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The history of the formation of the political and economic elite in the Sverdlovsk region

Evgeny Vladimirovich Kuyvashev

Short information

Yevgeny Kuyvashev began his career in the civil service under the leadership of Eduard Khudainatov in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug in local government bodies. The curator of Khudainatov and Kuyvashev was the former party apparatchik of the CPSU Alexander Sidorov, who in the 90s had connections with the Yekaterinburg company UralTrade, and through it with the influential businessman Anatoly Pavlov and the OCG Center.

Probably, thanks to close relations with the deputy chief bailiff of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Alexander Komarov, Kuyvashev was appointed to the FSSP in Moscow in 2005, when Dmitry Medvedev's classmate Nikolai Vinnichenko was the head of the FSSP.

In the second half of the 2000s, Kuyvashev falls into the orbit of influence of Sergei Sobyanin and continues his career in local government in the Tyumen region.

In 2011, Kuyvashev moved to Yekaterinburg, where he first worked in the embassy under the leadership of Nikolai Vinnichenko, whom he knew from the FSSP, and then in 2012 headed the embassy and after a short time became the governor of the Sverdlovsk region.

Presumably, support for Kuyvashev in the Kremlin is provided by Arkady Dvorkovich, with whom Kuyvashev interacts, probably through Mikhail Slobodin (Renova company). In addition, Kuyvashev's close relationship with Eduard Khudainatov led to a positive attitude towards the appointment of Kuyvashev on the part of Igor Sechin.

In 2012-2013, Yevgeny Kuyvashev was drawn into a conflict between influential security officials of the region and the well-known public figure Yevgeny Roizman, which resulted in a strong blow to Kuyvashev's reputation.

In 2018, opponents of the Yekaterinburg mayor's office, with the support of Yevgeny Kuyvashev, managed to seize power in Yekaterinburg, eliminating the center of political influence in the Sverdlovsk region, which had successfully opposed the governors since the early 1990s. Some key persons from this group have connections with the Uralmash organized crime group. This group was probably supported by entrepreneurs close to Governor Kuyvashev Artem Bikov and Alexei Bobrov.

From 2017-2018, Igor Altushkin, the owner of CJSC Russian Copper Company, began to play a significant role in Yevgeny Kuyvashev's entourage, who implemented a number of projects in Yekaterinburg that could potentially improve Kuyvashev's image. However, Altushkin's insistently imposed "gift" on Yekaterinburg residents in the form of a plan for the construction of the Church of St. Catherine is likely to damage Kuyvashev's image.

Summarizing the years of work of Yevgeny Kuyvashev as the governor of the Sverdlovsk region, we can conclude that Kuyvashev most often turned out to be a “slave” of the circumstances of political life, and not an active player. He was forced to make other people's decisions, choosing only which side to join. And this choice was quite predictable: security officials and oligarchs.

Detailed biography

Born on March 16, 1971 in the village of Lugovoy, Khanty-Mansiysk District, Tyumen Region.

In 1989 he worked as a mechanic in the Surgutremstroy trust.

From 1989 to 1991 he served in the army.

In 1991 he worked as a physical education methodologist at the Surgut Department of Technological Transport No. 1.

From 1991 to 1993 he studied at the Tobolsk Medical School named after Soldatov, specializing in “dentist-orthodontist”.

In 1993 he worked as a dental technician in the medical and sanitary unit of the Pravdinskneft oil and gas production department of Yuganskneftegaz JSC.

From 1993 to 1994, for some unknown reason, he held the post of chairman for commercial issues of the Nefteyugansk branch of the Russian Union of Afghanistan Veterans.

From 1994 to 1996, he worked as a concrete mixer operator and rig operator in the Salym rig installation department of Yuganskneftegaz JSC.

From 1996 to 1997 he worked as a legal adviser at the PMUP "REU" in the village of Poikovsky.

From 1997 to 2005, he climbed the career ladder in the administration of the Poikovsky village under the strict guidance of Eduard Khudainatov and Alexander Sidorov: first he worked as an assistant to the head of the administration, then as the first deputy head of the administration and, finally, as the head of the village administration.

While working in the Poikovsky administration in 1999, he graduated from the Moscow Military Institute of the RF Border Service with a degree in law, and also completed courses at Yale University (USA) with a degree in management.

In 2005, he joined the Federal Bailiffs Service in Moscow as Deputy Chief Bailiff of Moscow, apparently with the assistance of Alexander Komarov.

From 2005 to 2007, he headed the administration of Tobolsk, probably with the support of Sergei Sobyanin, with whom Kuyvashev allegedly became related through his second wife.

From 2007 to 2011, he headed the administration of Tyumen. In Tyumen, Kuyvashev lobbied for the interests of Aerodromdorstroy, a company close to Sobyanin.

In 2011, he became the deputy for economic issues of the Ural presidential envoy, Nikolai Vinnichenko, with whom he probably knew through his service in the FSSP.

At the end of 2011, he replaces Nikolai Vinnichenko at the post of plenipotentiary. It is stated that Kuyvashev oversaw the presidential campaign in the Sverdlovsk region in early 2012, since the governor of the region, Alexander Misharin, who was in an accident at the end of 2011, for health reasons could not fully control the situation in the region.

In May 2012, he was appointed Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region.

It is assumed that Kuyvashev began lobbying the interests of Rosneft in the area, the vice-president of which is his former patron Eduard Khudainatov, Aerodromdorstroy, close to Sergei Sobyanin, as well as entrepreneurs Artyom Bikov and Alexey Bobrov. It is believed that Kuyvashev is friends with one of the leaders of the Renova company, Mikhail Slobodin, thanks to which Kuyvashev receives support in the Kremlin from Arkady Dvorkovich. At the same time, thanks to his close relationship with Eduard Khudainatov, Kuyvashev may not be a stranger to Igor Sechin either. Thus, Kuyvashev is presumably a compromise figure for the two conflicting "Kremlin towers" Igor Sechin and Arkady Dvorkovich (close to Dmitry Medvedev).

The main question in the first half of the 2010s was the question of how Kuyvashev's relations with another "Kremlin tower" - the clan of Sergei Chemezov, who controlled the Urals embassy in the person of Igor Kholmanskikh - would develop.

In 2013, an open confrontation began between Kuyvashev's team and the mayor's office of Yekaterinburg for the post of mayor of Yekaterinburg and control over the city duma, the elections of which were scheduled for September 2013. It was assumed that Kholmanskikh implicitly opposed Kuyvashev in this matter. And the Chemezov clan could have promoted the mayor of Nizhny Tagil, Sergei Nosov, to the governorship of the Sverdlovsk region.

An unexpected candidate joined the struggle for the post of mayor of Yekaterinburg - the head of the City Without Drugs Foundation Yevgeny Roizman, who at the time of his nomination had difficult relations with both the Governor Kuyvashev and the heads of the Yekaterinburg administration. Roizman is perhaps the most professional politician in the Sverdlovsk region, who created his political capital without using administrative resources. The purpose of his nomination at the elections for the mayor of Yekaterinburg, Roizman declared opposition to the governor Kuyvashev, and this demarche had a rather intriguing background.

After being appointed governor in May 2012, Yevgeny Kuyvashev took a course towards building positive relations with the most influential media in the Sverdlovsk region - something that his predecessor Alexander Misharin did not succeed in. Artem Bikov and Alexey Bobrov, loyal to Kuyvashev, were among the co-owners and investors of the most cited Internet media "Ura.ru" in December 2011. Ura.ru, run by the most successful Sverdlovsk media manager Oksana Panova (who prefers to call herself Aksana), has begun to shape a positive image of the new governor.

But already in June it became obvious that a cloudless future did not shine for these relations. Evgeny Roizman and his conflict with influential security officials in the region were the culprit behind the breakdown of the promising alliance. Back in the spring of 2012, Ura.ru actively published exposing materials against the Sverdlovsk Interior Ministry, including against its head, Mikhail Borodin. One of the main denunciators of the vices of the law enforcement structure was the public figure Yevgeny Roizman, who at that time was probably already in an intimate relationship with Oksana Panova. The Sverdlovsk police are no strangers to media criticism. Limit "Ura.ru" to Borodin, perhaps, the subsequent turbulent events would not have happened. But the circle of people criticized by Roizman and Ura.ru gradually began to include the Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia in the Ural Federal District Yuri Ponomarev, who, according to some sources, considered himself the most influential person in the Sverdlovsk Region and was not used to such disrespectful attitude of the media.

In June 2012, the police seized one of the rehabilitation centers of the Drug-Free City Foundation, headed by Roizman. It was alleged that the father of one of the rehabili-tants wrote a statement to the police, who was held in the center by force and beaten. Roizman accused Yuri Ponomarev personally of this "run over", who allegedly took re-venge on Roizman for exposing corruption and extortion in the police. He mentioned Roizman and Yevgeny Kuyvashev, with whose tacit consent the illegal, according to Roizman, police actions were carried out. On behalf of Yuri Ponomarev, in July 2012, Yevgeny Kuyvashev initiated the creation of the state rehabilitation center "Ural without drugs", which was supposed to occupy the niche of Yevgeny Roizman's "City without drugs", which was under attack by the security forces.

Simultaneously with the attack by the security forces on Roizman's fund "City without drugs", a criminal case was investigated in connection with the activities of the Ura.ru news agency, which was run by Roizman's friend Oksana Panova. As it turned out, in December 2011, in exchange for investments, Panova sold entrepreneurs Artem Bikov and Alexei Bobrov not shares of a real news agency, but a dummy firm. Probably since June 2012, when the conflict between Roizman and Kuyvashev began, entrepreneurs loyal to Kuyvashev tried to put pressure on Ura.ru, which actively supported Roizman, but it turned out that they had nothing to put pressure on, since they bought for their own money instead of shares candy wrappers. According to the statement of Bikov and Bobrov, law enforcement agencies opened a criminal case for fraud. In addition, a criminal extortion case was opened against Oksana Panova - it was alleged that, on her initiative, Ura.ru published a negative about some famous person, and then offered this person to pay money to stop publishing negative about him. As a result, Panova finally relinquished control over Ura.ru and created a new news agency, Znak.com, which quickly became a popular media resource, first in the Sverdlovsk region, and then in Russia as a whole.

In the first half of 2013, Yevgeny Roizman allegedly tried to negotiate the termination of the proceedings with the City Without Drugs Foundation and the criminal prosecution of Oksana Panova, and Governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev made explicit public attempts at reconciliation with an influential public figure. But the law enforcement machine continued to work, and in July 2013 Yevgeny Roizman announced his participation in the upcoming elections for the head of Yekaterinburg.

In September 2013, Evgeny Roizman won the election for the head of Yekaterinburg, ahead of the pro-governor's candidate Yakov Silin. The pressure on Roizman from the law enforcement agencies played an important role in his victory in the elections. Roizman was voted not only by his convinced supporters who believe in the good activities of the City Without Drugs Foundation he heads, but also by many people dissatisfied with the government who voted for Roizman as a Candidate Against Power. The main message of Roizman's election campaign was the fight against Sistema, which decided to grind the fighter for a just cause, Yevgeny Roizman, and everyone close to him in its millstones. A special role, of course, was assigned to Oksana Panova, who was pregnant at the time of the initiation of the criminal case against her. It got to the point of throwing in the version that Kuyvashev fell in love with Panova, but she preferred Roizman to him, and the governor, distraught with jealousy, decided to kill an unborn child in the womb, dragging Panova through interrogations. Who was the author of this idea is unknown, but a considerable number of Yekaterinburg residents believed in it. Moreover, in December 2012, the well-known philanthropist Elizaveta Glinka reported that Oksana Panova had lost her child from Roizman due to searches, intimidation and threats from law enforcement agencies. After a while, however, Oksana Panova could be seen in the parks of Yekaterinburg with two wonderful babies. What is true in this whole story and what is false, we personally do not undertake to judge.

Yevgeny Roizman's victory in the elections was a strong blow for Yevgeny Kuyvashev. First, Roizman was viewed by the administration of the President of Russia as an undesirable figure in the political horizon, and his victory in the elections testified to the insufficient influence of Kuyvashev in the Sverdlovsk region. Secondly, in his election campaign, Roizman focused on criticizing not even the siloviki, who were the main interests of the "run over" against Roizman, but the governor Kuyvashev, who was the most politically vulnerable figure, and whose criticism could win the biggest jackpot in the form of votes ... Thus, Kuyvashev, probably, against his will, was drawn into a conflict between security officials and social activists, chose the side of the security officials and received a strong image blow, from which he did not soon recover. However, the experience of other regions has shown that a quarrel between the governor and the security forces ultimately threatens with much greater losses.

Well, the fighter with the System Yevgeny Roizman fit well into the system of power in Yekaterinburg, which he once mercilessly criticized. In his own words, Roizman, once inside the system, he saw the light and realized that the city administration, it turns out, works for the benefit of people. Evil tongues asserted that Roizman had reached an agreement with the "gray eminence" of the Yekaterinburg mayor's office, Vladimir Tungusov, who was in conflict with the governor Kuyvashev, that in exchange for Roizman's loyalty, Tungusov would use his connections in law enforcement agencies and achieve the cancellation of the criminal prosecution of Oksana Panova. Over Tungusov himself, however, the clouds of potential criminal cases were also gathering.

An alliance was formed against Yevgeny Kuyvashev, consisting of the leading members of the Yekaterinburg mayor's office, the head of Nizhny Tagil Sergei Nosov, who was not averse to taking the place of the governor of the Sverdlovsk region, and the plenipotentiary of the President in the Ural Federal District Igor Kholmanskikh, who supported the ambitious Nosov. In these conditions, Kuyvashev's nomination in the next governor's elections in 2017 was very unlikely. It was rumored that only some economic agreements between the Sobyanin clan and Chemezovsky saved from the early resignation of Yevgeny Kuyvashev in 2014.

In 2016, the time has come for elections of deputies to the State Duma of the Russian Federation and the Legislative Assembly of the Sverdlovsk Region. Based on the results of the voting, the administration of the President of the Russian Federation could make a decision about who Moscow will nominate for the election of the governor of the Sverdlovsk region in 2017. In April 2016, Evgeny Kuyvashev appointed one of his main opponents, the "gray cardinal" of the Yekaterinburg mayor's office, Vladimir Tungusov, as head of his administration. This decision was supposed to overcome the differences between the regional authorities of the Sverdlovsk region and the mayor's office of Yekaterinburg, the conflict between which has largely determined the political agenda of the Sverdlovsk region since the early 1990s. The administration of the President of the Russian Federation should have seen that the regional elite consolidated, the conflicts were overcome in the rebellious Sverdlovsk region with too many reflective intellectuals who dislike Vladimir Putin and the government in general, from now on there will be peace and blessing, and in the elections for the party in power there will be if not a Chechen , then at least the Tyumen result. In the elections, United Russia got 40% of the votes - more than before, but less than the average in Russia. And this result, perhaps, was achieved thanks to the post-Crimean euphoria, and not to the tricks of Yevgeny Kuyvashev. Nevertheless, in April 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin supported the nomination of Yevgeny Kuyvashev in the election of the governor of the Sverdlovsk region.

Yevgeny Roizman showed up for the governor's elections, but this time he was not allowed to participate in the elections, and Yevgeny Kuyvashev won in the first round. The elections took place in September 2017.

The beginning of 2018 did not bode well for Yevgeny Kuyvashev. In the presidential elections in the Sverdlovsk region in March 2018, almost 75% of voters voted for Vladimir Putin - just a couple of percent less than the national average - a good result of the governor's work in the eyes of the presidential administration, given the high opposition potential of Yekaterinburg.

The "gray cardinal" of the Yekaterinburg mayor's office, Vladimir Tungusov, who was vice-governor in 2018, was routinely preparing to take a "controlling stake" in the upcoming elections of deputies of the Yekaterinburg Duma in September 2018. The primaries of "United Russia" were held according to the scenario conceived by Tungusov. But in May, a political thunderstorm broke out - several deputies of the Yekaterinburg Duma, opposition to Tungusov, declared that Tungusov rudely intervened in the primaries (as if for the first time). This, in general, everyday news began to actively spread in the federal media, social networks and telegram channels, which attracted the attention of the federal center absolutely unnecessary to Tungusov in this case. The customers of this information campaign were the deputies of the Yekaterinburg Duma, close to the organized criminal group Uralmash, who controlled a significant part of the housing and communal services market in Yekaterinburg, who were in opposition to the Yekaterinburg mayor's office, which was traditionally more loyal to entrepreneurs close to the organized criminal group “Center” and “Afghans”. However, it is quite possible that the main role in this campaign was played not by them, but by entrepreneurs Artem Bikov and Alexei Bobrov, who are close to Governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev. In 2018, preparations began for the "garbage reform". The Rifey company, controlled by Bikov and Bobrov, planned to take part in this event, which promised big profits to the lucky few. Perhaps the vice-governor Vladimir Tungusov decided that Bikov and Bobrov were strangers at this celebration of life, as a result of which the Rifey company initially lost the competition to become one of the operators for the removal and processing of solid household waste in the Sverdlovsk region. Rifey protested the results of the competition and became the operator of the north of the Sverdlovsk region. Perhaps the conflict between Tungusov and Bikov and Bobrov over the trash market was the reason that these entrepreneurs supported the "Uralmash" deputies and entrepreneurs in the war against Tungusov with their resources.

The proximity of entrepreneurs Bikov and Bobrov to Yevgeny Kuyvashev inevitably had to involve the governor in this conflict. It should be noted that by the summer of 2018, Governor Kuyvashev's opponents in the Sverdlovsk region had diminished: the closest political rival, the mayor of Nizhny Tagil, Sergei Nosov, was appointed acting governor of the Magadan region, Igor Kholmanskikh, who supported his presidential envoy to the Ural Federal District, resigned, and Nikolai Tsukanov, who replaced him indicated his support to Yevgeny Kuyvashev. As a result, Tungusov was left without political allies, and even some of his comrades-in-arms from the mayor's office of Yekaterinburg went over to the side of Tungusov's opponents in exchange for some guarantees from the governor Kuyvashev.

A few days before the election of deputies of the Yekaterinburg Duma, Governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev dismissed Vice Governor Vladimir Tungusov. The majority of the op-ponents of Tungusov were elected to the new composition of the Yekaterinburg Duma. Tungusov's attempts to use the old warning "Crime is breaking into power!" this time did not work, although there were certain reasons for this: as noted by some observers, cars with suspicious persons (3-4 persons of a criminal appearance) were on duty near many polling stations, whose “work” was checked several times a day by no less suspicious individuals who traveled from one site to another, which indicates the activity of a large organized group (or an organized criminal group?). Perhaps Tungusov's warning did not work, because people do not believe that criminals are striving for power, since they have already broken through there a long time ago. And what kind of organized criminal group will rule, most are not very interested.

Since by this time direct elections for the mayor of Yekaterinburg had been canceled, the new composition of the Yekaterinburg Duma was elected as the mayor of the city, Alexander Vysokinsky, who once worked in the city administration, but then became loyal to Yevgeny Kuyvashev. Igor Volodin, a longtime opponent of Tungusov, elected as a deputy from a single-mandate constituency in the Ordzhonikidze district of Yekaterinburg, became the chairman of the city duma. The Uralmash machine-building plant is located in this area, which gave the name to the corresponding microdistrict and one of the largest organized crime groups in the Sverdlovsk region, the positions of whose members were later especially strong in the Ordzhonikidze district of Yekaterinburg. Deputy Andrei Vikharev was elected from the same district, who headed one of the most important commissions of the city duma - on local self-government. His older brother Grigory Vikharev, who was elected on the list of the Liberal Democratic Party, headed the municipal enterprise "Spetsavtobaza", which became one of the garbage operators in the Sverdlovsk region. Let us recall that, in our opinion, it was the “garbage war” that changed the political landscape of the Sverdlovsk region in 2018. The Vikharev brothers are known mainly for their father, businessman Andrei Vikharev, who in the past was a business part-ner of Pavel Fedulev, a well-known raider in the Sverdlovsk region, who is currently serving a sentence for organizing murders. In 2004, Andrei Vikharev, together with Vladislav Kostarev, who is called one of the leaders of the Uralmash organized crime group, helped Nikolai Denin become the governor of the Bryansk region, for which Denin appointed Vikharev as his adviser. While in this position, Andrei Vikharev was convicted of bribery.

Thus, the power in Yekaterinburg was replaced by people loyal to the governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev, behind whom the shadow of the Uralmash organized crime group is guessed.

As a result, the political field of the Sverdlovsk region in 2018 was cleared of obvious opponents of Governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev, who were part of the system of government bodies. Only unsystematic political and public figures remained on the information agenda as opponents of Kuyvashev: the former mayor of Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Roizman, who lost control of the City Without Drugs fund, Alexei Navalny's supporters in the Sverdlovsk Region, eager to fight on any topic that could bring people to action protest, Yekaterinburg urbanists, defending any building of the pre-Khrushchev era.

The most notable event against this background was the protests against the construction of another Orthodox church in the center of Yekaterinburg in 2019, which probably hit Yevgeny Kuyvashev's positions hard. Against the background of a decline in the living standards of Russians, the federal center was already worried about a possible increase in protest activity, and here the regional authorities, in fact, created a major conflict from scratch, pandering to local oligarchs and church hierarchs. And the follow-up to these protest actions, the proceedings in the questions of "who is to blame?" and "what to do?" caused tension in Kuyvashev's relations with both the plenipotentiary representative of the president in the Ural Federal District Nikolai Tsukanov and the mayor of Yekaterinburg Alexander Vysokinsky, since each of these centers of power in the Sverdlovsk region tried to absolve themselves of responsibility in the eyes of the federal center and shift it onto another.

Date of information update: 2019.