In February 2021, Yevpatorian public figure Volodymyr Lutiev, after a long silence, stated on his “Facebook” page on duty to prepare for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of two lion sculptures’ installation near the town library, located in the central Theater Square. The politician’s statement has traditionally been outrageous and lacks political correctness. However, it necessitates an analysis of Yevpatoria’s “big politics”, not only because of the lively discussion of the “Lutiev’s resumption”, started by the town’s inhabitants now, but also because this character is a mirror of an era, that has not yet ended.

And it will finish with the deoccupation of Crimea only.

So, our hero, Volodymyr Hryhorovych Lutiev, was born in Dniprodzerzhynsk (Kamenske) in 1959 and after receiving a specialized higher education he “took roots” in Yevpatoria, where he worked in the last Soviet empire’s years of the as a venereologist in a town clinic. The specifics of his profession in the resort town leaded not only to the initial “accumulation of capital”, but also to the acquisition of the necessary connections. Therefore, it is not surprising that from 1990 to 1998 Lutiev was twice elected as of the Town Council’ deputy [1].

At that time, Deputy Lutiev was remembered by the townspeople not only for his difficult character, but also for a certain principledness, as well as for the mentioned lions donated. However, instead of the promised marble sculptures, the lions turned out to be gypsum, firmly rubbed with formalin for the “nobility of their color”. Yevpatorians also remind that Lutiev then had a tendency to collect antiques and bought it from the local inhabitants. This, among other things, as evil tongues say, allegedly led to the comic situation of the disappearance of old door handles in the town, which at some point began to be twisted by local persons of difficult fate just “to replenish the collection”.

In those years, Deputy Lutiev did not earn millions, but he entered into a systemic conflict with criminal groups, which were then formed in the town and region. This actually cost for Lutiev not only his political career, when he was not re-elected in 1998, but also his personal freedom. After all, in November 2002, on the eve of the next local elections, Volodymyr Lutiev was arrested on suspicion of “attempted assassination” of Mykola “Cutlet” Kotlyarevsky, a well-known representative of the criminal world, who, under the roof of the gangster group “Saylem”, then launched to the public politic life [2]. Earlier, in 1998, Lutiev was arrested under similar conditions before the election campaign, but then the case ended in two weeks.

It is noteworthy that this “Lutiev case” was organized in 2002 by the Head of the Crimean Department for Combating Organized Crime Serhiy Semkiv, under the direct control of the relevant Head of the Crimean Main Police Directorate Mykola Palamarchuk, who later became the People’s Deputy of Ukraine of two convocations. At the same time, in 2002, the future “ardent Petro Poroshenko’s supporter” Palamarchuk stated at a special press conference that “Lutiev is suspected of six more cases”. We will add that process of documentation of “order” by Lutiev the Kotlyarevsky’s murder was directly organized in Yevpatoria by “young and perspective” militiaman Andrey Proshkin, who came to the management of local criminal investigation office four months before those events.

The intention of the authorities, first of all of the police, to “shut up Lutiev’s mouth” and to clear the way up for Kotlyarevsky, whose “track record” of premeditated murders had already been proven by the court, was obvious. We will add that “Cutlet” hid from sentences by simulation of temporary incapacity, as some years earlier, during the “showdowns”, he received a gunshot wound to the head. We must inform that while Lutiev was in a pre-trial detention center, Kotlyarevsky became the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, successfully elected from Yevpatoria and then he was re-elected to the same chair twice, until the Russian occupation of the peninsula started.

It is noteworthy that according to press reports from 2012, the aforementioned Mykola Kotlyarevsky represented in Crimean politics Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s movement “Front for Change”. Therefore, it will be recalled that in 2002-2003, when these events took place, and when a group of Crimean racketeers and killers first put on ties and formed an autonomy’s government, Mr. Yatsenyuk was very busy with the initial accumulation of his political capital – by “strange coincidence” exactly as Minister of Economy of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

At the same time, Lutiev’s case turned out to be loud rattly, especially due to the considerable public response, that was extremely unexpected for the orderers of Lutiev’s “prisoning”. Crimean residents, who for several years rejoiced over the ambiguous actions of the “truth-lover” and at the same time the “antiquary” and venereologist Lutiev, came to his defense en masse in a duel with bandits. According to the asks of journalists Lilia Budzhurova and Volodymyr Prytula, the Ombudsman Nina Karpachova drew attention to this case, future political prisoner Mykola Semena wrote articles about it, and the Kharkiv Human Rights Group monitored numerous courts’ hearings [3]; [5]; [17].

In the end of this case, Lutiev was acquitted, primarily because of the considerable public attention to the process. Subsequently, Lutiev continued to expose Crimean bandits and corrupted officials in the newspaper “Yevpatorian Week”, about which, among other things, Mark Agatov, other Crimean public figure, often wrote. It is obvious that Lutiev, despite his political and legal troubles, retained a certain authority and influence in the Crimea and in particular in Yevpatoria [6]; [7].

This story is characteristic one, as in the next Lutyev’s accusatory activities, as we would now say, he began to be associated with General Gennady Moskal, which is in fact incorrect. Just during the Moskal’s period in Crimea, and in time of his “fed” “Saylem’s” bandits, such as the future “Head of the Crimea” Sergei Aksyonov, Lutiev began to get serious problems, which he repeatedly complained to journalists and in his various articles and appeals.

Interestingly, thast Lutiev himself stated that he “lives by the concepts” and therefore he can communicate even with the Crimean criminal world’s leaders, such as Alexei Protasov and Sergei Voronkov, but not with the “werewolves in uniform”. More, the pointed story of the “contracted killing” was organized through a former police officer and provocateur Andriy Grachev [3]; [8]. In general, Lutiev and Moskal are united only by the lawsuits against a certain Mark Ben-Naim (Oleg Moiseyevich Bondarenko) who, both before and during the occupation, portrays himself as a “human rights activist” on the peninsula, despite numerous accusations of scams from completely different people [9]; [10].

However, Mr. Lutiev turned out to be from the category of politicians who consider revenge a dish that is delicious cold. For example, already in 2012, officers of the Security Service of Ukraine detained a judge of the Yevpatoria City Court, Volodymyr Makarchuk, who had previously assisted local law enforcement officers in the proceedings against Lutiev. Although no one was imprisoned, Makarchuk was forced to resign as a judge in 2013 [11]; [12].

The beginning of the Russian invasion to the Crimea led to a new wave of struggle between Lutiev and “Cutlet” Kotlyarevsky, who, in agreement with “Saylem” clan’s collaborators, returned from “Simferopol political circles” to Yevpatoria, where he was “elected” to the “town council” in 2014. According to Yevpatorians, Kotlyarevsky, in agreement with Aksyonov, then “gave his place in the “Crimean parliament” to Nina Permyakova, who later became a participant in numerous corruption scandals and headed the “Committee on Culture” in this “State Council”.

It is noteworthy that in 2014, Lutiev once again tried to “take part in the election” and to prevent Kotlyarevsky from becoming a “deputy”. He failed in this, was “removed from the candidates” by the Russian invaders and, as a result, he was mentioned by the Ukrainian “Myrotvorets” web-site as a collaborator, for being a “candidate” to the invaders’ local body. In his turn, bandit Kotlyarevsky was “elected”, by agreement with the “Head of the Crimea” Aksyonov, to the “town council” and headed there the “commission for combating corruption” [4]; [13]; [14]; [16]. After that, Lutiev virtually disappeared from public processes of a “political” nature.

At the same time, the level of public support for the Russian invades by “collaborator” Lutiev cannot be compared with the abovementioned Mark Agatov (Mark Purim), who was included by the aggressors in the “commission for drafting the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea” and who asked the Russian “authorities” for “legality of building” the Ukrainian chapel in Yevpatoria, and who also presented in 2015 his own pro-Russian book “Crimean Spring” (it, like Agatov’s subsequent works, “Viagra for the CIA” and “Sex Jihad”, did not cause mass demand of Crimean readers).

But in 2015, Lutiev at least actively highlighted the scandal, when a group of traitors, Yevpatorian policemen, who sided with the Russian invaders, was exposed by the “Federal Security Service’s landing” for raising funds from “massage parlors”, ie in fact – for organizing systemic prostitution [18]. This punitive operation changed the top of the “police officers” in Yevpatoria, from “unreliable” persons, according to Russian intelligence services’ opinion. And although the “’head” of the “town police”, collaborator Dmytro Pasha did not get to the “federals’ basements”, he was fired and forced to “go into the private sector”.

For some reason, the Russian invaders did not appreciate his efforts to help them to overthrow the Ukrainian state system in 2014, also as Pasha’s participation in the fake “Yevpatoria team of the people’s self-defence” and his awarding of the “Crimean” medal of the Russian Federation for treason. However, Dmytro Pasha was left with his business lands and with his real estate, conqured during his “police rule time”. But it is characteristic that Lutiev’s old enemy, “policeman” Andriy Proshkin, involved in the falsification of Lutiev’s case in 2002, was made a “scapegoat” by the Russian occupiers and received a full “seven years in prison” in 2017 for the aforementioned “covering” the prostitutes. The rest of the Yevpatoria’s “police officers”, detained in the “masseuse case” in 2015, got the “conditional terms”.

In the same year, Lutiev still reminded about himself in other way, because his candidacy was nominated by the “Yevpatorian Fund for Animal Welfare” for the “Award named after S.E. Duvan”, for installing the same gypsum lions in 1996 and for “helping the needy families”. This Award was established by the Yevpatoria City Council in 1995 and the occupiers did not stop awarding it.

But the Lutiev was not awarded, in particular because of the letter to the committee on this “Award”, signed by a number of his traditional opponents. The letters were signed by Mykola Kovalchuk, a “town council deputy” from “United Russia” and owner of several companies, who was repeatedly awarded by the occupiers [21], by Mykola Kolesnyk, who failed to enter the occupation administration by the “Russian Veterans’ Party” [22], and Volodymyr Yushchenko. These individuals were united not only by membership in the “Russian Community of Yevpatoria”, but also by the long-term close ties with the above-mentioned Mykola “Cutlet” Kotlyarevsky and by the corresponding experience of chronic writing complaints against Lutiev to the various instances [23]; [24].

For twenty years, this stable group has been involved in numerous lawsuits related to Lutiev, mostly losing them, and even they has in their “assets” the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, 2010. In this act the Court found their rights in numerous “incriminating proceedings” violated on several formal grounds, but no money was collected from anyone for this [25]. Usually, these “incriminating” cases concerned public insults about Lutiev, which he meticulously challenged and won in 2013-2014 in defense of his own honor and dignity – both in the local courts before the occupation and in the structures of the occupiers in the future.

We will add that before occupation, in the summer of 2013, acting in the interests of Mykola Kotlyarevsky and the future “mayor” of Yevpatoria, the representative of drug mafia Andrii Filonov, these same “public figures” began to initiate early termination of powers of the Yevpatoria mayor Andrii Danylenko [26] to provide this chair to Filonov as the protégé of the Russian special services.

It is noteworthy that in a letter against the Lutiev award, mentioned members of the

“Russian Community of Yevpatoria” criticized his allegedly pro-Ukrainian views and his membership in “Our Ukraine” party back in 2006. But the most interesting was the continuation of this situation, when Lutiev once again appealed to the occupation “courts” against this letter’s authors and, losing the Yevpatoria “courts” in 2016, then won them again [27].

These “trials” lasted until 2017 and consistently unsuccessfully to Mykola Kotlyarevsky’s clients [28], who were not helped even by the public appeal in 2016 of fifteen “deputies of the town council” with the specific title “Crimea Asks for Help from the President of the Russian Federation”. Interestingly, that among other things, a separate article of the “Crimea.Realia” was devoted to such appeal to Putin from the “Anti-Corruption Front of Crimea”, as the organization of the above-mentioned Kotlyarevsky’s clients [29]. In 2020, according to the “Russian registers”, Lutiev “legalized” himself as a businessman, in particular in the field of publishing [30], but no his active commercial activity was noticed.

So far, Lutiev’s, at first glance, comic statements about a quarter of century for the gypsum lions he donated, have led the Yevpatorians to a simple fact. After all, during the seven years of occupation, the town has received almost nothing that could be written about at least such a post on social networks. For example, in 2014-2016, all sorts of “patriotic events” and constant promises of “future miracle city” were the main form of public existence of invader’s “powers” in Yevpatoria.

Over the past two years, the invaders’ reporting and demonstration activities have become somewhat more practical and included the repair of roads and some public buildings’ facades. That was constantly happening in the town management’s normal mode until 2014, but now it is being carried out exclusively for “federal target program’s” billions, and of course, for estimates that are ten times higher.

Every piece of asphalt and every ballot box is painted by propagandists as a unique charity of the “federal government” for “its own citizens”. Well, the invaders’ attempts to open solemnly in 2021 the “entertainment grounds” and “virtual arches for smartphones”, on which many “budget millions” were written off, were subjected to Yevpatorians’ devastating criticism and total rejection, because of their incompetence and poverty.

Residents of the town “compare in mind” the current seven years of pathetic “new embankment’s construction ” and the previous one, quietly put into operation in 2000-2002. They see the devastating colonizers’ buildings in the resort’s sanitary zones, where under the “corrupted Ukrainian government” no one built the cottage settlements. On this background, mentioning the gypsum lions’ comic origin for eight thousand dollars, which really fell in love with the town inhabitants for decades, suddenly became an extremely painful question for many Yevpatorians. After all, many persons understood the value of their future, lost in 2014 for them, and the absolute destructiveness of the current “administration”.

Well, we will return in new articles to the reasons for Lutiev’s “renaissance”, which is currently being hotly debated by the town’s residents, in the conditions of complete discrediting of the “Crimean Spring” “winners’ team”.

Borys Babin