“Wash” on Strukov: Bastrykin will take over the activities of the oligarch
Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrykin demanded that the investigative department of the Chelyabinsk region report on the results of an inspection on the situation with the pollution of the Kurasan River by Yuzhuralzoloto (SGC) oligarch Konstantin Strukov.
The scandal has been going on for more than a year, and our publication was one of the first to raise this topic. In August 2022, local residents rang all the bells, warning of a possible environmental catastrophe due to the actions of the SGC – the riverbed was completely dry, the water was pumped out to wash the gold.
It is unlikely that Mr. Strukov will like the results of the check. Especially against the background of other large-scale problems with business: heaps of debts and giant claims from the Federal Tax Service. Claims for violating environmental legislation against his firms appear almost every month.
Surprisingly, Konstantin Strukov has been the vice-speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Chelyabinsk region for many years, one of the most famous and prominent politicians in the region. He must protect the inhabitants, solve their problems, make decisions to ensure their safety, health, prosperity.
Instead, his enterprises openly crap, so much so that this time it came to the Investigative Committee. Recall that the scandal began to develop in August 2022, when residents began to massively write appeals to all authorities and the media, demanding that Kurasan be preserved for them.
Governor Aleksey Teksler was one of the recipients. “We ask you to sort it out and help us return our Kurasan River to its rightful place, which was stolen by the JSC GC YuGK represented by its owner Strukov K.I. Petropavlovsky and others), blocking the river and taking water for their personal enrichment, leaving ordinary people and animals only a dry channel,” residents of the Verkhneuralsk region tried to reach out to the authorities.
What did Texler do? It looks like nothing. But even then, after the inspection of Rospotrebnadzor, it was known that people’s fears were more than justified. The head of the department explained that in the work of the Southern and Western Kurasan quarries of JSC “Southern Mining Corporation” violations of the requirements of environmental legislation were indeed revealed. This poses a threat to the rivers.
The picturesque river Kurasan was under the threat of destruction. Photo: https://bfm74.ru/obshchestvo/rosprirodnadzor-nashel-v-chelyabinskoy-oblasti-narusheniya-pri-sbrose-stokov-yugk-v-reku-kurasan/
Rospotrebnadzor sent the results of that check to the prosecutor’s office and the Investigative Committee, where they instructed the regional security forces. And now, it seems, for Strukov’s company, retribution may come.
Vicious “system” Strukov
Disregard for nature, the priority of profit over the life and safety of people and the environment – can all these rumors about the principles of doing business by Strukov turn out to be true?
Shortly before the Kurasan scandal, another one broke out – the Southern Gas Corridor was convicted of polluting agricultural land on an area of 2.4 hectares. The site was littered after mining. Then the company got off with a warning.
Around the same time, a worker died at one of Strukov’s enterprises in the Chelyabinsk region. After checking by Rostekhnadzor, it turned out that the company had committed massive violations of the technological process and safety, which caused the death of a person. This writes “Pravda UrFO”.
It would seem that after this tragedy and massive complaints about environmental pollution, Strukov should have made every effort to prevent this from happening in the future. What was missing – strength, or desire?
All this has been going on for many years. The situation on Kurasan was described in detail by The Moscow Post – one of the first to take care of this situation. Prior to this, our publication covered in detail the tragedy near Kopeysk, where, due to the gold mining of the Strukovsky companies, the ground burned in the sludge pits. As a result, Lake Kurochkino, located nearby, began to smoke. The fire made its way even through the ice!
These are far from isolated cases. It’s like a whole system. What is needed for Strukov’s companies to stop this practice? It seems that the only hope is for the security forces. Alexander Ivanovich, your way out!
“Black hole” Strukov
As the inhabitants of the settlements adjacent to Kurasan themselves said, Strukov’s people take water for personal enrichment (they wash gold). And partly this motive can be understood: SGC is suffering a severe financial collapse. At the end of 2022, SGC’s revenue amounted to almost 30 billion rubles, and the net loss was 16.3 billion rubles.
At the very least, the YuGK Management Company remains profitable – over the past year it earned 574 million rubles. But it cannot improve the situation.
Of course, the question is, where will Strukov get the money to eliminate the consequences of his destructive activities. Here I recall an old story that concerned Strukov’s coal business – the development of the Korkinsky open pit. As a result of many years of work of the oligarch’s companies, a huge coal pit was formed near the village of Roza, which began to expand. Mining houses went cracked, and Strukov, for some reason, was in no hurry with the reclamation of the development.
Korkinsky section against the background of the Rose. Photo: https://nomadsclub.ru/events_archive/764-korkinskiy-ugolnyy-razrez.html
As a result, things got off the ground only after the personal intervention of the President of the Russian Federation, who visited the Chelyabinsk region, including the village of Roza. Having received a dressing, Strukov also received 1.5 billion rubles from the budget to deal with the situation. What happened next? He just got rid of the Korkinsky cut. The huge pit is still there, and the obligations for its reclamation fell on the shoulders of Promrekultivatsiya LLC.
But this company is a joint venture between Altushkin’s Russian Copper Company and the same Strukov’s Chelyabinsk Coal Company, which developed the mine. In 2018, Strukov’s asset withdrew from the capital of Promrecultivation LLC, in fact, shifting responsibility for Rosa onto someone else’s shoulders. And if the problem is still not solved, then where did the money go?
Subsequently, ex-State Duma deputy and head of the Grazhdanin environmental fund Maxim Shingarkin recalled Strukov’s statements that he allegedly spent a billion on measures to maintain the safety of the mine.
But this money should have been used, first of all, for the resettlement of people. Moreover, another 5 billion rubles were previously allocated for the same purposes. According to Shingarkin, Strukov deliberately overestimated the cost of the work in order to get more budget subsidies. But he was in no hurry to fulfill his obligations.
In the same 2018, mass searches and seizures of documents took place in the offices of the Southern Civil Code. They concerned a criminal case on non-payment of taxes, RBC wrote about this. As a result of the proceedings, assets worth 3.4 billion rubles associated with Mr. Strukov were frozen. The restrictions affected a number of companies – LLC “MelTEK”, LLC “Energiya-NK”, LLC “Management Company YuGK”, JSC “Yuzhuralzoloto Group of Companies” (UGK).
In addition to Strukov himself, the ex-director of MelTEK Andrey Zvyagintsev and Strukov’s daughter Evgenia Kuznetsova, who has a number of large assets, fell under the distribution. Pravda UrFO wrote about this.
There is money, but you keep …
But even this did not cool Strukov’s ardor. He continued to be active, including entering into all new projects and assets. As if he had no financial problems at all.
Already against the backdrop of these events, Konstanin Strukov managed to get almost 30% of the large gold miner Petropavlovsk, which was then in a serious corporate conflict. Subsequently, it turned into a criminal plane – the founder of the company, Pavel Maslovsky, was convicted of fraud with the company’s funds for 95 million rubles.
And the package belonging to Mr. Strukov later ended up with the Region Group of Companies, Sergei Sudarikov, who relies on the support of a well-known head of a large Russian state corporation. In the same situation with Petropavlovsk, another gold miner, Vladislav Sviblov, was also involved, who, together with Strukov, received a small block of shares, and then quickly left the company.
We wrote more than once about Mr. Sviblov, recalling his shock work at the Rosbuilding company, which was called the cradle of Russian raiding.
Do Strukov’s people not care about problems? Photo: https://foto-ram.ru/photo-konstantin-strukov/
All this looks like a “multi-move”, the purpose of which could be to remove Maslovsky from participation in the life of the company and transfer it to the right hands. And Strukov could play one of the leading roles in this story. And is it because he can carry out the delicate orders of his colleagues, and simply the powers that be, that the law enforcement officers have not yet had any questions to the oligarch himself?
But no matter how the rope twists, the end will come. And it is unlikely that this time Konstantin Strukov will come out unscathed. Since the Investigator is taking over the case hzikhidtidekrt Committee…