Sobyanin's Swan Song at the Ponds | God Nisanov | Latest news The Moscow Post
01 June 2023

Sobyanin's Swan Song at the Ponds

The pavilion building at the Patriarch's Pond is falling apart under the presumable "patronage" of Moscow officials with Mayor Sergei Sobyanin in the lead. The developer God Nisanov might likely end up building a restaurant in its place.

Construction works at the famous pavilion carried out by the  God Nisanov's "Kyevskaya Ploshad" (Kyev Square) are in full swing. In spite of the vociferous public remonstrance over numerous violations addressed to the Moscow City Hall and law enforcement agencies, all attempts to stop the construction turned out to be futile when met by the inaction of local authorities. The Moscow Post correspondent investigated the reasons for the "silence" of officials led by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

Residents of the Presnensky district have appealed to our editorial office, concerned about the possible act of "demolition" of Patriarch's ponds by God Nisanov. People  have already voiced their concerns regarding the construction to various authorities, including mayor Sobyanin. The appeal to the mayor was signed by the distinguished public figures and actors, such as Alexander Shirvindt, Alexander Filipenko, Renata Litvinova, Chulpan Khamatova. 

While various sources of The Moscow Post claim that Sobyanin is perfectly aware of the conflict, unfolded around the pavilion, and the concomitant appeals, no reaction to the matter have ensued. Perhaps, it is due to the fact that the prominent erection is taken care of by God Nisanov's development company. 

A video, distributed on the Internet, particularly speaks of the relationship between Nisanov and Sobyanin. Ilgar Gadzhiyev, a former partner of God, claims that the mayor is "in business" with the builder: Nisanov has allegedly transferred 12% of the company's total turnover to Sobyanin. If it is true, the mayor's 'favor' towards this company is crystal clear. 

The owners of the pavilion assure that the repair work does not presume any major changes. Although, there are claims that the building undergoes a minor repair, which means no overhaul, a widespread snapshot of the pavilion rebuilt into a two-story building suggests otherwise. Needless to say that this completely violates the law about protecting the historical and cultural significance of the object. 

 Prior to this, the chief inspector of the department of state protection of cultural heritage of Moscow issued a warning about the prohibition of any spatial enhancement to the building. The sketch, however, suggests an outright neglect of this warning by designers. 

Physical characteristics of the building are of historical significance as an attribute of the town's appearance, virtually meaning it should be protected by the state. However, currently, the facility is only protected by employees of Vityaz, a private security company. 

As local residents told The Moscow Post, the cadastral value of the pavilion on the Patriarch's Ponds was obviously underestimated and amounted to only about 24 million rubles. According to rumors, "Kiev Square" acquired a pavilion for about 600 million, and, allegedly, even then, God Nisanov in a private conversation mentioned his plans about extending the building by justifying that "he faces no problems in Moscow." And that appears to be true. 

The issue of a possible demolition of the pavilion agitated the entire professional community, except Sergei Kuznetsov, the chief architect of the capital.

As reported, he is associated with the Speech, an architectural bureau, where he held a title of the leading partner in 2006-2012, and he continues to appear as the head of the authorial team in various large projects led by the bureau: Zaryadye park with a concert hall , "Luzhniki" and others.

Speech is owned by a local businessman, Nikolai Gordyushin. Certain Galina Gordyushina, who works as a director of designer at "Kyevskaya Ploshad", also worked there. She is assumed to have prepared the project for the reconstruction of the pavilion on the Patriarchs.

 Prefecture of the Central Administrative District (CAO) of the city of Moscow has repeatedly received complaints about the construction at the Patriarchs' Ponds, but activists were not welcome there. From the words of local residents, friendly relations between officials and Nisanov's employees can account for the department's silence.

The fact is that the prefect of the Central Administrative District is led by Vladimir Goverdovsky, who previously worked as deputy head of the prefecture of the Western administrative district of the capital, which is led by Alexey Alexandrov, whose son - also Aleksey Aleksandrov, in turn, manages Kyevskaya Ploshad LLC and Kyevskaya Ploshchad 1 LLC . Quite a coincidence!

Aleksandrov Jr. was repeatedly spotted on the site of the pavilion, accompanied by "Vityaz" brothers. As reported by The Moscow Post, it was them who showed up at Ilgar Hajiyev's companies with God Nisanov's managers, having expropriated his business.  

They repeatedly opposed local residents who tried to enter the fenced pavilion. Once having succeeded at their attempts to do so, social activists discovered a completely collapsed room filled with packages of construction waste, and the next room turned into an illegal hostel for workers and security guards.

Inside the building were bunk beds, with workers on and the night pots under them. The nearby toilet did not work around the clock.

According to the local, complaints about the illegal placement of migrants at a construction site right in the center of the capital were filed numerous times, having, however, received only threats made by the law enforcement agencies in response.

Unfortunately, nothing surprising here.  Apparently God Nisanov's connections extend well beyond the Moscow officials, even reaching the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Vladimir Kolokoltsev. By a "sheer" coincidence, the Minister’s son, Alexander Kolokoltsev is engaged in the restaurant business and has a share in the unprofitable LLC “Il Forno”. 

Until 2017, the list of founders included certain Oleg Yusupov, who allegedly is a relative of Vladislav Yusupov. This very man is none other than the cousin of God Nisanov. 

Also, the former partner of Kolokoltsev Jr., Oleg Yusupov owns a joint company, LLC Optima, together with Ben Zion Zarakhovich Iliev, who is related to Zakhar Iliev - a partner of God Nisanov. Ben Zion Iliev is also said to own shares at Kievskaya Ploshchad 1 LLC.

Also, the former partner of Kolokoltsev Jr., Oleg Yusupov owns a joint company, LLC Optima, together with Ben Zion Zarakhovich Iliev, who is related to Zakhar Iliev - a partner of God Nisanov. Ben Zion Iliev is also said to own shares at Kievskaya Ploshchad 1 LLC.

According to social activists, the developer refuses to present any documents to anyone. There appear to be no warrants for construction. Part of the lawn is “captured”, while the entire pond and the square  including the pavilion is a unified object of cultural heritage. But "Kyevskaya Ploshad" seems to be under a strong "protection". And does it mean that formalities like enforcing the law do not apply to God Nisanov?

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