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Gogi Maisuradze: Brovtsev might be appointed to control division of funds between the Kremlin and Kokoiti.
11/08/2009 17:14

A new scandal regarding the Kokoiti government is starting to unfold in Tskhinvali Region. A Russian governmental commission that includes representatives of the investigative department of FSS has been working for a week already in Tskhinvali. The main objective of the commission is to find out how purposeful was expenditure of the Russian Budget funds that was allotted for the rehabilitation of the Tskhinvali Region.

Expert Gogi Maisuradze of "the Club of Experts" commented on that issue.

Mister Maisuradze, is it true that Eduard Kokoiti, the head of the Government of the Tskhinvali Separatist Regime and his people misappropriated funds allocated for the rehabilitation of the Tskhinvali Region?

This information is not new or somehow sensational. It is enough to look at the Russian press of recent years to see that Kokoiti and his people have been misusing millions of Rubles allotted by the Russian government from Russian Budget over the years for rehabilitation of the regional infrastructure. At the same time the same Press continuously commented on the growing discontent of the Kremlin towards Kokoiti.

According to the latest information a commission was sent to Tskhinvali to investigate expenditure of the Russian Budget funds allotted for the rehabilitation of the Tskhinvali region. The committee contains representatives of the investigative department of FSS. Is it somehow connected to an attempt to substitute the Kokoiti regime?

As I said The Russian Press continuously mentions the Kremlin’s growing discontent with Kokoiti. As you know today the Russian Media is tightly controlled by the Kremlin. Therefore it cannot be ruled out that the commission with such contingent can be a sign of a perspective regime replacement. As it became known to us the commission has found out that hundereds of millions of Russian Rubles were transferred over the years by resolutions of Kokoiti to rehabilitate infrastructure of the Separatist controlled regions, to support regional administrations, to build and renovate roads, also to support agricultural activities of the local population. But these funds only appear on paper. The addressees not only received nothing but have not even heard of such programs. So of course no works, that money was allotted for were carried out. Additionally the commission found facts confirming the misappropriation of funds allotted for social sphere.

According to our information the members of the commission were astonished to find out that money given by the Russian government for the population after events of August 2008 were not distributed properly and the big part of the population were left out. But financial documents showed the reverse. The same situation is in the case of compensations for the poor.

But if everything is as you say it is then how can be explained TV materials of the different Russian channels showing rehabilitation works in Tskhinvali Region?

All that can be explained very simply. Kokoiti needed facts confirming that he was using the funds for the good of his people therefore he was paying good money to "set up performances" for TV thus presenting itself as a leader caring for its people and region. In reality Tskhinvali region remains as destroyed as it was before.

We know that the first results of the commission shows that certain sum has been distributed among the population of the region but it is unmentionable compared to the total sum.

It is clear from the above that Kokoiti and his people misappropriated the best part of money. Obviously he could not take such risks alone and certainly has influential protectors in the upper ends of the Russian government. Together they are continuing to use the Russian taxpayers money.

As you mentioned it’s not the first time when Kremlin raises a question of Kokoiti’s credibility.

Why do you think The Kremlin was tolerating untrustworthy Kokoiti for so long? Why did they decide to send such a high rank commission to Tskhinvali now when they had similar opportunities even before?

Why now and not then? That question was answered by the Russian military intervention in August 2008 - an event that had been in the process of preparation by GRU by the order of the Kremlin’s order for years. The change of the Kokoiti regime in the preparation process would have created necessity for transferring main resources towards this long term process. Also the regime change would have caused dissatisfaction of the Kokoiti followers and the need of additional resources thus significantly interfering in the process of the preparation for the Russian military intervention in Georgia.

It is also notable that The Kremlin’s dissatisfaction with Kokoiti is not politically motivated. It is only caused by the financial motives and namely by distribution of
shares between Kokoiti and the Kremlin. Kokoiti was taking the biggest part of the rehabilitation money and was sending to his protectors in Moscow less than they were expecting. That became a reason for growing sense of Kokoiti’s unreliability in the Kremlin. That’s why The Russian government commission was sent to Tskhinvali.

What does appointment of Vadim Brovtsev as the Head of the Separatist government indicate? Is Russia planning to substitute Kokoiti?

Ultimately Kokoiti will be changed. But it is unlikely to happen at this stage because he is a president and certain judicial procedures are required to replace him. And this takes time and money. Additionally, The Kremlin and Kokoiti had their "money laundering scheme" up and running. But Kokoiti started to grab most of it. Therefore replacement of Kokoiti will be far likely if he continues to do the same.

As to Brovtsev, according to the Russian media prior to becoming the head of the Separatist regime he was a head of the Board of Directors of "Vermikulit", a big construction company in Russia. If we take into consideration a level of corruption in Russia and the fact that funds were allotted for the construction and rehabilitation purposes it is very likely that Brovtsev is appointed to control expenditure and to regulate matter of shares between the Kremlin and Kokoiti.

 
 
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