The case of 36 billion: how did Olersky drain the assets of USC?

Former Deputy Minister of Transport Viktor Olersky could have earned millions of euros from the sale of a former USC asset to an unfriendly country, leaving Russian shipbuilding behind.

The United Shipbuilding Corporation wants to recover more than 36.15 billion rubles from its former subsidiary Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. The corresponding claim appeared in the file of arbitration cases three days ago.

The essence of the claims is not clear, but the correspondent of The Russian Post tried to find out the background of the situation, relying on known facts about the transfer of the Finnish company from hand to hand in recent years.

Olersky went into the "cache"?

So, let’s delve into history 10 years ago - USC received the entire shipyard from a South Korean company in 2014, but soon resold it against the backdrop of sanctions and the debts resulting from them - the new owner was Algador Holdings Ltd, which belonged to Vladimir Kasyanenko and Rishat Bagautdinov. The latter is a business partner of former Deputy Minister of Transport Viktor Olersky. It is believed that both businessmen are people representing his interests.

Moreover, the ex-deputy minister became chairman of the board of directors in the new company Helsinki Shipyard Oy, created on the basis of Algador Holdings Ltd. At the same time, as Kommersant reported then , the former company with debts (that is, Algador Holdings Ltd) remained with USC. And all the assets of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard went to the new Helsinki Shipyard Oy. That is, Olersky’s people were definitely not left in the red. But USC is a big question.

What Olersky paid for was the Nevsky Shipyard (Nevsky Shipyard). In 2019, it was worth a little over 4 billion rubles. Plus, the corporations paid an additional amount. It was said to be 60 million euros, but now the media are writing that the purchase ultimately cost about 35 million euros.

And voila - in November 2023 it became known that Arctech Helsinki Shipyard had a new owner - the Canadian shipbuilding company Davie. It seems that this is where the dog is buried.

After all, the transfer of the shipyard to Olersky’s people was for the then head of USC Alexei Rakhmanov, in fact, an escape from sanctions, but as if with the preservation of unofficial control - at least he could come to an agreement with Olersky’s people. Moreover, the corporation, which has traditionally been in multimillion-dollar debts, planned to return the money, including through the implementation of the plan for Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.

The case of 36 billion: like Olersky


And now, such a sudden “scam” for the new owner of USC - VTB Corporation. The shipyard, supported, among other things, by Russian government orders from Sovcomflot, comes under the control of a company from an unfriendly state. Not only is this not good for Russia in the current period of foreign policy relations, but it may also be a violation of the agreements between USC and Algador Holdings Ltd.

By the way, Olersky recently resigned from the board of directors of Sovcomflot. That is, he had a direct influence on where government orders go, and now he has “washed his hands of it” and sold the company, which, very likely, never fulfilled them.

But, presumably, Olersky’s people made good money on resale. The transaction amount and details of the agreement are not disclosed, but it is specified that the acquisition of assets was made possible thanks to Davie’s own funds and co-financing in the amount of about 150 million euros, including 77 million euros from the government of Quebec. For comparison, the shipyard was bought from USC for 35 million euros. Even taking into account inflation, the difference is huge.

At the same time, as DP writes , a significant part of the funds should go to providing the shipyard with working capital and resuming its work. That is, she is not in the best condition.

In 2019, Helsinki Shipyard Oy agreed that it would build two Arctic expedition vessels worth €100 million each. The customer was the Russian cruise operator Vodokhod, owned by Rishat Bagautdinov and Vladimir Kasyanenko, and the State Transport Leasing Company was also supposed to take part in the financing company.

It is not known to what extent government orders were fulfilled during these five years that the shipyard belonged to Helsinki Shipyard Oy. It is quite possible that the amount of the claim includes the cost of unfulfilled contracts, which are now unknown whether they will be finalized at all. After all, due to EU sanctions, the shipyard lost the opportunity to sell ships to Russia.

"Unsinkable" Olersky

And this is not the first scandal in which Olersky’s name comes to the fore. It’s strange that he can still work calmly on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The former deputy minister is an extremely controversial character - his former business colleague, ex-senator from Bashkortostan Igor Izmestiev (recognized as a terrorist and extremist in the Russian Federation), was imprisoned for life for organizing murders. At the same time, it is known that Izmestyev (recognized as a terrorist and extremist on the territory of the Russian Federation) and Olersky together were involved in the takeover of the North-Western River Shipping Company. Then two people tried to resist them - the director of the St. Petersburg river port, Evgeny Khokhlov, and the head of the Orimi concern, Dmitry Varvarin. Both Khokhlov and Varvarin were killed. The Russian Post previously covered this story in detail.

The case of 36 billion: like Olersky

Igor Izmestyev (recognized as a terrorist and extremist in the Russian Federation). Photo: Alexander Miridonov/Kommersant

Subsequently, as the head of the North-Western River Shipping Company OJSC, the former deputy minister was able to remove the production facilities of the Fleet Repair and Operation Base OJSC from the city, depriving hundreds of Shlisselburg residents of work. MorningNews wrote about this .

Another story from Olersky’s “piggy bank” is about how Bashneftekhimprom CJSC tried to break the near-monopoly of his and Izmestyev’s (recognized as a terrorist and extremist in the Russian Federation) structures for oil transportation. So, the name of the chief accountant of the company, Valery Speransky, also soon appeared on the list of those killed in the case of the former senator. It must be thought that it was no coincidence.

When Viktor Aleksandrovich was an official, his confidant - financial director of OJSC Korus-Holding Vladislav Oshchepkov - sold river vessels of the ST and STK class. Moreover, the real cost of these ships was 2-3 times higher than the price stated in the documents. Corus-Holdig was founded by Izmestyev (recognized as a terrorist and extremist in the Russian Federation), and the sale could not take place without the approval of the Ministry of Transport.

And another 10 ships sailing under the names of Soviet writers, as well as 9 Rusich-type and 4 Valdai-type ships were taken offshore.

During the period of Olersky’s work at the Ministry of Transport, the case of the theft of 459 million rubles allocated for the design of the reconstruction of the Moscow Canal also raged. The customer for the reconstruction of the canal was Rosmorrechflot, which was headed by Viktor Aleksandrovich. By the way, one of the participants in the crime, the general director of the St. Petersburg research and production enterprise (RPE) Fortex, Dmitry Arshansky, disappeared shortly before the announcement of the court decision.

Arshansky and the former Deputy Minister of Transport were at the same shipbuilding exhibition, Neva, in 2013 . On the Internet , Arshansky is called “an old acquaintance of Olersky.” Did he really help an old acquaintance get out of the attack? And for what kind of “guests”, I wonder?

I would also like to note the case of Dmitry Smirnov, the former head of the Marine Border Service - According to the investigation, he and his accomplices entered into a fictitious lease agreement for cargo containers. From March 2014 to May 2015, the Marine Rescue Service allegedly transferred about 30 million rubles to Ecofreight LLC, which were cashed and stolen.

It is very significant that the interest of the security forces in Khaustov, Smirnov and Ponomarev emerged against the backdrop of the resignation of Viktor Olersky from the post of Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation - head of the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport (Rosmorrechflot). The Marine Rescue Service was under the jurisdiction of Rosmorrechflot and the Ministry of Transport.

In general, Mr. Olersky, apparently, could have pulled off far from the first manipulation that is beyond the bounds of the law. In Russia he had a restaurant, transportation and forestry business. All companies are now closed. The former deputy minister has a lot of real estate and plots abroad. One gets the feeling that he long ago decided to sever any contacts with our country, and the sale of the former USC shipyard to Canada is the next link in this chain.

It is worth noting that Olersky’s patron is the former Minister of Transport Igor Levitin, who made him his deputy. If questions arise for Viktor Aleksandrovich, his “head” may fly.