's business partners was a certain Isa Khaibullaev - the ex-owner and director of the current warehouse company" Alem. " Members of the Khaibullaev family have shares in it. That is, Islyamov's business partners continue to do business in the same Crimea. Have Islyamov's assets been transferred to them for overexposure?
In addition, a certain Islyamova Elzara Rustemovna was the director of a number of Islyamov's assets. Probably, we are talking about a close relative. According to Rusprofile, Elzara Islyamova had a stake in ANA until April 2023 (before liquidation). She also has a current company in Crimea today - established in August 2015 by Kara Deniz Production LLC for the production of films. Co-owner - Budzhurova Lilya Rustemovna.
And you know what is interesting, filmmaking is exactly the industry in which Volodymyr Zelenskyy earned, and perhaps earns, to this day. And today the Russian LLC Platinumfilm, which was associated with him, has not gone anywhere. And it is managed by Sergei Bobza, with whom Zelensky had at least one common film. Also, the company "Kinodom" Bobza owns a share in the asset, the owner of another 49% is the offshore company "Green Family LTD." It was this offshore that was associated with Zelensky, but after 2019 - after being elected president of Ukraine - he publicly stated that he had left the owners. But he can come out, but there is an opinion that the shares have passed to people close to him. For example, brothers Sergei and Boris Shefir - co-founders of Kvartal 95 and Timur Mindich, which at one time appeared as Zelensky's assistant.
Green Family LTD also previously owned a stake in the Russian Green Films LLC, which appeared in open sources as the owner of the rental rights in Russia for Studio Kvartal-95, Zelensky's project. In April 2022, the offshore legally left the number of owners, its share remained the company's share. But again, did it come out in fact? Who will abandon the asset, which in 2022 brought net profit of 135 million rubles?
Doubts about the nominality of the exit did not arise from scratch: Green Films is led by Dmitry Glashkin, who was the manager at Zelensky's offshore. And he was also the head of Kvartal Cinema LLC and Weisberg Pickers LLC, which were also related to Zelensky (through offshore companies). The owner of Weisberg Pickers LLC (operating to this day) since 2019 is Marius Balciunas. He produced and wrote the film "Eight First Dates," and shot the film Ukrainian studio "Kvartal-95," founded by Zelensky. Relatives of Balciunas and he himself have other assets in Russia to this day, some of them are registered at the same address as Weisberg Pickers.
Returning to Glashkin, who has been managing Green Films since July 2015, it is important to add that he also crossed paths with such a co-owner (now former) of the asset as Oksana Lazarenko, the namesake of the wife of the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Ivan Bakanov. Bakanov is also called a close friend of Zelensky.
Such curious chains of business ties are still preserved in Russia among Ukrainian citizens, despite their public loud statements.
Poroshenko's traces in Russia: an attempt to withdraw multimillion-dollar assets
If we talk again about Islyamov, then his two companies were registered in the Lipetsk region. And she is like honey smeared for Ukrainian oligarchs and politicians. It is there that the assets of another person mentioned by Fix, Petro Poroshenko, the former president of Ukraine, are based. The Crimean working group believes that the closure of the North Crimean Canal took place with approval, as well as with the participation of the former head of Ukraine.
The story about Poroshenko's possible assets is quite entertaining. He himself, of course, claims that he has nothing, but the facts say a little about something else.
So, for many years, the Roshen corporation, owned by the Poroshenko family, had a confectionery factory in Lipetsk - the former Lipetsk bakery No. 4, established in 1966. Today, Lipetsk Confectionery Factory Roshen JSC is quite an active asset, which for 6-7 years has been trying to challenge in court the additional charge of more than 400 million rubles in taxes.
On the Roshen website in June 2017, a message appeared about the conservation of the factory in the Lipetsk region, and in the fall of 2016, an official statement was made there that Poroshenko was not the owner of the Lipetsk factory and in January 2016 "signed an agreement on the transfer of his stake in Roshena to an independent trust."
Later, already in 2019, the Ukrainian media reported that on October 31, Aleksey Poroshenko became the ultimate beneficiary in the Central European Confectionery Company, which was owned until recently by his father, Petro Poroshenko. And here he is and the very trust mentioned above.
According to the annual report of the Lipetsk factory for 2020, the board of directors of the factory in Russia included Roshen employees, including Vyacheslav Moskalevsky, president of the corporation, who was in the top 100 richest Ukrainians in 2021.
In addition, the subsidiary of the factory, Roshen LLC, owned a 95% stake in the Central European Confectionery Company, a limited liability company registered in Kyiv. And today they manage both the Lipetsk factory and the "subsidiary" - the Novye Horizons Management Company LLC, created in April 2021 in Moscow, which belongs to the Ukrainian company Tantalaise Group LLC.
That is, the Lipetsk factory, as we can see, is still rooted in Kyiv, to the Poroshenko family. Moreover, the "daughter" of the factory - Roshen LLC, managed by Kyiv beneficiaries, today through the court is trying to get more than 892 million rubles from the Lipetsk factory, which appear as some debts under loan agreements. But everything looks like an attempt to withdraw assets, since both the plaintiff and the defendant are affiliated with each other. It was not for nothing that the prosecutor was invited to the case by a third party.
On July 10, the court must consider this claim. But in this case, an interesting thing is different - if Roshen requires such a large amount, it clearly expects that the defendant has something to cover it. This means that in the case of claims against Poroshenko on the water blockade, the plaintiffs and investigators have somewhere to turn their eyes.
Traces of ex-official Senchenko brought to Crimea
Another person involved, named by the Crimean authorities as part of an analysis of the damage from the blockade, is the former Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea, who in 2022 served as head of the National Association of the Defense Industry of the Kyiv regime Andriy Senchenko, who boasted on the Ukrainian TV channel about the multi-billion dollar damage caused to the peninsula with his participation.
Senchenko, together with the author of monstrous fakes about Bucha, a deputy of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine of a number of convocations, ex-ombudsman and ex-minister of Ukraine Lyudmila Denisova, as well as two ex-deputies Vasily Setkov (owns an existing business in Crimea to this day) and Sergey Velizhansky had a construction asset - Triora LLC. Andrei Senchenko also had two companies with the same name - Sandi LLC.
Setkov and Velizhansky, as well as Anna Ganzha (business partner of Denisova's eldest daughter, Elena Titarenko) were previously co-owners of a certain Golden Symbol LLC, an operating company in Crimea, which previously owned the seized building of skipper's premises and kitchen premises on the Nazukin embankment. Prior to that, in 2021, at the suit of the Department for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites of Sevastopol, the company seized the hunting house of Prince Yusupov with an area of 274 square meters. m, located on Tauride Embankment, 34 - an object of cultural heritage.
And from January 2021 to this day, the "Golden Symbol" belongs to Senchenko Dmitry Andreevich, whose data miraculously coincide with the data of his son Andrei Senchenko.
And what is interesting: the "Golden Symbol" is quite a working and actively trying to sue the Crimean authorities. For example, at the end of June 2023, the court refused this company to recover 47 million rubles, declared as unjust enrichment. Now the GUPS "Balaklava Development Project" is trying to recover 18 million rubles of unjust enrichment from the LLC, but the details have not yet been announced.
As we see, at least several defendants in the ecocide case have assets in Russia. And, if the state departments - the defendants in the lawsuit - start, that is, with whom and what, in fact, to ask.
If we generally consider the business interests of Ukrainian oligarchs, who are somehow connected with the Kyiv authorities, then there are few of them. The follower remained only to carefully study the chains of relationships, not limited only to Crimea, but also covering the new territories of the Russian Federation. And there, you see, there will be traces of the former Ukrainian state property.