It became known about the initiation of a criminal case under the article “Waste of budgetary funds” (285.1), in which the leadership of the Russian State Circus may become defendants. This structure of the Ministry of Culture has been in a fever from scandals for more than a year, since the appointment of Sergei Belyakov to the post of director. The initiation of the case was reported by popular telegram channels, which published the investigator's decision. The document says that employees of the Russian State Circus sent about 1.5 million rubles to feed animals owned by contractors. But it was impossible to do this, since the animals did not belong to the Russian State Circus either on the right of ownership or on the right of lease.
The document mentions several companies with which the Russian State Circus signed contracts for the organization of tours, and subsequently undertook to buy and deliver food for circus animals belonging to contractors to the performance site.
“In August 2021, an agreement was concluded between Rosstate Circus and Circus Entertainment Company LLC, the subject of which was the organization of tours of the Italian Circus Togni program at the arena of the Russian State Circus branch in Tver,” the resolution says, “in September 2021, the parties an additional agreement was concluded, according to which the responsibility for the purchase, delivery and payment of animal feed for Circus Entertainment Company LLC was assigned to the Russian State Circus.
The amount spent in this way amounted to 1.28 million rubles. In a similar context, the company "Full House", IP Butenkov and the company "Glavtsirk" are also mentioned.
Interestingly, this is not the first criminal case in the Russian State Circus. In 2021, a case was initiated under the article " Waste" (part 3 of article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) . According to the investigation, the management illegally accrued bonuses in the amount of about one million rubles.
The initiation of a new criminal case was preceded by a loud scandal with the mass dismissal of the circus on the water troupe. In total, 49 artists and stage workers quit. As the reason for the demarche, they named unfair competition with another project - the Odyssey show, which Sergey Belyakov created before being appointed director of the Russian State Circus. According to the artists, "Odyssey" was exempted from paying part of the fees, and "Circus on the Water" paid the maximum. The other day, retired artists held a press conference where they talked about the problems. In response to this, the Russian State Circus stated that the criticism was caused by debts from the Circus on the Water troupe and the refusal to perform in a number of cities, which disrupted production processes.
In June last year, representatives of the legendary circus dynasty Maritsa and Dan Zapashny were fired under the article. At the beginning of this year, they won a court order for reinstatement, but the leadership of the Russian State Circus has not yet complied with the court decision.
The circus community even created the site savecirk.rf, where an open letter was published to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin with a request to dismiss Sergei Belyakov and his first deputy Tatyana Bushkova. The current leadership of the Russian State Circus is accused of conflicts with artists, including well-known ones. Over the past year, more than 300 artists have been fired from the company, criminal cases have been initiated, and problems with repairing circuses in the regions have been initiated. The open letter has already been signed by 738 circus performers.
“Intolerable working conditions are created for the artists of the Russian circus in terms of material and technical terms. The widely announced and funded from the federal budget program for the renovation of buildings of cultural institutions subordinate to the Russian State Circus is noticeably stalling. The repair of circuses in Chelyabinsk and Krasnoyarsk was stopped, the announced renewal of the circus in Ufa did not begin. In Penza, the circus cannot be built since 2013: the deadline from 2021 has been postponed again. Repairs of another 10 circuses are formally planned for the coming season. The choice of contractors for most of them raises many questions,” the petition says.
In addition, the authors of the document talk about problems with the implementation of new legislation on the humane treatment of animals.
Sergei Belyakov stood at the helm of the Russian State Circus twice. The first time he headed the structure in 2016, but left the post of director two years later amid a series of scandals. In particular , accusations of a fake diploma, information about double purchases of the same services, which were simultaneously carried out by the liquidated FGBUK THEATER STUDIO THEATER ARTS and the newly created branch of the Russian State Circus.
At the beginning of 2021, he again applied for the competition for the post of director of the Russian State Circus and, after approval by the commission, announced the suspension of the Ministry of Culture. But judging by the new wave of scandals and noise, no conclusions were drawn from previous experience.