Ruthenium-106 As Tool Against Social Risks
On September 21, Roshydromet, Russia’s environment watchdog, published data on the extremely high levels of the radioactive isotope ruthenium-106 in the air in the Southern Urals. Environmentalists suggest that emission could have occurred at the infamous Mayak plant (part of the Mayak production Association). A few days after the credible accident, Mayak signed a state contract for 43 million rubles to “provide services on reducing the social risks” with an unknown company. Russiangate has studied the contract.
Presumably, the emission of ruthenium-106 occurred in the Southern Urals on September 25-26. This is indicated by the chronology compiled by journalists. The source of the accident is the Mayak plant, where 30 accidents have occurred since 1953, including the Kyshtym tragedy of 1957 – the explosion of a nuclear waste storage facility.
The Mayak Production Association is located in the city of Ozersk in the Chelyabinsk Region. Director Mikhail Pohlebaev is the founder of the NGO Ice Hockey Federation in the town of Trekhgorny. Before he started his work for Mayak in 2014, he headed the FSUE Priborobystroitelny Zavod (Instrument-making Plant) in Trekhgorny, which produces weapons and ammunition.
Mayak belongs to the state corporation Rosatom. Its authorized capital is 19 billion rubles. The prices of its state contracts are almost the same: for the last year, the plant concluded state contracts for 16 billion rubles. The figures are quite understandable: Mayak produces the main inorganic substances. Such as ruthenium.
Since the beginning of 2017, the plant has been subjected to 13 inspections. The State Labor Inspectorate has numerously revealed that with some employees contracts had not been concluded. There were also delays in paying salaries.
In January, the Federal Medical and Biological Agency pointed to the enterprise on the violations of the sanitary rules for ensuring radiation safety. In April, it happened again.
In the same month, Mayak was visited by a commission from the Ural Department for Supervision of Nuclear and Radiation Safety (Rostekhnadzor). The audit identified 30 violations.
“The enterprise has not carried out measures to ensure radiation safety, incl. in the organization of radiation monitoring during the movement of devices between plants for repair and verification, which are aimed at preventing the arrival of devices for repair and verification with contamination of internal surfaces with radioactive substances,” the commission wrote.
The relevant agencies also found violations of transport security, of which there were 11 .
In October 2017, the Federal Medical Biological Agency was to visit Mayak. In addition to the usual things, like the sanitary conditions of employees, FMBA also monitors very dangerous situations. The results of the inspection are not known.
On September 29 – that is, four days after the alleged incident – the Mayak Production Association concluded a contract to “provide services on reducing the social risks in Ozersk, the Chelyabinsk Region.” The cost of the contract is 42.8 million rubles.
Thus, on September 25, “sirens” in Ozersk are checked “on schedule”, and on September 29, Mayak invests money in “reducing social risks” with the help of news agencies.
This is the second time that Mayak orders such a service. For the first time, with exactly the same wording, the state contract was concluded in August 2016, only for 16 million rubles. The contractor was Ulitsa Svobody LLC (Street of Freedom).
We do not know what is “social risks” in the understanding of the Mayak plant, since there are no documents, contracts or technical requirements of the customer on the public procurement portal.
To understand how Mayak fights the social risks, one should take a look at who the contractors are.
The Street of Freedom LLC was registered in 2010 in Yaroslavl. It belongs to Pavel Doroshenko. The company's director is Natalia Doroshenko. The owner of the company also is listed as the founder of the Healthy Life Foundation in Moscow. Throughout its existence, since 2012, the Foundation has never submitted reports to the Ministry of Justice, as it follows from the database of the Ministry. The director of the fund, Yevgeny Potapov, is listed as the founder of two companies involved in accounting. Both legal entities belong to offshore companies registered in Cyprus and on the British Virgin Islands.
In three years, the Street of Freedom LLC received state contracts for 135 million rubles. The main customers in 2017 are the Federal Agency for Tourism and the Ministry of Investments and Innovations of the Moscow Region. Prior to that, the company worked with the Russian Federal Nuclear Center, the Instrument-Making Plant in Trekhgorsk (where the current head of Mayak was the director), FSUE National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management (owned by Rosatom).
The contracts with the National Operator, concluded in 2015, are worth to be payed attention on. The contracts are only for 14 million rubles, but the Street of Freedom always competes with the same company - Agency Polylog LLC. This agency specializes in PR and GR-consulting. And on their public page you can find a congratulation to the director of their eternal “competitor” on state purchases – Pavel Doroshenko, who is listed in the PR company as deputy CEO.
The Agency Polylog often competes with the Healthy Life Foundation or the Street of Freedom on state contracts. And often one of the three companies wins. The agency itself received state contracts for 168 million rubles over the past 12 months, and in total - 1.1 billion rubles.
The second contractor of Mayak, the Open Media Kit LLC, was registered in Moscow in 2011. Its owner Roman Mazur is former CEO of the National Expert Center LLC. He is also registered as the Chairman of the central coordinating council of the Working Man Party.
Such a party actually existed; at least, it was officially registered with the Ministry of Justice. It is listed in the events of Starikov’s Antimaydan. But if you analyze the party's program – for example, through anti-plagiarism software, then you will find an exact copy of it – only from the Party for the Development of Entrepreneurship.
This company received only five state contracts for the entire time of work.
For all the time, Open Media Kit has received five state contracts for 149 million rubles: from Mayak, Rosenergoaetom, FSUE Combine Electrokhimpribor (owned by Rosatom) and the Central Office of the Head of the Administration of the Volgograd Region’s; in 2011, it organized a business program of the Volgograd Region’s exhibition at the international investment forum in Sochi.
The original founder of the company is Svetlana Emilyevna Lin. Her full namesake was accredited from the magazine Kapital Strany (Capital of the Country) for the President’s annual message to the Federal Assembly, and at the investment forum in Sochi, though already in 2012, she represented RIA New Region. At the moment the resource is blocked on the territory of Russia; in 2016, it changed its name and is now “in the jurisdiction of the Republic of Lithuania”.
Director Natalia Chazova also worked as CEO of the magazine Capital of the Country in 2009-2010. In her biography, it is said that she was engaged in “sociological support” of the election of a “candidate for governors of St. Petersburg” in 1996, PR companies of the election of the governor of the Leningrad Region, deputies of the Legislative Assembly.
Capital of the Country works under the patronage of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and cooperates with the regions, according to the magazine’s website.
Who is the director of the company, Roman Mazur? Perhaps, the answer lies in the National Expert Center LLC, which he headed until 2014. One of the founders of the “center” is Georgy Belozerov. He also founded the Agency for Regional Development LLC and the public organization RUS, the full name of which sounds like The Russian Management Community of Participants of the Presidential Program for the Training of Management Personnel.
RUS cooperates several thousands of activists across Russia to promote managers in their careers, create an environment for initiating business and social projects, as well as to ensure the active participation of Russian entrepreneurs in the public life of the country,” the official website of the organization says.
In 2016, Lenta.ru wrote that the head of the organization, Georgy Belozerov, held the posts of the deputy head of the department for forming the system called Open Government. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of OJSC Rosspirtprom.
Why would the Mayak plant pay for the social risks to the presidential reserve and the consulting company? And is it possible that this “reduction of social risks” is not for ordinary people, but for the management of the company (I pay, ergo I won’t be held responsible for the accident)?