Sergey Aksyonov

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For Russian political dissident and publicist, see Sergei Aksenov.
Sergey Aksyonov
Сергей Аксёнов
Sergey Aksyonov March 2014 (cropped).jpg
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 March 2014
President Vladimir Putin
Governor Himself (since 14 April 2014)
Preceded by Position established
Head of the Republic of Crimea
Acting
Incumbent
Assumed office
14 April 2014
President Vladimir Putin
Preceded by Position introduced
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Crimea
Self-appointed
In office
27 February 2014 – 17 March 2014
President Not approved
Preceded by Anatolii Mohyliov
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born Sergey Valeryevich Aksyonov
(1972-11-26) 26 November 1972 (age 41)
Bălți, Soviet Union
(now Moldova)
Political party Russian Unity
United Russia
Children 2
Religion Russian Orthodoxy

Sergey Valeryevich Aksyonov (Russian: Сергей Валерьевич Аксёнов, Ukrainian: Сергій Валерійович Аксьонов; born November 26, 1972) is the de facto Prime Minister of Crimea.[1]

During an armed occupation of the Crimean parliament by pro-Russian forces, Aksyonov was voted into office following a vote of no confidence in the new Ukrainian government.[2][3][4] Since March 5, 2014, he has been wanted by the Ukrainian Security Service, after being charged under Part 1 of Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Actions aimed at the violent overthrow, change of constitutional order, or the seizure of state power").[5]

Biography[edit]

He was born in Bălți in the Moldovan SSR on 26 November 1972. His father was the leader of a group called the Russian Community of Northern Moldova in Bălți.[4][6]

In 1989 he moved to Crimea and enrolled in a college for military engineers, however the fall of the Soviet Union occurred before he could graduate from the academy to become a Soviet Army officer. He then refused to swear an oath of allegiance to Ukraine, which he considered 'an unjustly severed appendage of Russia'.[4]

In 1993 he graduated from the Higher Military-Political Construction College in Simferopol. From 1993—1998 he was deputy director of a company named Ellada, a business related to food products.[7] From October 1998 to March 2001 he was deputy director of the Asteriks company, and since April 2001 he has been deputy director of the Eskada company. Aksyonov is also the head of Crimea's Greco-Roman wrestling organization.[8]

Political career[edit]

His political career in Crimea started in 2008. In that year he became a member of "Русская община Крыма" ("Russian Community of Crimea") and a member of public organisation "Гражданский актив Крыма" ("Civic Active of Crimea").

In 2008-2009, Aksyonov borrowed almost $5 million from Mykola Kirilchuk, a former Crimean minister of industry, to develop the Russian Unity party, Kirilchuk states. Kirilchuk has since fled Crimea and has been trying to get his money back though the court system since.[9] Since 2009 he has been a member of the board in Гражданский актив Крыма, co-president of Coordinating Council «За русское единство в Крыму!» ("For Russian Unity in Crimea!"), leader of All-Crimean public political movement Russian Unity ("Русское единство").[citation needed]

Since 2010 he was a deputy of the Supreme Council of Crimea, elected as a member of Russian Unity, which had 4% of votes (warranting 3 seats of total 100 in Crimean parliament) during elections into Supreme Council of Crimea.[10]

Prime minister of Crimea[edit]

Main article: 2014 Crimean crisis

Following the Ukrainian revolution, on February 27 an emergency session was held in the Crimean legislature while it was occupied by armed pro-Russian forces.[4] The masked gunmen identified themselves as members of "Crimea’s self-defense forces", all of which are, according to Aksyonov, directly under his control.[4] After sealing the doors and confiscating all mobile phones, the MPs who had been invited by Aksyonov to enter the building, passed the motion in the presence of the gunmen armed with Kalashnikov's and rocket launchers.[4][9][11][12] The result was that 55 of 64 votes elected Aksyonov Prime Minister.[13] Various media accounts have disputed whether he was able to gather a quorum of 50 of his peers before the session convened that day, and some Crimean legislators who were registered as present have said they did not come near the building.[4] Others denied being in the city, and that duplicate voting cards stolen from parliament's safe were used in their name.[14] Opposition deputies have avoided speaking out publicly out of fear of reprisal, and due to threats received.[14] Crimean Prime Minister Anatolii Mohyliov was barred from attending the session.[14]

Under the Ukrainian constitution, the prime minister of Crimea is appointed by the autonomous republic's parliament following consultations with the president of Ukraine. The director of the information analysis department of the legislature's secretariat, Olha Sulnikova, has stated that an agreement exists with ousted president Viktor Yanukovych.[11] The coup-imposed president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov decreed the appointment of Aksyonov as the head of the government of Crimea to be unconstitutional.[15][16]

On March 5, 2014, the Shevchenko district court of Kiev issued a warrant for Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantinov's arrest,[17] and the Security Service of Ukraine was charged to bring them to court.[17]

Due to the Crimean crisis he was put on the Canadian, the EU and the US[18] sanction lists, 17 March 2014. His assets in these countries were frozen, and Aksyonov was banned from entering these countries.

Domestic policy[edit]

Aksyonov has promised that Ukrainian would cease to be an official language if Crimea joined Russia. “We use two languages on a daily basis – Russian and Crimean Tatar,” Aksyonov said. “It’s certain that the republic [of Crimea] will have two languages.”[12]

Alleged links to organized crime[edit]

Some sources have alleged that Aksyonov served in the mid 1990s as a lieutenant or overseer with the nickname "Goblin"[19][20] in the organized criminal gang "Salem".[21] In the early 1990s, the gang fought a deadly contest with the rival "Bashmaki" that killed 30 people in Simferopol in one month of 1991, but by the mid-1990s, as their membership grew to 1200, they had taken a less violent approach, and in 1995 forty of their members had taken office as local deputies, receiving Legislative immunity.[22][23][24][25] “Aksyonov used to work side-by-side with another gang member, Serhiy Voronkov, in the early 1990s. Voronkov is a well-known mafia boss who was released from prison in 2008 and is still doing business in Crimea," said Andriy Yanytskiy, a journalist of Livy Bereh newspaper who investigated Aksyonov.[9] Yanytskiy alleges that Aksyonov is still a member of the Salem gang.[9]

In police protocols leaked by Ipress.ua, Aksyonov was accused of involvement in a gang linked to several contract killings in 1994-1996. In January 1996, Aksyonov was wounded after a Volvo in which he was riding overturned on the Simferopol-Moskva road during a shootout.[9]

In 2010, Aksyonov sued Mikhail Bakharev, vice speaker of the Crimean parliament, for making statements of this kind. Although the court of the original jurisdiction ruled for Aksyonov and demanded that Bakharev to publish a retraction, the decision was overturned by an appellate court which determined that there was no evidence to disprove the allegations.[26] Andriy Senchenko, a Crimean member of Verkhovna Rada from Batkivshchyna party alleged that Aksyonov was involved in these activities together with Supreme Council Chairman, Vladimir Konstantinov.[22][27][28][29] Senchenko alleges that “there were reports that he participated in the contract killing of (Volodymyr) Tykhonchuk [in 2004], then head of Crimean State Securities Commission, and before that in the killing of head of State Property Fund (Oleksiy) Golovizin [in 1997].”[9] Aksyonov was investigated by the police in both murders, but has never been prosecuted. Senchenko believes Aksyonov managed to evade criminal responsibility due to his connections on the peninsula.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Crimean Parliament Dismisses Cabinet and Sets Date for Autonomy Referendum". The Moscow Times. February 27, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ Crimean parliament dismisses autonomous republic's government Kyiv Post Retrieved on March 12, 2013
  3. ^ "Gunmen Seize Government Buildings in Crimea". The New York Times. 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2014-03-01. "Masked men with guns seized government buildings in the capital of Ukraine's Crimea region on Thursday, barricading themselves inside and raising the Russian flag after mysterious overnight raids that appeared to be the work of militant Russian nationalists who want this volatile Black Sea region ruled from Moscow." 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Putin's Man in Crimea Is Ukraine’s Worst Nightmare". Time. "Before dawn on Feb. 27, at least two dozen heavily armed men stormed the Crimean parliament building and the nearby headquarters of the regional government, bringing with them a cache of assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades. A few hours later, Aksyonov walked into the parliament and, after a brief round of talks with the gunmen, began to gather a quorum of the chamber’s lawmakers." 
  5. ^ http://censor.net.ua/news/274361/sud_vynes_postanovlenie_ob_areste_marionetok_kremlya_v_krymu
  6. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/goblin-crimean-leader-pledges-loyalty-putin-041920694.html;_ylt=AwrTWfw4mR5TJkwAvhbQtDMD
  7. ^ Откровения Сергея Аксёнова: «Четверка граждан» нанесла Крыму ущерб не меньший, чем при развале советской власти
  8. ^ De Waal, Thomas (6 March 2014). "The Novel That Explains Putin's Crimean Land Grab". Politico. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Pro-Kremlin Crimean leader Aksyonov denies allegations of criminal past". Kyiv Post. 15 March 2014. 
  10. ^ [1] Who is Sergey Aksyonov
  11. ^ a b http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/crimeas-new-prime-minister-calls-yanukovych-president-relies-on-russian-financial-aid-337850.html
  12. ^ a b "Preparations for Joining Russia Already Underway – Aksyonov". RIA. 
  13. ^ Депутат: Крымский премьер известен в криминальных кругах как "Гоблин"
  14. ^ a b c "RPT-INSIGHT-How the separatists delivered Crimea to Moscow". Reuters. March 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ Турчинов издал указ о незаконности назначения Аксенова премьером Крыма
  16. ^ (Ukrainian) The new prime minister is the leader of Russian Unity, Ukrayinska Pravda (27 February 2014)
  17. ^ a b The court gave the green light to arrest "puppets of Putin" in Crimea. Ukrayinska Pravda. March 5, 2014
  18. ^ Logiurato, Brett (17 March 2014). "Obama Just Announced Sanctions Against 7 Russian 'Cronies'". Business Insider. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Associated Press (Mar 9, 2014). "The ‘Goblin’ king: Crimea leader’s shady past". The Japan Times. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Haddon, Katherine (11 March 2014). "New Putin-Backed Prime Minister In Crimea Used To Be A Gangster Named 'Goblin'". Agence France Presse (Business Insider). Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  21. ^ Ilya Somin (2014-03-07). "Crimea and the morality of secession". Washington Post. 
  22. ^ a b "Meet ‘Goblin’ — Moscow’s man in Crimea". Toronto Star/Metro News. March 4, 2014. 
  23. ^ Roman Sohn (March 3, 2014). "Ukraine: The Empire strikes back". EU Observer. 
  24. ^ Oleg Shirokov (2009-09-24). "Salem as a Symbol of Criminality in Crimea". Salem News. 
  25. ^ "(paywalled source)". Agatov.  cites documents:[2][3][4]
  26. ^ "Аксенов не смог доказать свою непричастность к ОПГ и проиграл суд Бахареву". Crimean Information Agency. June 10, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Премьером Крыма выбрали бандита по кличке Гоблин, — Сенченко". Izvestia. March 4, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  28. ^ Премьер по кличке "Гоблин" Radio Svoboda, March 4, 2014
  29. ^ "Депутат Андрей Сенченко: комсомол – "Сейлем" - парламент". Cripo. 2008-04-18. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Anatolii Mohyliov
Prime Minister of Crimea
2014
Incumbent