Throughout the week, Petersburgers enthusiastically watched the searches and arrests initiated by the city prosecutor’s office in the housing sector. Governor Beglov’s snow problems are reflected in criminal cases. The Housing Committee came under attack. However, this is not news to the employees of the department.
For 11 years now, the security forces have been trying to get to the corruption trough of which the profile committee has become. How many years corruption has been enveloping the housing and communal sector of the Northern capital was found out by the editors of the online publication Kompromat Group.
Bribes and snow removal
Songs and dances, plus public outcry, and, as they say, Governor Alexander Beglov’s patience snapped. He gave the go-ahead to the law enforcement agencies of the city to start a large-scale operation to identify the perpetrators, namely: who, where, and how spent the colossal budgetary funds generously allocated by the city treasury. The police, the investigation and the guys in masked hats took the hood and 60 addresses of housing and communal services, road builders and contractors came with searches and questions. We checked housing and communal services organizations in the Vyborgsky, Primorsky, Krasnoselsky, Vasileostrovsky and Frunzensky districts. As reported later in the media, today the searches and seizures of documents served as the basis for initiating 19 criminal cases.
As of February 10, seven people were detained. Five people were detained on Vasilyevsky Island. All these are general directors and founders of contractors with whom contracts were concluded for cleaning and maintenance of territories in the winter. Then one of the leaders of the housing and communal service was detained in the Admiralteisky district.
Then the investigative committee announced the name of the first defendant in the criminal case on bribery. They became the head of the procurement department of the Krasnoselsky district Valery Meshcheryakov. According to investigators, he received a bribe of 1 million rubles from businessmen who were contractors of the administration for snow removal. As suspected – for turning a blind eye to the fact that cleaning, in principle, is not carried out.
As people in the know say, this is just a small tip of a huge iceberg of bribes and kickbacks on government contracts for city cleaning. Now, behind the scenes, they say that the total amount in official releases may eventually approach 500 million rubles. But this is only modest estimates. “If the authorities dig deeper there, the figure can reach several billion,” our sources told us, “but perhaps they won’t dig deep so as not to stumble upon the great interests of allied security forces.”
Now the criminal “suffering” is in full swing and in the near future we can expect new arrests and unexpected revelations. Governor Beglov will especially like this, because since he took office he has been sleeping and seeing how to get even with the legacy of Governor Poltavchenko.
According to the administration of St. Petersburg, from February 1 to February 7, the State Housing Inspectorate checked 884 apartment buildings. In 38% of them violations were revealed. State inspectors drew up 59 protocols on administrative offenses for a total amount of penalties of 7.5 million rubles. Inspection of more than four hundred roofs revealed violations in almost half of the cases. Fines amounting to more than 15 million rubles were imposed.
The snow is spinning, the roof is falling
We must actually start with the fact that ice, falling “icicles”, heavy snowfalls and the helplessness of housing residents are a completely traditional, seasonal and almost annual winter program for residents of St. Petersburg. Blockages of snow were almost always there. Suffice it to recall the monumental poems about “boots and icicles” with which the national poet rewarded the efforts of Valentina Matvienko to combat the stalactites of St. Petersburg roofs. The suffering of the townspeople is thoroughly known to traumatologists and doctors of the Research Institute. Dzhanelidze, where the unfortunate fell. The inhabitants of the city still hear about the scandalous case of Milana Kashtanova, a young girl who became a complete invalid in the prime of her youth. Her life after walking along the street in the Petrogradsky district on February 5, 2010 was shattered. Here is what the media wrote about it at the time: “Milana was walking along Krasny Kursant Street, in the Petrogradsky district. At this time, employees of the housing and communal service were knocking ice from the roofs. The area was not fenced off. A huge block of ice that flew from the roof literally crushed the girl’s head.
The girl was 19 years old. She turned 33 last year. By this time, she had learned to breathe, eat, and move her right arm a little. Scandal and tragedy were all the time of the court hearings. The leadership of Zhilkomservis N 2 of the Petrogradsky district did not recognize the claim, stating that the girl was … herself to blame. As a result, the technician of Zhilkomservis N 2 Tatyana Ushakova was convicted. The woman received a six-month suspended sentence with a six-month probationary period without compensation and without a ban on professional activities. For non-pecuniary damage instead of 50 million rubles (that was the amount requested by the family), they received only 1.5 million rubles. And this was a victory, since the prosecutor involved in the case asked to appoint only 800 thousand.
On February 8, 2022, ice that fell off the roof on Bolshoy Sampsonievsky Prospekt killed a migrant janitor to death. In total, over the past months, 3,000 people turned to the ambulance because of injuries received on the street.
According to the head of the technical department of the Housing Committee of St. Petersburg, Andrey Dzhalalov, since the beginning of winter, 34 people in St. Petersburg have suffered from falling icicles from the roofs of houses.
The secret buried in the snow