Presidential dachas in Crimea
Federal Guard Service (FSO) deals with maintenance of the state dachas and sanatoriums in Yalta, it received in 2014. Now the sites have been refurbished to meet the taste of the Russian leaders. Anastasia Khlopkova studied what money would be spent for that refurbishment and who the FSO had contracted to do that work.
The Mukhalatka residence comprising the state dachas numbered 6,7,8,9,10 and 11 Zarya is located near Foros at the Crimea’s south bank. They were the residences of the Soviet leaders, and the Zarya was a place where Mikhail Gorbachev had been detained during the coup attempt in August 1991. Ukrainian presidents took over the dachas following disbanding of the Soviet Union.
Dacha #9 used to be a residence of the Ukrainian Communist party leader Vladimir Shcherbitsky in the Soviet times. Its Ukrainian successors had built a tennis court and a gym there, added a 25-meter swimming pool.
During Leonid Kichma’s presidency, Vladimir Putin visited the dacha #9 frequently. In August 2008, during a brief war in Southern Ossetia, Victor Yushchcenko offered the dacha #8 to the family of his Georgian colleague Mikhail Saakashvili.
Victor Yanukovich was the last tenant of that estate. The living evidence of his tastes has been the Mezhigorye residence which was converted into the Museum of corruption after his ousting. Only three crystal torches in his office there cost $97,000.
Following the events of 2014, Russia nationalized the Crimean state residences - 179 sites in total which occupied 1400 hectares.
FSO established its Crimean division on April 11, 2014 and it had become the principal steward of the VIP estates in Yalta.
At FSO’s gunpoint
The state dachas in Yalta became the specially-protected sites after Crimea’s incorporation into Russia which the locals and tourists had learn pretty soon.
“The soldiers grabbed our belongings and a kayak into a mini-bus. They ordered us not to stare outside and not to try memorize the route. They delivered us to the checkpoint, called police and wrote down our IDs and those of our relatives”, the LiveJournal’s user GriL recalls.
Residents of Oliva village says that in 2016 the state dacha was fenced with a six-meter-high brick wall. “The General Secretaries and presidents used to live in that dacha since 1969 but only one of them needed a fence”, Max Gorbatykh wrote in Facebook.
After FSO had taken responsibility for the territory in the Katsiveli village, its residents started suffering from restricted access to the sea. In spring 2016, the FSO set up a checkpoint at the trail leading to the beach and only the local residents have been allowed to pass through the checkpoint.
Crimean authorities promised to build a new free-access road which would bypass the protected area in Katseveli. Still, the deadline passed and the problem has not been solved yet.
Swimming with distinction
Most of the FSO’s spending have been designated for the sites in Oliva and Foros villages. In 2015, the spending amounted to 36 mln rub; in 2016, 357.6 mln rub. In spring 2017, the tenders on 10.3 mln rub were conducted. Besides, the Spetsstroi federal agency held the tenders on 212.2 mln rub.
In 2017, 4.5 mln rub were spent on renovation of a movie theater in Oliva (in 2016, the renovation consumed 139,000 rub). The facelift of the main building planned in 2017 will devour 3 mln rub. Two million ruble will be spent on the swimming pool renovation, and 7.7 mln rub will be spent to fence the sports facilities.
In 2015, only the assessment of technical conditions of the beach facilities cost 112,000 rub. Two tenders on the capital renovation of the tennis and volleyball grounds cost 8.6 mln rub in total. Renovation of the main building cost 4.3 mln rub and 5.8 mln rub were spent for purchase of the gym equipment.
In 2017, the Spetstroi offered contracts worth 23.3 mln rub for renovation of the dachas #6 and 8 in Oliva. In 2016, 147.5 mln rub were spent for maintenance of an employees’ 60-bed hostel and a 40-seat canteen.
In 2016, 10 mln rub were spent for re-designing of the dachas 9 and 10. In 2017, the renovation will cost 90.1 mln rub. The same money will be spent for construction and assembly works, electrification, hydro and heat supply of the buildings.
In 2016, the Spetsstori paid 308.2 mln rub to renovate the Zarya residency. The reconstruction of the sports facilities cost 122.5 mln rub and 139.4 mln rub more were paid to upgrade the fountains, sauna and spa left by Ukrainian presidents.
In 2015, the Spetsstroi decided to expand the heliport in Oliva, signing a 4-mln-ruble contract with the Oboronelektronproekt ZAO. In 2016, the reconstruction of the landing sites cost 89.2 mln rub.
Maintenance of the Katsiveli sanatorium in 2017 cost 1.8 nln rub (in 2016, 141.1 mln rub), including capital renovation of the building 2 (48.1 mln), facelift of the facade (22.5 mln), replacement of the elevators in the building 1 (5.7 mkn) and building 3 (5.9 mln).
Belorussians, Germans, Ukrainians
The FSO’s Crimean division has been a principal owner of Oliva and Katsiveli sites. One of its permanent contractors has been the Trest-14 Ltd. The Belorussia-owned company has been working in Yalta since 1998. It received 106.3 mln rub from the Russian agencies (from FSO, 0ver 32 mln rub). The Trest-14 shares its phone number with the Crimean FSO.
The Alfater Krym Ltd (est 1997) has been contracted for garbage removal. This is a sister-company of the German Veolia Umweltservice GmbH, and also works in Poland, Czech republic, Ukraine. In Yalta, the company has been working since February 2014.
The Energo-Alians Ltd has been in charge of heating grid maintenance. The company belongs to the president of the martial arts federation No1 Vladislav Podnebesny and Igor Kulikov. Prior to 2014, Kulikov’s another firm Yuginkom Ltd serviced military garrisons in Ukraine in cooperation with the Slavyanka JSV (owned by the Russian Defense ministry).
Moscow’s Kholvent JSV has been in charge of heating, water supply and ventilation. The company used to cooperate with the FSO in Gorky-9 and Sochi. One of its owners has been Sergei Zaichikov. He co-owns the Vertikal Ltd with a military paratrooper Igor Tarelkin.
The metal works in Oliva have been in care of the Yugremkholod Ltd owned by Ukrainian ex-MP and Sevastopol official (since 2010) Vitaly Osadchy. He was also a member of the EU-oriented Sevastopol’s Congress of Ukrainians.
The Etual Krym Ltd maintains the diesel generators and services electric equipment in the state dachas. The company owned by Anatoly Lubinatsky received 1.5 mln rub from the FSO. The Crimean media reported that he had illegally obtained lands in the Southern Bank using arms for that purpose.
The Sevastopollift Ltd services the elevators in Oliva and Katsiveli. The company belongs to Marina Loktionova, its director is Igor Loktionov. In 2002-2005, he was a deputy head of Sevastopol state administration in charge of economics, and later he became a deputy head of the administration as well as a head of the city’s branch of Ukrainian National Olympic Committee.
The Teplogaz Lts services the boilers in Oliva. Its director is Maksim Arsenenko and owner is Yuzef Bronevsky, an advisor on Kharkov regional administration. The Teplogaz signed 12 contracts, eight of them with the FSO, on 8.3 mln rub.
Video: Fence around Putin’s dacha. Crimea, Oliva, part 3.
Moscow’s the Avtorsky Kamen Ltd received a contract worth 308.2 mln rub to furnish the interiors of Oliva sports facilities with marble, granite and semi-precious stones.
That company earlier worked in the Kremlin’s indoor garden, in Moscow mosque and in Sochi’s Olympic square. Its owners Alexander Benkenshtat and Igor Felitsin also owns a Crimean construction company Progress Ltd. They also have a business in natural resources extraction.
The Aquastroi Ltd owned by Moscow businessmen Sergei Vein and Yuri Zyubin will build a pool and Swiss showers in the Zarya for 139.4 mln rub. The company had already worked in the Novo-Ogarevo state residence.