Alexey Navalny’s non-profit, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), has released a new investigation titled “Tomsk held captive by a deputies’ mafia,” which looks into the business activities of high-ranking local officials and municipal deputies from the ruling party, United Russia.
The documentary explains how government officials and municipal deputies control the firms that provide public utilities to local residents in Tomsk. What’s more, it reveals that these firms often hire contractors from companies owned by these very same officials, without any competition.
According to the FBK, the city’s electricity supply is controlled by the leader of the local United Russia branch, Vladimir Reznivok, while the water supply is controlled by the head of United Russia’s faction in the city council, Kirill Novozhilov. The largest housing and public utility company in Tomk is controlled by deputy Sergey Panasyuk.
If a utility company buys everything from bottled water to land cruisers from their own firms rather than from regular suppliers in a competitive environment, what is that called? Corruption and kickbacks. And you, residents of Tomsk, will be paying for them through [your] electricity bills.
Opposition figure Alexey Navalny was on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow when he fell violently ill on August 20. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, where the he was hospitalized in a coma; two days later he was transferred to Germany for treatment. On September 2, the German officials confirmed that he was poisoned with a substance from the Novichok group of nerve agents.
During the same trip to Siberia, Navalny visited Novosibirsk, as well as Tomsk. The FBK also released an investigation about the illegal business activities of Novosibirsk officials.
Both Tomsk and Novosibirks are scheduled to hold regional elections on Russia’s unified day of voting, September 13. A number of candidates supported by Navalny will be participating in the race.