''Alexander Maslyakov's dismissal has something in common with the recent Hollywood scandal''

Blogger Vadim Manukyan tells about the controversial withdrawal of the director of Moscow Youth Centre Planet KVN

''Alexander Maslyakov's dismissal has something in common with the recent Hollywood scandal'' Photo: kremlin.ru (Alexander Maslyakov at state prize awarding on January 26th, 2017)

Alexander Maslyakov resigned as director of UE Moscow Youth Center Planet of KVN by his own will last week. This happened against the backdrop of Transparency International investigation, according to which Maslyakov concluded dealings on behalf of the state-owned enterprise with a private company owned by his family. At the initiative of corruption fighters, the prosecutor's office conducted an investigation, but violations were not found. Then Transparency challenged the answer in the Prosecutor General's office, after which the Moscow government allegedly dismissed Maslyakov as director of the UE. However, representatives of the president of the International Union of KVN reported that at the time of receipt of the request from the Prosecutor's office, Maslyakov had not already held the position of director of the UE, and therefore, the arguments of Transparency International were not confirmed. Blogger Vadim Adamyan in the newspaper column written specially for Realnoe Vremya writes about this confusing story, which has become another shake-up for Channel One Russia.

Alexander Maslyakov joins the blacklist of Transparency International

This year the presenters of Channel One Russia, its projects, and the entire channel in general are plainly thrown into disorder. It all started in the summer with the resignation of Andrey Malakhov and his transference to 'channel two', Russia Channel, and then Alexander Oleshko suddenly went to NTV channel, Alexander Galibin ceased to be the presenter of Zhdi menya ('Wait for me'), and Timur Kizyakov from Poka vse doma ('While everybody is at home') lost the program due to a financial scandal.

It seems that the case with sudden resignation of Alexander Maslyakov is also in some way connected with an unpleasant financial story. Well-known corruption fighters from Transparency International Russia also add fuel to the fire. They have started working on a large number of art directors of metropolitan theatres, and along with them Alexander Maslyakov has also got in the blacklist.

Nonetheless, in the past in the field of view of this organization there fell Kirill Serebrennikov as well. It is possible that Transparency International experts could contribute to the promotion of high-profile case involving the director of Gogol Сenter by Malobrodsky and director Serebrennikov himself (at least, they quite clearly hinted).

In 2011, the cinema Gavana, Maryina roshcha District, by the decision of the president of Russia was passed to the needs of the Club of the Funny and Inventive People and became the UE Moscow Youth Center Planet of KVN. Photo: kremlin.ru

But let's go back to the story with Alexander Maslyakov. On paper it looks grandly-nobly: ''I resigned from the post of director of UE Moscow Youth Center Planet of KVN by my own will.'' At first glance, this decision is understandable and logical — Alexander Vasilyevich is an aged man, and, perhaps, not quite able to handle high loads, so decided to handed the deal to his successor (luckily, the son is always near and aware of all the affairs of the 'Empire KVN'). But that's not how it turned out. Transparency International specialists found that the famous TV host on behalf of the state-owned enterprise concluded deals with a private company owned by his family.

''Maslyakov concluded a deal with a private company owned by his family''

Let's start with the fact that since 1990 Alexander Maslyakov has been the head of TTO 'Alexander Maslyakov and company' (AMiKa), profiting from everything that is connected with KVN. Now it is about where the UE originates from: for a long time KVN was forced to lease the site for the games, but in 2011 the cinema Gavana, Maryina roshcha District, by the decision of the president of Russia ceased to exist and passed to the needs of the Club of the Funny and Inventive People. This gift was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of KVN. So, the former cinema became UE Moscow Youth Center Planet of KVN.

Alexander Maslyakov became director of the UE, but he also remained the founder of AMiKa. Plus, in 2015, Alexander was registered as an individual entrepreneur, and as we know, by the Russian law, the heads of state unitary enterprises are forbidden to engage in entrepreneurial activities.

Despite this, in 2014, it happened the most curious event in this story: like the tricks of a circus fakir, the UE Planet of KVN and AMiK create a joint venture called Dom KVN PLC, which receives the ownership of the building, formerly owned by the state. It turns out, Alexander Maslyakov made a deal with a private company, owned by his family. I would like to note that the Prosecutor's office and representatives of KVN refute the arguments of the corruption fighters using iron arguments.

Most probably, Alexander Maslyakov will continue to be the presenter of this programme, but a bad aftertaste will remain anyway. Photo: kvn.ru

The story looks unpretty, to put it mildly, and it's all done in front of people who for a long time have watched KVN with pleasure. Most probably, Alexander Maslyakov will continue to be the presenter of this programme, but a bad aftertaste will remain anyway. This story has something in common with still widely discussed Hollywood scandal, however, there are other 'heroes', who suddenly lost their reputation because of 'dark past'.

Is a sunset of Alexander Maslyakov really so close? Perhaps, the programme Vremya on Channel One Russia will tell about this some day.

By Vadim Manukyan