For the first time in 10 years, Krasnodar governor Alexander Tkachev doesn’t head the list of United Russia candidates running for the regional legislature.
Recently, Alexander Tkachev has repeatedly been criticized after the devastating flood that hit the Kuban region in July and killed 172 people. He especially came under attacks after the head of the Investigative Committee (SKR) Alexander Bastrykin blamed local authorities who had falsified decision on emergency situation warning. Bastrykin explained that no decisions were made on the night of July 7. “We have traced a computer record that the document was issued at 6 a.m. July 7, when the majority of the people had already died,” Head of the Investigative Committee said. Bastrykin also added that the decision had been purely formal.
On 20 July 2012, Head of North Caucasus Main Investigations Directorate of Russia’s Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case over mass deaths of residents of Krymsk district on the signs of a crime under part 3 of article 293 of RF Criminal Code (neglect of duty, that is, the non-discharge by a functionary of his duties due to a dishonest and careless attitude to civil service entailing by negligence the death of two or more persons). President Vladimir Putin stated that “authorities of all levels – federal, regional and local – bear the responsibility for the tragedy in the Krasnodar region.” The opposition demanded the resignation of the governor of Kuban.
On the night of August 22, during a rainstorm in the Krasnodar region, the water levels in the river Nechepsukho rose sharply that led to flooding of the settlements near Tuapse. According to police, four people were killed. As a result, investigators have organized a probe into possible professional negligence of Tuapse officials during the flood in the region. Earlier, Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachev said that the warning system in Novomikhailovskoye “worked well.” According to the governor, residents of the area were aware of the possible disaster two hours before the first flooding.
United Russia says that Tkachev's absence at the head of the list of candidates from the party on the Legislative Assembly elections of the region is explained not by the events in Krymsk and Novomikhaylovskoye but by desire to avoid charges for using “locomotives”. It is assumed that the list must be headed by people who will not abandon the mandate but go to work directly to the legislative authorities. However, the majority of analysts agree that Tkachev's exclusion from the campaign is the result of his repeated opinions about immigrants from the North Caucasus.
In early August, Tkachev issued another loud statement on inter-ethnic relations issue. He said that Caucasian expatriates had already captured Stavropol region, and were hankering for the Krasnodar region. In his opinion, Cossacks could save the region. Thus Krasnodar governor announced the foundation of professional Cossack police units. According to him, they will be engaged in public order protection and the prevention of interethnic conflicts. Since September 1, 2012, the Cossacks together with the police will start patrolling streets. In total, there will be about 1000 people.
Earlier, Cossacks went on raids at no charge or received 700 rubles for a raid. Now every member of the Cossack brigade will receive about 25 thousand rubles a month. Thus, the maintenance of the one thousand of Cossacks will cost for the budget about 300 million rubles a year.
However, in practice, the expenditure will be a lot more. Just before the end of 2012, Tkachev plans to allocate 169 million rubles for the Cossack police. In 2013, it will be allocated 650 million rubles for these purposes. The money will be probably spent not only on the Cossack’s salary, but also on their material-technical support.
Commenting on this statement and the governor's initiative, the chairman of the Assembly of Peoples of Russia Ramazan Abdulatipov said that he intended to prepare and submit for consideration to the State Duma a bill on managerial responsibility for provoking ethnic conflicts. According to Abdulatipov, officials must be responsible under the law for this kind of statements.
After these political failures, the statements of United Russia members, that the Tkachev’s absence in the lists of the party candidates is a purely technological decision, look, at least, questionable. All the more, the opposition has already announced its intention to remind about the corruption scandals in the region. The second number in the list of Yabloko, ecologist Suren Ghazaryan is going to make the corruption and “the state not working in the region” key subjects of the campaign. Ghazarian said that Tkachev’s absence in the list is quite logical: now he is unpopular figure and can scare voters away from United Russia.
In 1990-1993 he headed the Vyselky feed mill. Prior to this, according to media reports, it his father, Nikolai Tkachev, who was the plant manager. In 1993 the plant was reorganized into a joint-stock company Agrocompleks. Tkachev became CEO of JSC, and his father was his deputy. In 1990-1994 the enterprise led by Tkachev grew from a relatively small plant into a large group of companies engaged in production, storage, and processing of agricultural products in Krasnodar region.
Source: Stringer, 09 August 2005
In autumn 2001, during the Duma debate over the reform of land legislation, Tkachev was a strong opponent of allowing the sale of land. He participated in farmers pickets in front of the White House. He said that "if land market is introduced in Kuban, people of Kuban will take up pitchforks to fight. And I will join them. In fact, I will be the first, I will lead this process! ".
Source: Regnum, 04 August 2003
According to unconfirmed information collected by media, by 2007 Tkachev had become the largest landowner in Europe, and according to some sources, even in the world. According to an anonymous source, he owned large plots of land located in Vyselky area in Krasnodar region.
Source: Sovershenno Sekretno, 13 January 2007
In March 2002 at the regional conference on migration Tkachev said that "To identify whether an immigrant is legal or illegal we only need to look at the surname, or rather at its ending. Surnames ending in "yan", "dze", "shvili", "ogly" are illegal just like those who have them." In 2003 Tkachev proposed to establish detention centers for illegal immigrants (he later dropped the project), and insisted on regional Duma adopting a law allowing law enforcement raids at night in areas where displaced persons live.
Subsequently, the governor said he was not a xenophobe and nationalist, and that he protected the interests of the indigenous population of Kuban, namely of Russian, Adyghe people, Ukrainians, and Belarusians. Tkachev noted that a qualitative change in the ethnic composition of the region could destabilize it and even lead to armed conflicts.
Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 18 September 2003
In connection with the national policy of Tkachev, media reported the situation around Meskhetian Turks who in 1989 fled to Kuban from the Ferghana Valley (Uzbekistan), where local nationalists organized Turkish massacres. The authorities of Krasnodar Krai were unable to find a way to integrate 15 000 Turks, and in 2004 they emigrated to the U.S. (this case was recorded by the UN as a sole example of ethnically motivated mass emigration from Russia)
Source: Ekspert, 09 October 2006
Aleksander Tkachev’s elder daughter, Tatiana, in 2006 married Roman Batalov, son of Krasnoyarsk businessmen, owners of a large trading house. Governor’s son-in-law is the youngest member of the Legislative Assembly of Krasnodar region. Batalov, who was 23 years old, was elected as candidate from United Russia in 2007 and became first deputy chairman of the committee on property and land relations and also deputy CEO ofKrasnodargorgaz Ltd.
Source: Kuban-Caucasus 21 February 2008
In March 2006 Agrocompleks, owned by the governor’s father, Nikolai Tkachev, bought sugar factory Crystal, the largest in Krasnodar region, from Russian sugar company. Experts estimated the deal ar 15 million dollars.
Source: Kuban.Info, 27 March 2006
In 2006 several political analysts suggested that Tkachev may be one of the possible contenders for president of Russia in 2008. Tkachev’s governor position in that case could be filled with Oleg Deripaska, owner of Basic Element, who lobbied Tkachev as successor to Vladimir Putin.
Source: Ezhednevny Zhurnal, 10 August 2006
In July 2010 the media reported that Anastasia Tkacheva, 22-year-old student of Kuban State University, the niece of Aleksander Tkachev and the daughter of Aleksey Tkachev, was the co-owner of two tube plants, namely Southern Pipe Plant (YUTZ) JSC (10% owned by Anastasia Tkacheva, revenue in 2008 reached 182 million rubles) and Pipes Insulation Plant (ZIT) (10% owned by Anastasia Tkacheva, revenues in 2008 reached 618.9 million rubles, net profit amounted to 7.7 million). She was also the owner of major developer company "Masterstroy Ltd. (30% owned by Anastasia Tkacheva), andYugptitseprom company that invested 3 billion rubles in poultry industry (22.5% owned by Anastasia Tkacheva, project annual revenues reach 4 billion rubles).
Source: Vedomosti, 09 July 2010
In autumn 2010 there was an investigation into the murder of twelve people in the village of Kushchevskaya in Krasnodar region. It turned out that this village had long been under control of a criminal gang that had connections in the government and law enforcement agencies. On November 24, 2010 Tkachev, commenting on events in Kushchevskaya, said that "such criminal groups are everywhere to this or that extent and the police and officials of all kinds support them." He even admitted that events like that crime in the village could occur in any part of the region.
Source: RIA Novosti, 24 November 2010
In February 2011 Tkachev was involved in a scandal. He was accused of distorting the facts of his biography in an interview that he gave to a TV host Vladimir Pozner. Tkachev said that he had never been member of the Communist Party. "Tkachev was registered with the Vyselky party organization. We have information about him paying party member fees", said Nikolai Osadchy, head of the Communist Party faction in the legislative chamber of the region. Moreover, as of 2003 he was actually still a member of the Communist Party and at the same time headed the regional list of United Russia in the State Duma elections, after which he was expelled from the Communist Party.
Source: IA Rosbalt, 08 February 2011