The stele at the entrance to occupied Melitopol with Russian flag and Soviet symbols. Photo: RIA Novosti.
Immediately after the Russian full scale invasion into Ukraine, Yevhen Balytsky, the former parliamentarian from pro-Russian “Opposition Platform” political party, was appointed by occupants as the key public representative of the Russian occupation administration in Zaporizhzhia region.
Russia started setting up so-called “government of MCA of Zaporizhzhia oblast” at the beginning of summer 2022. Anton Viktorovich Koltsov, the first Vice-Governor and the Head of Government of Russian Vologodska oblast, was appointed by occupants as the head of MCA. He entered Russian governmental bodies after the career within Russian metallurgical company “Severstal” owned by Aleksei Mordashov, Russian oligarch and Putin’s friend.
Aleksei Vladimirovich Lysov was reported as the deputy of Koltsov on social issues in August 2022. He is also from Vologodska oblast. He is currently presented as “the deputy on industrial and infrastructural issues”.
Mr. Lysov worked as the Deputy General Director of JSC “Directorate on Construction and Maintenance of Roads” within the government of Vologodska oblast. In 2020, he won nationwide competition “Leaders of Russia” (launched by Sergei Kirienko, the Deputy Head of the Administration of the Russian President) and was appointed as the representative of oblast government for interaction with Russian federal authorities (this sphere is supervised by Kirienko). After the beginning of the Great War, Mr. Lysov was sent to Luhanska oblast (as the Deputy Head of Administration of occupied Alchevsk) and then to Melitopol, as the deputy of Koltsov. Since then, Aleksei Lysov has not made any public statements.
After Russian pseudo referendums about joining occupied Ukrainian regions with the Russian Federation, the Russian Single State Register of Legal Entities (EGRUL) started publishing data about occupation authorities, municipal enterprises, private legal entities (often stolen from Ukrainian owners) and individual entrepreneurs. As an outcome, information about Russian citizens and collaborators, heads of occupation ministries and departments, became publicly available. It is an evidence of their illegal actions and is the basis for applying sanctions against Russian citizens “managing” occupied Ukrainian territories and for opening criminal cases against Ukrainian citizens – collaborators and traitors. Below we cover people already introduced into the Russian Single State Register.
Yuri Vladimirovich Guskov is indicated in the Russian register as the head of legal entity titled “Ministry of Industry and Energy Sector of the MCA of Zaporizhzhia oblast”. He came to Melitopol from Russian Sverdlovska oblast. He started his working career as an individual entrepreneur repairing leather shoes in 2004.
Yuri Guskov, “the minister of industry of MCA” of occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia oblast. Photo: facebook.com/clasterpro
The Russian State Register also informs that “minister” Guskov keeps managing LLC “Information portal for employers”. He is also the founder of LLC “Electron” (monitoring environmental pollution) and LLC “Kibertop” manufacturing steel cisterns.
“The Ministry of Healthcare” of MCA of occupied Zaporizhzhia region is being transformed from the “department” of MCA to the level of “ministry”. But Russian state media already call Boris Aleksandrovich Aleksandrov as the “minister of Zaporizhzhia oblast”. He is currently the Minister of Healthcare Protection of Komi Republic of the Russian Federation.
For the time of this publication, the Russian State Register did not contain information about “the Ministry of Healthcare of MCA of Zaporizhzhia oblast” as the registered legal entity. On the other hand, the Register indicates “the Healthcare Department of MCA”. Viktor Viktorovich Kuchkovoi, the former “Minister of Healthcare Protection of DNR”, has been its head since December 22, 2022. The “Department” as the legal entity received its state registration number (OGRN, in Russian terms) on the same date. At the same time, Balytsky issued an order about reorganization of the “Department” into the “Ministry” on December 20, 2022. This order mentioned Aleksandrov as the “minister” and Kuchkovoi – as his advisor. Deputy Ministers are Elena Borchaninova, the former director of the Center supporting the activity of the Ministry of Healthcare Protection of the Komi Republic, and local collaborator Iryna Sklyana, who served as the Deputy Head of the Department of Healthcare Protection of the Melitopol City Council before Russian occupation.
“The Ministry of Agro-Industrial Complex and Food Policy of MCA of Zaporizhzhia oblast” is headed by Svetlana Yurjevna Shevchenko. Half a year ago we covered her role in launching “grain express” – about stealing the Ukrainian grain through Russian company “State grain operator”. Now we have official information about this Russian citizen (her Russian taxpayer’s registration number is 220413293124). Before October 2022, she founded LLC “New life world” in Saint Petersburg. The company conducted the wholesale trade of animals. Before February 2022, Svetlana Shevchenko managed “Agrogrup” company which raised animals in Stepanjanske village in Leningradska oblast of the Russian Federation.
The CJI already informed about appointment of Radik Spartakovich Isjakaev as the “Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of MCA of Zaporizhzhia oblast”. This businessman from Russian Mordovia headed municipal enterprise “Small Jerusalem” in occupied Yevpatoria in Crimea. The enterprise managed tourist object with the same name. Under his management, the enterprise raised prices and was criticized for poor quality services.
Infamously known “zoo-volunteer” Yuri Kovanov is the deputy of Isjakaev. It was reported that he offered to Ramzan Kadyrov the dog brought from Mariupol ruined by Russian troops. He also “offered” the legend about the dog – as if it was owned by Azov servicemen and had nickname “Adolf” (the dog was brought back to Ukraine during an exchange of prisoners of war on December 31, 2022 – ed.).
In accordance with the Russian State Register, “the Ministry of Finances of MCA of Zaporizhzhia oblast” is headed by Daria Nikolajevna Zinchenko. Her Russian taxpayer’s number is 614346263839. She received it in Russian Rostovska oblast. That’s all the Russian Register informs about her. It means she has not been an individual entrepreneur, the head or founder of any legal entities in Russia. We failed to find any other information about her in Ukrainian databases.
People from Sevastopol and Crimea
Yulia Vasiljevna Gubanova is the member of occupation “government” of Zaporizhzhia region according to the quota of Mikhail Razvozhaev, the “governor of Sevastopol”. She loves giving public comments to the Russian mass media. Sometimes she is presented as an “acting Minister of Transport”, in other cases – as “acting Minister of Construction, Architecture and Communal Services”. It is not mistake. The Russian Register informs that Gubanova is registered as the head of both ministries. However, she also keeps her business position as a director of Moscow LLC “Construction company “Komandiry”.
She has been the founder of this company before November 25, 2022 but then the new founder appeared – Natalia Nikolaevna Maidanova, the wife of Denis Maidanov, the member of the Russian State Duma and propagandist-singer (he is known for propaganda song about Russian nuclear rocket called “Sarmatushka”). The Ukrainian National Agency to Prevent Corruption recommended the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to impose personal sanctions on Mrs. Maidanova as the family member of the Russian parliamentarian whose well being might be linked to Kremlin regime. She also manages several propaganda projects like “Territory of the First”.
Before appointment to the Zaporizhzhia occupation “government”, she headed JSC “Sevastopolstroiproekt”. Local media called it “shell company” to steal money from the budget of Sevastopol City. The company won public bids for 7.3 billion Rubles during last years. It received informal nickname of “beloved builder” of Razvozhaev’s government. Crimean and Russian mass media published many articles about company’s failure to fulfill its obligations and fines imposed. In October 2022, the “court” of occupied Sevastopol satisfied the lawsuit of occupation prosecutors against the company. As an outcome, an agreement with the company was cancelled as it failed to repair the square in resort village Lubymivka. Now ex-director and ex-founder of this “beloved company” manages transport, construction and communal services in the occupied part of Zaporizhzhia region.
There is another “minister” from Sevastopol. His name is Anton Robertovich Titsky, the Ukrainian citizen. He headed the “Ministry of Youth Policy of MCA of Zaporizhzhia oblast” in June 2022. He came to occupied South of Ukraine earlier, in spring 2022. He managed propaganda projects within the Russian Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (he worked as an advisor of its head). The CJI published the following information about his biography.
In 2012, Titsky ran for the member of the Ukrainian parliament from “Russian block” political party. It won less than 0,5% of votes. In February-March 2014, he served at military checkpoints of illegal military unit “Samooborona Sevastopolia” [“Self-Defense of Sevastopol”] and headed headquarters of “Russian International”, set up by Russian party “Rodina” [“Motherland”]. Having managed Crimean branch of “Rodina”, he moved to Moscow and got employment with the Russian Federal Agency for Youth Affairs.
It was reported in the last summer, that Ivan Komelov, another Sevastopol participant of the “Russian Spring”, worked under Titsky’s supervision in occupied Zaporizhzhia region. There is no information about his concrete duties.
There is far more information about 27 years old Veronika Oleksiivna Aksutina, “the deputy” of Titsky. She also came to occupied Melitopol from Sevastopol. She is likely to be the Ukrainian citizen, her birth date is 11.1995 and taxpayer’s registration number is 500603868584. She has been the founder and manager of Sevastopol regional organization “Russian Youth Union” until 2021 (she headed the organization when she turned 20 years old). She changed her maiden name to Oganesova and then back to Aksutina. In 2018, she worked as the leading specialist in the “department of youth affairs and sports” in occupied Sevastopol.
The website of the occupation administration of the Russian Federation in Zaporizhzhia oblast has a special section of the “Ministry of Property and Land Relations of MCA”. However, the Russian State Register does not contain any information about such a legal entity.
The webpage of this “Ministry” informs that Vladimir Vasiljevich Gamanov is an acting “minister”. He also came from temporarily occupied Crimea. He has owned and managed three companies on the Crimean Peninsula before the Russian annexation. In 2020, he has been appointed as the Deputy Head of occupation administration of Simferopolsky raion. He also headed the branch of “Young Guard of “Single Russia” of raion. He is the founder of non-governmental organization “Pioneers of Crimean spring”.
There are negative opinions about his work in social media. He is accused of misusing budgetary resources or redistributing land plots in favor of his wife.
Gamanov supervises “nationalization” of property in temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia region. This property is treated by occupation authorities as “having no owners”. In fact, it is about land plots, transport and buildings stolen by occupants from Ukrainian owners.
The “Ministry of Tariffs and Price Regulation of MCA of Zaporizhzhia oblast” is headed by Andrei Vladimirovich Kochetov.
This “minister” came to Zaporizhzhia region from temporarily occupied Luhansk oblast. He has been the head of the trade union of so-called “LNR” there and even the employee of the “ministry of foreign affairs of LNR”.
Russian mass media also often mention Kochetov’s deputy – Russian citizen Yelizaveta Mikhailovna Chelakova (Russian taxpayer’s registration number is 615000986297). She is from Rostovska oblast. She headed association of entrepreneurs in Novocherkask. She ran for City Duma in 2015 but failed. In accordance with the Russian State Register, Chelakova keeps managing two private companies (sale of books and security service) and non-governmental organization protecting consumer rights.
As we can see, top positions of the Russian occupation administration are allocated to public officials brought directly from the Russian Federation or from earlier occupied Crimea and Donbas. Local collaborators were given only two positions.
Russian information sources call Olena Oleksandrivna Shapurova “the minister of education”. Before the Russian occupation, she has been director of Melitopol college. She became one of the first Melitopol collaborators in March 2022.
Shapurova agreed to head illegally created division and then “department of education”. She forced teachers to cooperate with occupation authorities. She launched tuition process in schools and kindergartens in strict accordance with the program of aggressor. Ukrainian prosecutors announced her suspicion in collaborator activity.
The Russian State Register does not have information about the “Ministry of Education and Science” as legal entity. But it does contain registration data about “department of education and science of Zaporizhzhia oblast” and “department of education and science of Melitopol”. Both departments are headed by Olena Shapurova.
Melitopol resident Olena Volodymyrivna Martynenko is another local “minister”. She was appointed by occupants to head “the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of MCA of Zaporizhzhia ovlast”. As local media RIA-Melitopol reported, she sold tickets at municipal ice arena before the appointment.
However, Russians also appointed their own supervisor: Yevgenii Markelov was appointed the deputy of Olena Martynenko. Before the Russian occupation of Melitopol, he worked in the Ministry of Labor of Krasnodarsky krai of the Russian Federation.
Local collaborators were also appointed as deputies or advisors of ministers. For example, Andrii Mykolayovych Boiko was appointed as “the Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism”. Before the Russian occupation, he has been the director of Melitopol sports school for children and youth.
There was an explosion near his house in November 2022. Сollaborator had light concussion…
Material is created by the information agency “The Center for Journalist Investigations” in partnership with the Human Rights Center ZMINA.