Archive for November 1st, 2017

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A sample scam to watch unfold – Odessa

November 1, 2017

Entries over the past few days seem to have concentrated upon Odessa and the rule of law – or more precisely the increasing lack of it,

As this is not a “news site” other instances over the past 48 hours, such as the arrest of Yulia Praslova, paid $15k to put a bomb in the car of an SBU counterintelligence officer in Mariupol in March this year by Vasily Yevdokimov (call sign Lenin) of the RU Secret Services, or a female Donetsk judge relocated to Belgorod-Dnistrovsky District Court who has been busying herself forging documents to change the ownership of apartments owned by IDPs that fled the war, or the apparent rolling up of a major smuggling scam in Odessa could also have been mentioned – but haven’t been.

Conscious that many readers are not all interested in rule of law/organised (or disorganised) criminality, and have a broader interest than simply cherry-picked issues relating to Odessa when it comes to occurrences in Ukraine, a reader is asked to indulge in one more Odessa-centric rule of law issue before the aperture is once again widened for a more eclectic and national view.

As mentioned numerous times, a scam that is yet to get NABU attention, is the leasing of City Hall assets to selected clients who then buy the property weeks or a month later at a drastically reduced price, avoiding the all-to-transparent requirement for public tenders/auctions for the property.

Having identified this scam many months ago and having mentioned it several times, it is perhaps worth finding a probable example to follow in real time, and from the start.

31st October witnessed Mayor Trukhanov sign a lease for 21 Leo Tolstoy, a 250 square meter building in the city centre to the “Organisation for Disabled Artists”.  The lease covers a period of 2 years and 11 months.

Why does this particular lease raise a flag for backdoor privatisation and nefarious kickbacks/ownership with regard to City Hall and those within?

The “Organisation for Disabled Artists” was registered in July 2017.  It is co-founded by Ilona Brushnevskaya.

Ilona Brushnevskaya is a young lawyer who was until recently employed by City Hall as the chief specialist for municipal property within the legal department.

Since leaving she has taken on legal advocacy roles for several developers that have raised the ire of local activists who claim certain developments are either illegal and/or deliberately disfigure the city centre with no regard for the views of the public.

In most cases the activists have either legal grounds and/or the sympathy of the public – for City Hall is not only a cesspit of corruption, but also lacks a vision for the City.  Thus it simply takes every corrupt Dollar as soon as the opportunity arises without any foresight regarding the look and feel of the city or its residents through disfiguring architectural decisions (or failing to insure limiting decisions if made are actually adhered to).

Physically (the rather attractive) Ms Brushnevskaya, prima facie would appear to suffer no obvious disabilities herself looking at her photographs.  Perhaps, having worked in Odessa City Hall, a reader may be disposed to believe her disability to be mental (and of a criminal bias) if she suffers from one at all.

By now a reader should be able to see the red flag raised over this particular lease.

A former lawyer of City Hall specialising in municipal property, who will at the very least have been aware of the current scams to privatise municipal property opaquely while working at City Hall, who is now defending developers that “obtained” awful City Hall planning decisions,, who having co-founded  “Organisation for Disabled Artists” just over two months ago, and to whom a large municipal space was leased by the City only 24 hours ago amid an on-going flurry of clearly nefarious City Hall privatisations via a scheme that deliberately avoids transparency.

It is possible that Ms Brushnevskaya has more than a degree of empathy for disabled artists in Odessa – however it is perhaps far more likely that she, or the Organisation for Disabled Artists she recently co-founded, will buy this municipal property very cheaply.  Quite possibly before the ink has dried upon the lease from City Hall.

Once that purchase occurs, a reader may then question whether either a disabled artist, or works by disabled artists from Odessa, will ever cross the threshold of 21 Leo Tolstoy before it is either sold on again, or leased to a completely different entity entirely unrelated to anything to do with disability.

The next step in the process is of course the (far below market rate) purchase of this property.  With the City Hall lease granted on 31st October, the clock of City Hall nefariousness has started ticking.  Let’s see how long it takes to complete.

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