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WIND ENERGY IN THE FOG OF CORRUPTION

Residents of Botievo consolidated territorial community (CTC) whose roads and houses were destroyed due to the heavy load traffic of DTEK demand from the company to fulfill and promise and eliminate the damage. Mass media have may times reported that four human settlements were affected by the construction of the Botievo wind farm and the first stage of Primorsk wind farm.

Due to the fact that their issue remains unsolved for years, and the head of CTC Nikolai Chubukliev not only opposes the demands of people but also explicitly supports the unfair investor; people are inclined to see the signs of corruptive crimes in the situation.

We remind that DTEK is the largest energy holding of Ukraine. One of the areas of the company activity is alternative energy. Thus, in 2012, the largest in Ukraine Botievo wind farm was built and launched in Zaporizhzhia region, the project of Primorsk wind farm construction is currently on the implementation stage both construction stages of which are planned to be launched into operation till 2020. The net profit of DTEK Energo holding unit alone amounted over 140 billions UAH in 2017.

Within the conditions of the domestic economy slowdown, the regional authorities and local communities on the territories of which DTEK implements its investment projects provide the company with the comprehensive support. Such projects mean additional budget revenues for the region and work places and investments into villages’ improvements for the local residents.

This is from the theoretical perspective. The situation looks a little bit different on a practical level. We have written earlier about the consequences of the wind farm construction for the residents of Botievo CTC of Priazovskii district of Zaporizhzhia region.

To cut a long story short, instead of promised millions of investments into the infrastructure of villages, working places and new roads, Botievo residents have received broken roads that make it impossibly to drive by them and failing buildings destroyed with the traffic of DTEK heavy trucks with construction materials and supplements.

Herewith, DTEK declares so-called “social partnership program” in its press-releases. It is currently reported that over 25 projects aimed at the development of the social infrastructure and land improvement have been implemented on the territory of Botievo CTC. DTEK has allegedly invested a combined total of UAH 7.4 mln. in villages of Botievo and Primorskiy Posad.

So why don’t the inhabitants of these villages see changes for the better? Why do they have to endure bad roads and repair houses at their own expenses? How did it come that the head of Botievo CTC elected by the community Nikolai has become the “devil's advocate”, defending investors and turning a deaf ear to the requests of home people?

Local residents tell in private talks that Nikolai Chubukliev has earlier been the most vocal opponent of the wind farm construction on the territory of CTC, the former Botievo village council. But he has cardinally changed his position after the very first personal talk with director of Primorsk wind farm Iurii Zhabskii and became the chief project lobbist among the resident of Botievo. At that time, in 2010, the “dialogue with the community” was accompanied with promises and generous investments in social facilities and reparation of roads. People trusted.

But when the construction was finished in 2012 and roads did not appear in the villages, local residents started asking questions. Both Yurii Iurii Zhabskii and Nikolai Chubukliev in unison promised that reparation works were about to start. But they did not start neither in 2012, nor in 2015. In 2017, DTEK decided to build the Primorsk wind farm and again on the lands of Botievo community. Residents demanded from DTEK to repair broken roads and from the head of CTC to be more persistent in advocating the interests of the community in the dispute with the developer. They were very surprised to receive the answer “The investor nihil debet”.

The change of Nikolai Chubukliev position has weirdly coincided with the occurrence of new agricultural equipment in his household. The tractor according to residents of Botievom was handed over to the head of CTC by the developer leadership into free use.

The farther it goes, the messier it gets. According to the information of the local residents, funds allocated by DTEK for projects in Botievo were transferred by the company to the specially founded Sotsialnoe Razvitie public organization. They were also spent through that PO. Therein, no one of the community, exept Nikolai Chubukliev, knows the real cost of works executed. Even deputies of the local council don’t have this information, without mentioning the common people. That is why local citizens have a suspicion that a significant part of these funds has come by the interests of the community and sunk in the pockets of bureaucrats.

Creation of the park in the center of Botievo village was one of the projects implemented under the financial assistance of DTEK. If we remove the question “what is the purpose of creating” the park in the village where local residents already spend most of their time outdoors and in nature, there is still a question “what was the money spent for?”.

According to the available information, UAH 600,000 were allocated for the park creation. We provide photos of the “park area” for the readers to be able to evaluate the volume of works and the gained result by themselves.

The same situation is with the mini-stadium built in 2016 in Botievo. It is cool that the local authorities take care of sports development. The only thing is that all construction works were reduced to the deepening of the land plot; it seemed there lacked money for the cover and improvements. UAH 240 ths. were allocated and officially “spent” on the object.

It is fair to say that the community has received a school bus under assistance of DTEK, the roof of the local school and kindergarten were also repaired. But then again, experienced constructors note that the roof of the school is covered with the cheapest profiled flooring.

It is impossible to trace the quality of construction materials on these objects, how ecologic and safe for children they were, how much money was allocated and how much was really spent by subcontractors. There is a place for corruption in issues that lack financial transparency.

We note that unlike the situation in Botievo and other villages of CTC, the wellbeing of the Chubukliev is steadily improving thanks to the cooperation with DTEK. The property of the head and its relatives has been joined within recent years by new agricultural equipment, an expensive car, and cash. A separate journalistic investigation will be concerned with the topic of the conformity of Nikolai Chubukliev incomes to the expenditures of his family. And surely it is the task for the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, Ministry of Internal Affairs and prosecutor's office to detect and repress corruption-related crimes.

We however add that from the viewpoint of business logic the position of the large enterprise is clear. It is easier and cheaper to buy one corrupted officer than to send money for broken roads and reparation of houses of affected people. Another thing is surprising. How can Nikolai Chubukliev look into eyes of fellow villagers in light of this? And what will he do when law enforcement agencies get interested in his affairs?