For more than a year, the scandal with the supply of 18 oxygen concentrators to hospitals in Yakutia for more than half a billion rubles has not subsided. Roman Savin, Deputy Minister of the Republic of Yakutia (Sakha), was arrested for allegedly inflating the cost of the contract. There are many oddities in the case. At least the fact that the investigation was initiated by a commercial company – the company “Evelina”. And when it turns out that the deputy of Il Tumen Mikhail Everstov may be related to this structure, even more questions arise.
The story begins in November 2021, when, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the First Deputy Minister of Health of Yakutia Roman Savin signed a contract for the supply of 18 oxygen concentrators with the Moscow company Diomed. The contract amount was more than 620 million rubles. This did not sit well with some local pharma merchants, who were annoyed that such a solid jackpot passed by. They began to ring all the bells about the illegality of the contract. Then a scandal erupted.
The Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the region opened a criminal case on the grounds of a crime under Part 3 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of official powers that entailed grave consequences). In September 2022, Roman Savin, First Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), was detained. The Ministry of Internal Affairs considered that the amount of the contract was overstated by more than 150 million rubles.
“It was established that he, ignoring the guidelines of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, requested commercial offers for the supply of medical equipment from affiliated organizations. This created the appearance of fulfilling the requirements of the legislation on the contract system in the field of procurement of goods for state needs.– detained then Vedomosti press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Yakutia.
But the reality is deeper and more complex.
At the beginning of October 2021, the head of Yakutia Aisen Nikolaev gave a dressing down to officials of all ranks up to the chairman of the Cabinet Andrey Tarasenko for the fact that one and a half years after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there are still no oxygen concentrators in the hospitals of the republic. Officials after that, as they say, “took a low start.”
The Ministry of Health began to search for suppliers at an accelerated pace, asking for prices. Based on the data received, the department formed the final price. As a result, Andrei Tarasenko, Chairman of the Government of Yakutia, signed an order to allocate 620.9 million rubles from the republic’s reserve fund for the purchase of oxygen stations. The Moscow company “Diomed” was chosen as the supplier. Producer – LLC Scientific and Production Company Provita from St. Petersburg.
The company “Evelina” from Yakutsk also signed for the competition, offering a price for the contract 30 million rubles less – 589 million. Above, we talked about her possible affiliation with the deputy of Il Tumen Mikhail Everstov, but more on that later. But Provit allegedly stated that they had never heard of such a company. Moreover, in St. Petersburg they also doubted that Evelina generally has a license and qualifications for employees, as well as the availability of employees in general. The last remark is not taken from the ceiling. The average number of employees of the company is 2 people. The main activities are: repair of electronic and optical equipment.
Moscow “Diomed” in St. Petersburg did not cause doubts. The company’s activities are related to medicine – “wholesale trade in products used for medical purposes”. In addition, directly for Yakutia, Diomed offered the Ministry of Health profitable bonuses for service and warranty service – 2 years of additional warranty to 1 year of the main one. We are talking about depreciation of equipment, which reaches 10% per year, and in the harsh conditions of Yakutia, the figures can be even higher. It is easy to calculate that 1 year of operation “eats” 10% of the cost of equipment. And even if the cost of the contract from Diomed was somewhat higher than that of other participants, but, in fact, the company’s offer turned out to be the most profitable, the Ministry of Health of Yakutia adhered to this logic. It is necessary to take into account the conditions of emergency circumstances in which the contract was concluded.
But this, apparently, did not suit the deputy of Il Tumen Mikhail Everstov.
Already on November 12, 2021, the prosecutor of Yakutia Maxim Popov a complaint was received from the Evelina company, whose representative explicitly stated inflated prices in a contract dated October 29, signed without bidding by Deputy Minister Roman Savin with the Moscow company Diomed. On December 10, 2021, OFAS received an administrative case “for the illegal conclusion of a government contract without bidding.” On December 13, Maxim Popov replied that there were “no grounds for taking response measures.”
Representatives of “Evelina” “bombed” on all fronts, writing a complaint to the Ministry of Finance of the Republic. The main financial department double-checked the concluded contract. Violations were found only in the justification of the price, for other positions of the contract, the inspectors of the Ministry of Finance did not find any violations. On November 26, more than 620 million were transferred to Diomedes.
Nevertheless, as already mentioned above, the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Yakutia detained a criminal case on the grounds of a crime under Part 3 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of official powers that entailed grave consequences). In Yakutia, Moscow and St. Petersburg, searches were carried out in connection with this case, during which documents and electronic media were seized.
At the end of April of this year, the Yakut deputy Mikhail Everstov made an accusatory speech in Il Tumen against the media, who suspect him of lobbying the Evelina company, which supplies pharmaceutical products to Yakutia. True, there are a couple of interesting inconsistencies in his fiery speech.
Firstly, Mikhail Ilyich claims that thanks to the contract, Diomed could earn an extra 310 million rubles. If we remember, above it was about overpricing by 150 million. Moreover, the commercial offer from Evelina was estimated at 589 million rubles.
Secondly, the deputy got confused about the ownership of the Evelina company. A local quote states:
“I am going through this case as one of the main possible corrupt officials in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), as a representative of the elite of Yakutia, who powerfully attacked the Varangian Roman Savin, because my company called Evelina lost or should have lost the tender for the development of 620 million rubles. For a whole year, everyone who is not lazy rinses me.
Then he turns to the first deputy prosecutor of the republic with a request to check his participation in the Evelina company.
So what is this company? The founder and head of “Evelina” number Yakovleva Victoria Valerievna. But many local media point to a direct connection between Deputy Everstov and the Evelina company. The SakhaLife publication directly writes that Mikhail Everstov tried to negotiate with Roman Savin to issue a contract with Evelina, but (further quote from the resource): “Savin was not accommodating, and the Evelina company affiliated with Everstov did not win the tender”.
Journalists from another publication also traced the indirect connection of “Evelina” with the deputy of Il Tumen Everstov. Politician’s wife Tatyana Everstova and the head of “Evelina” Victoria Yakovleva are jointly engaged in the development of regional cinema. The latter even owns a large stake in the local film company Al Luk Studio. That is, it can be assumed that the joint business plans of Yakovleva and Everstov are not only in the field of cinema.
Mikhail Everstov himself occupies the 87th line of the richest Russians on the Forbes list.
In an administrative case from the OFAS of Yakutia, the court signed. The judge took into account the explanations of the Supreme Court and, oddly enough, the conclusions of the Federal Tax Service itself that the spread of coronavirus is force majeure circumstances, and recognized the actions of the Deputy Minister of Health of Yakutia Savin as lawful. And he canceled the decision of the OFAS of Yakutia on the illegality of the contract with Diomed.
OFAS did not calm down on this and appealed against the decision of the court of first instance. But the Fourth Arbitration Court of Appeal in September 2022 also took the side of the Ministry of Health. Already in January 2023, the Arbitration Court of the East Siberian District agreed with the decision.
But despite all these decisions, Roman Savin still signed under house arrest. “Diomed” is actually blocked and cannot work due to three court decisions on the arrest of finances for 450 million rubles. The investigation still claims damages of 151 million rubles.
From medicine it is known that from an excess of pure oxygen comes a state close to intoxication. Someone in Yakutia can clearly see this. At a time when many patients in hospitals are oxygen starved …