Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The Shevchenkovsky district court of Kiev obliged the Security Service of Ukraine to initiate a criminal case concerning Lenur Islyamov – the businessman, the organiser of the blackout and good blockade of Crimea, and commander of the Battalion of Noman Chelebidzhikhan illegal armed group.
A copy of the specified decision was published on the Facebook page of the lawyer Valentin Rybin.
At the end of January he wrote a statement in the SBU, where he asked to initiate criminal proceedings concerning Islyamov for state treason. The lawyer reminded that from April 4th to May 28th 2014 the businessman and “battalion commander” held the Deputy Prime Minister’s post already in the Russian Crimea.
According to Valentin Rybin, Islyamov took up the mentioned state position “for his own mercenary motives and for the purpose of preserving his personal and real estate on the territory of the peninsula”. The lawyer claims that the businessman thus “actually came over to the side of the enemy during an armed conflict” and “inflicted harm on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” and also “assisted in carrying out subversive activities” against Ukraine.
“Islyamov’s actions harmed the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, defence capability, and state security of Ukraine, which he, as a citizen of Ukraine with higher education, authentically understood”it is said in the complaint
“I HAVE BEEN A RUSSIAN CITIZEN FOR 19 YEARS”
However, here it should be noted that before abandoning everything and turning into a “field commander” on the border with Crimea, Lenur Islyamov was a quite successful Moscow businessman and had no Ukrainian citizenship. He did business on the territory of the Russian Federation (banking and car sales), owned several enterprises in Crimea, including a large media holding, transport company, and a retail network of Apple equipment.
Islyamov obtained Ukrainian citizenship later, after moving to Ukraine at the end of 2014.
Before this he managed not only to remain the Deputy Prime Minister in the Russian Council of Ministers of the republic, but also to make a number of loud pro-Russian statements. Thus, shortly before his appointment in 2014, Lenur Islyamov made a speech at the Kurultai of the Crimean Tatar people (the national parliament; it’s not an official body of power) with an appeal to support the integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation.
“I have been a Russian citizen for 19 years,” Islyamov said back then. “All people cannot be dissidents, only one person can be, the poor person! If you said to me now ‘go to the government, become vice-premier, or whatever the highest position is there’, then I will become one and I will do it so that all of you are protected by something tomorrow.”
After taking office as the Deputy Prime Minister the newly appeared official continued his rhetoric.
“We will be able to do something that we have not been able to do for many years, being a part of Ukraine,” said Islyamov in an interview with his own ATR TV channel. “This is a historical chance, if we do not take it, if we approach it in a populist way and we supposedly do not recognise it (the inclusion of Crimea in the structure of the Russian Federation)… this can be done only if the people are irresponsible, but we are responsible people!”
BILLIONS OF DEBTS?
Lenur Islyamov left the Deputy Prime Minister’s chair in May 2014, and after a while he moved to Ukraine. As the Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation from Crimea Ruslan Balbek said earlier, the reason is painfully simple and banal – money. According to Balbek, Islyamov’s business problems started in 2013. He took out loans and couldn’t pay them back, and Western funds already at the first stage promised about $25 million in exchange for taking part in the information war against the Russian Crimea.
By 2015 almost all of the Crimean media holding of Islyamov (Meydan radio station, the ATR and Lale TV channels, and the website “15 minutes”) moved to Kiev. But the businessman decided not to be limited to the information war. At first he brought together activists and started to block roads in the Kherson region, not allowing them to take and return any goods from Crimea, and then fully organised the detonation of the power line that gave the peninsula electricity from the territory of Ukraine. By the way, we regularly paid for electricity, but this did not stop the extremists, and the Ukrainian authorities were not able to cope with them.
Islyamov created the “battalion of Noman Chelebidzhikhan” from the participants of the blockade, which based itself near the border and started to “help” the State Border Service, but in fact it robbed citizens passing through checkpoints and carried out all sorts of “patriotic” actions.
The FSB initiated a criminal case concerning Islyamov, and he was put on the federal wanted list.
The newly-born patriot of Ukraine did not renounce his Russian citizenship, which he openly declared to journalists.
“I was a citizen of Russia until and remain one. And here, in Ukraine, I was issued a Ukrainian passport too. What’s the problem?” said Islyamov according to Ukrainian media. “You do not look at the passport, you look at acts”.
Information about his serious debts in 2016 was confirmed: Sberbank of Russia submitted a claim to the Arbitration Court of Moscow for Lenur Islyamov’s bankruptcy. The sum of the claims against the businessman – more than 1.16 billion rubles. Just as much is owed by his wife Elvira, who is the guarantor for the loans and the beneficiary of the “patriot”-owned company “Kvingrup”.
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