According to the new Constitution, the candidacies of ministers and their deputies (with the exception of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and security officials) are proposed by the chairman of the government, they are approved by the State Duma.
The introduction of the new defendants Irek Fayzullin, Nikolai Shulginov and Alexander Kozlov to key positions in the government - construction, energy and natural resources - took place strictly within the official framework: a short biography, positions held, services to the state, and upcoming tasks. The deputies did not show an exuberant interest in the new ministers - they have long been known for their work in government agencies. Irek Fayzullin, until 2020 was the Minister of Construction of Tatarstan and the chief architect of the republic. The head of RusHydro Nikolay Shulginov has been working in the energy sector since 1975; earlier he held senior positions in Stavropolenergo and UES of Russia. Alexander Kozlov is the former head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and has held this position since May 2018.
The deputies approved, President Vladimir Putin signed an appointment decree on November 10 and the new ministers dispersed to their offices, hiding from the views of the public.
But the investigative resource "Important Stories" took and checked the biographies of the appointees. It turned out that they had a lot in common - all three, shortly before their appointment, hastily got rid of expensive real estate and came to the government literally beggars. All business burdens were taken on by their friends and relatives.
The new minister of natural resources and ecology, 39-year-old Alexander Kozlov, is the youngest in the Russian government. However, it is not the first time that he becomes the “youngest”. At the age of 30, Kozlov headed the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services of the Amur Region. At 33 he became the mayor of Blagoveshchensk. At 34 - the head of the Amur region and the youngest Russian governor. At 37 - Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic. In parallel with the career growth of Kozlov, his friends and relatives achieved success in business and in the civil service. Moreover, it often happened that they came to success precisely in those areas that Kozlov supervised. In particular, according to the investigation of "Important Stories", a month after Kozlov's victory in the election of the mayor of Blagoveshchensk, Denis Chaika was appointed director of the large municipal enterprise "Road Operations Administration", which was responsible for the repair of city roads. , his "best friend". A few months later, the enterprise ceased operations, but the companies registered in the name of Chaika's relatives still receive billions of rubles from state-owned companies in the Amur Region for road work.
The relatives of Alexander Kozlov turned out to be no less fortunate than his friends. Kozlov officially married in 2015, but he met his future wife Anna Loginova long before the wedding, in the mid-2000s. In the fall of 2014, shortly after Kozlov was elected mayor of Blagoveshchensk, the 24-year-old brother of his fiancée, Aleksey Loginov, founded the BUK company, which was in charge of managing the city's housing stock. A few more months passed - and Loginov, at that time already the mayor's brother-in-law, became the general director of the Gorod news agency subordinate to the mayor's office. In 2019, when Kozlov moved to the post of Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, Loginov headed the large Amurskaya management company. She is in charge of three territories of advanced social and economic development in the Amur Region - special zones with a preferential tax regime. Amurskaya is a subsidiary of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East, which was directly subordinate to Kozlov. In 2019, the state invested half a billion rubles in Amurskaya.
Kozlov's mother and sister are not offended either. In October 2016, the media reported on the construction of a two-story mansion for the Amur governor in the elite area of the village of Belogorye on the banks of the Zeya River. Alyaksandr Kozlov then linked the "information stuffing" with the upcoming elections and said that he had nothing to do with this construction site. As "Important Stories" found out, she still turned out to be no stranger to Kozlov. According to an extract from Rosreestr, part of the site on which the mansion was built belonged to Alexander Kozlov from 2014 to 2016. He sold it just eight days before journalists wrote about the house. Moreover, he sold the company, which belonged to his relatives. In his reply to Important Stories, Kozlov confirmed this information. Now the site and the mansion are owned by the Spetspromstroy company. Its main shareholder is the Sprut company. The owners of "Sprut" are Irina Kozlova, the mother of Alexander Kozlov, and Evgenia Filatova, his younger sister. Spetspromstroy records plots and buildings in Blagoveshchensk and Raichikhinsk, where Kozlov studied and worked. The company bought some plots from Kozlov himself a year before he became mayor and was forced to begin declaring property. As a result, only one site is shown in the 2014 mayor's declaration. However, after three years he also switched to Spetspromstroy. There is also an apartment in Moscow - in Zvonarsky Lane, bought just before Kozlov's transition to the post of federal minister and his move to the capital. An apartment with an area of 76 square meters is located in the very center of the city, within walking distance from Red Square. Answering the questions of the "Important stories", the minister said that he did not live in Zvonarsky lane, but did not say whether this apartment really belongs to the firm of his relatives.
The cadastral value of the entire property of Spetspromstroy as of November 1, 2020 is 54 million rubles. The market price is much higher: a Moscow apartment alone could cost the company about 39 million (if we count the price per square meter in this house in 2020).
In addition, a significant part of the Kozlovs' vehicles is registered at Spetspromstroy. In total, since the end of 2013, 16 cars have been registered with the company, among which there were rarities: GAZ-21, like Vladimir Putin, and ZIL 41047, like Mikhail Gorbachev. Currently, Spetspromstroy owns five luxury cars. Judging by the photos on the network, at least one of them, Mercedes AMG G63, now lives in Moscow - like Minister Kozlov.
The last two years the company "Spetspromstroy" is unprofitable. The profit from sales, which the company had before, was clearly not enough to cover the costs of expensive real estate and cars. The minister's sister works as a teacher at a children's art school. His mother’s business is not profitable, judging by the accounts. Kozlov himself and his wife, according to official declarations, from 2014 to 2019 earned only 27.5 million rubles. Thus, the origin of the money spent on all of the above purchases (if they were made at market prices) remains unknown.
The new minister of construction and housing and communal services Irek Fayzullin came from Kazan, where for the last ten years he headed the Ministry of Construction of Tatarstan. His appointment coincided with a promotion in the civil service of his fellow countryman Marat Khusnullin, who became Deputy Prime Minister in 2020 and now oversees the construction industry in Russia. The officials have already worked together: from 2005 to 2010 Irek Fayzullin was the deputy of Marat Khusnullin, at that time the Minister of Construction of Tatarstan.
Irek Fayzullin is also close to the head of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, a member of the State Council under the President of Russia, who heads the working group on construction issues. So three fellow countrymen - Irek Fayzullin, Marat Khusnullin and Rustam Minnikhanov - became the main figures in the construction industry of the country.
Minister of Construction Irek Fayzullin and President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov are connected not only by business relations and interest in construction, they write "Important stories". They are neighbors - and Irek Fayzullin bought his estate in the village of Ilyino near Kazan from Minnikhanov in 2009. Compared to the residence of the President of Tatarstan, the Fayzullins have a rather modest plot - about four thousand square meters. At that time, Fayzullin was the Deputy Minister of Construction, and Rustam Minnikhanov was the Prime Minister of Tatarstan. When Minnikhanov became president of the republic in 2010, he promoted Faizullin to minister of construction.
As "Important stories" found out, in addition to the estate in Ilyin, Fayzullin and Minnikhanov until recently were neighbors in the village of Borovoe Matyushino in the Laishevsky district of Tatarstan. Rustam Minnikhanov has a dacha palace there, which FBK told about, and Irek Fayzullin has two houses with an area of 144 and 71.5 sq. m in the dacha non-profit partnership "Les". They were bought by the wife of the minister Guzaliya Fayzullina in 2009. On ad sites in this area, houses with such an area cost from three to 10 million rubles.
In general, in 2009, the Fayzullins family, according to Vostochnye Stories, could spend from 20 to 30 million rubles on real estate, if we focus on 2020 prices. Irek Faizullin's declarations are available only for 2014-2015. Judging by them, then he earned up to four million rubles a year, and his wife Guzalia - up to 300 thousand.
In October 2020, just a month before he officially took office, Minister Fayzullin sold the house and land in Ilyin to the Eurostroyholding + company. In recent years, this company has become one of the main developers in Tatarstan. Eurostroyholding + has more than a hundred government contracts totaling 19 billion rubles. The main customer is Glavinveststroy of Tatarstan, controlled by the Ministry of Construction of the republic.
In September 2020, the minister's wife Guzaliya Fayzullina (according to the law, her property will be reflected in her husband's declaration) donated two country houses in the village of Borovoe Matyushino to the daughter of Lilia Azhimova (nee Fayzullina). So before Irek Fayzullin took office as Minister of Construction, the couple got rid of all their real estate.
In addition to houses and land plots, Vostochnye Stories managed to find Irek Fayzullin's relatives, who built a successful career in the construction industry not only in Tatarstan, but also in Moscow.
The husband of the minister's daughter Lilia Azhimova (Fayzullina), Timur Azhimov, works as the first deputy general director of Tatinvestgrazhdanproekt, a state-owned enterprise that develops project documentation and general plans for most state construction projects in Tatarstan. In 2010, when Irek Fayzullin was the general director of Tatinvestgrazhdanproekt, Timur Azhimov worked as his assistant. When Fayzullin became minister of construction of the republic, Azhimov became an assistant minister. At that time he was only 26 years old. He worked with Faizullin until 2014, and then moved to the Ministry of Transport, where he immediately took the position of Deputy Minister, after which he continued his career at Tatinvestgrazhdanproekt.
Timur's brother Marat Azhimov is the deputy general director of the Department of Experimental Development of Microdistricts in Moscow and the owner of real estate on Rublevo-Uspenskoe highway, where some of the most expensive residential areas in the country are located. The company distributes government contracts for the construction of social facilities, housing for renovation and other orders from the Moscow mayor's office.
Irek Fayzullin's son Alik managed to work in the federal Ministry of Construction before his father. Since 2014, he has been mentioned in the documents of the department as Deputy Director of the Department of Housing Policy of the Ministry of Construction of Russia. Then he was 25 years old. The next year, Alik Fayzullin headed the Research and Development Analytical Center, established by the Moscow Committee on Pricing Policy in Construction. Alik Fayzullin managed to be a member of the board of directors of the design institute GiproVTI in Kazan and the head of firms related to meat production.
Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov also has a successful son. Although the affairs of his father, who headed RusHydro, an energy company with 60% state participation, did not always go well. In August 2020, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) announced that it had opened an antitrust case against RusHydro. According to the FAS, during construction work at Russia's largest hydroelectric power station, Sayano-Shushenskaya in Khakassia, RusHydro created advantages for Stroyline and thereby limited the ability for other contractors to compete for contracts with the energy company. It's about the events of 2015–2018.
Little is known about the income of the former head of RusHydro. Most CEOs of SOEs only publicly reported their income for 2013. Shulginov's declaration is also available only for 2013. Then he was the first deputy chairman of the board of the "System Operator of the Unified Energy System" and earned 42 million rubles in a year. His wife is five million. The couple owned real estate in Spain and Russia.
"Important stories" were found at the Shulginovs in the village of Vlasovo, Odintsovo district, Moscow region, 80 kilometers from the capital, land plots with a total area of five thousand square meters and two three-storey houses (860 and 260 square meters). Such real estate, judging by the ads for the sale of similar properties, can cost from 50 million rubles. These houses and plots of the Shulginovs' wife in 2019 were presented to their son Roman Shulginov and a certain Irina Zadorozhnaya (presumably their daughter).
"Important stories" managed to find out that the son of Shulginov Roman followed in his father's footsteps and is successfully building a career in state-owned companies. Immediately after the army, in 1997, he started working as an economist at the Stavropolenergo company in Pyatigorsk, where his father was then the head of the Central Dispatch Service. In 2012, father and son worked together in the “System Operator of the Unified Energy System”. Nikolay Shulginov - Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Roman - Advisor to the General Director of the Siberian Branch. In 2017, he moved to Rostelecom. But the minister’s son did not break ties with the energy sector. Roman Shulginov is called the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Electra company, which conducts joint projects with the Rosseti company. Thus, “Important Stories” conclude, the new Minister of Energy Nikolai Shulginov and his son are once again working in the same field.
In principle, nothing exceptional: family dynasties are a widespread phenomenon in the structures of all branches of Russian power, and genetics in families are at the level - children are worthy of their fathers, and sometimes even surpass them in talents. Another question is why this should be concealed from Russian taxpayers? And why hide in the corners what was acquired by back-breaking labor and administrative zeal? For fear that the Russian society will suspect corruption, and the higher authorities will doubt the correctness of their choice? That is unlikely! It's just that there is such a wave now that one has to come to the government, which is headed by the former chief tax officer of Russia, modest and with empty pockets. What is needed - everyone will count later.
The last significant government reshuffle occurred in January. Then the prime minister was replaced: instead of Dmitry Medvedev, the cabinet was headed by Mikhail Mishustin. Five deputy chairmen and 10 ministers were not included in the new government. Among those who left the White House then were former Deputy Prime Ministers Dmitry Kozak, Vitaly Mutko, Maxim Akimov and Olga Golodets, as well as ex-ministers Maxim Oreshkin, Vladimir Medinsky, Veronika Skvortsova, Pavel Kolobkov and Konstantin Noskov.
Read more about the investigation into newcomers to the government here.