Posts

Highway to easy money

When the authorities have decided where to build a new road, the land tends to recently have changed its ownership and must be bought out for a high price. The new owner is not seldom a person or a company with “special knowledge”, making sure to be the owner the state is forced to buy out.

The journalist Alena Dudar in Kaliningrad has found at least 56 plots, often purchased by people with insider knowledge, between early 2008 and October 2016. The new owners made easy money. The state made losses.

Read the original story

Read the English translation

Paradise for Roller Skiers, Hell for Tax Payers

It was meant to shorten the way between Russia and Finland and make trade and travel easier. But the 830 million ruble road (approximately 12 million €) is mostly famous for one thing: to be an excellent summer time training ground for Russian cross country skiers in Karelia.

As there is almost no traffic on this expensive 28 kilometer two layer asphalt road, it is both safe and silent for roller skiers. Gleb Yarovoy at the media outlet 7X7 tells the story about why such a nice road leads to an almost dead end.

The article was published on January 25, 2018, in 7×7 in Petrozavodsk.

Read the original article

Read the English translation

 

In the Morning: Elections, In the Evening: Contracts

The regional elections in Karelia 2016 ended in a victory for the Edinaya Rossiya party («United Russia»), and in the year after the party also won the governor post.

As always in politics there was money behind these results. In his investigation ‘In the Morning – Elections, In the Evening – Contracts’, the journalist Sergei Khorosavin took a closer look at the potential sponsors of the successful party – first and foremost to the millionaire Nikolai Makarov and his companys bidding for public contracts.

The investigation was first published by 7×7 on January 29, 2018.

Read the original article

Read the English translation

 

A Company Full of Empty Promises

The building site in Petrozavodsk, where the company Okhta has started construction of blocks of flats is polluted. That’s a fact according to independent experts.

Okthas manager saw it the same way a few years ago and promised to removed the dirty soil. Since then no trucks have been driving polluted material off the site. Instead there is a discussion between authorities, which have approved some of the building plans, about the correct way of taking samples, and the first buildings are now standing, where once the workers of Onega Tractor Plant built heavy machinery. The reporter Julia Kucherenko tells a story of broken promises.

The investigation was first published in the newssite 7×7 in Petrozavodsk on November 16, 2017.

Read the original text

Read the English translation

 

The Cold Radiators of Suoyarvi

The winter can get cold in the small Karelian town Suoyarvi – minus 30. But it can also get cold inside buildings which should be kept warm by the local heating station.

The authorities in 2015 seemed to have found the solution to the cold flats: A new boiler. But it didn’t work efficiently. Prices went up and to add to the problems citizens had to use electrical fans. Almost everybody – including the prosecutor – agree that it’s too cold inside in Suoyarvi. But when it comes to who is responsible for the mess, the reporter Sergei Markelov found only evasive answers.

His report was published 23.11.2016.

Read the Russian original

Read the English translation

 

 

The Dogs Keep Disappearing in Karelia

Since Karelian authorities launched a campaign against stray dogs, Nikolai, Anastasia and many other citizens have been looking for their pets: They have disappeared and nobody seems to know the fate of their beloved animals.

The reporters Alexandra Zaitseva and Maxim Shumeyko from the project “7×7” tried to find out what happened, and soon found themselves in a maze of existing and non-existing companies and offices. It seems that the authorities simply kill hundreds of dogs every year. Needless to add that this is not what the law states.

Their report was published 19.10.2016

Read the original article (Russian)

Read the English translation

Imprisoned by a Railroad Track

A small residential area in the Karelian village of Chalna has been cut off from the rest of the village for almost four years, because the railroad company without any warning closed a crossing and thus blocked the only road. Residents had to park at the tracks and carry all all supplies to their homes.

To add insult to injury authorities also stopped gas for heating. Residents tried all options to get the crossing open or a new small road and met a bureaucracy that would have amazed even Kafka.

The reporter Marina Bedorfas interviewed all parties involved and accompanied the residents, when they met authoritie. Finally, this summer a primitive road was constructed.

The text was published 1st of December 2015 in the 7×7 journal.

Read the original article

Read the English translation