Clan Markelovich: what is behind the criminal case against the head of the Mari El Republic


The former head of the Mari El Republic Leonid Markelov is detained on suspicion in receiving a bribe, according to the TFR. In conversation with the correspondent Trunov explained that Markelov suspected of attempting to obtain a bribe of 250 million rubles from businessman Nikolai Crevase. He allegedly promised to convey to the Governor of illegal monetary compensation through a fictitious purchase of shares controlled by Markelov greenhouses..

The founder of a local agricultural holding “Akasawa” Krivas gave the money Markelov by proxy — the head of the local TV channel “Region 12” Natalia Kozhanov. Against all parties involved prosecuted on corruption charges. Meanwhile, in the Mari El Republic is being searched by place of residence and work defendants in the case, including the government house of the Republic.

“Region 12”, which, according to investigators, was involved in corruption, controls Tatyana Markelov, the stepmother of ex-Governor. In fact, “the broadcasting company “Region 12″ — large financial and construction holding company in the Mari El Republic”, — said the Deputy Director of the Russian division of Transparency International Ilya Shumanov. It involves a lot of corruption stories in the country, said political consultant Mari Rustam Abdullin. In particular, the holding without tenders received contracts from the state for construction of buildings in the center of the capital region, he said.

“Hothouse” is affiliated with family Markelov. In 2013, he divorced his wife Irina. The year before Irina Markelova became part of the Board of Directors, she belonged to 82.3% of the company. Shortly thereafter, the entire package was handed over to Tatyana Markelovoj. The annual income of JSC “Greenhouse” and other companies owned by Irina Markelovoj, according to local bloggers, Republican bloggers, in 2012 amounted to more than 2 billion.

Big investigation

That the case against the former head of the Republic can be part of a larger investigation of corruption in the agricultural holding “Akasawa”, “Interfax” was told by informed sources. Are and other high-ranking officials, including former Minister of agriculture of the Republic of Iraida Dolgusheva accused of judicial fraud, said the news Agency.

“What the Governor Markelov was a patron of the agricultural holding “Akasawa”, in the Republic was not a secret. Bribe Krivosha was a kind of gratitude for that protection,” — said the Secretary of the Mari Republican Committee of the Communist party Gennady Zubkov. “This organization was given billions of dollars in loans for poultry “Akashevskaya” and its affiliates. In total them it has been allocated about 40 billion roubles I Think, for 40 billion rubles bribes in the amount of 250 million rubles is not the final figure,” — he said.

This information podtverdil source TASS: ex-Governor knocked for poultry “Akashevskaya” state and “promote” it in close to the power circles, according to the Agency. The agricultural holding which it is a part, is one of the largest Russian producers of poultry meat.

Poultry “Akashevo” is in the same holding company founded in 2005. According to industry estimates, the journal “Agroinvestor”, “Akasawa” in 2016, took ninth place in the top 10 largest poultry producers. The holding owns more than 200 poultry houses for growing broilers at 14 sites in different districts of the Republic. In the fall of 2016, Vedomosti wrote, citing sources, that the owner “Akashevo” may be owned by the family of the Minister of agriculture agro them. N. I. Tkachev.

The conflict with the Communist party

The opposition of the Governor with the Communist party began in 2009, when Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov has demanded to send in resignation of Markelov because he rigged the local elections and “has deduced Republic from a legal field”.

“Last year in the state Duma of the Mari El Republic was elected as a Communist Sergey Kazankov. It is possible that Kazankov was involved in the approximation and the subsequent exposing of the head of the Republic, as the local branch of the Communist party traditionally opposed Markelov”, — said the head of the Mari branch of the Russian Association of political science Yevhen Suslov. According to him, between Kazakovym and Markelov was, including a personal conflict, in which the public space had resulted in as insults.

“For example, Markelov after the election Kazankova in the state Duma, harshly criticized in his address, and called “boy”. But rather, it was a conflict of political opponents, and not something else associated with the business, — said the analyst. — The Republic was long known that the regime we have corruption. Obviously, the government took the ultimate decision on Markelov”.

The conflict with the Kremlin

Vladimir Putin sent Markelov resigned on 6 April. The President proposed to lead the region the head of the Moscow region Arbitration court Alexander Evstifeeva. Markelov, according to Putin, would like to change the type of activity and “asks to use it on another work area”. The ex-Governor said he plans in the near future “to rest and write poetry”, and the plans for further work “can say nothing”. Thus, his arrest came a week after the resignation.

Detention Markelov can be explained by the result of the ligaments of the presidential envoy to the Volga Federal district (VFD) Mikhail Babich and the political block of the Kremlin under the leadership of Sergei Kiriyenko, suggested in an interview with political scientist Nikolay Mironov. Kiriyenko was the predecessor Babic on this post, so the Volga region is a zone of special attention, he said.

Kirienko as presidential envoy to the Volga Federal district in 2001 advocated the nomination Markelov, the Governor’s office. “But by 2017, he started to look “weak link”, and because his fate was resolved,” — said the historian Maxim Artemyev. Place of Markelov took Evstifeev, a former Deputy Kiriyenko in the Volga Federal district presidential envoy’s office, which “will be sufficient to prevent gross errors, and win with a decent result, he guaranteed,” the expert believes.

An additional reason for the initiation of the case against Markelov could be a conflict with Babich. Last fall, the Federal tax service of the Republic was headed by Kirill Knyazev, who previously worked in the Kirov region. “Markelov did not want to see the “Varyag” at the head of the tax service. “You assign local staff at the local office. And some local people in jail get, acquire criminal cases,” said Babich to regional leaders at the meeting with the media.

Babich was trying to create a system of checks in the region, Markelov resisted,” explained political analyst Konstantin Kalachev.

The election of the President

Two days before the resignation Markelov Putin dismissed the head of Udmurtia Alexander Solovyov, who was detained on suspicion in receiving a bribe.

Thus, the ex-Governor of Mari El Republic became the fifth Governor of the region, which came under investigation for the last two years. In the summer of 2016, the head of the Kirov region Nikita Belykh was arrested on charges of accepting bribes amounting to €400 thousand, in the fall of 2015, were arrested by the Governor of the Komi Republic Vyacheslav Gaiser, who is accused of creation of criminal community. In March 2015, were arrested by the Governor of the Sakhalin region Alexander Khoroshavin, who was accused of accepting bribes totaling more than 522 million rubles.

Detention of governors can be part of the presidential campaign before the elections in 2018, as one of its topics can be the fight against corruption. It is already reflected in the results of sociological research in the regions, said political analyst Yevgeny Minchenko. In his opinion, the issue of corruption goes from top of the problems which the authorities, in the opinion of the population, not collaborative enough. “On the one hand, it corrects the image of President Vladimir Putin and allows you to intercept the initiative from the opposition, on the other hand, power is important not to overreact, not to create the impression that all top corrupt officials,” — said the source .

“The anti-corruption agenda will be a key part of the presidential campaign of Vladimir Putin”, — agrees the head of the program “Russian domestic politics and political institutions,” Carnegie Moscow Center Andrei Kolesnikov. “There are very few subjects on which you can build any election “tricks.” And the anti-corruption theme is a demand from below. And, of course, this topic will be actively used in the election campaign of Putin, which, according to the sensations already begun or will begin soon,” — said Kolesnikov.