The Presidium of the General Council of United Russia decided to close 10 party projects in connection with the expiration of the implementation period. Among them was the Ural Industrial - Ural Polar, the most ambitious project of the Urals Federal District. Its implementation was approved 11 years ago by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and in 2007 Boris Gryzlov (then the leader of United Russia) called UP-UP a party affair. In fact, the party's refusal to supervise this industrial program marked its complete failure.
The project began in March 2005, at a meeting on the development of the Urals Federal District. Petrov Latyshev, the deceased presidential envoy to the Urals Federal District, was considered the lobbyist of the idea. The start was given personally by President Vladimir Putin. The ideology of the project was partly borrowed from the Soviet construction of the Stalin era. Then, in the 1950s, the forces of the Gulag prisoners dragged a branch line from west to east along the 66th parallel, from Vorkuta to the Krasnoyarsk Territory. The new project implied the construction of four ZhD-branches: two from the south to the north along the Ural Mountains and two from the West to the East. They were needed to carry hydrocarbon raw materials and solid minerals: coal, quartz, iron ore, gold and so on.
So, the president gave good. A company was established. The shareholders of the federation are subjects of the Federation that are members of the Urals Federal District. They also allocated money (the main part was given by the Tyumen region, KhMAO and Yamal). The general director of the company, Oleg Demchenko, the former deputy governor of Yamal, was appointed. Demchenko will be one of the few general directors of the company who will not figure in criminal cases related to the project.
Yamalets Demchenko appeared in the project management not by chance. It is believed that the ideologist of the entire UP-UPA was the vice-governor of Yamal, Joseph Levinzon (pictured right), who oversaw the issues of the fuel and energy sector and had very detailed data on mineral reserves in the Urals north. Now Levinson is co-owner of one of the largest gold mining companies in Russia.
Autumn 2007, soon the elections to the State Duma. "United Russia" needs "scrap" projects. Party leader Boris Gryzlov came to Yekaterinburg and announced that the United Russia party was taking UP-UP under his wing. Later Gryzlov repeatedly visited the Urals Federal District to support the UPU with his authority.
Petr Latyshev died in 2008. He was replaced by classmate Dmitry Medvedev - Nikolai Vinnichenko (center), who previously headed the bailiff service. Many expected that with Vinnichenko in the project, which was already called the "black cash desk" of the embassy, order will be put in order. The project obviously skidded, causing more and more questions from journalists, citizens and regions-shareholders.
After the arrival of Vynnychenko, UP-UP was headed by his man - Alexander Beletsky (pictured in the center), who came to the Urals from Moscow. Beletsky announced a course to modernize the entire project and the company. It turned out that all the reserves of hydrocarbons and solid minerals for which the UP-UP was planned were not confirmed. Therefore, for the sake of this, the most expensive part of the project, the railway branches, does not make sense. Beletsky renamed the company UP-UP in the "Development Corporation" - including to remove the plume of scandals that haunted her.
In addition, Beletsky said that the "Development Corporation" will now only deal with commercially viable projects that will bring money to shareholders (regions of the UFD). From an infrastructure project, the company turned into something like an investment fund, or, more simply, a large cash register, from which industrial startups were supposed to be financed. Among others, it was announced that it intends to build a deep egg processing factory in Tyumen. It will later be found out that under Beletsk the corporation has reached an agreement with the Export Czech Bank on a large loan of 400 million euros for the construction of the Polyarnaya TPP near Salekhard. The bank transferred the money, but the TPP was never built. The SCR initiated a criminal case, which is being investigated up to now.
In 2012 in the Ural Federal District the plenipotentiary was again replaced. Igor Kholmanskikh (left) became it. Approximately at the same time, the "Development Corporation" had a new director - Sergei Maslov (pictured right), who was called "the man of the Kremlin" and the creature of Gennady Timchenko. They said that he came to put order in the corporation. But the criticism from the shareholders continued. The only thing we managed to do with Maslov is to open the bridge across Nadym. However, what exactly was the merit of the Corporation, it is not clear: the bridge was built on the money of Yamal. The company only "leaned" to a successful project.
The period of Maslov's leadership ended in a grand scandal. In October 2016, the general director was detained by special forces in his own mansion outside Moscow. The press was merged with pictures from the territory of his posh estate. Maslova and his first deputy, Vladimir Karamanov, were accused of withdrawing 1 billion rubles of Corporations' funds to foreign offshore companies. The leaders were arrested, but after a while they were released from the pre-trial detention center.
Why did United Russia decide to close the failed project now? Most likely, before the presidential elections in the party they decided to "dump ballast", get rid of projects with a bad reputation. Everything goes to the fact that the project of the UP-UE will be finally closed, and 30 billion rubles, which in various years contributed to the main shareholders of the corporation (Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District and Tyumen Region), will disappear without a special result. However, the project has fed its managers, lobbyists and officials for more than ten years, so there is a result for them.
In fact, from UP-UP there were several fire depots that were built along the Transneft oil pipeline in Yamal and in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District, as well as a fragment of the railway line, which the Yamal authorities called the "Northern latitudinal railway" and which they plan to finish jointly with Gazprom and RZD . The "Northern latitudinal railway" includes bridges over Nadym (built, in the photo) and through the Ob (not built). In plans - to build a railway branch from the mainland to the port of Sabetta. But the project UP-UP is no longer relevant.