29 Сентября 2020
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Политика

Boris Kuzyk's curious "Electronics"

The Moscow Post found out the reasons for the high-profile corruption scandal in the Ministry of Industry and Trade. A number of prominent scientists, entrepreneurs and officials may be related to it, including influential academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Boris Kuzyk, a former Boris Yeltsin's assistant.

The day before the information space was torn apart by another high-profile corruption scandal. Law enforcement officers detained  Deputy Director of the Department of Radio-Electronic Industry of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Anton Isaev. The official was arrested until October 13, and a fraud case was initiated against him.

It is assumed that Isaev could have committed crimes at his previous job, when he held a post at the Central Research Institute (CRI) Electronics (part of Rostec). As an official of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, he continued to supervise Electronics, and allegedly concluded fictitious contracts with "one-day" firms to withdraw budget money.

Funds could pass through Akvaservis LLC and a number of other structures. As it turned out, the revealed circumstances may be just a drop in the ocean, and Anton Isaev is far from the key figure of possible fraud. The situation was investigated by a correspondent of the The Moscow Post.

The adventures of "Electronics"

There are many talented scientists, entrepreneurs and officials in Russia. There are also those who perfectly combine these three forms, but at the same time they are not heard by public. Boris Kuzyk, a former  Boris Yeltsin's assistant and an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, can rightfully be considered one of them. It was Boris Kuzyk who could be one of the key beneficiaries of Isaev's work in both Electronics and, later, in the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

However, before we take a closer look at his person and his possible role in the affairs of Anton Isaev and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, it is necessary to understand — from whom, who and how could get money from government contracts with CRI Electronics. And are there a lot of interesting things.

According to Kommersant, General Director of JSC Akvaservis Ivan Kurchatov testified against Anton Isaev. Previously, there were suggestions that it was through this structure that the money of the Ministry of Industry and Trade was transferred and "dissolved".

Having a look at the list of state contracts of the company through the Central Research Institute Electronics, we find only one modest contract for 1.1 million rubles from 2016 (that is, during the period of Isaev's work in a senior position in the Central Research Institute). Providing consulting services.

However, the key counterparty of the company with a volume of 18.6 million rubles is the Institute for Physics of Microstructures of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which was liquidated in the same year 2016. Another 5 million rubles were transferred to the Institute of Mechanics of the UO RAS. This structure was eliminated a year after the Institute for Physics of Microstructures of the Russian Academy of Sciences - in 2017. Let's remember these two points.

If we assume that the suspicions of investigators are confirmed, and Isaev really stole on state contracts, then the contract for 1.1 million rubles with Akvaservis looks very weak and unconvincing. But law enforcement authorities believe that more than 150 million rubles could have been stolen, which was also mentioned by Kommersant journalists. Where are the remaining 149 million?

In order to get closer to the answer to this question, it is important to look at who worked most closely with the Central Research Institute Electronics. Then it turns out that the budget institution (after all, Rostec, which includes the Institute is a state Corporation) was an active customer for a number of commercial and near-commercial structures. And in the first place, suddenly - non-profit (!) partnership Institute for Economic Strategies (INES).

Elektronika has one of the largest portfolios of orders with INES - 8 state contracts worth over 60 million rubles at once. That's not bad. What is the origin of these contracts with such amount? It might be surprising.

All eight state contracts are not for the supply of any equipment or serious research. Almost all of them date back to 2015-2017, when Anton Isaev held a senior position in Electronics. And all are related to the provision of information and consulting services.

Once again, in just two years, the structure has signed 8 contracts for the provision of consulting and information services. That is, the type of work that is extremely difficult to objectively evaluate and measure. A documented conversation about the prospects for the development of microelectronics in the world, even being held "over a beer" — thus there are consulting services. For more than 60 million rubles. What is this, if not an abyss for possible corruption violations?

If everything is clear with Electronics as a budget institution, then what kind of office is INES? Its founders were two people. One of them is Alexander Ageev, General Director of the Institute for Economic Strategies and the International Research Institute for Advanced Systems (IRIAS) , head of the Department of business project management at NRNU MEPhI, doctor of Economics, Professor at MGIMO. Information about him is available on the INES website.

Alexander Ageev - "dark horse" of Boris Kuzyk?

In other words, Ageev is a fairly well-known scientist, a public person, in principle. After all, being a Professor at MGIMO "secretely" will not work. But the second founder is much more interesting.

And this is the above-mentioned Boris Nikolaevich Kuzyk. Who also in the past, like Ageev, headed the Institute for Economic Strategies.

And the figure of Kuzyk, it seems, may be central to all this high-profile scandal. And the figure is absolutely not public - his name was not mentioned anywhere in connection with the scandal. And in general, in recent years it has not been heard almost anywhere, although in the Russian scientific, business and "official" community it is well known, as will be discussed below.

But this is just a saying. The story began when it became clear that the legal entity INES, created and operated since 2004, and with which Anton Isaev's Electronics managed to conclude contracts for 60 million rubles in just two years, was liquidated. And it was liquidated just recently - on July 22, 2020. Information about this is presented in the Rusprofile information system.

Why should a successful and profitable office with revenue of 16 million rubles for 2019 alone be hastily "liquidated" for no apparent reason? It is in a hurry - this is what it seems when you look at the picture from the side.

But this is not all - on the same day, the legal successor of the organization, ANO Institute for Economic Strategies, which was also headed by Alexander Ageev, was created. However, the founder of the office this time was he alone. Boris Nikolaevich Kuzyk is missing!

All this suggests that someone may have known about the upcoming detention of Anton Isaev. Or, at least, had an insider about the availability of operational development of the official and his affairs through the Ministry of Industry and Trade and CRI Electronics. And it had to be not some ordinary entrepreneur, but a person with serious connections in the elite, including the elite of science and power. Someone who was related to the civil service, law enforcement agencies, academic institutions.

Boris Kuzyk would fit that description perfectly. And the whole situation with the liquidation of INES alone and the instant creation of another, without Kuzyk in the status of the founder, looks like an attempt to hide something, hide, cover up traces. Note that no other rational arguments, explanations, etc. could be found for this process. Neither Ageev, nor Kuzyk, nor other possible interested parties commented on it in any way.

"Bonuses" for "Bonis"

Before we finally reveal the cards and tell you more about Boris Kuzyk, it is necessary to mention a couple of important details. He is the founder of seven organizations, of which only two are active. This is the Pokrovsky charitable Foundation, where he is only one of many founders. Remember this name, we will tell you more about the Foundation. And the second - commercial Bonis LLC, where he owns all 100% of the shares.

Bonis is engaged in real estate management, and it attracted our attention. Earlier, law enforcement authorities stated that budget money through Isaev could settle and be withdrawn through some fictitious firms. What can we see in Bonis LLC?

The organization employs five people. Its revenue at the end of 2019 - 11 million rubles, profit - 4 million. At the same time, the book value of the structure's assets is zero. It turns out that it does not have any property that would be worth anything. Not suspicious at all. But something else is much more interesting.

If we look at the current authorized capital of the company, it will be 10.9 million rubles. That is, it is almost equal to the company's revenue received for the year, and three times more than the profit for the same period. It turned out that in 2018, close to the terms of conclusion and execution of contracts between INES and Electronics, the authorized capital of Bonis was almost 66 million rubles.

Isn't it a lot for an office that employs five people and has an annual profit of only 4 million rubles? Not just a lot, but an incredible amount. Roughly speaking, such situation practically does not occur in the ordinary course of business.

However, in 2018, as follows from the Rusprofile information service, Boris Kuzyk for unknown reasons sharply reduced the authorized capital. In December 2018, about 53 million rubles remained from the company's authorized capital of 65 million rubles.

And then the strange thing begins. No later than September 7, just a few days before Anton Isaev's arrest, Kuzyk reduces the company's authorized capital from 53.9 million rubles to 10.9 million rubles! A coincidence? As they say, we don't think so...

What does it turn out to be? Shortly before the entire operation to detain Isaev, the company through which at least 60 million rubles passed from Electronics is being liquidated. Immediately a new office is created, but without Boris Kuzyk as the founder. Almost at the same time, shortly before Isaev's arrest, more than 40 million rubles disappeared from the authorized capital of Kuzyk's fairly modest company Bonis.

For no apparent reason, basis. Not to mention how these more than 60 million rubles of authorized capital ended up in the company. There may be different versions. We will give only one possible scenario.

Military, official, scientist, entrepreneur. A thief?

Boris Kuzyk, a former influential official and now a scientist and entrepreneur, may have had his own corrupt interests. All his scientific and official work in the past should have been related to the military-industrial complex, economy, electronics and electronic systems. He could have a direct interest, as well as the necessary expertise and connections to provide consulting services through the liquidated INES, where he was the founder.

He is a corresponding member (since 2003), and then an academic (since 2011) of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). It was with the divisions of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as it was said at the beginning of the article, that Electronics had serious state contracts. And also mentioned Alexander Ageev, co-founder of INES with Kuzyk and its CEO - also a prominent scientist.

Major General of the reserve Boris Kuzyk, had to have serious connections in law enforcement structures. Due to these connections, he could get an insider about the operational development of Isaev. And understand that it's time, in general, to cover the traces.

And then just a few months before the scandal, INES, which received at least 60 million rubles from Electronics, is liquidated. A little later, more than 40 million rubles disappear from the authorized capital of Kuzyk's company Bonis, which is generally unclear how they ended up there. That is, it may be clear to some people, but law enforcement agencies should answer this question.

In the materials that were found about Kuzyk in the media, the latter is called a "loser" from the military-industrial complex. In the light of recent events, we are convinced that this can't be true. On the contrary - more than a successful official, scientist and entrepreneur who prefers to keep a low profile.

Kuzyk began his turbulent career under the Soviet Union. His key job was at the Ministry of Economic Relations, where from 1987 to 1993 he acquired extensive contacts and learned new realities of capitalist life.

The collapse of the great country gave Kuzyk many opportunities. Since 1994, he had been an assistant to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, where until 1998 he oversaw the military-industrial complex and the industrial sector. It is rumoured that he was responsible for the entire range of arms exports, which under his leadership has changed significantly, and allegedly for the worse for Russia and our budget.

He had to deal with the largest enterprises of the country's military-industrial complex. It is Kuzyk that detractors attribute to losing control of the National Aviation Company over the most important Severnaya Verf Shipyard. If so, it can only be considered an episode.

However, in addition to this, Kuzyk did not show anything special in the civil service. Except that, according to rumours, he always positioned himself as one of the most influential officials from the military-industrial complex of the country. As if Kuzyk could even organize Boris Yeltsin's election trips to the cities where the country's largest defense enterprises were located.

From Yeltsin to Potanin and the Church

There is an opinion that Kuzyk could leave the civil service because he allegedly could not work together with Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Bolshakov. He also supervised the military-industrial complex and the industrial sector, and was reputed to be quite a principled person. It is not known for certain, but knowing the mess of those years in the military-industrial complex and other areas, it is not difficult to assume that Kuzyk had his own corrupt interests, which Bolshakov simply did not want to put up with.

In any case, Kuzyk had to seek support from other Deputy Prime Ministers. Instead, he somehow worked with the oligarch Vladimir Potanin and his group called Interros. Potanin could see him as the curator of the ONEXIM business in the military-technical sphere.

According to rumours, the then head of ONEXIMbank, Mikhail Prokhorov, actively objected to this. The latter was, and still is, a real rationalist. And Kuzyk could hardly show a clear, rational result in this work, given the possible presence of corrupt interests.

Authors of the Compromat.ru website claim that, allegedly shortly before, specifically for Kuzyk, LLC "New programs and concepts" was created, where Interros contributed its assets.

Very soon, the business of the Leningrad Optical and Mechanical Plant (LOMO), Severnaya Verf, Kovrov Mechanical Plant, the Moscow Radio Engineering Plant, V.A. Degtyarev Plant and a number of other assets that were of serious importance for the country's defense capability were to be under Kuzyk's control.

Could Kuzyk have been running illegal schemes there? After so many years, it is impossible to say for sure, this should be handled by the relevant structures. However, other circumstances may also indicate the level of Kuzyk's honesty.

According to the authors of the same Kompromat.ru site, allegedly Kuzyk could cheat with the published work "Russia on the world arms market". As if instead of all the work, he wrote only an introduction for it, and the rest could be stolen from journalists Konstantin Makienko and Ruslan Pukhov, after which they had to negotiate with the court.

Anyway, detractors even then spread various kinds of rumours that Kuzyk, with the connivance of the authorities, allegedly manages state-owned enterprises of the military-industrial complex at his own discretion, and could use state property for his own purposes.

As already mentioned, Kuzyk left the civil service at the very end of the 90s. Now anything can be said, but it is unlikely that this happened on his own initiative - it was too "bread-filled" place. After that, he collaborated with Vladimir Potanin and is supposed to have worked hard in science. In the early 2000s, he managed to become a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Further, Kuzyk's biography looks very muddy. There is little information about him during this period, but there is no doubt that he, at least, continued to engage in business, using all his connections and opportunities. And at the beginning of the tenth years, it seems, "found" its niche in the field of "hoeing" budget millions under state contracts.

In addition, it is known for certain that he participated in the creation and work of the Pokrovsky charitable Foundation in St. Petersburg, where he still owns 20%. Several scandals are connected with this Fund at once, the key of which can be considered an attempt to "spin" 600 (!) hectares of land on the banks of the Neva river at once.

According to Fontanka, for these purposes, representatives of the Foundation under the guise of "reviving Church traditions" used a fake decision of the Leningrad city Executive Committee in 1972. The intercession Church was built on those hectares. The ROC claimed that the Church built by the Foundation was not documented, and a criminal case was even initiated on the fact of using donations.

Of course, such a stormy life and activity, even if hidden from prying eyes, should have literally made Boris Kuzyk rich. According to the FLB portal, in the late 90-ies the information that Kuzyk allegedly had villas in the Canary Islands, Swiss Bank accounts, as well as the initiation of some criminal cases to which the official, scientist and entrepreneur could be related was  leaked.

It is very difficult to say how much this corresponds to reality. But the detention of Anton Isaev can really lead to the fact that the name of Kuzyk will appear in the criminal case of fraud and embezzlement of budget money.

If the guilt of Anton Isaev is proved, it is unlikely that he will want to sit alone when his possible partner is safe and sound. On the other hand, if law enforcement officers have questions about Kuzyk, they may simply not have time. The noise due to the corruption scandal in the Ministry of Industry and Trade has already skyrocketed. However, even now Boris Kuzyk, taking into account the "gestures" on the companies shortly before the detention of Isaev, may be located far beyond the borders of Russia.

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