The “decree” stating that the “State Committee for Fisheries of the Republic of Crimea” (hereinafter – the “Committee”) “is liquidated in order to optimize the structure of the executive bodies of state powers” of the “Republic of Crimea” appeared on the “official portal of the head of the Republic” on April 14, 2016 [1]. However, in fact, the “Committee” ceased to exist as a “legal entity of public law” only on May 28, 2018, 25 months after the “adoption of the appropriate decision” [2]. Even taking into account the carelessness of the occupation “authorities”, two years is too long to transfer cases from one pseudo-state body to another. This means that it was beneficial for someone to delay the liquidation process. PhD Andrei Chvalyuk found out what was actually the reason for this slowness.

The fact is that on May 12, 2015, the “Committee” was appointed the “responsible executor” of the “Program for the Development of Fisheries of the Republic of Crimea for 2015-2017” (hereinafter referred to as the “Program”). Moreover, the “executor” was the only one, without co-executors, which gave him the right to single-handedly distribute 2 billion 920 million rubles [3]. And although the functions of the abolished “Committee” were immediately transferred to the “Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Crimea” (hereinafter – the “Ministry”), as a “body” created by the occupation “authorities” back on June 27, 2014, the “Committee” under the leadership of the “head of the liquidation Commission” Zaredinova Alima Nazimovna for a long time continued “to carry out the tasks assigned to him on the development of budgetary funds”.

The invaders were in no hurry to make changes to their own “program acts”. In the “Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea” dated May 12, 2015 No. 251, which approved the “Program”, the words “Committee” were replaced by “Ministry” only on August 23, 2016 [4]. But the “Program” itself was clearly adopted in a hurry in order to have time to receive funds from the State Program of the Russian Federation “Development of the Fishery Complex”. The Crimean compilers of the “Program” were in such a hurry that they even incorrectly referred to the number of the resolution of the Russian government that allocated finances, which in fact has number 314, not 315 [5].

But all these are trifles, the main thing is that the money was allocated. The total amount of funding for the “Program” amounted to 2920.0401 million rubles. Including by years: in 2015 – 1666.528 million rubles; in 2016 – 861.48045 million rubles; in 2017 – 392.03165 million rubles. The sources of funding for the “Program” were declared as “the budget of the Republic of Crimea” and “extra-budgetary funds”. Among them 698.2156 million rubles were allocated from the “budget of the Republic of Crimea”, and 2221.8245 million rubles from extra-budgetary funds. I do not think it is worth specifying that the “extra-budgetary funds” came from the federal budget of the Russian Federation under this program.

The goal of the “Program” was declared as the “sustainable development of the fishery complex” of the “Republic of Crimea”, “on the basis of the conservation, reproduction and rational use of aquatic biological resources and ensuring the competitiveness of goods and services produced by fishery enterprises”. Unfortunately, it is difficult to check whether this goal has been achieved at the moment, since reports on the implementation of the “Program” have sunk into oblivion, or, taking into account the name of the “Program”, it would be more correct to say “went to the bottom” together with the “State Committee for Fisheries of the Republic of Crimea”.

The “legal successor” of the “Committee”, the “Ministry”, also acted wisely, limiting access to archival information on “state support of the fishing industry”. At least the most distant of the tabs available on the website of the “Ministry”, the “Archive of Documents of 2019”, shines with pristine purity, there are no “documents” in it. The 2020 archive contains only local “orders” that have low information content compared to “reports” and, accordingly, are not as interesting as sources of analytical information.

The fact that they tried to hide the real data on the implementation of the “Program” is also indicated by the subsequent change of “jurisdiction”. Four months before the end of the “Program”, it changed from “state” to “departmental” and lost its isolation. It is possible that the change in “status” was influenced by the termination of funding from the federal budget of the Russian Federation. In “Appendix No. 2 to the passport” of the new “departmental program” [6], the sources of its financing are pointedly highlighted, and the lonely zero flaunts opposite the column “federal budget”.

On August 22, 2017, the so-called “Minister” of the “Ministry”, Andrei Ryumshin, by his “order” formed the “Departmental Target Program” “Development of Fisheries Industries” and made it a component of the “subprogram” of the “State Program for the Development of Agriculture and Regulation of Agricultural Products, Raw Materials and Food Markets Republic of the Crimea” [6]. Either the “republican officials” did not previously consider fish and seafood as food, or there were some other reasons, but until 2017, the “Ministry” in its “annual reports” was silent about fish products [7]. Now, in the conditions of reduction in the Crimea, due to the mismanagement of the local “administration”, areas for agricultural agriculture, it is possible to eat anything, even jellyfish, which were planned to be mined in industrial volumes, supposedly for export to communist China [8].

However, back to the original “Program”. Usually it is not a problem to find “reports on the implementation of programs” of the “Republic of Crimea”, but this time we were faced with a complete lack of information from the occupation “authorities” on the implementation of their “budget target program”. We even had doubts that the “Program” was really being implemented, but according to the “Consolidated annual report on the implementation of state programs of the Republic of Crimea for 2016”, the effectiveness of the implementation of this “Program” had an indicator of “more than 0.9 (high)” [9 ]. This means that the money of the “Program” at least began to be mastered. There are also “official documents” confirming that the “Committee of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea on agrarian policy, ecology and natural resources”, from October 2015 to October 2017 “heard information about the implementation process” of the “Program” [10]. It all ended with the “hearing”. No public conclusions about the normal course of implementation of the “Program” or its lag behind the established implementation deadlines have been published. As well as information about where the allocated funds actually went.

The lack of reports is a violation of the principle of publicity and transparency of the budget system and always directly indicates that there has been a massive embezzlement of funds from the target program. However, in the “Law of the Republic of Crimea” “On the Budgetary Process in the Republic of Crimea” [11] such a principle that exists in the budgetary legislation of civilized states is not provided “for some reasons”. This means that, to the great joy of the Russian invaders, it cannot be violated. Accordingly, there is a tendency to conceal “budget reporting”, in the dissemination of which the occupying “government” of the “Republic of Crimea” is not interested.

The desire to create a closed, isolated economic mechanism, which is under the strict, centralized control of the state, is known to be one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian system. The concealment of information about the implementation of the “Program for the Development of the Fisheries of the Republic of Crimea for 2015-2017” is just one example of the restriction of the civil rights of residents of the temporarily occupied Crimea. And we are fully confident that informing the public on the issues of drawing up, considering, approving, executing “republican and local budgets”, as well as “control” over their implementation, will continue to be carried out by the Russian invaders in doses or will not occur at all. And we will write in a separate study, who actually used the money of the “Program” and how it interfere with the famous trade marks of canned fish products.