Abromavicius steals land from defense enterprises and destroys defense industry

Chairman of Ukroboronprom state company (Ukraine) Aivaras Abromavicius organizes a scheme for theft of land from the SJSHC Artem concern and Antonov state enterprises. Recently, he dismissed Marina Grishchenko, president of Artem, and replaced her with the “alcoholic silver-spooner,” Vladimir Zimin, who had previously been dismissed from the concern for corruption crimes. But in reality, the man of Abromavicius, Alexander Berchiya, will be in charge of Artem. He appoints new people in the defense industry to carry out the so-called "privatization". Its real goal is the theft of land assets in Kyiv. So, Abromavicius is doing everything to ensure that the SJSHC Artem and Antonov Group do not carry out international contacts. This will make it possible in the future to recognize them as unprofitable and to redistribute their land.

On April 30, 2020, the general director of Ukroboronprom Group of Companies Aivaras Abromavicius prematurely suspended the powers and consequently fired the president of the state-owned holding company Artem Marina Grishchenko, who had been working at the enterprise for about 30 years (she had colossal experience in production and management in the defense industry). She was replaced by Vladimir Zimin.

He comes from within the banking system and, supposedly, even studied under the international program. Although in reality he is known as an "alcoholic silver-spooner" and a debauchee. They tried to cure him of alcohol addiction several times but with little success.

Because of his addiction, he often gets into scandalous stories:

• in 2008, the future head of SJSHC Artem, being intoxicated, caused a traffic accident and fled the scene of the crime;

• in 2019, in Thailand, Zimin drunk riding a scooter was stopped by the local police, after which he got into a fight and was detained. He spent several days in the isolation ward until the issue was settled with the assistance of the Ukrainian Embassy in Thailand.

Why Zimin is important

Zimin got into the Artem holding thanks to Maxim Glushchenko, who was involved in the investigation of the theft at Ukroboronprom, and his partner in criminal schemes, Oleg Svinarchuk-Gladkovsky. He was the first deputy of the National Security and Defense Council for a long time.

Vladimir’s father, Sergei Zimin, maintains friendly relations with his neighbor in the elite housing development of Kozin (Obukhov district) Gladkovsky. Zimin Sr. once headed the Shevchenko DSA of Kyiv, and was a member of the “Party of Regions”.

Obviously, the "silver-spooned” son was appointed with one purpose - theft of property.

In 2017, because of another drunk accident, Zimin was about to be dismissed from the Artem enterprise, where he was responsible for foreign economic activity, marketing, and sales. But the dismissal was avoided thanks to the intervention of his father.

In September 2019, the head of the SJSHC Artem, Marina Grishchenko, dismissed Vladimir Zimin from the post of director of the department of foreign economic activity because of a criminal case about the theft of $ 8.2 million from the plant. For some time he lay low in the Ukrspetsexport group of companies, but his plans included getting the position of the director of Spetstekhnoexport. But, all of a sudden, he pops up at the post of general director of the concern from which he was fired just a few months ago.

Alexander Berchiya, who was appointed adviser to the president of the SJSHC Artem on May 5, 2020, was immediately assigned as Zimin’s “overseer”. He had previously been a deputy general director of Ukroboronprom for corporatization. At the concern, he was responsible for optimizing assets, and his main task was preparation for privatization. Berchiya came to the SJSHC Artem with a similar mission.

The need for land

The Artem enterprise is located in the central district of Kyiv on 2/10 Yury Ilyenko street (metro station Lukyanivska). The total land area is 22 hectares. The land here is priceless, especially for Kyiv developers.

Aivaras Abromavicius set the task to the dismissed director of the SJSHC Artem Marina Grischenko to develop and submit a plan for transferring the enterprise to a different location. And he received a clear answer - without state funding and support, such a transfer is impossible to carry out. Otherwise, everything will result in the destruction of the strategic plant.

22 hectares of land greatly interested Abromavicius and Grishchenko prevented his plans from being realized. This was the main reason for her dismissal and the appointment of Zimin. Now that Birchiya is in charge he has to conduct an audit and prepare the enterprise for “privatization”.

All this is done in line with the concept of Ukroboronprom to transform the state concern into 6 separate state-owned corporations. Instead of one state concern, which parasitizes at enterprises’ cost and is financed (payroll, maintenance, etc.), by the contributions of participating enterprises, there should be six independent branch holdings.

New tricks

The so-called Triage analysis conducted by the managers of Ukroboronprom deserves special attention.

“Triage analysis is a comprehensive assessment of 137 enterprises of the concern according to 9 parameters. The analysis showed the real state of defense enterprises. It allowed us to identify the functioning ones and determine the priority of reorganization of those that are problematic,” Bondar, deputy director of Ukroboronprom says.

With this approach, it is possible that an enterprise that produces a strategic product (for example, gunpowder) can be classified as unprofitable due to different reasons and, according to the analysis (Triage), falls into a group not worthy of attention (closure, re-subordination, privatization). But, ammunition companies will not be able to manufacture their products without Ukrainian gunpowder. They will be forced to purchase raw materials abroad and will depend on such imports which pose a threat to national security.

And most importantly, the reason for all these reconstructing and reshaping lies not in real economic reform, but in land assets that are on the balance of defense enterprises and are of interest to Abromavicius. Abromavicius and his entourage will buy up desirable assets, which was impossible to do openly before. After all, enterprises of the military-industrial complex were protected by the law on strategic enterprises. But everyone can alter the legislative changes that are being prepared for an imaginary reform.

It should be noted that the National Security and Defense Council expressed concern about the plan of Abromavicius.

After the appointment of Zimin and Berchiya to Artem, the head of Ukroboronprom actively travels to the Kyiv enterprise and personally holds meetings. He wants to control everything and miss nothing.

"Antonov" is at risk

And this is happening not only at Artem. Antonov State Enterprise is another company with huge land reserves which is of interest to Abromavicius and Co. There are also attempts to pressure and change the leadership.

In May 2020, the staff of the enterprise and trade union associations sent another letter to the President of Ukraine with a request to pay personal attention to the problems that are critical for the stable operation of Antonov:

“Recently, a situation has developed that we consider threatening for the continued existence of the enterprise and the industry as a whole ... Projects of the transformation of the Concern and participating enterprises are being developed at a frantic speed and draft laws, which the participating enterprises are opposed to, are being introduced. Such proposals do not comply with current legislation because they are aimed at losing control on the part of both the President of the country and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the military-industrial complex, which is an integral part of the country's security and defense sector, according to the Law of Ukraine "On National Security of Ukraine," the letter states.

Everything is done to discredit Antonov at Ukroboronprom. Just take a look at when the Ukroboronprom concern (represented by Spetstekhnoexport) won the procurement procedure of the Ministry of the Interior of Peru for the supply of Antonov An-178 aircraft. However, it could not complete the order due to the absence of this aircraft. As it turned out, the deal was not agreed with the manufacturer.

According to the terms of the contract, Spetstekhnoexport should provide a bank guarantee for Peru, but 9 months have passed since the signing of the contract, and the guarantee has not yet been issued, production has not been started, and there are no finances.

But Abromavicius demanded a contribution to the concern in the first quarter of 2020 in the amount of UAH 41 million from Antonov State Enterprise. He retreated only after the staff of the enterprise made public statements.

The defense complex is being destroyed

There are all indications that the current management of the “Ukroboronprom” Group of Companies is not interested in using domestic defense enterprises. After all, if the plant works under an international contract, then the "privatization" of land assets will attract a lot of public attention and the true purpose of Abromavicius will immediately become clear.

The situation is much simpler with the SJSHC Artem because their people have already been infiltrated there. So sabotage here is easy. The last story concerns the Indian contract. Spetstekhnoexport signed a contract with India for the supply of $ 221 million worth of products to the SJSHC Artem on July 26, 2019.

According to the contract, Spetstekhnoexport was to provide the bank guarantee of the advance payment and the bank guarantee of the contract within 2 months from the date of signing. 10 months later, the bank guarantees have not been provided. There is no advance payment from India.

The bank guarantee is the area of responsibility of Spetstekhnoexport and Ukroboronprom since the general director of the concern should directly assist in resolving this situation.

It should be noted that such situations with bank guarantees are not new for enterprises in the industry. The same SJSHC Artem in 2012, fulfilling a contract with India for $ 246 million, was faced with a similar situation. And the issue of providing a guarantee was resolved with the full participation of the concern management. Marina Grishchenko was engaged in it then.

The contract is in jeopardy at the moment. An international scandal as well as penalties are likely to follow. For this reason, Aivaras appoints Zimin and prematurely terminates the contract with the president of SJSHC Artem’s Grishchenko.

Thus, Abromavicius cynically, under the guise of reform, wants to ruin the defense complex and, at the same time, steal hundreds of hectares of land that they will sell for development. This is a blatant crime, which should result not only in resignation but criminal prosecution.


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Sergey Pyvovarov

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