Long before the aggression of Russian against Ukraine, the then prosecutor of Krasnodar Krai publicly reported there was a steady organized criminal group in Tuapsyn Region, headed by the representatives of Armenian Diaspora.  He affirmed that the law enforcement regional authorities could do nothing to them.  Later, new prosecutor of Krasnodar Leonid Korzhynek was even surprised with the absence of the quick designs of the organized criminal groups, publicly speaking about it.

As the affairs were carried out by an Armenian businessman of Russian origin since the start of 2000, in Crimea, the Russian journalists informed their readers that ‘over there, across the river’, i.e. on the opposite side of the Kerch Strait, in Tuapsyn Region of Krasnodar Krai, the illegal activity initiated by the Nazaret Ialanouzian well-known to us and Valentyn Rahanian was seen. Sometimes, Valentyn was mentioned under his criminal nickname Valet. Those two guys ran the vodka business including the illegal affairs, were busy with illegally cutting down the forests, carried out the holiday season trade, managed the hotels, restaurants, dolphinariums, aqua parks, were in charge of the game-preserves, drug trafficking, made a living off of prostitution and human trafficking including juvenile trafficking.  

In addition, they had close ties with former region governor Viktor Vasyliovych Koshel and commander of Tuapsyn Militia Forces Oleksandr Mykolaiovych Udovenko with a codename Udav. That is why their activity was assessed as an illegal business of the members of the organized criminal group. According to some signs, the mentioned organized criminal group was controlled by the Russian secret services who groundlessly considered it to be a very developed ethnic regional group who had sent not less than 9 people, including the officers of the law, to kingdom come. The organized criminal group also had a trans-border potential. The secret services reinforced their control during the preparation for the Olympic Games in Sochi.

The fact of using the Armenian organized criminal group for the gangland acts against the Chechen Diaspora in the village Novomikhailovskoye of Tuapsyn Region also draws attention. That day the operation resembled military actions when the police forces were completely isolated in the region where they were held.  It is in that village where Ialanouzian and some of his relatives have their own houses. There is the information on the similar measures taken to neutralize the Dagestan organized criminal groups and others.

To make a complete notion of the operations, let’s bring to mind that Mr. Ustinov, Prosecutor General of Russia, was strongly opposed, in the public eye, to court of jury. Once when he was asked by a correspondent why he was against it, he replied with an impressive tolerance, “Just imagine that the court of jury will try the Armenian native in Sochi”. Thereupon, it becomes clear what he was driving at, speaking in ‘Russian manner’. 

There were times when the foreign activity of that Caucasian organized criminal group was also targeted at providing the influence on the Ukrainian officials and governors in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as well as the construction of the business serving the personal financial concerns of the above mentioned people, i.e. actually, those were the corrupt practices of particularly large sums of money with the preservation of the control over the sources of such ‘profits’ as well as the realization of other purposes, which sometimes were opposite to the national interests of Ukraine. We will tell you about that below as far as that concerns not only Leonid Hrach.

We suggest recalling the epopee of the first and the last president of Crimea. Taking advantage of the Russian support and the Black Sea Fleet, which had not been divided yet, after the USSR split, Yuriy Meshkov tried to regain a complete power over Crimea. For that the deputies of the Autonomous Soviet Social Republic of Crimea restored by Ukraine adopted and approved the constitution of the peninsular that provided the Republic of Crimea being not a subject of the international law became a part of Ukraine as an independent state, acc. to a ‘certain agreement’. The deputies also introduced an office of Crimean president.

Yuriy Meshkov, the former worker of the public prosecutor’s office and barrister that had to properly understand the provisions of law and the essence of sovereignty, immediately invited the Russians to the local government, promised to provide the Crimean citizen with the second (Russian) citizenship, and remain a Russian rouble as an alternative currency. During his rule, one could see the posters with slogans ‘I want to be back to Russia, I want home!’ and hear the people yelling, “Referendum! Referendum! Referendum! Freedom to Crimea!”

At that time, the decisive actions of the Ukrainian authorities helped to preserve the sovereignty and a territorial integrity. In March 1995, the Ukrainian parliament abolished the 1992-Crimean constitution and the office of the ‘President of the Republic of Crimea’, as well. To support the law and order, the warriors of the National Guard of Ukraine were transferred to the peninsular. Mr. Meshkov barricaded himself. He had lived in the office of the Crimean parliament for several weeks. The Russian from Meshkov’s Moscow government had to flee back to white-stone Moscow. That day, some hundreds of pensioners went out into streets to support Meshkov. That was significant. Yuriy Meshkov was disenthroned and brought to Moscow by Russian servicemen. Moscow mayor Yuriy Luzhkov paid Meshkov’s rent and helped him to find a job.

Later, the people told the 1992-Crimean Constitution was trying to transform the life ‘under communism’ into the life ‘in a sack’. Though, it was not an obstacle for a new try of revenge. That was the information from word-of-mouth advertising.  In 2011, Meshkov came back to the peninsular and declared he was an acting President of Crimea. Although, 16 years passed, and he still had an intention to renew the 1992-Constitution. However, the Ukrainian government again turned out to be effective, so Meshkov was deported right after his press-conference. 

In 2014, Yuriy Meshkov had a new go at regaining the powers of the president. He came back to Crimea to take part in the Russian referendum that had the results, which were still unrecognised by the world states.

It may be interesting for you to know that Yuriy Meshkov considered it would be easy for him to return to the ‘Crimean politics’ but the occupants themselves did not let him do that. ‘Those were the dregs that have neither fairness nor dignity. They are even not a great gangster’, said he, driving at the occupational Russian authority of the peninsular in one of his last interviews. We agree with such Meshkov’s opinion and even included it into the title of the series of our publications.

In addition, we will only mention that the RF authority tried to use Meshkov for the organization of the ‘social campaign’ in 2018, in the future. They were going to renew the water supply from the Dnipro to Crimea. However, the campaign turned out to be an absolute failure. In the end, Yuriy Meshkov suddenly died from the ‘complications of old disease’.  

The readers can find some similarities between other workers of the public prosecutor’s office and presidents-renegades. That also concerns the attempts of using them not in a good way, in the future.

Let’s return to the criminal business cover for the officials of the high regional level. For example, on 5th October 2003, the web-site Crimean Line reported through its journalist Natalia Shcherbyna that Leonid Ivanovych Hrach, the graduate of Kuban University, pro-Russian politician, and former Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, was linked to Russian.

The first exclusive and great project Mr. Hrach was involved in was the creation of the fund Moscow-Crimea. The supplies of Russian gas and large amounts of debts provided tremendous profits for all those involved in the scheme. Crimean Line wrote on how the gas was transformed into the construction products, passes, markets and large sums of money. They reported what that money was spent on and where it was gone.

At that time, one of the Fund’s purposes and one of Hrach’s aims was a recreational complex on the peninsula. In Alushta, for instance, there was an intensive campaign. As a result, they found out that there are lots of corners on the picturesque coast and different health centers, which would simply extinguish without personal financial investments.  

The construction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait was declared to be another great project, which had to become a symbol of the ‘peoples’ friendship’.  Hrach gained the political dividends from the project before the elections. However, then the project remained unrealized. For decades, it had been waiting for the escalation of the Russian aggression. It happened so that it was the present supreme authority of the RF from the cooperative society Ozero took advantage of the rent-seeking behavior, so billions of budgetary funds were ‘milked’ through the elaborated regional scheme for gaining the political dividends.

Later, in spite of the state interests of Ukraine, in the Kerch Strait, Russia launched a great dam construction project. In those times, Hrach showed he had steady ties with the businessmen and Cossacks of Krasnodar Krai. It is crucial that the RF’s provocative construction of the dam to Tuzla Island was supported by the Russian organized criminal groups under a pretext of a necessity of laying out the pipelines including the conduit from Kuban. Though, actually, the conduit had to be used for transporting of cheap and illegal Ossetian alcohol to Ukraine. The cost of the alcohol was 2 hryvnias per 1 l. including the supply.

As we have previously written in the series of the Bandits, a humble Russian businessman N.M. Ialanouzian mentioned in the beginning of the story, two other Russian businessmen and officials as well as the members of the Hrach family became the cofounders of TOV Krymbolgaryugservice in 1999. And in almost a year, on 5th July 2000, TOV Krymbolgarservice with EDRPOU Code 30993483 was created and registered at 80, Radianska Street, Simeyiz, Yalta, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, i.e. the TOV had the address being similar to that registered by TOV Krymbolgaryugservice. The contact phone number of TOV Krymbolgarservice 8067-6524476 was similar to that of TOV Yalta Concrete Plant No.1 with EDRPOU Code 33876123. Another phone number 065-4233860 belonged to TOV CI-TUR KRYM.

The mentioned mistake perfectly proves that the criminal group tried to hid the interests of certain people by a consecutive creation of new legal persons. In our case, those are the next TOV such as Krymparkservice, Krympisok, Dobrovskaya Dolina, and Ci-Tur Krym. For organizing their work, they involved another founder of TOV Krymbolgaryugservice and Hrach’s proxyholders as well as Ksenia Mykolaivna Dorofeyeva well-known in Crimea. By the way, in Ukraine, the personal sanctions were applied against her. 

It was N.M. Ialanouzian who both gained considerable profits in Ukraine and, at a time, was an active businessman involved in the construction works in Russia.  For example, he, Yuriy and Mykhailo Oganians are co-directors at Cyprus company Sonnenrast Limited (Code C98852, HE98852), which has been involved in different economic affairs on the territory of Krasnodar Krai, many times. It is supposed the company transferred considerable sums of money from the off-shore companies by means of the fictitious investment contracts.

Those facts were investigated by the Russian government security services. Although, for some reason, they did not touch N.M. Ialanouzian directly. Taking into account, that the events took place on the terrain of the Russian Federation, they are mentioned only in informative way to describe Ialanouzian’s personality and prove that he turned out to be a very qualified professional specializing in the off-shore schemes on siphoning off the capitals gained through the schemes. 

To be continued …