What’s wrong with the charity of St-Petersburg governor’s daughter-in-law

The charity of the daughter-in-law of the St-Petersburg governor looks like a dodgy enterprise
14.06.2017
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The wife of the son of the St-Petersburg governor has actively been demonstrating her charity activity. She announces events which eventually don’t happen, raises money from taxpayers’ pockets. Financial results of her charity have been ambiguous but its founders’ career skyrockets, as Svetlana Zobova found out.


Charitable deceit

On June 12, the Russiangate’s correspondent visited the Yuzhno-Primorsky park in St-Petersburg to watch the event announced as “The lonely old man” at the website of the Svetloye Vremya (Bright Time) foundation co-founded by Darya Neshchadimova, the daughter-in-law of the city governor Georgy Poltavshenko, the governor’s wife and a billionaire Alexei Poltavchenko. The charity event should take place as a part of a street festival “Play my accordion” for the residents of the Krasnoselsky district.

“They were not in the proposal. They were here the last time on May 27. Maybe they wanted to come but they didn’t. I’ll tell Oleg that it’s wrong to do so”, the organizer of the district festival said.

A volunteer of the foundation, who declined to be identified, said by phone that they “lacked resources”. “It’s summer time, all students have gone”, he said.

According to the state purchases website, the “Play my accordion” festival was organized under the order of the Krasnoselsk district culture and recreational center. In May, the local officials signed a 785,000-ruble contract with the Alians Ltd.

The contract envisaged that the contractor should post the banners, conduct the final “holiday-concert”. Besides, the contractor must organize free horse riding for the guests and shooting of the movie “with participation of the Zalovkins’ family dynasty”.  By еhe way, the fare for horse riding was 300 rub (under $6).

“No one signed any state contracts with us. We pay rent as everyone do”, an owner of one of the horses said.

Coincidence? I don’t think so

June 12 has been far not the only budget event where the foundation of the governor’s daughter-in-law organized, or wanted to organize, its actions. On the 304th anniversary of the city, the charity workers invited the prospective givers to the same Yuzhno-Primorsky park to the “Vkusnograd” festival. The banner placed at the foundation’s website coincides with the municipal festival on May 27.

According to the state purchases website, the Yuzhno-Primorsky municipality paid nearly 2 mln rub for the show organized by the Art-Triumf Ltd. The rock band Surganova & Orchestra was the fest’s headliner. The Svetloye Vremya invited the givers to the “kibs zone” in the Vkusnograd, which had also been mentioned in the state contract.

In September 2016, the foundation already invited potential donors to the Vkusnograd festival. The city government’s website explains that the Vkusnograd is a food market for the local producers and it has been functioning for the budget money since 2005. Judging from the photo reports in the social accounts, charity of the Svetloye Vremya included selling of cookies, candies and cotton candy with some extra charge.

The student fair “The World’s People” to which the foundation invited the city residents, had also been paid from the city budget. The fair was organized by the Youth House for the fourth time. In late June in St-Petersburg the “Yes! Food!” festival has been planned (with the city hall’s backup, of course). The charity foundation announced the festival at its website. Still there is no mention of the foundation at the festival’s website.

“We come where we’re called to”, the Svetloye Vremya’s volunteer explained why their events coincide with the city and municipal festivals. He promise to pass the Russiangate’s questions to the foundation’s heads but no one has replied by the time of that article publication.

It occurs that the charity foundation of the governor’s daughter-in-law actively uses the mass events organized for the taxpayers money. The Russiangate failed to find any information about the large events organized by the foundation with no budget support. Either someone abuses his/her position or the governor obtained a devoted fan in the person of his daughter-in-law.

To whom they helped

When the Svetloye Vremys is not selling the charity cookies with the taxpayers’ assistance, it goes to the boarding schools or adult residential facilities, plants trees for the city’s largest hospital, raises money for recovery of the sick kids in one of private clinics and pays classes for one of private ballet schools.

The governor’s daughter-in-law Darya Neshchadimova graduated the Vaganova ballet academy, so her foundation's devotion to the latter is easy to understand.

The Russiangate studied the foundation’s targeted aid. That could scare the potential contributors off, as the mothers of two children the foundation has already helped keep raising money for their recovery.

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Post in VKontakte social network with request for assistance for treatment of a child

The parents have actively been updating their kids’ accounts and cooperate with many of the charity foundations. Besides, they are personally acquainted: at one of the pages there is their joint New Year photo session. It is unclear, why the charities picked up those particular kids.

Losing count

The foundation of the governor’s daughter-in-law is different from the city’s other charities for its non-transparency and arithmetical errors. As a rule, the charities try to be as open as possible and regularly publish the reports about all their wards.

The Svetloye Vremya (est. April 2015) does not reveal its financial reports, while its income and expenses figures in 2016 differs from those available at the Justice ministry’s database. The 2016 figures appeared at the foundation's website only after the Snob had reported that the city governor banned the media to publish investigations about his daughter-in-law’s foundation.

The charity website says that in 2015 and 2916 it spent about 2 mln rub for various aid. One of the donors, the Peresvet bank, contributed 200,000 rub in 2015. In 2016, Neshchadimova lost the foundation funds in the Orthodox bank, according to the Meduza.

The Justice ministry reports show that the foundation has collected under 6 mln rub during two years. For comparison, the “Give Life” foundation spent over 2 bln rub for charity; the Rusfond contributed 972 mln rub, the Advita - 334 mln rub, the Perspektivy - 44 mln rub. Those foundation regularly report their activity and try to render their work transparent.

The Svetloye Vrenya also does not rush to reveal the names of its beneficiaries. Neshchadimova herself, as well all other founders, have been represented only by their given names and patronymics.

The foundation has been active in the social networks too. For instance, its account in the Instagram has about 5,000 subscribers and its official home page has an outreach of 500. The fondation most often “reads” the second-hand brand cloths outlets, fashion photographers and beauty counsellors.

Career hike

The career of the Svetloye Vremya’s founders has been a way more successful than their charity efforts.

The Justice ministry’s reports mention change of the director. In 2016, the foundation’s report was signed by Ruslan Klevtsov, while in 2016 his name disappeared from the documents - he had only remained there as a co-founder.

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Screenshot from foundation’s report to the Justice ministry - Information on personnel of managing bodies of non-governmental organization

Still, a full name-sake of Klevtsov appears in December in the city government’s list of officials. He has now been working as a “First-class expert in the department for the development of the project activity in the Project department - Project office of the St-petersburg governor’s administration”.

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Darya Neshchadimova, a “philanthropist” and a wife of billionaire Alexei Poltavchenko, son of St-Petersburg governor

Another co-founder, Tatyana Tsatsua, has not been alien for the city officials as well. The media say she is a wife of David Adamia, who has been working as a chief of the governor’s administration since 2012.

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