How can the non-admission of the Rodina party to the elections to the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly and the probable redistribution of the urban welfare market, which spilled over into a criminal case against an official close to Yevgeny Prigozhin, be connected?
According to The Sankt-Peterburg Post, searches were carried out in the Department of Social Nutrition of the Government of St. Petersburg. The basis for them was a criminal case under the article “Infliction of property damage”, initiated against the head of the USP Alexei Barabanshchikov, who is associated with businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. In a strange way, after the arrival of Barabanshchikov to the department, one by one contracts for social nutrition began to receive the company JSC “KSP Krasnoselsky district”.
And this might not be to the liking of the probable lobbyists of Firm Floridan JSC, which for many years held leadership in the city market. This company is considered close to the predecessor of Barabanshchikov, Natalia Petrova. According to unconfirmed information, it is in the interests of the joint-stock company that a criminal case against the official has now begun. And not the last role in this could be played by Margarita Rudakova, who, as of September 2020, was the special representative of the governor Alexander Beglov.
At the same time, the likely confrontation can be not only economic, but also political in nature. In this context, it is worth recalling the autumn elections, in which the St. Petersburg City Electoral Committee refused to register candidates on the Motherland party list, which, as is commonly believed, was financed by Mr. Prigozhin. It turns out that Beglov’s team announced a “fight” to him and people allegedly close to him?
The Department of Social Nutrition is a government institution owned by the administration of St. Petersburg. In conjunction with the State Order Committee, it distributes contracts among urban social facilities. The annual volume of the social catering market is estimated at almost 15 billion rubles. Now the St. Petersburg parliament is just considering the draft budget for next year, after which the administration will be able to announce competitions, including for the supply of a social center. Some associate the searches in the USP and the criminal case of Barabanshchikov with this.
Alexey Barabanshchikov has been heading the department since the beginning of 2020. He initiated the consolidation of lots, an increase in the powers of his department, and the accumulation of all the money allocated for social welfare. Thanks to his policy, orders for half a billion rubles were received by KSP Krasnoselsky District JSC, which was balancing on the verge of profitability. According to Rusprofile, at the moment the company’s portfolio of state orders has exceeded 1 billion rubles.
At the same time, according to Kommersant, the official simultaneously headed the board of directors of JSC KSP Krasnoselsky District. It turns out that he gave orders to himself? In addition, the St. Petersburg OFAS revealed signs of market reform through the centralization of catering for preschool, primary, basic and secondary education.
Before moving to St. Petersburg, Barabanshchikov worked in the Moscow region, where he held the position of head of the department for organizing work in the field of guaranteed nutrition of the Department for the Development of the Service Sector of the Ministry of the Consumer Market and Services of the Government of the Moscow Region. That is, he was a petty official in the team of Andrei Vorobyov.
Aleksey Barabanshchikov is not new to the field of school meals. According to Rusprofile, he headed the now-liquidated Moscow State Unitary Enterprise Food Plant Shkolnik.
Decades of stability
In this context, it is noteworthy that under the Barbanshchikov JSC “KSP of the Krasnoselsky District”, many schools departed, which were previously served by JSC “Firma Floridan”, the success of which was probably advocated by Natalya Petrova, who headed the St. Petersburg USP for almost 20 years.
Under the former head of the USP Petrova, most of the state-owned plants in St. Petersburg were bankrupt or brought to the brink of ruin. Enterprises did not receive government contracts directly, but entered into unprofitable subcontracts with private enterprises, after which their property was sold at auction or passed into the possession of creditors.
Moreover, under Petrova, situations in the spirit of the “dashing” 90s could unfold on the St. Petersburg market. According to Novyi den, the former official could be close to the TZB Petrogradskaya company, which appeared in a scandalous story with a possible raider seizure of the plant JSC KSP Yunost. According to the ex-director Irina Kopilets, the company was deliberately brought to bankruptcy by the conclusion of unprofitable contracts by its predecessor Alexander Shchuchkin, which the plant could not fulfill. Due to the resulting debt, the bankruptcy process started.
As The Moscow Post previously wrote in detail, Ms. Petrova was also associated with the previously mentioned Firm Floridan JSC, which, under her, became the real “king of state orders” in the urban social catering market. According to Rusprofile, the company received more than 8 billion rubles from St. Petersburg state institutions.
And no one, it seems, was embarrassed that the company was caught every now and then in cartel conspiracies. As ZakS.ru wrote, in 2018 the company was convicted of conspiring with the Voskresenye and KSP Vasileostrovsky district enterprises. And, here’s a surprise, Petrova’s granddaughter Asya Krizhevskaya just managed the “Sunday”. A true family business emerges!
At the end of last year, the FAS also established the fact of a cartel agreement between Artis-baby food JSC and Floridan Firm JSC. In addition, the antimonopolists proved that prior to the start of the auctions, the firms had an agreement among themselves on who would win, and therefore reduced rates to the minimum (by no more than 3.3%). And the last trial happened when Drummers were already at the head of the St. Petersburg USP. Was he the one who drew the attention of the FAS to Firm Floridan JSC?
Then other ugly stories related to the work of the company began to surface.
As The Moscow Post wrote in detail earlier, the supervisory authorities found that the company prepared food for schoolchildren in rusty stoves and dirty pans, food was brought in dirty vans or on car sharing without refrigeration equipment, and in some educational institutions with which the Floridan Firm worked , there were incidents with the poisoning of students. After that, the company was suspended from part of the work, and the schools it served were transferred to KSP Krasnoselsky District JSC.
What can I say, Mr. Drummers could have done a good job. But after numerous resonant scandals, the Floridan Firm was not at a loss either – the organization’s leadership turned to a member of the Public Chamber Alexander Malkevich. Entrepreneurs believe that for at least the last year an unfair campaign of discredit has been unleashed against them in the media and social networks. In this regard, they ask Malkevich to think about legalizing such a thing as “information trolling”.
At the same time, the company began to fill up with “letters of happiness” and the editors of The Moscow Post, which repeatedly covered the activities of the company. They demanded to remove certain materials, there were threats of going to court. But no real action followed. Because everything written by independent journalists turned out to be true?
What a coincidence!
Apparently, having realized that it was useless to butt heads with the media, the people behind Firma Floridan JSC could decide to turn to Margarita Rudakova, who, as of September 2020, was the special representative of the governor Alexander Beglov and, perhaps, still remains so. Her personality is more than mysterious – it is extremely difficult to find any information about her on the network. Got something to hide?
Actually, it was with her filing (as well as with the participation of Malkevich) that the current problems with Barabanshchikov and Co. could begin. In addition, if we assume that Mr. Prigozhin really stands behind him, then the “blow” on the official may be just in the subject of the policy pursued by Beglov.
And this refers us to the autumn elections, during which there was a resonant scandal with the Rodina party, which was refused by the City Election Commission to register candidates on the party list. Honored Artist of Russia Tatyana Bulanova, in particular, was going to run from a political association, who complained about this situation to Pamfilova. As The Moscow Post previously wrote in detail, in this situation it is extremely clear who is behind the removal of Rodina was the head of the City Electoral Committee, Natalya Chechina, and Alexander Belsky, who was then responsible for the city’s internal politics and the election process. And both, presumably, could not act without the knowledge of Governor Beglov.
According to Novaya Gazeta, Prigozhin treated the party “with sympathy” and could support candidates from a political organization. In particular, businessman Alexander Kolos, whom Rodina nominated in the 13th constituency in the Primorsky district, as well as political strategist Maksim Shugaley, whom Rodina put number two on the city part of the party list, was associated with the name of the entrepreneur.
If we assume that probably Prigozhin’s people really could have been “cleansed” in the elections, then this may indicate some kind of conflict between the businessman and the Runaway conflict. And although the elections have passed, the trail of what happened is quite likely still stretching.
In this case, the competitor of structures and persons allegedly connected with Prigozhin could successfully take advantage of the current situation. So that’s where the criminal case against Barabanshchikov came from?