The experts uncovered the Russian business’ criminal activities on killing stray animals and polluting the Crimean environment as part of the massive “budget funds” embezzlement. The close connection of these dealers with key Russian fishery enterprises and with the livestock production makes new challenges for the food and sanitary safety of the Crimean residents.

Auschwitz for Yevpatorian cats

In September 2021, residents of Yevpatoria discussed on social networks the ongoing massive cats and dogs poisoning in the town, both stray and owner. At the same time, the corpses of animals found everywhere were quickly collected by “unidentified persons” and taken away into unknown direction. However, the more knowledgeable townspeople reminded the inconsolable owners who had lost their pets that this is a “respectable business of honoured persons”, about which it is extremely unsafe to write.

It is worth noting that this issue was “suddenly” covered by the Crimean and even Russian media five years ago, at the beginning of 2016. Then a whole “landing” of Russian propagandists from “Moskovsky Komsomolets” rode across the Western Crimea, allegedly extremely concerned about the abuses of the “Bytservice” enterprise, which was “re-registered” under the invaders’ rules. This company was engaged for “destruction of biological waste”, at the expense of the “municipal budget”, to which, among other things, the aggressor attributed the captured “stray animals”.

At the same time, even the aforementioned propagandists, through an oversight, let slip that until 2014 the local authorities solved this problem in Crimea not by “destroying wastes”, but by vaccinations, microchipping and sterilization. Only in Yevpatoria and only in 2013, more than a thousand animals passed through these procedures, but the occupiers did not have a “legislative basis on this issue”. Therefore, in 2015, the Yevpatorian “municipal budgetary institution” “Poryadok” entered into an “agreement” with the aforementioned “Bytservice”  LLC. It covered “the capture of aggressive animals, their keeping in the overexposure point, euthanasia and disposal of corpses”.

As the authors of “Moskovsky Komsomolets” pointed out, the “hunters” did not have any documents, no identification marks, or emblems on their cars “on duty”. The dogs were simply pushed into a truck and taken away in an “unknown direction”, including already sterilized, vaccinated animals with chips preserved from “Ukrainian times”, as well as pets in collars. The propagandists found the place of destruction of dogs in the remote village of Niva, Saksky District, whose residents massively complained about the constantly working crematorium – both because of the ugly smell and because of the constant torment of hundreds of animals, which residents are forced to observe.

It is noteworthy that in the video, the residents of Niva let slip that they burn not only dogs and cats from them, saying that “corpses are brought here from the morgue, and the limbs are burned”. In this context, it can be recalled that during the years of Russian occupation, hundreds of persons became victims of enforced disappearances in the Crimea, and only a few of their bodies were found after a long time. However, both the desire of Russian propagandists in 2016 to “find the truth” and help them in finding traces and witnesses from the “Evpatoria charity foundation” “From Heart to Heart” [1] had a rather prosaic explanation. After all, “by a strange coincidence” they happened at the same time with the change of the beneficiaries of “Bytservice” LLC happened and when the “run over” of the Russian punishers on the former participants of the “scheme” began.

As the “Simferopol Interdistrict Environmental Prosecutor’s Office” threateningly reported in the summer of 2016, they carried out “an audit of the implementation of the legislation” regarding “the capture and maintenance of stray animals in Yevpatoria”. That Russia-controlled “prosecutor’s office” admitted that “Bytservice” was indeed engaged in catching, transporting, euthanizing stray animals and utilizing them in Yevpatoria, with which “a municipal contract was signed”. Having played the role of the “Captain Obvious”, the punishers admitted that “Bytservice” had neither specialized transport for transporting animals, nor equipment for catching them, that the company did not meet the “requirements” for organizations involved in trapping animals [2].

However, it is extremely difficult to correspond to something what is not exist. After all, the same “prosecutor’s office” stated that the “administration” of Yevpatoria “exceeded its powers” when “approving the procedure for catching, recording, keeping and using neglected domestic animals”. Therefore, they announced a “lawsuit about the ban” for “Bytservice” on the burning of dogs, a “prescription” for the “town council” and a “criminal case” for the embezzlers. According to it, fifty thousand “budget” rubles were found, for which “the performer did not even perform this work” because local residents managed to buy out one batch of dogs from “Bytservice” catchers.

Well, the original owners of “Bytservice”, in particular Konstantin Kornienko, over whom “clouds gathered” then, were linked with the “iron mayor” of Yevpatoria, Andrey Filonov [2]. However, no one lost their freedom for the stolen one hundred thousand then, no one had any special questions to the “Kazantip’s drug prince” Filonov. It all ended with traditional “gifts” to the “investigating authorities”, with “compensation for damage” and with a “fine” of forty thousand rubles, after which, by the beginning of 2017, “the issue was settled” [3].

And, of course, the tasks of the “Moskovsky Komsomolets” and the “prosecutor’s office” here were not to save “budget funds” or Yevpatorian dogs and cats. It’s just that in 2016 a citizen of Russia Andronaki Georgy Mikhailovich became the new “founder and director” of the LLC “Bytservice” crematorium registered at the same address in the same village of Niva, Saksky District [4], who had not been noticed in Crimea until 2014. As the crematorium of domestic animals was under his “wise leadership”, the Russian punishers no longer had any questions to its “legality” and to the provision of its equipment. Moreover, “Bytservice” was included by the “order” of the Crimean “State Veterinary Committee” No. 18-126 of June 23, 2017 in the “register of enterprises carrying out activities for the disposal (destruction) and processing of biological wastes” [5].

And Georgy Andronaki himself, who received a bright nickname “phenolic maggot” from his fellow countrymen in his small homeland, owned the companies “Mercury Nord” LLC and “Limes Plus” LLC registered in 2004 and 2008, respectively in Monchegorsk, Murmansk Region of the Russian Federation [6], and its family members are extremely remarkable persons. And the point here is not only in the specialization of Andronaki’s Murmansk firms in the production and wholesale of livestock and poultry meat, as well as canned food from them, which is quite clearly combined with the businessman’s keen interest in Crimean “bio-wastes” such as cats and dogs.

Salmon for the Russian invaders

In 2007, Larisa Adronaki opened a peasant farm (“Severnoye Siyaniye”) (“Northern Lights”) near Murmansk, declared as a unique ostrich farm for the North of Russia [7]. However, the ostriches purchased in Lithuania, as well as rabbits with quails, became only a certain screen for this company, headed by the son of George Andronaki, Artem Andronaki [8]. These decorations [9], as well as participation in “energy saving projects” [10] became only a certain cover for the family business, however, as well as a way to master the corresponding grants. In fact, the interest in “biowastes” has arisen among these family a long time ago, it was not accidental and it has already led to rather sad consequences.

In September 2015 local residents discovered a huge dump of rotten salmon near Murmansk-located Molochny settlement, two hundred meters from the Andronaki family’s “Severnoye Siyaniye” facilities. Since the dump was adjacent to the Kola River, from which the regional city center drinks water, the local administration and the prosecutor’s office were forced to intervene. It turned out that Andronaki’s “Severnoye Siyaniye” has been closely cooperating with the “Russian Sea – Aquaculture” Corporation since 2012 on the “destruction of biowaste”, having received the appropriate permits. And when in the summer of 2015, due to an epidemic of mycobacteriosis, the “Russian Sea” (“Russkoye More”) lost 800 tons of salmon bred in cages, almost all of its annual offspring, Andronaki agreed to “utilize” it, although before that they had mastered no more than half a ton of “seafood” per year before.

And when the huge dump was discovered, it turned out that “on paper” the fish had already been “utilized long ago” and that all the money for its destruction had already been spent by the Andronaki family. In fact, out of 800 tons of waste, the Murmansk authorities found traces of slightly more than 300 tons, buried by enterprising “utilizers” in the forest, as well as stored by them in all “containers” found in the vicinity. It is noteworthy that Artem Andronaki “took all the blame on himself,” and the prosecutor’s office and the court did not have any questions to the “Russian Sea” who knowingly sent hundreds of tons of biologically hazardous waste “to nowhere”. However, Andronaki then got off with a slight fright, having paid a small fine. In addition, the “Russian Sea” did not have any financial claims to his work [11-14]. A number of other rotten fish dumps found by local residents, for example, in Murmashi settlement, were declared as “ownerless” by the Murmansk authorities. However, in the future, as it can be seen from some local newspapers’ publications, “Russian Sea” has significantly expanded the geography of its waste distribution, sending them to distant villages in Karelia, under the guise of “fertilizers” [15].

It is easy to guess that the absence of questions to the “Russian Sea” has certain “serious grounds”. The company “Russian Sea” itself was founded in 1997 as an importer of herring and mackerel from Norway to Russia, gradually developing the sector of “production of finished products” from supplied raw materials, as well as the segment of aquaculture. At the same time, both Far Eastern and Scandinavian raw materials were used, and it was planned to grow fish in the Barents Sea using Norwegian technologies and salmon fry (smolt).

Since 2012, the “Russian Sea” has received the right to develop dozens of fishing grounds for fish farming in the Murmansk Region from the federal authorities, located from the Rybachy peninsula to Teriberka, with a total potential volume of cultivation in thousands of tons. The beneficiaries of the company were Gennady Timchenko, the owner of the Volga Group corporation, the largest entrepreneur living in Finland and closely connected with the relevant Russian structures, as well as Maxim Vorobyov, the son of Yuri Vorobyov, Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council and brother of Andrei Vorobyov, the Governor of the Moscow Region.

Naturally, the “Russian Sea” is formally managed through Cypriot offshore companies, such as “Rsea Holdings Limited”, established on a parity basis by Maxim Vorobyov’s “RS Group” and Gennady Timchenko’s “Volga Group”. The fact that Yuri Vorobyov is an old large business partner of Sergey Shoigu, exhaustively explains not only the ability of the “Russian Sea” to operate in the Barents Sea coastal waters, traditionally reserved for the needs of the Russian defense, but also in the company’s role as a key supplier of fish to provide food the needs of the Russian army.

It is noteworthy that since 2013, predicting further problems for the Russian army with imported fish, the “Russian Sea” began to abruptly switch to aquaculture as a form of “import substitution”. Also, hiding from sanctions, in the spring of 2014, “Finnish businessman” Timchenko “sold” his stake in “Rsea Holdings Limited”, and, accordingly, in the “Russian Sea” to his son-in-law Gleb Frank. Yuri Kitashin, who has more than eight years of experience in sturgeon breeding in Saudi Arabia, was appointed as General Director of the company then, namely “for aquaculture”. At the same time, the company received its main profits from the turnover of imported and Pacific fish, and it still invested in aquaculture in the Barents Sea. The situation described above, the death of 70 % of the farmed fish in 2015, did not stop the “Russian Sea”, which was then renamed as “Russian Aquaculture”. In August 2016, the company sold the fish and seafood distribution segment and the company concentrated entirely on commercial fish farming, in the context of “import substitution”, in particular for the needs of the Russian army and navy [16].

In 2017, “Russian Aquaculture” acquired two smolt factories in Norway, “Villa Smolt AS” and “Olden Oppdrettsanlegg AS”, which allowed it to receive up to half of the reared fry from its own, albeit foreign, production. As its management noted in 2019, “the company continues to invest in fish breeding areas, but there are not many opportunities left in the Barents Sea”, although the entire “section from the Rybachiy Peninsula to Teriberka belongs to “Russian Aquaculture”, and at the same time “most of the suitable for fish farming the territory is regulated by the Russia’s Ministry of Defense” [17]. Moreover, in September 2021, according to the order of the Government of the Murmansk Region No. 676 “Russian Sea – Aquaculture” received land plots for the creation of a smolt plant, in a “place agreed with the Northern Fleet of the Russian Federation” [18]. We don’t think that it is worth to inform additionally that the business relations of this corporation, which is solving the strategic tasks of supplying fish to the Russian army, with the “waste disposers”, described by us, are successfully continuing.

Coffins from cleaning service

However, the interest of the Murmansk family of Andronaki in the Yevpatorian dogs and cats is hardly due only to the Crimean “municipal budgets” embezzlement. If you find mentioned Niva village with its “Auschwitz” for mongrels on the map, then you can be convinced of its potential convenience for utilization of biowastes, for example, from “aquaculture enterprises” that the Russia-controlled structures “are actively developing” in Donuzlav Bay, as well as on the coast of the Karkinitsky Bay and in the reservoirs of the Western Sivash region. Naturally, no one even thinks about the consequences for the Crimea’s ecology.

The most tragicomic consequence was that the Adronaki family, having figured out the peculiarities of the “municipal cremation” of Crimean dogs since 2016, transferred this experience to the Russian Murmansk Region. There, another son of Giorgi Andronaki, who was released from prison, Mihai Andronaki, registered the “Progress IT” company as “the only enterprise on the Kola Peninsula offering services for the utilization and destruction of biowaste in accordance with all adopted legislative norms” [19]. Thus, the Andronaki family obviously intends not only to burn the captured dogs and the waste of the “Russian Sea”, but also to service the disposal of all Russian Northern Fleet’s wastes and wastes from other structures of the Russian army, which stuffed that region.

However, unlike the occupied Crimea, where since 2016 it is not safe to write and generally to speak aloud about Andronaki’s business, the “level of work” of his company in the Russian North was estimated in May 2017 by Murmansk residents. Then the snow that had melted allowed them to “admire” the hundreds of corpses of dogs scattered across the ditches and ravines, with darts from “Progress IT” sticking out in their heads. That year, Andronaki’s firm received nine million rubles through five municipal contracts, formally reporting on the “disposal” of 1,400 animals. It is noteworthy that after the discovery of many corpses of dogs right at the family “ostrich farm” Andronaki “officially declared” that “there is no dog meat” in their livestock products [20].

Also, these businessmen became famous for their employee Oleg Oleksyuk, who had previously been convicted of robbery and theft, who “sold” the caught animals to their owners on social networks. Moreover, Oleksyuk, who was catching dogs in the Murmansk gateways, was hired by the Crimean “Bytservice” of the elder Andronaki, who received a contract from his son’s “Progress IT”. Soon, Oleksyuk’s “cleansing” and his red “Gazelle” became an integral part of the gloomy urban Murmansk landscape. However, after the 2017 publications about the Andronaki clan’s “love for animals”, businessmen announced that due to “threats from extremists” their “cleaning work” would be further protected by the Russian Guard. At the same time, no one from the Murmansk authorities was embarrassed that in principle no one “examined and identified” the dogs, as the contracts indicated, and that they were simply killed, both with darts and in a more primitive way, by showering and breaking their skulls [20-23].

However, gradually Andronaki’s “dog business” became more and more “socially responsible” and mimicked a “budgetary institution” in the form of a “Temporary Animal Keeping Center”. In 2019, the family business got rid of the colorful Oleksyuk, after which they smashed his car as a “graduation allowance” from the company and laid a coffin on it. Since 2020, publications paid by the “cleaning service”, have periodically appeared in the Murmansk press about “wonderful conditions of keeping” dogs, where the same Artem Andronaki is modestly listed as a “catching engineer” [25]. But the “ostrich farm” itself, which smoothly passed “under the tutelage of the authorities”, the knackers have now decided to sell it as unnecessary, before collecting donations on social networks to “help poor animals suffering from the pandemic” [26]. At the same time, the Andronaki family is gradually moving to live in the Crimea, closer to the “crematorium-breadwinner”, although of course not to the village of Niva itself, preferring Simferopol for habitation, where the third generation of “kings of biowaste” is expected [27].

All this rather sad development of events tells us that the issues of “utilization of biowaste” in the Crimea should be treated as carefully as possible, and not only out of love for our smaller brothers. And the “ARC” will soon issue an additional investigation about the criminal connections of the “Crimean aquaculture” and the fish canning industry, including the financing of terrorism.

Sources

1. https://crimea.mk.ru/articles/2016/01/28/sobachiy-krematoriy-kak-v-evpatorii-reshayut-problemu-dvornyazhek.html

2. http://evpcur.16mb.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1371&Itemid=81

3. http://evpcur.16mb.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1529:-lr-&catid=43:2011-12-19-11-45-35&Itemid=81

4. https://sevem.pro/company/бытсервис-1159102114720

5. https://gkvet.rk.gov.ru/ru/structure/313

6. http://regreestr.com/region82/firms/9142303

7. https://www.mvestnik.ru/our-home/pid200712102597l/

8. https://www.linkedin.com/in/артем-андронаки-72b81690/?originalSubdomain=ru

9. https://xn—-7sbhwjb3brd.xn--p1ai/tv-novosti/kozy-kroliki-i-perepela-chem-eshe-zhivet-strausinaya-ferma

10. https://nord-news.ru/news/2014/07/18/?newsid=63694

11. https://www.mvestnik.ru/eco/pid201509244l/

12. https://www.murmansk.kp.ru/online/news/2197269/

13. https://www.tv21.ru/news/2015/10/19/svalku-likvidirovat

14. https://murmansk.bezformata.com/listnews/organizator-svalki-nashyolsya/38149012/

15. https://murmansk.bezformata.com/listnews/zavezli-ribnie-othodi-iz-murmanskoy/95439021/

16. https://russaquaculture.ru/

17. https://www.agroinvestor.ru/technologies/news/31441-russkaya-akvakultura-vlozhit-1-5-mlrd/

18. https://www.fishprice.ru/news/tag/2/43980-proektnaya-moshchnost-smoltovogo-zavoda

19. https://bloger51.com/2016/08/61990

20. https://novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/05/25/72560-jivodery

21. https://bloger51.com/2017/03/64077

22. https://bloger51.com/2017/05/64873

23. https://vk.com/topic-12826291_35143719

24. https://severpost.ru/read/77657/

25. https://murmansk.aif.ru/society/fermy_ushli_v_minus_sobaki_tyuleni_i_strausy_postradali_ot_samoizolyacii

26. https://murmansk.aif.ru/society/ot_lovca_i_zver_bezhit_soderzhanie_sobak_v_murmashah_vyzyvaet_voprosy

27. https://www.instagram.com/p/COo8y0XH8Aa/