As it is well known, Russian statehood can develop only in the circle of external and internal enemies. For example, according to the Russian Federal Counter-Terrorism Law, “anti-terrorist protection of an object or territory” is “a state of protection of a building, structure, other object, place of mass stay of people that prevents the commission of a terrorist act”. But if you think that only Russia’s security forces or punitive structures have to protect such objects or territories, it is a gross mistake. Because these norms oblige, among other things, local governments to “ensure compliance with the requirements for anti-terrorist protection of objects owned or managed by the municipality” [1].

It is clear that such interesting responsibilities give rise to another traditional trend of the Eurasian Empire – the successful mass usage of funds “for the protection of state interests” in personal purposes. Of course, in the Russian-occupied territories, these processes take on the most grotesque dimension. After all, Russian invaders and Crimean collaborators have a “perfectly legal”, “anti-terrorist basis” for the regular “budget funds’ development” for the “potentially dangerous objects’ protection”, located in the Crimea. Associate Professor Andriy Chvalyuk will tell what “measures” are being taken within the framework of this “protection” and how much “budget funds” were stolen in the Crimea last years in such way.

In our recent article [2] we have already talked about the “official development” by the Russia-controlled “state unitary enterprise” “Voda Krymu” (“Water of Crimea”) in 2016-2017 61.65 million rubles for the “implementation of anti-terrorist measures at facilities on objects”, which are now actually controlled by that structure. The Association’s article also reported on the plans of “Voda Krymu” to spend another 450.2 million rubles on “the provision of services for the protection of potentially dangerous water supply and sewerage facilities” as well as “objects with a large number of people”. Such a bold use of the offshore scheme leads us to believe that it is not exclusive transfert, and therefore other “state unitary enterprises” of the “Republic of Crimea” can also write off significant sums to “combat” the ghostly “terrorist threat”.

According to the Russian occupiers and Crimean collaborators, the “risks of destabilizing the situation” in the Crimea persist, and they are, “of course”, “cor-related to the aggressive aspirations of Ukrainian nationalists and Mejlis’ leaders” [3]. And since the appearance of the “enemy” in the aggressors’ propaganda has already been formed, and the fear of him is intensified by the Russia-controlled media, the Crimean “budget managers” have to decide which “objects” should be “protected” first, and most importantly, which the amount can be spent on it.

For example, on December 27, 2016, the same “Voda Krymu” signed a “contract” for the “provision of security services to water supply and sewerage facilities, objects with a large number of people” at its Sudak, Feodosia and Alushta “branches” for a total amount in 50.99 million rubles. The contact person for this “purchase” was conspiratorial “Roman A.V.”, but his contact e-mail [email protected] explains that it is already known to us from the last Association’s investigation Roman Veshkin, who forms applications not only for mass vehicles’ purchase for “Voda Krymu”, but also hires “security guards” for the structure [4].

Comparing the deadlines for providing the service with the contact documentation “331 calendar days”, the number of man-hours “341 592” mentioned there, and the availability of conditions to guard “daily, round the clock” really leads to a figure of 43 security points (posts). However, even stable “guards” of pumping stations can not work without sleep, and therefore, at least two changes should be introduced, which multiplies the number of guards at least twice. Also, the “contract documentation” contains such a requirement as “the availability of a reserve of staff to strengthen the protection of facilities in the event of a special administrative and legal regime at the rate of 20% of the total number of staff involved in contractual obligations and readiness to strengthen protection of objects within 24 hours after notification from the customer” [5]. It gives a total number of 103 “guards” for the water bodies of the peninsula’s three regions.

We specifically took the minimum possible staffing schedule, but the “accounting” still does not converge. After all, the private security organization “Irbis”, which took over this “contract”, never had the required number of employees. Currently, 6 people only work there (including the director), and the average number of employees, despite the fact that this organization has existed for 14 years, is 11 [6]. This small LLC company, registered in the Krasnodar Territory, was the same for many years and it showed a modest annual income, but in 2016 “Irbis” was “lucky” to break a big jackpot and sign a “contract” with “Voda Krymu”.

This was the largest agreement in the history of “Irbis”, but it is also noteworthy that this year the structure managed to sign 5 more security contracts in the Krasnodar Territory for a total of 7.92 million rubles. It will be recalled that “Irbis” is a small enterprise and has no subsidiaries or affiliates. It is unknown how its 11 employees managed to guard five facilities in Anapa and 34 locations in different parts of the occupied Crimea at the same time by the end of 2016. Even working around the clock, they would not succeed, so all these “security services” were fictitious. It is noteworthy that after 2017, “Irbis” returned to his modest earnings and the largest contract he won for security since then did not exceed 888 thousand rubles [7].

Interestingly, the scam with virtual security guards from “Irbis” was knowingly agreed with everyone, because the selected structure obviously did not meet the “stated criteria” of the contestant “Voda Krymu”. For example, “Irbis” not only had no experience in protecting water distribution facilities, but it also did not have the required “cooperation agreement” with the “Crimean internal affairs’ structures”. It is noteworthy that the “agreement on the provision of security services” was signed by the “First Deputy Director General” of “Voda Krymu” Valentina Krashkina [5], a former functionary of the “Party of Regions” in Bakhchisarai, which was noted in our previous investigation. So the money that could have gone to repair emergency Crimean water mains, flew to Anapa in the form of a “financial boomerang” and later returned to the occupied Crimea, where it settled in the pockets of the “Voda Krymu’s” bosses and their curators from the Russian secret services. It is difficult to calculate exactly how much the participants of the FSB-controlled scam could earn on this fictitious security, but it is known that 126.52 rubles were deducted for the “security guard’s hour” and 341,592 such hours for virtual “Anapa guards”.

This is not the only “contract” that “Voda Krymu” has hired to protect “dead souls”. On December 15, 2016, another “consideration of applications for the provision of a range of security services for water supply and sewerage facilities, facilities with a large number of people” was held there, namely for the Bakhchisaray “branch” and Simferopol “production department for water supply and sewerage”. Although the “applications” is said out loud in this case. As Roman Vekshin, already known to us, selected them, there was only one “application”, exactly – from the private security company “Kupavykh and K-1” from Voronezh, which won this “tender” for 46.75 million rubles [8]. “Kupavykh and K-1” LLC is notable for having two founders with a complete match of personal data. It is unknown what prompted Oleksandr Mykolayovych Kupavykh to divide his 100% stake in his company at the end of 2016 as an individual private person and as an individual entrepreneur. After all, licensed security guards, armed with special tools, do not reproduce by budding, and there will be no additional staff of the enterprise from such a division of assets.

The number of “Kupavykh and K-1” personnel imported by “Voda Krymy” from Voronezh is 85 [9]. This is clearly not enough to provide round-the-clock security at 55 posts, excluding weekends and holidays for 331 calendar days [10]. But these 85 “Voronezh Terminators” somehow managed to protect the property scattered in two large areas of Crimea, and, having worked their 436,920 man-hours, left for home. Theoretically, the money “earned” in the occupied Crimea should help the owner of “Kupavykh and K-1”, who apparently suffers from bifurcation, get a good “start-up capital”, because Alexander Kupavy did not get late such large “tenders” in the Crimea or in the territory of Russia itself.

However, Voronezh security guards are also good at playing “money boomerangs”. Gennady Kopytin, then “Director for Enterprise Security” was the contact person from “Voda Krymy” in the “information card of this tender”. He, along with others, was a member of the “commission” that “considered and approved tender applications for the employment of security guards”. The list of “members of the commission” changed a little from time to time, but Gennady Kopytin always had the right to vote there, and apparently it was he who announced the “agreed position” there. Through this scheme, two “tenders” were held for “Kupavykh and K-1”, the first for 20.24 million rubles (52 posts, 190,944 hours in 153 calendar days) [11], and the second, based on the results of successful cooperation with Mr. Kupavykh, for the above 46.75 million rubles (436,920 man-hours in 55 posts for 331 calendar days) [12]. Thus, with the help of Oleksandr Kupavykh, the management of “Voda Krymu” spent a total of seventy million rubles in 2017, in just one year and with only one structure.

By the way, Mr. Kopytin decided to “bomb Voronezh financially” with sertain reasons, as exactly where his exciting “work biography” begun. He acted as a sole proprietor from 2005 to January 2016 in Voronezh, but Gennady Vladimirovich prudently began to liquidate his “commercial empire” on the Don River in July 2013, allegedly already knowing about the upcoming “Crimean career rally”. In addition to his “Voronezhpasazhyrtrans” LLC, Mr. Kopytin, a former Russian police officer, had his own private security companies, “Gepard”, “Gepard i K.” and “Kolovrat” [13].

Well, it seems quite clear who taught his future counterpart Mr. Kupavykh such legal “cloning”. And you can also guess who advised Mr. Kopytin in advance to “pack his bags” for the upcoming Crimean tour. Among other things, Russian registers associate Gennady Kopytin with such a saturated phenomenon of Russia’s special services as the “Voronezh Regional Branch of the All-Russian Socialist People’s Movement “Otchizna”. Moreover, it is not surprising that there is direct public evidence of Mr. Kopytin’s old cooperation with Russian security forces, and clearly not from the police.

For example, in 2007 Mr. Kopytin, as the head of a private security company and as a car park tenant, became a “duck” for the director of the Voronezh Department of Municipal Development, Anatoliy Batyshchev, who got seven years of prison in 2008 for receiving two hundred thousand rubles in bribes exactly from Gennady Kopytin. Ironically, after a “good harvest” of kickbacks in the “Voda Krymu”, Mr. Kopytin with such a long “track record” is now planted by the occupiers in the chair of the Sevastopol “Department of Municipal Services” where he is responsible, of course, for “tenders and contracts” [14].

Well, the Russian occupiers and Crimean collaborators really found their “Eldorado” on fictitious protection and skillfully converted propaganda narratives about “terrorist threats” into absolutely real millions in the pockets of their own, leadership and curators. After all, the “Data Bank of Crimean Potentially Dangerous Objects” includes as many as four sections: explosion-fire-dangerous objects, chemically dangerous objects, hydraulic structures, other potentially dangerous objects [15]. Most of them can also be protected for “budget money” by “virtual guards” as it was described above.

This “golden rain” was formalized by the “Commission for classifying potentially dangerous objects, located in the territory of the Republic of Crimea, with dangerous classes”. This structure was created by the “order” of the Russia-controlled “Council of Ministers” of April 14, 2015 № 313-r [16], and in the same 2015 the “commission” approved a “list” consisting of 217 potentially dangerous objects. However, it was later significantly reduced, leaving only 40 facilities. The exclusion of a whole group of objects was due to changes in the aggressor’s legislation, due to which most of the objects under “compulsory protection” lost the “danger class” in the Crimea [17]. But of course no one wanted to be left without a “piece of budget cake”, so in 2019 “due to changes in the activities of enterprises” “ministries and departments of the Republic of Crimea” submitted the “updated information” to the pointed  “commission”. After that, the “commission” again expanded the “list of objects”, rounding it to hundred [18]. It is not difficult to guess that the desire of the Russian invaders and Crimean collaborators to expand the list, turning the “law as a drawbar” is not caused by concerns about the safety of the Crimean population or about the ecology of the peninsula, but by a banal desire to get rich kickbacks from “security tenders”.

It should be added that in Russia itself, the obligation to prevent unauthorized entry into a dangerous production facility is imposed on the owners of these facilities by two federal laws – № 190-FZ and № 116-FZ, but this applies to really critical things. Therefore, for example, if “Voda Krymu” can still carry out the “protection” of the administrative building, well or pumping station on its own initiative, then, for example, warehouses with liquid chlorine are subject to mandatory protection and significant funds are allocated for it. Therefore, although only two such “potentially dangerous objects with mandatory protection” in Feodosia and Kerch remain in charge of “Voda Krymu” after 2019, this does not mean that the volume of “budget expenditures” will decrease there, as the number of “posts initiated by the security company” depends solely on the wild imagination of the “tenderer”.

Of course, “strategic” objects are also “available” in other “state unitary enterprises” created by the Russian invaders. “Krymgazmerezhi” and “Krymvybukhprom” control one facility each, “Crimean Railway” controls five, and the aggressor-controlled “Chornomornaftogaz” controls six. In fact, there were much more “objects” from “Chornomornaftogaz”, but the “commission” recently “enlarged” them, so that “dignitaries from the leadership” of this structure do not “exchange for trifles” and do not create many small “tenders for objects’ protection”. For example, the “System of industrial (inter-industrial) pipelines “Shore – Glibivka” with ejector installation “Ocheretai Bay” “Chornomornaftogaz” is indicated under № 22 in the “list of potentially dangerous objects”, but such “system” includes 16 large objects, located in the Black Sea shelf, i.e. it is the entire infrastructure of gas excavation, seized by the aggressor State in 2014 [19].

Similarly, key hydraulic structures which demand the “security and anti-terrorist protection” are not on the “Voda Krymu’s” “balances”, but of “municipal unitary enterprises”, as well as dams and canals assigned by the aggressor State to “municipal administrations”, also as the inter-settlement gas supply networks. In addition to “production and infrastructure facilities” the list includes some “educational and sports institutions”, namely “Artek International Children’s Center” and the stadium “Sports Training Center of the National Teams of the Republic of Crimea”. The list also includes private “limited liability companies” and “joint-stock companies” which “own” thermal power plants, oil depots, gas filling stations, shipyards, cable cars and quarries [20].

But if you think that Russia-controlled “Artek”, gas companies, blending shop of the Simferopol vodka factory’s distillery or a industrial explosives’ warehouse in Lugove village are leaders of the “development” of funds for “virtual protection” – it’s a mistake. The “state unitary enterprise” “Krymmeliovodgosp” (“Crimean Meliorative Water Enterprises”) became the full champion in “budget funds’ writing off” for “anti-terrorist objects’ protection”. In 2019, “Krymmeliovodgosp”  paid 19.65 million rubles to Moscow’s “Eurobud” LLC for the implementation of “anti-terrorist protection measures” at the Simferopol Reservoir’ hydronetwork. And this was only for one object, as there are 20 “potentially dangerous objects” in the “management” of “meliorators”, according to the “list of objects”, 2019. And in order to calculate the amounts that have flowed offshore since 2015, you will need the ability to operate tens of billions.

The director of “Eurobud” is Viktor Yegorovich Novikov, who is also the director of “Profinvestbud” LLC, which founded “Eurobud”. The parent company “Profinvestbud” is notable for having only one employee – a director, but three founders: the American LLC “3 Brothers Building” from North Carolina, the Cypriot limited liability company “Emich” and the formal owner Belyuchenko Andriy Volodymyrovych [21]. The latter is a Russian developer, owns the trademark “Terra-Auri” [22] and he develops projects for the construction of a series of residential buildings for the company “Glavmosbud” [23]. As we can see, the interests of the three “brothers-builders” are not limited to Moscow, and now they are “mastering budget funds” in the occupied Crimea.

It should be noted that the supplier of “virtual guards” for Crimean dams and water mains Andriy Belyuchenko is not an accidental man, because he, as a protégé of Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, in 2011-2014 was director general of the Moscow City Civil Engineering Department under command of that time Moscow Vice-Mayor Marat Husnullin. In 2015-2016, Belyuchenko was the director of the Department of Urban Development and Architecture of the Ministry of Construction and Housing of Russia. Then he was transferred to the ministry-subordinated research center “Construction”, and later he “disappeared from the radars” [24-27]. As we can see now, “Moscow veteran” Mr. Belyuchenko now has time to launder money in both the Crimea and North Carolina in his “well-deserved vacation”.

Given that there have been no major scandals over the waste of funds allocated for “anti-terrorist protection” measures at “Crimean potentially dangerous facilities”, this two-way scheme suits everyone. And the “American brothers-builders”, and their “Crimean sisters” from the “Voda Krymu”, and the “leadership of the republic”, and their curators from the FSB who know a priori all the details of such huge scams with “anti-terror”. After all, contracts for “security and anti-terrorist protection” occupy top positions among all other “contracts” concluded by “local unitary enterprises” in the Crimea, often exceeding the amount of other “purchases of goods, works or services”.

If you spend tens of billions of rubles annually on virtual “protection”, then there will be no money left for everything else. That is why the Russian occupiers and Crimean collaborators continue to compile and publish absurd “documents” on their “official websites”. For example, “Voda Krymu” has a separate “plan” that “procurement of innovative products, high-tech products and medicines” it is not planned in 2022-2028 at all [28]. But the purpose of our study is not even to prove the total corruption of the Russia-controlled “administration” in the Crimea in matters, where constant control (and hence complicity) by the Russian secret services is simply guaranteed.

The main conclusion is quite another, that since both the Russia-controlled “unitary enterprises”, the “government of the republic” and the generals of the FSB agree to spend billions in the Crimea on “virtual protection”, it means that they can not understand the real absence of threats to “protected objects” from third parties or structures. And the “forces of evil” that Russian propaganda talks about so much “for some reason” “attack” in the Crimea not dangerous objects with their eventually virtual “protection”, but rather on rural electric power lines. Because it is exactly the Russia-controlled “administration’ and not the fake “extremists”, “saboteurs” or “terrorists” that was and remains the only real threat to the Crimean critical infrastructure. But even the aggressor State’s management practice does not yet provide tenders for the purchase of protection against themselves.