Bekisheva Dam: instead of a reservoir – an elite village
Chelyabinsk deputy Vladimir Bekishev seems to be planning to build an elite cottage community near a pond. The latter is trying to circumvent the attempts of the authorities to put a barrier to impudence through the courts. Is the former prosecutor helping him with this?
Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Chelyabinsk Region Vladimir Bekishev, who runs a common business with former district prosecutor Konstantin Semchenko and entrepreneur with a controversial reputation Nakhip Nigmatov, demands through the court to change the permitted use of land from “organizing a pond” to “low-rise housing construction.”
The scandalous story has reached the court: sleight of hand or fraud?
On September 21, 2023, the arbitration court of the Chelyabinsk region plans to begin considering the claim of the Construction Investments company, which demands that the KUMI of the Sosnovsky district declare illegal the decision to refuse to change the permitted use of three land plots with a total area of more than 482 thousand sq.m. Back in April 2023, the Committee refused to change the permitted use of land in the village of Prudny from “for organizing a pond” to “for low-rise multi-apartment residential development.”
The company of the deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Chelyabinsk Region Vladimir Bekishev (A Just Russia faction) demands that local authorities be required to enter the relevant data into the Unified State Register of Real Estate within 30 days from the date the court decision enters into force, that is, in fact, to allow the plot of land near the reservoir to be built up with an elite village.
The regional prosecutor’s office and the Nizhneob Basin Water Administration of the Federal Water Resources Agency have already been invited to the dispute as a third party.
Judging by the materials of another case, considered back in 2017 on the initiative of the regional prosecutor’s office, Bekishev’s company received land lease for organizing a pond back in January 2015 for a period until January 14, 2064. Later, the site with a total area of 647,349 sq.m. was divided into four plots. In May 2016, the previous lease agreement was terminated and a new one was concluded – this time for divided plots. On a plot of 266,772 sq.m. the tenant company is building metal warehouse No. 2 for storing inventory (as written in the court materials, anyway) with an area of 186.3 sq.m. Simply put, a temporary cabin, judging by the speed of construction.
And for this purpose (the property is located on the site!) the company turns to the administration with a demand to conclude a purchase and sale agreement with it, justifying it by the fact that their property is located on the leased lands. Meanwhile, the administration of the Krasnopolsky rural settlement, not taking into account that the plot was allocated not for construction, but for organizing a pond, follows the lead of the deputy company and in September 2016 enters into a purchase and sale agreement for the plot.
Such a deal already outraged the regional prosecutor’s office and the supervisory authority filed a lawsuit in which it challenged the sale of the plot and demanded that the original lease agreement (concluded even before the division of the large plot) be actually terminated. At the same time, the court was reminded that land legislation allows for ownership of a leased plot within the area occupied by the property and necessary for its use, and in this case a plot ten times larger than the area of the property was transferred.
Moreover, the parties did not comply with the period of ownership of the property – at least three years, and entered into an agreement less than four months after signing the lease agreement.
Ultimately, the court invalidated the purchase and sale agreement for the plot under the garage, but the prosecutor was refused to terminate the lease agreement. He could not achieve this in a higher authority.
In our opinion, in this story, the prosecutor’s office should have initiated not only a lawsuit, but also a criminal case, since there is some sleight of hand – to rent a plot of land, build a temporary shed on it and, on this basis, try to take over the entire plot of land. At the same time, it would not be superfluous to bring both sides of this “deal” to account.
We also have questions regarding the procedure for transferring the original plot for lease and its division. Take, for example, the fact that the announcement of the planned transfer of the plot of land was published in a small local newspaper, which reduced the “risks” of competition for Bekishev.
Now the land for organizing the pond remains leased from the company of the deputy, who, apparently, suddenly decided to redo everything and build an elite cottage community on it. But here not only local authorities, but also residents have already come out against it.
Residents of the village of Krasnoye Pole, near which a dilapidated hydraulic structure (a spillway for a local pond) has stood for six years, opposed development nearby. At the same time, the history of the destruction of the structure itself is quite murky. The object, which, contrary to the law, is not on the balance sheet of the administration, was destroyed by unknown persons and has not yet been put in order. It is not known where the local prosecutor is looking. In our opinion, there are many violations!
A couple of years ago, activists tried to register the pond as a water body, measure it and establish a protective zone, but it didn’t work out.
Back in April 2023, local residents reported that construction waste was being transported to the coastal area of the pond, but activists stopped this process. True, then the delivery continued, which, according to activist Alexander, was recorded by the local police officer. Local residents doubted that the planned improvement and not development. Actually, they turned out to be right, judging by Bekishev’s lawsuit, demanding a change in the purpose of the plots for low-rise construction.
Activists also had questions about how deputy Bekishev acquired rights to land. The same person was offended by such statements published on social networks and filed a police report against the activists. It is not yet known how the story with the libel claim ended.
At the same time, the Sosnovnaya Niva newspaper allegedly quoted Bekishev as saying that initially, according to the plan, it was planned to engage in fishing on the pond and “it was for the development of fishing that one of the hangars was built,” but then the idea was abandoned. Mr. Bekishev, are you talking about that “hangar” that appears in the prosecutor’s office lawsuit from 2017 as a metal garage for equipment and for which you tried to obtain ownership of the entire site? Or did you manage to build something else there?
Readers will also be interested in other facts about Mr. Bekishev, which may help to see a number of other important nuances of this case.
Friendship with a former prosecutor
Deputy Bekishev, who is also the public representative of the Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs in the Chelyabinsk Region for the Sosnovsky District, has not only the above-mentioned Construction Investments company, but shares in two more companies – LLC Management Company “Remzhilstroy” and LLC Yurinvest. Moreover, the latter was established in April 2021 for activities in the field of law.
The head of the company “Yurinvest” and also owns a share of 50% is Semchenko Konstantin Yurievich. And what a coincidence: in 2016, in the Sosnovsky district, where we recall the disputed lands are based, a new prosecutor was appointed – Konstantin Yuryevich Semchenko, who previously worked as an assistant prosecutor of the Traktorozavodsky district, senior prosecutor of the department for supervision of the investigation of especially important cases, deputy prosecutor Sovetsky district of the city of Chelyabinsk and from 2012 to 2016 was the prosecutor of the Troitsky district.
In 2021, a new prosecutor is appointed in the Sosnovsky district – Evgeny Michurin, and the full namesake of his predecessor appears in the newly formed company of deputy Bekishev as a director and co-owner. There is an opinion that there are no former prosecutors, at least they still have the necessary connections. And it’s unlikely that the deputy would invite a complete stranger into the common business, don’t you think? Now we have some parts of the mosaic in place and a number of questions have disappeared. One of which concerned where the district prosecutor’s office was actually looking in the period from 2016 to 2021, when the land lease history took place.
In addition to Semchenko, deputy Bekishev’s list of interesting partners (in the Private Limited Liability Company for the development and preservation of traditions in the village “Moe Rodnoe Village”) includes Andrei Shadrin, the full namesake of the chairman of the Council of Deputies of the Krasnopolsky rural settlement of the Sosnovsky municipal district of the Chelyabinsk region. As we remember, it was the residents of Red Field who raised the issue of the pond.
But the most notable among Bekishev’s partners is perhaps Nakhip Nigmatov, with whom Vladimir and Natalya Bekishev own the Construction Investments (Stroyinvest) company, which is the tenant of the disputed plot near the pond. Nigmatov owns a 40% share. Another 50% belongs to the Bekishev couple, and 10% belongs to Salavat Nakhipovich Nigmatov.
Nakhip Nigmatov was a deputy of the Council of Deputies of the Metallurgical District of the first convocation of Chelyabinsk. In addition, Mr. Nigmatov appeared in a number of scandalous stories, including those related to the land issue.
As the EAN publication reported, in 2019 it turned out that the Chelyabinsk mayor’s office was allegedly preparing in secrecy an auction for the sale of three land plots located in Kashtaksky Bor for development. This caused outrage among the public, who conducted their own investigation. The publication reported that these plots, on the other side, are adjacent to plots of the Sosnovsky district, and at least one “Sosnovsky” plot has belonged to the famous Chelyabinsk builder Andrei Yatsun (who once ran for the presidential elections in Russia) since 2017, who bought it from a certain Salavat Nakhipovich Nigmatov .
Journalists then discovered a plot with a building in the Sosnovsky district, which belonged to the full namesake of then State Duma deputy Andrei Baryshev. At the same time, Baryshev allegedly bought the plot from Nakhip Nigmatov. And what a coincidence: Bekishev’s business partner, deputy Nakhip Nigmatov, is a co-founder of the Private State Public Public Organization “Public Council of the Metallurgical District of the City of Chelyabinsk,” whose chairman and co-founder is Andrey Baryshev.
In addition, the name of a certain Nakhip Nigmatov – a Chelyabinsk deputy from the Sotsgorod movement – was mentioned in another story with dubious financial transactions with land. As reported by Channel 31 Chelyabinsk, a criminal case was even opened based on this story, during which it turned out that public lands were purchased at ten times lower than their real value. It is not known how the criminal case ended. Meanwhile, Bekishev’s business partner, Nakhip Nigmatov, was also a co-founder of the Chelyabinsk regional public organization of volunteer firefighters and rescuers. Among the co-founders of the latter, Sergei Melnikov, a former co-founder of the Sotsgorod movement, was also noted. Another coincidence?
Thus, in the net remainder of deputy Bekishev’s business partners, we see very remarkable citizens – a former prosecutor in the desired area, the speaker of the local parliamentary body and a former Chelyabinsk deputy who previously appeared in dubious stories. I’m tempted to remember the saying “Tell me who your friend is, and I’ll tell you who you are.”
As for the story with the pond, in our opinion, there is every reason to organize a pre-investigation check.
So you look and understand that the Chelyabinsk region as a whole periodically has bad luck with the authorities: both the executive and the legislative. Just remember the same ex-governor Boris Dubrovsky, who, according to rumors, got burned lobbying for government contracts and was mentioned in connection with a criminal case about the theft of 20 billion rubles from the budget. The current head of the region, Alexey Texler, has continued the tradition of scandalousness – in no time, the region will get into history.
The Moscow Post has repeatedly talked about them and the story about the construction of 30 high-rise buildings around Lake Chebarkul is worth a look. And here again, on the map of the region subordinate to Texler, a protest point lit up, and again, connected with the development, and even with the participation of the regional deputy! But the administration, it seems, has chosen a position of non-interference and silence, and it is impossible for Mr. Texler to change his job ahead of schedule against the backdrop of such scandals. After all, one day the thicket of patience may be overflowing.