Source A chain of strange bankruptcies of the leading Tyumen enterprises continues to stretch behind the Russian banker. The chairman of the Volga Territorial Bank of PJSC Sberbank is not sitting idly by after the scandal surrounding the bankruptcy of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery. New versions of the events of another high-profile Tyumen bankruptcy associated with Tyumenstalmost named after Tyumen Komsomol LLC have appeared in the media. It became known in 2017.
At that time, several federal and regional media outlets wrote that the once successful enterprise was going through bankruptcy proceedings and tried to find out the reasons for what was happening.
Let us briefly recall how events developed. LLC “Tyumenstalmost named after the Tyumen Komsomol” is a landmark enterprise for the Tyumen region. It was opened in the fall of 2007 in the village of Vinzili, located 26 km from Tyumen. Equipped with modern equipment, the plant reached its design capacity in just a few years (32 thousand tons of metal structures per year), and then increased it by another 30% – up to 47 thousand tons. “Tyumenstalmost” not only took part in the largest construction projects in the region, but also supplied its products throughout Russia and for export. The enterprise, which has become one of the leading in the Tyumen region, was regularly visited by local and industry leaders, they cited it as an example, and plans were made for development.
But a few years have passed, and the picture has changed dramatically. By 2017, Tyumenstalmost already had a huge debt burden, and all factory buildings and equipment were mortgaged, and multimillion-dollar employee wage arrears had accumulated. At the request of the West Siberian Bank of Sberbank, to which the enterprise owed more than 1.5 billion rubles, a simplified bankruptcy procedure was launched at the plant and bankruptcy proceedings were introduced. The claim of the Zapadno-Sibirsky bank Sberbank was included in the register of creditors' claims of Tyumenstalmost LLC as secured by a pledge of the debtor's property.
The controlled bankruptcy of the parent company, according to top managers of the West-Siberian Bank, would allow attracting a new investor to the plant, starting to fulfill financial obligations and restarting production processes.
As a result, on June 21, 2018, the Arbitration Court of the Tyumen Region recognized Tyumenstalmost (whose beneficiary at that time was businessman Alexander Zabarsky – Note Ed) insolvent (bankrupt), and bankruptcy proceedings were closed against him in the summer of 2022.
Firstly, the budget of the Tyumen region was damaged, and, secondly, top managers of the state-owned Sberbank, who, in essence, are state officials, appear in the bankruptcy case of the enterprise. By their own actions, they may have deliberately led the once successful enterprise to bankruptcy. Therefore, we decided to collect additional information from the direct participants in this case.
The first person we contacted was Alexander Zabarsky, who previously owned Tyumenstalmost. An important detail: as the head of other companies, the name of Zabarsky was mentioned in several multi-billion dollar scandals during the construction of important infrastructure projects – bridge crossings in different regions of Russia (across the rivers Kama, Bui, Nadym). His name then appeared in many publications of the federal and regional media.
When asked why a successful enterprise for the production of strategic metal structures went bankrupt, he said that this was due to serious disagreements and the departure of his former partner, Sergei Polevikov, from the business.
However, he refused to answer the question, in connection with which it was decided at the time to take a loan from the regional division of Sberbank and why a little later the official representative of the bank (at the time of bankruptcy it was Alexander Anashchenko, chairman of the board of the West Siberian Bank of Sberbank, the main mortgage lender LLC “Tyumenstalmost” – ed.) decided to sell this asset.
Alexander Anashchenko, dedicated to the essence of the conflict, is called the main ideologist and inspirer of all financial processes at Tyumenstalmost. Its specialists also dealt with the affairs of a bankrupt enterprise. So Sergey Lepikhin, a former employee of the branch of the West Siberian Bank of Sberbank, later worked as the head of the financial department of Tyumenstalmost. Vyacheslav Meshcheryakov, as part of the current employee of the central office of the West Siberian Bank of Sberbank, informally advised the enterprise on financial and economic issues, including visiting the plant. Marat Nigmatzyanov, a former employee of the central office of the West Siberian Bank of Sberbank, later became the financial director of TCM.
All of them were sent a letter with the following content: “Our editorial office has at its disposal documents and materials on the bankruptcy of the Tyumenstalmost im. Tyumen Komsomol. It follows from them that a personal interest of top managers of Sberbank's regional divisions may be behind a complex financial combination. We are verifying this information. As part of a journalistic investigation, can we ask you a few clarifying questions?”.
None of them agreed to answer our questions.
Well, in a situation where all the actors are not ready to communicate with the media, apparently, they will have to answer the questions of an internal investigation, which, we hope, will be conducted by Sber's management. The security service of this credit institution should, in our opinion, find out in whose interests the regional top managers of the state bank could act, whether there was mercenary intent in their actions, and their operational activities were carried out in the interests of the credit institution or their own? And what is the role of Alexander Anashchenko, now the chairman of the Volga Territorial Bank of PJSC Sberbank, in this story?
This banker has already managed to “light up” in high-profile scandals with enterprises in the Tyumen region, maybe in the Volga region we should expect new “bankrupt wonders” from him?