‘Shaninka’ university rector Sergey Zuyev detained in connection with fraud case
Sergey Zuyev, the rector of the Moscow School for the Social and Economic Sciences (“Shaninka”), was detained in connection with the fraud case against Russia’s former deputy education minister Marina Rakova, two sources told Meduza on Tuesday, October 12.
One of the sources explained that Zuyev was taken into custody “for the selection of preventive measures.”
The university’s spokesperson declined to comment on this information. “We are cooperating with the investigation [into the Rakova case],” she told Meduza’s correspondent.
The Interior Ministry’s Main Investigation Department has yet to respond to Meduza’s inquiries.
Update. The Russian Interior Ministry has confirmed that Sergey Zuyev was detained as a suspect in the fraud case against Marina Rakova. According to the press release, Zuyev stands accused of embezzling more than 21 million rubles ($292,000 by today’s exchange rate) from the Foundation for New Forms of Education Development. Zuyev was taken in for questioning and investigators intend to ask the court to “select a preventive measure” against him, pending trial. Police officials didn’t specify what measure exactly.
Another Update. Sergey Zuyev is currently being held in a temporary detention center on Petrovka Street in Moscow. According to members of the Public Monitoring Commission (ONK) who visited him in detention, Zuyev maintains his innocence. On Facebook, political strategist Pyotr Shchedrovtsky claimed that Zyuev was in the hospital due to a hypertensive crisis when he was taken away by police. ONK members who visited Zuyev in custody confirmed that he was arrested at a hospital and taken in for questioning on Monday, October 11. According to Shchedrovtsky, Zuyev was interrogated for more than 30 hours. “When an older and not very healthy person is interrogated for more than 30 hours, for me it’s obvious that a specific task has been set for the perpetrators — to ‘eliminate’ an unwanted person by any means [necessary]. Whether Sergey Eduardovich [Zuyev] himself is such a person or someone else — we will certainly find out very soon,” he wrote.
The criminal case against Marina Rakova became known on September 29, when law enforcement carried out searches of her home and office. Investigators believe that while serving as deputy education minister in 2019, Rakova embezzled 50 million rubles (nearly $700,000 by today’s exchange rate) in state funds. Allegedly, Rakova lobbied for the allocation of funds to the Education Ministry’s Foundation for New Forms of Education Development. In turn, the foundation hired the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences as a subcontractor. The two contracts were paid for but supposedly not completed.
The case against Rakova was opened on charges of large-scale fraud committed by a group of individuals. On October 7, Moscow’s Tverskoy Court jailed her for two months, pending trial. There are four other suspects in the case who were also remanded in custody: Rakova’s common-law husband Artur Stetsenko, her colleagues Maxim Inkin and Evgeny Zak, and former Shaninka executive director Kristina Kryuchkova.