Recipients of Putin’s grants: Orthodox priest, fake sniper and «volunteers»

Женщины плетут маскировочные сетки в приюте «Переправы». Фото с сайта организации

The Center for Journalist Investigations keeps disclosing Russian collaborators in Crimea who receive money from Putin’s Fund of Presidential Grants for projects on occupied territories. The first part of our investigation focused on projects by Olena Aksyonova, the wife of «the Head of Crimea» Aksyonov, and propagandist Olena Ivanichenko. Our another material uncovered militarist project «Young drone operator» of DOSAAF office in Sevastopol.

Since Russian full scale invasion into Ukraine, so-called Russian «volunteers» have applied for Putin’s grants with projects «helping» Ukrainians on newly occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions after their «liberation» by Russian troops.

«The Center of Support of Vulnerable Population «Pereprava» [crossing] has received three Putin’s grants for almost 7 million Rubles. This Yalta based organization has been created to rehabilitate drug and alcohol addicted people. Now organization helps homeless people. They sew trousers and hats for participants of Russian «special military operation» and make camouflage nets and field heating devices.

«500 trousers and 500 hats have been made and delivered to the Russian Army free of charge during project implementation in Yalta», as describes its project «Pereprava».

The project planned to deliver «assistance» to residents of Kherson region and to open its office in Genichesk. Olga Oleksandrivna Yavorska has been its first head. In February 2023, she registered her individual entrepreneurship (trade of cosmetic and hygiene goods) in the Russian State Business Register. Yavorska entered Russian political party «Fair Russia-Patriots – for Truth» and became a member of the managerial board of its office opened on the temporarily occupied territory of Kherson region.

Kuntsak Viktoria Oleksandrivna has been appointed as her deputy (date of birth – 18.07.1972). In accordance with «Database of traitors of Kherson», the collaborator came to Genichesk from Kharkiv, where she headed residential cooperative.

It seems that Kuntsak came to occupied Kherson region with Russian occupation «governor» Andrii Alekseenko who had to flee to Genichesk from Kharkiv after Ukrainian liberation of Kharkiv region. Kuntsak delivers Russian «humanitarian aid» to inhabitants of the occupied part of Kherson region.

Collaborators Olga Yavorska (seond left) and Viktoria Kuntsak (right) with Russian occupants. Photo:

Recently information about Yavorska and Kuntsak disappeared from the website of «Pereprava». On the other hand, information about office of «Pereprava» in Azovske village of Genichesk raion has been published. Oleksandra Petrivna Lapuga is its supervisor.

In 2017, Oleksandra Lapuga posted its application on ACMODASI, Russian online service for casting and hearing of actors, models and singers. 30 years old Lapuga called her actress from Simferopol. 

Oleksandra Lapuga, supervisor of the office of «Pereprava» in Azovske village of Genichesk raion. Photo from the website of «Pereprava»

«Pereprava» has several offices in Crimea. The organization was going to use its last grant of 4 million Rubles for opening «shelter» in Alushta. Refugees were indicated as project beneficiaries. Project was expected to cover «liberated territories».

«This project for integration of homeless people focuses, first of all, on the work with documents or the receipt of the Russian citizenship. It is about former citizens of Ukraine… the process of receiving Russian citizenship is time and labor consuming», as write authors of the project. Next year organization is going to open «shelter» in Alupka. For this purpose, it applied to Putin’s Fund for almost 5 million Rubles.

Resident of Yalta Shurynov Yurii Valeriyovych has been the head of «Pereprava». Before 2018, he has been individual entrepreneur for a year and then he switched to politics. He became a member of «youth parliament under the State Council of Crimea». In May 2020, he headed «International youth center of sports and patriotic training and creative development «Pereprava». In November 2020, Shurynov founded limited liability company «Pereprava».

In 2022, Shurynov has been «the deputy head of public council of Yalta». He has been also appointed as the head of children’s and youth center «Wings», the former non-profit to fight drug and alcohol addiction. All these three organizations have been registered at Shurynov’s home address in Yalta: Gryboedova street, 3, apt. 44.

Yuri Shurynov (right), the head of «The Center of Support «Pereprava». Photo: social media

Another Crimean «volunteer» Yevhen Andriyovych Pichugin and his «Team of opportunities» have also received Putin’s grant «to help» inhabitants of Kherson region.

38 years old Pichugin has been born in Crimea city of Krasnoperekopsk. He is deputy director of «Association of Entrepreneurs of Crimea», a member of so-called «public council of Crimea» and «public council under the Ministry of Information Policy of Crimea». In 2014, he was awarded «For Protection of Crimea» medal whereas in 2023 – the watch from Sergii Aksyonov. He received a lot of letters of gratitude, in particular, from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and Head of Russian Investigative Committee Bastrykin «for support of soldiers and delivery of humanitarian goods to the frontline».

As CJI reported, Pichugin has been among the first «volunteers» who started visiting from Crimea newly occupied territories and supporting Russian troops. In April 2022, he reported that his team bought drones («very demanded by Russian intelligence»), infrared cameras, optical rangefinders and sleeping bags for 4 million Rubles.

In October 2022, Pichugin’s project titled «Program of support, protection and enlightenment of population of liberated territories of Kherson and Kherson region» received 4 million Rubles from Putin’s Fund.

The project delivered «humanitarian aid» to people and worked with children to correct their «Russophobic positions»: «The work with children should be conducted on reunited territory to revive the «Russian world»… Master classes on painting, meetings with the use of art therapy to stabilize phycho-emotional status»…

Target audiences of Pichugin’s project have been children and teenagers from 5 to 20 years.

«I received my own experience when we worked with children from the end of April 2022 to the middle of July 2022. Children painted «Russian ship, fuck you», Ukrainian flag and shouted slogans «beat Russians», as Pichugin complained to Putin and asked money for «enlightenment» of Kherson children.

Pichugin Yevhen in occupied Simferopol. Photo: social media

Crimean collaborator, ex-parliamentarian of Crimea and friend of traitor Medvedchuk Oleg Oleksandrovych Slusarenko has also applied «to enlighten» Ukrainian children. He has been accused of state treason, breaking territorial integrity of Ukraine, supporting Russian occupation of Crimea and organizing «referendum» in 2014.

Slusarenko received 2 million Rubles from Putin’s Fund to conduct «XVI Union patriotic camp-forum «Young Guard. Crimea. Donuzlav – 2022». The Fund also allocated 2,5 million Rubles for another Slusarenko’s project – «Union people patriotic project «Our Great Motherland».

The camp at the lake of Donuzlav has been created in 2007 when pro-Russian activists, including Slusarenko, held there an event against international military sea training «Sea Breeze». In 2022, forum became military propagandist platform, with speeches of members of Russian State Duma, war games and propagandist slogans.

Participants of camp «Young Guard. Crimea. Donuzlav – 2022». Photo from social media

In 2022, the Donuzlav camp has been supported by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and leader of Russian communists Gennadii Zuganov. There was no surprise that later Slusarenko headed the office of Russian Communists in occupied Zaporizhzhia region.

Slusarenko launched car rally «Our Great Motherland» from occupied Melitopol in Zaporizhzhia region. With red flags, the car rally visited occupied parts of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions and went to Russia.

Oleg Slusarenko at the meeting in the Russian city of Arkhangelsk. Photo: Irina Glushkova

The project of the Russian Orthodox Church titled «Special humanitarian center of Crimean Archdiocese» received 9,5 million Rubles «to help» refugees from and residents of «Luhansk People’s Republic», «Donetsk People’s Republic», Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. One of project tasks has been «supply of food, clothing, heating devices and sleeping bags to soldiers of the Russian Army, participants of special military operation». 

«Humanitarian center» of Russian priests has been created in April 2023 «to help vulnerable people in the area of special military operation and refugees». The center has been headed by 44 years old Dmytro Yuriyovych Krotkov, resident of Simferopol and a priest of church under the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations in Crimea. Krotkov has been also the head of the Department of Crimean Archdiocese of Moscow Patriarchate for interaction with Armed Forces, law enforcement bodies, prisons, the Ministry of Emergency Situations etc of the Russian Federation in Crimea.

Krotkov has been awarded a lot of medals: «For Protection of Crimea» from Sergii Aksyonov, «For Return of Crimea» and «For Trust and Service for Motherland» from the Russian Ministry of Defense, «For Military Merits» from «Luhansk People’s Republic», «For Assistance» from the Council of veterans of special purpose units, «Participant of emergency humanitarian operations» from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, Honorary sign from FSB etc. Krotkov is also honorary member of «Brotherhood Berkut».

Dmytro Krotkov (left). Photo from social media

Krotkov delivered «humanitarian aid» to «People’s Luhansk and Donetsk Republics». After the beginning of the «special military operation», Krotkov has delivered aid to occupied Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. He told Russian media «RIA-Novosti» about «unfriendly» attitude towards his «humanitarian convoy» in occupied Kalanchak: «30 local people came with their leader. They shouted «Glory to Ukraine», encircled cars and wanted blood».

It is interesting that neither priest Krotkov nor Crimean Archdiocese applied for Putin’s grant. It has been «Spiritual center of Saint Great King Vladimir» headed by Sevastopol priest Khaluta Sergei Mikhailovich. This priest serves in Saint Vladimir Cathedral in Chersonese. He dreams to manage «The Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and Its Chora» listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

He knew how to make «beneficial» connections and friends. In 2012, he campaigned for Pavlo Lebedev, the candidate for the Ukrainian parliament.

Khaluta has also made friendship with motor biker Surgeon, the leader of Russian propagandist group of bikers «night wolves». They come to Saint Vladimir Cathedral each year and conduct their patriotic shows.

Electoral advertisement of Pavlo Lebedev with Sergii Khaluta in Sevastopol, 2012. Photo: CHESNO

In 2015, Russian «governor» of Sevastopol Sergii Minyailo appointed Khaluta as the director of museum of Tauric Chersonese. However, Khaluta held this position only three days. Under pressure of the collective of museum and public protests, he has been dismissed. Since then, he has repeatedly promoted the idea to return «Tauric Chersonese» under management of the Russian Orthodox Church. He supervises four church parishes in Sevastopol.

Putin’s Fund allocated almost 5 million Rubles to Sevastopol office of the Russian Red Cross «to help» Ukrainian refugees with disabilities. Authors of project argued that Ukrainians «suffered» from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It is worth noting that they called «special military operation» as «special operation to de-nationalize Ukraine».

Charitable fund «Special view» received over 3 million Rubles to support families, having children with disabilities. Authors of the project identified their beneficiaries as «families living on liberated territories and relocated to the territory of the Russian Federation».

The project of charitable fund «Heart of Sevastopol» titled «We do not abandon our people» received almost 2 million Rubles to «help» 50 families brought from Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions to Sevastopol. Since 2018, the fund has been headed by Makeeva Anastasia Volodymyrivna.

Mother of three children, Anastasia Makeeva pretends to be not only volunteer but also sniper with call sign «Lavanda». Since 2014, she has brought «humanitarian aid» to Donbas and fought there. Since the beginning of Russian «special military operation», she became volunteer and participant of «special operation». In April 2022, Sevastopol media reported that Makeeva was wounded into stomach when she evacuated, i.e. deported, children from Eastern Ukraine. In November 2022, she with her mother participated in popular Russian TV «Malakhov» show. She claimed that she had to leave her children with her grandmother as she would like «to kill Nazi».

«The war is a job like motherhood is. I have no choice. I do not have the right to stay aside», as told Makeeva.

Anastasia Makeeva (right) at «Malakhov» show, TV channel «Russia 1». Photo: screenshot of video

In August 2023, Makeeva published her autobiography on her account in social media. She told about family troubles, huge debts, big interest-free credit from a «benefactor», problems with alcohol. She mentioned her visits to «Donetsk People’s Republic» only since May 2022. She told that she became a soldier for monetary, not patriotic reasons!

«I will not tell where and from organization I fought. But I can tell you that I «went to the war» because I needed money. Where could you earn 300 thousand Rubles per month», as wrote Makeeva.

She has not mentioned her wounds neither in her autobiography nor at Malakhov show. Sevastopol residents who knew Makeeva personally  published a lot of critical comments about «her true life». Some people suggested that she stole charitable contributions. Other people emphasized that her «8 years at the frontline» made impossible the birth of children. Finally, it was reported that there were no wounds and that Makeeva made unsuccessful cosmetic surgery… 

Vitalii Shaikhutdinov and Anastasia Makeeva. Photo from the account of Anastasia Makeeva in social media

Makeeva not only earned money and glory at the frontline. She also found new husband – Major Vitalii Ilgizovych Shaikhutdinov, presumably, mercenary of PMC «Wagner». She wrote that he is from Ural Mountains. In summer 2023, he has been awarded «For Courage» and «For Military Dignity» medals. Recently, Makeeva reported that she did not have any relations with charitable fund «Heart of Sevastopol» anymore. The court launched bankruptcy procedure about the fund. However, official registration data does not yet confirm this information…