Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the creation of its own semiconductor industry in Russia; Denis Frolov was appointed to fulfill this "important state task". As a "trial ball" the company "Lassard", which won the tender of the Ministry of Industry and Trade for 1.2 billion rubles. for the construction by the end of 2025 of an installation for the production of semiconductors GaAs and Ge, 65% owned by Denis Frolov, who in June 2021 headed one of the largest IT companies in Russia - NCC. Frolov also has an 80% stake in Astra Linux, plus he is a shareholder in Baikal Electronics.

Денис Фролов (слева)

Here, the absurdity of this task, understandable to everyone, is not even so important, because countries such as the United States or Taiwan have spent hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of years, creating enormous capacities and entire generations of development engineers, firmly occupying shares in the world market and already producing 3-5 processors. nanometers. In Russia, we are talking about an aggregate investment of 5-10 billion dollars on the basis of obsolete post-Soviet assets. Nobody sets goals to compete in the world market, which already makes this task meaningless. But they want, at least on paper, to "replace" foreign computers and software with domestic "hard" and "software", along the way "mastering" the maximum amount of Russian petrodollars on this path and "go into the fog." And of course, a total bad experience such as the Yotaphone smartphone that has sunk into oblivion or Reiman's processors from Angstrem-T does not stop anyone. Money doesn't smell.


From yoghurts to light bulbs. From bulbs to lasers


But back to our hero, who headed this wonderful state project. conducted its own investigation and found out a lot of interesting things about him.

 After working for some time as a business analyst in Wimm-Bil-Dan (there was such a producer of yoghurts and juices, which belonged to reputable businessmen Gabriel Yushvaev and David Yakobashvili, and then it was bought by Pepsico), our hero put together a company for the resale of Chinese light bulbs to Russia (a group Wharton). So Denis would have continued to carry this counterfeit around the villages and villages, but he managed to get acquainted with the all-powerful Director of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center (VNIIEF - the key structure of the State Corporation "Rosatom") Valentin Kostyukov. And the idea was born to create LLC "Lassard" to organize the production of laser equipment for future orders from Rosatom. According to rumors, Kostyukov himself, through par, owns 27.5% in Lassard, it is logical that the civil servant thought about his pension.


And now the hunchback. From lasers to software


Rumor has it that another official, Nikolai Arkhipov, an influential head of the department of the military-industrial complex of the Government of the Russian Federation, became another partner of our yoghurt analyst. Since orders from the Ministry of Defense for the digitalization of everything and everyone were growing every year, the idea arose to put together a Rusbitech company to master these generous budgets. No sooner said than done. Under guaranteed future orders from the Ministry of Defense and other government agencies, it was easy to consolidate various software development teams hanging out in the market, and somehow the "business" went uphill.

Николай Архипов в центре

One ring to rule them all


In Russia, the utopian idea has long been hovering that in the event of a complete conflict with the West, everyone will have to switch from computers to paper notebooks and Chinese calculators again. Therefore, you need your own processor, your own server, your own software, and, as a result, your own domestic computer. And for some reason, all this should still be in the same "private" hands.

According to a source, only Frolova and his friends (after all, they will have to be responsible for state injections) are not embarrassed by the obvious disastrous prospects of this idea. So the disgraced (with deliveries to the Ministry of Internal Affairs) Baikal Electronics, Astra Linux began to move to the Frolov empire ... under the same sauce, budget billions have been "mastered" and forgotten for the purpose of import substitution. A serious scandal erupted in connection with the capture of Aquarius (NCC). There are talks about the consolidation of Element Group (now part of AFK Sistema).

As a result, by all indications, another major scam with budget money is being started in the country, by analogy with Yotafons from Rostec and processors from Angstrem-T, only an order of magnitude larger. Meanwhile, Lassard LLC received another state contract for 1.2 billion rubles from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. "It is assumed that the project under the (self-explanatory) name" Listopad "will reduce the dependence of Russian electronics manufacturers on foreign suppliers." Frolov's other company, Baikal Electronics, won two tenders from the Ministry of Industry and Trade for a total of almost 10 billion rubles. to develop two new processors. It is surprising that the officials of the Ministry of Industry and Trade are not bothered by the frequent searches and arrests in their ranks. Around the same time, October 28, 2021, Astra Linux co-founder Denis Frolov was taken for interrogation to the Investigative Committee. On the morning of the same day, searches were carried out in his apartment. Obviously, the relevant authorities began to look at the situation more attentively.

Denis Zhirnov

To be continued...