While the Crimean residents are forced to follow the ups and downs in the Russian Constitutional Court, where they still cannot come to a consensus about the “state ownership” of the private property, criminally seized by the aggressor in Crimea, we will give a list of the largest objects of resort and recreational infrastructure, unlawfully “nationalized” by the aggressor State. Associate Professor Andrei Chvalyuk will tell, how the seizure of property took place, who and for what purposes now uses this property.
The International Children’s Center “Artek” is located in Yalta and covers an area of 217.4 hectares, has a beach area of 2.7 hectares, stretching for 2048 meters. The Center accommodates 4,510 people and belongs to the State Department of Affairs of Ukraine. From the very first days of the seizure of Crimea, “Artek” was “nationalized” by the Russian invaders. Now the camp is “registered” under the name “Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution” “International Children’s Center“ Artek” and is managed by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. But, despite the “status of federal property”, the camp now brings income to specific individuals.
In 2014, the camp became one of the symbols of “Crimea’s return to its native harbor”. Russian ministers, State Duma deputies and celebrities are frequent visitors to “Artek”. And so that the symbol did not lose its luster, “federal budget billions” began to pour into its supposedly “reconstruction”, like a stormy river. The business partner of Vladimir Putin, Arkady Rotenberg, was entrusted with mastering them. In the summer of 2015, the Russian government “signed a contract for the reconstruction” of Artek for 2.3 billion rubles. In five years, its cost has grown 13 times, reaching 30.5 billion rubles. The “contractor” was the “Stroygazmontazh” company, which belonged to Rotenberg at that time. All in all, “Stroygazmontazh” signed 36 contracts with “Artek” for a total of almost 38.5 billion rubles .
Rotenberg was engaged not only in “construction”, but also in the “supply” of furniture, household appliances and equipment to “Artek”. The total amount of supply contracts exceeded 640 million rubles. And also Rotenberg was engaged in PR, in 2015 the company “Krasnyi Kvadrat” (“Red Square”) received 40 million rubles for “media support of the 90th anniversary” of “Artek”. In total, Rotenberg’s companies have mastered on “government contracts” in the Crimea an amount, equal to about a quarter of the “Federal Target Program for the Development of Crimea and Sevastopol” of 1.3 trillion rubles .
The Specialized Sanatorium “Stary Krym” is located in the vicinity of Stary Krym town and covers an area of 54.9 hectares, designed for 255 people and belongs to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. The sanatorium was “nationalized” by the Russian invaders and after the “reorganization” from November 2, 2015, it is referred to as a kind of “State Budgetary Institution of the Republic of Crimea” “Anti-tuberculosis Sanatorium “Stary Krym”, allegedly in the management of the “Ministry of Health of the Republic of Crimea”.
The surprising fact is that the sanatorium has retained its specialization, while a dozen others, especially for children, have been converted into “family sanatoriums” that offer “massage treatment, mountain climate”, or even just swimming in the sea. According to Valentina Samar, head of the Center for Investigative Journalism, “the unique Crimean sanatoriums are losing their profile. The words “anti-tuberculosis” are removed from the names, most of the services (procedures) provided are paid and are not included in the price of the voucher” .
So far, “Stary Krym”, which has the second place among other sanatoriums in terms of land area, has not yet gone into “private ownership”. And although the Russian invaders “recognized”, at the level of the “Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea” in 2016, the nature of the ensemble of buildings of the sanatorium as a “monument of urban planning and architecture” , it is not known how long it will “stay under protection”. After all, the “category of protection” has “regional significance” and it can easily be “changed” by the so-called “authorities”, for example, in the event of the destruction of an object after an unsuccessful “restoration”.
After all, there are already precedents, since in 2017, allegedly “emergency work” began in the Bakhchisaray’s Khan Palace, which, as a cultural heritage site before the occupation began, claimed the status of world heritage and was included in the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The use of modern materials instead of authentic tiles and wooden beams, including steel reinforcement, gave an outrageous load on the walls of the building, which were immediately covered with cracks .
But this did not stop the “restorers”, because “the money has already been allocated” and if they are not “fruitfully used in full” the guilty “official” may lose his comfortable chair. Let us recall that the “head of Crimea” personally promised the “executors of the federal target program” to be fired for not using its funds . We believe that during the “restorative destruction” of the Khan’s Palace in Bakhchisaray, the Russian invaders are working out a multi-step scheme of “using federal funds” that smoothly turns into the “write-off” of the ancient structure with the subsequent “transfer” of the vacated land plot for new development.
The Sanatorium Complex “Dyulber” is located in the urban-type settlement Koreiz, in the vicinity of Yalta, in comparison with the previous ones it has a more modest land area of 24.2 hectares, including 0.5 hectares of beach, 200 meters long, belongs to the Administrative Department of the Office of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. “Dulber” was originally the palace of the Romanov princes, built in a romantic, Moorish style. After 1917, it was turned into a sanatorium for the Soviet elite, later the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine rested there. It is noteworthy that the entire Ukrainian Parliament could be accommodated there at the same time, because the complex was designed for 500 people. In 2014, the sanatorium complex was “nationalized” by the invaders and four years later “sold” by them to the new Russian nobility.
The sanatorium was “acquired” by a “firm-pad” with a “authorized capital” of 13 thousand rubles and a “fictitious manager” . Two more companies entered the “auction” for the “Dyulber” sanatorium, but “their applications were rejected”. One of the failed participants in the “auction”, “Nov’” Business Park” from Moscow, tried to challenge the “decision” to the Federal Antimonopoly Service and even filed a “claim” against the “Ministry of Property and Land Relations of the Republic of Crimea” but, as soon as the “trial” began, “the lawsuit was withdrawn”. This whole story perfectly shows the staged nature of the “trades”, the sanatorium had to go to the “right” person and this was achieved.
A year after the “sale”, “Dyulber” was transferred to the “closed-end mutual fund” “Ters”. This “fund” is managed by the “Fin-Partner” Management Company”, which in turn belongs to “Center-M”, which was previously directly owned by the Rotenberg brothers and their partner Dmitry Kalantyrsky. Now the company “Center-M” is fully pledged in the “Moscow Regional Bank”, which since May 2014 also actually belongs to the Rotenbergs.
In total, the “Management Company of Infrastructure Projects”, actually owned by Rotenberg, “bought” three sanatoriums in Crimea for a total of 1.5 billion rubles or 23 million dollars. While the market value of the same three sanatoriums until 2014 was estimated at $ 59 million. All three sanatoriums today are “united by the brand “Resorts of Crimea” and they “work with budgetary funds” actively, as vouchers are bought by Russia’s “regional administrations” that send there “beneficiaries” .
The Sanatorium “Nizhnyaya Oreanda” is also located near Yalta in the village of Oreanda, and it occupies an area of 43.8 hectares, including 0.3 hectares of beach with a length of 500 meters, is designed for 256 vacationers and belongs to the Administrative Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. This sanatorium was built on the territory of the first estate of the Romanov dynasty in Crimea and its forest park was a monument of gardening art. The sanatorium was originally created for Soviet leaders, and after 2014 it was “taken into the tenacious hands” by the Administrative Department of the President of the Russian Federation. Since October 9, 2014, the sanatorium was “re-registered” in Russian databases as a kind of “Federal State Budgetary Institution” “Sanatorium “Nizhnyaya Oreanda” . It is noteworthy that under the “sensitive control” of the presidential administration, all six buildings of the sanatorium continue to operate, including in a commercial mode . In fact, the Russian invaders made this sanatorium a “feeding trough” for the clerks of Putin’s “mid-level” office.
The Children’s Sanatorium and Health Center “Mayak” is located on the Yevpatoria cape in the village of Zaozernoye, it covers an area of 42.4 hectares and has an impressive beach area of 1 hectare and a length of 582 meters. The sanatorium could accommodate 1550 people and belongs to the All-Ukrainian Trade Union of Employees of the State Tax Service of Ukraine. The sanatorium was built in 1976 and it was designed to treat not only children, but also adults. Several buildings house a children’s sanatorium itself, summer health camps and family recreation departments.
The occupants decided to preserve the “departmental continuity” of the sanatorium in a peculiar way, proclaiming it a “branch of the Federal budgetary medical and preventive institution “Sanatorium “Dnepr” of the Federal Tax Service” . The website of the “Association of Small Hotels of Crimea” notes that earlier it was quite difficult to book a room in “Mayak”, especially in the summer, since the rooms were booked in advance between the employees of the tax department and only a small part of the vouchers were available for sale . But now the situation has changed.
Now the “health resort of tax authorities” is actively luring those wishing to relax on a commercial basis, including holding “various congresses, scientific conferences, congresses, trainings and refresher courses” a sanatorium of popularity among the colonialists . However, despite the “wide list of basic and additional services provided”, the reviews on the website of the State Register of the Resort Fund of the Russian Federation about this sanatorium are completely negative. Vacationers complain about the “bestial attitude” of the staff, and in the reviews the phrases “one feels that they don’t like Russians” takes place . Obviously, the visiting Russian tax authorities expect deep and repeated gratitude for ridding the health resort workers of any social prospects since 2014 and transferring them to “second-class” people, but for some reason those tax bosses do not feel it.
The National Paralympics and Deaflympics Training and Disabled Rehabilitation Center is also located in the village of Zaozernoye near Evpatoria. The center occupies 42 hectares of area, including 3.1 hectares of beach, which stretches for 892 meters, it was designed for 900 people and belongs to the National Committee for Sports of Disabled People of Ukraine. The center, created in the early 2000s on the site of the former pioneer camp, was the main training base not only for Paralympic athletes, but also for members of the National Olympic Team of Ukraine. There are numerous sports facilities on its territory, including three swimming pools, stadiums, gyms, an indoor sports hall, tennis courts, a beach football and volleyball field, and a boathouse.
It is noteworthy that in 2014 the center was not formally “nationalized” , and then rather strange events began related to the President of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Kraven and the President of the National Committee for Sports of Disabled People of Ukraine Valerii Sushkevych ; . Subsequently, the center was somehow “re-registered in accordance with Russian legislation”, while Russia-controlled propaganda claimed that it was allegedly impossible to train in the center for “Crimean athletes who renounced Ukrainian citizenship”.
The mouthpiece of propaganda, coordinated by Russian military intelligence, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” newspaper, stated that allegedly “the territory of the Yevpatoriya center is simply empty, while the disabled Crimean residents are forced to train in the open air.” At the same time, Mr. Sushkevych admitted “problems with the occupancy of Ukrainian citizens” and argued that “the center is about 40% filled with Russians who come under an agreement with the Moscow Department of Social Protection” . Regarding the accounting data , the Center continues to work actively and even makes a profit, and the average number of employees is 445 people. This object is thus interesting enough to establish the real beneficiaries of its commercial activities.
The Center of Medical Rehabilitation and Sanatorium Treatment “Crimea” is located in the Partenit settlement, not far from Alushta. The center covers an area of 39.8 hectares, one tenth of which is the beach, it belongs to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and could receive 1,350 people for treatment and rehabilitation until 2014.
The Center was famous not only for traditional medical services, but also for the dolphinarium. Dolphin therapy courses were used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, childhood neuroses, phobias, delays in psycho-speech development. The dolphinarium in the center was preserved, and the Russian invaders “transferred the sanatoriums to the Russian military”, “renaming” it to the “Federal state budgetary institution” “Military sanatorium “Crimea” of the Russia’s Ministry of Defense.
This facility is now actively working and “invites people to undergo a course of spa treatment”, including those not related to the Russian army, on a commercial basis . It is noteworthy that “Crimea”, among other things, received from the Russian invaders “a license to carry out pharmaceutical activities” including “the production of pharmaceutical substances and the production of drugs and materials used for medical purposes” .
The Center of Medical Rehabilitation, Sanatorium Treatment and Special Training of Personnel of the Air Force and Navy of Ukraine “Sudak” is located in the town of the same name and covers an area of 24.7 hectares, the beach of the center has an area of 0.8 hectares and a length of 515 meters. Previously, “Sudak” belonged to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and could accommodate 600 persons. It is noteworthy that this, the very first sanatorium in Sudak, was immediately included by the Russian invaders into the “list of property subject to nationalization” as an “abandoned object” and it was “donated” to the Russian Ministry of Defense. In November 2016, after the “reorganization”, the sanatorium was named a allegedly “a separate subdivision of the Federal State Treasury Institution” “Sanatorium and Resort Complex “Krymskiy”. Today, the health resort “serves military personnel, military pensioners, family members”  in various profiles , but at the same time it does not shy away from the execution of commercial orders. However, Ukrainian law enforcement officers detain the staff of a sanatorium in mainland Ukraine  for other reasons, namely, as military deserters.
Saki Central Military Clinical Sanatorium named after N.I. Pirogov is located in the town of the same name, covers an area of 22.2 hectares, belongs to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and can accommodate 750 people. This is the oldest sanatorium of the Saki balneo-mud resort located in the territory of an old park, next to a curative salt lake; the sanatorium has its own well with thermal water. This facility was also seized by the Russia’s Ministry of Defense, calling it “Saki Military Clinical Sanatorium named after V.I. N.I. Pirogov” as an alleged “clinical base” of the Military Medical Academy named after S.М. Kirov from St. Petersburg. However, anyone can buy a ticket here .
It is noteworthy that this sanatorium with a solid recreational base  received from the invaders “licenses for the extraction of mineral water and healing mud” from the “Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Crimea” . However, something tells us that according to the wording of the “mud license” “Exploration and production of minerals, including the use of waste from mining and associated processing industries” and “Use of subsoil”, the “management of the sanatorium” is now successfully running its own “small business”, covered with a screen of wellness procedures.
Sanatorium “Pivdenny” is located in the southernmost point of Crimea, in a mountainous and wooded area between Foros and Melass settlements, and it occupies a cozy bay with an area of 19.1 hectares. A small beach with an area of 0.5 hectares and a length of 175 meters is framed by rocks on three sides, the sanatorium was designed to receive 124 guests and belongs to the State Administration of Ukraine.
It is interesting that during the “nationalization” such a tasty object was given by the invaders to the Ministry of Finance of Russia as “Sanatorium “Yuzhny”, a “branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution” “Multifunctional complex of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” from Domodedovo. It is noteworthy that in addition to the “financiers tired of sanctions” now “the sanatorium “Yuzhny” invites everyone to rest” .
The recently released analysis of the “Black Sea News” experts indicates that there are several “technologies” of working with captured property in the occupied Crimea, including “1) sale; 2) transfer to the central authorities of the Russian Federation; 3) transfer to the authorities of individual constituent entities of the Russian Federation; 4) attempts to establish the profitable functioning of trophy objects independently at the Crimean level; 5) transfer to municipal ownership” . Naturally, the fate of these objects will be considered, in particular, in the European Court of Human Rights and in international arbitration, and the rights of the real owners will not go anywhere after de-occupation. However, these formally different “technologies”, mentioned by experts lead to similar consequences, reflected in the above examples, showing the characteristic features of the “development” of the captured health resorts by the Russian invaders.
First, the “departmental” facilities do not change the “designated purpose” and are used by the occupation structures for the same health-improving tasks as before 2014, but not for the Ukrainian society anymore. The “progressive Russian resort business” did not bring any “innovations” to the work of sanatoriums, with the exception of “Artek”, which was used for propaganda and became a “washing machine” for hundreds of billions. So, in fact, the Russian invaders use the enormous potential of the Ukrainian recreational system, accumulated for decades, and they could not rebuild this economic model.
Secondly, the Russian power structures, which received the seized health resorts “as a share”, clearly do not need such wide recreational opportunities for their employees. They obviously prefer to make money on trophies by selling tickets on the commercial market or to other budgetary structures in Russia. The desire to “earn a penny” sometimes takes on grotesque forms of “mud” and “mineral water” commercial models of the Russian military
At the same time, it is obvious that this “business model” is unprofitable by definition and without substantial “budgetary support” all these objects will cease functioning altogether, they are far from being “self-sufficient”. Russia, having a significant recreational potential on its own territory, objectively does not need so many “additional” health centers for the “budget sector”, and in a market economy their economic models are not viable.
The temporary loss of this sector of the health recreation fund by Ukraine, therefore, should be regarded not only in terms of measuring property losses, since, unlike the aggressor State, the lost recreational facilities were uncontested for the Ukrainian society. Consequently, the impossibility of recovery in the budgetary, non-profit sector fro Ukrainians in the Crimean health resorts should be assessed as part of the violation of the Ukrainian people’s and territorial communities’ rights to sustainable development. Also the imposition of sanctions on the current key “business partners” of the stolen Crimean sanatoriums should be recognized as promising.
26. https://sc.mil.ru/social/health/sanatoriums/[email protected]