''Grigoriev admitted he slapped the child but didn’t want to kill her''

7 Days: from medallists of Russian WorldSkills to problems of social mortgage borrowers

''Grigoriev admitted he slapped the child but didn’t want to kill her'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

Was it easy to become a medallist for the Tatarstan team at WorldSkills Russia competition? What was the cause of the tragedy in Alekseyevsk District? How was the news about the conservation of national languages received in Tatarstan? Why is the business activity falling in the republic? 7 Days weekly informative and analytic programme on TNV channel was about this and more. Realnoe Vremya's review tells the details.

Tatarstan is back with silver

The Tatarstan team has been second in the standings of WorldSkills Russia competition, which has recently ended in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The republic's representatives competed only in Moscow. In general, our team has won in 19 senior skills and 8 junior skills. Tatarstan representatives have been runners-up in four senior and junior skills. In addition, there are three places in six senior and junior skills. Moreover, the Tatarstan team became a medallist in 29 out of 44 senior skills. Juniors have won medals in all 15 skills.

The choice of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk as a site to hold the final rehearsal before WorldSkills in Kazan was perfectly correct. Organisers of the national competition don't hide their satisfaction. It's been possible to kill two birds with one stone: to both give Kazan more time to prepare for the world competition (it's no secret WorldSkills Russia was going to be held in the capital of Tatarstan first) and engage the Far East with the movement.

Everyone needs young professionals, but this region has special demand for them. Might Europe and Moscow be far, there is China, which is gaining speed, and high-tech Japan are near. The final of the national championship gathered the best young professionals from all over the country, a totality of more than 700 competitors. The best young specialists from across Russia from 16 to 25 years competed in over 60 skills, which were not only habitual to us work skills like carpenters, constructors and car repairmen but also landscape designers, robotics workers, cosmetologists, barmen. There was a traditional close competition among IT specialists. We used to lose to our rivals, but this championship has shown that Kazan drew necessary conclusions.

Fanil and Khaidar from Tatarstan performed the task of assembling and programming a robot better than others. They are champions of Russia. For a young guy from the small village of Memdel in Vysokaya Gora District, Fanil Batyrshin, it's a well-deserved success. His childhood interest in machinery became his life's work, while hard training and theoretical classes brought a gold medal at WorldSkills Russia.

The winners and medallists of the final of the 6 th WorldSkills Russia were honoured in the Kazan Kremlin. Photo: tatarstan.ru

WorldSkills competition isn't just an examination of forces in applied professions. It's always a competition, worry, fight of nerves. This is why it's not enough to have skills and knowledge, it's important to handle nervousness. In addition, the organisers have the right to make amendments to tasks. For Bulat Ismagilov, such a turn of events wasn't a surprise, though the guy admits his nerves were on edge. His skill is Information Network Cabling. In Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, he had to assemble a structured cabling system against the clock. Bulat has won a gold medal.

Kamil Safiullin became the best in Graphic Design. He had been training to achieve the success for two years. He had been doing it almost every day and night in the last two months. In Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, he had to create his own style and packet for a product.

A really warm reception awaited for our champions at Kazan airport. On Friday, 17 August, the winners and medallists of the final of the 6 th WorldSkills Russia were honoured in the Kazan Kremlin.

''Your success is the success of your republic. We're proud of you,'' Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov thanked the guys from the stage.

Words of gratitude on that day were addressed not only to the guys – winners and medallists of the national competition – but also experts and teachers. They managed to train the young professionals well. Rustam Minnikhanov wished the champions new victories too. The task is to do their best at WorldSkills Europe in Hungary and win at WorldSkills in Kazan in 2019.

''I said to him so many times: 'Let's give the children back''

The case that caused a great public outcry – the murder of a 9-year-old girl in Alekseyevsk District – last week has evolved. The spouse of the suspect of the murder and father of the family – Ella Grigorieva – has been under house arrest. She is accused of having tortured the minor and not having met obligations in the child's education. The mechanism has been launched: another three adopted children from the Grigoriyevs have already been taken, while the issue of deprivation of the spouses of parental rights regarding their own 10-year-old boy will be considered on 27 August.

Ella Grigorieva became a participant of the high-profile criminal case of death of her adopted 9-year-old daughter Zhanna. The court had previously arrested her 39-year-old spouse Roman. According to the investigation's version, it's he who's implicated in the girl's death.

The Grigoriyevs' relatives and fellow villagers say their family had an unhealthy atmosphere. Photo: Maksim Platonov

''Very Grigoriyev had admitted his guilt partly. He explained he slapped the child but didn't want to kill her,'' criminal investigator of the Chistopol Interdepartmental Investigation Division of the Investigative Committee of Russia in the Republic of Tatarstan Anvar Yusupov commented.

Now the Grigoriyevs' all children have been interrogated. According to the late Zhanna's older biological sister, the adoptive mother also dared to hit the children. Allegedly, even knives were used, this is why Ella Grigorieva is being investigated. The accused woman's lawyer insists his defendant is innocent:

''The children are probably exaggerating. A psychiatric examination is needed for this purpose, so that the doctor will make a diagnosis,'' thinks Ella Grigorieva's lawyer Irakly Shalamberidze.

Their relatives and fellow villagers say the Grigoriyevs had an unhealthy atmosphere. According to an unofficial version, the older adopted children even allegedly hit the younger ones and took away their food.

''The children are difficult. They had already been adopted but given back. It turns out it's their second adoptive family. They laid the heated floor in the house, made house improvements for the children, there are bunk beds, every room has a computer, a big TV,'' told the family's relative Fyodor Zakharov.

Ella Grigorieva herself told journalists several days before being arrested that the adoptive parents threatened to give them back to the orphanage.

''I said to him so many times: 'Let's give the children back. They are intolerable children,'' Grigorieva shouted.

''Every return is a big injury for a child. If a parent doesn't cope with it, he should turn to specialists. Unfortunately, we have a situation when parents are afraid of looking bad. And they make the situation absurd, reach the critical point when there is no way back,'' chairwoman of We Are Together! public organisation of adoptive families of the Republic of Tatarstan Natalia Akhmetzyanova.

The main task of We Are Together! public organisation is to help adoptive families. Tatarstan has more than 1,500 families of this kind. The organisation is located in the building of the former orphanage in Kirov District in Kazan. It's former because all the children were given to adoptive families. 95% of former pupils of orphanages in Tatarstan are in the care of their new parents. But to obtain the right to adopt children who sometimes have a tough fate, potential guardians go through a serious preparation.

''Money is given for every child. Secondly, it's a cheap work force. This is why a very strict control is needed to avoid such a tragedy,'' thinks Tatarstan State Council deputy Rafil Nugumanov.'' Photo: gossov.tatarstan.ru

''Parents are obliged to educate themselves. There is a skill among adoptive parents like teamwork. People usually talk about meeting the kid's needs only, while the skill is to work with psychologists, specialists, social teachers,'' Akhmetzyanova stressed.

According to existing rules, an adoptive family can be checked only once a year. The Grigoriyevs have been visited twice in the last 6 months. But neither care workers nor school specialists have found any problems.

The investigation has another opinion. Another criminal case opened after the tragedy in Alekseyevsk District. Former director of the Guardianship Department of Alekseyevsk District Elena Sekalina was arrested due to the absence of due control over living conditions of children in the adoptive family.

''Mainly rural people usually adopt five-six children. It seems to me to be linked with economy. Money is given for every child. Secondly, it's a cheap labour force. This is why a very strict control is needed to avoid such a tragedy,'' thinks Tatarstan State Council deputy Rafil Nugumanov.

Three adopted children (two sisters and a brother) have been taken from the Grigoriyevs family now. They will be in the Alekseyevsk Orphanage where they lived two years ago in the short run. According to specialists, the children are depressed. Another child of the Grigoriyevs can be sent to the orphanage too – their own 10-year-old son. The issue of deprivation of Ella and Roman of parental rights will be considered in the Alekseyevsk Regional Court on 27 August.

Business activity suddenly falls in the republic

The most topical problems were discussed at the ninth session of the Entrepreneurship Council under the President of the Republic of Tatarstan. Results of research in 45 districts of the republic were presented at the meeting. It turned out that more than half of all surveyed entrepreneurs today – 52% – think the conditions to run a business in municipalities have worsened. To compare, last year this indicator was 10% lower, only 42% of respondents considered worse conditions. In addition, 33% of entrepreneurs expect the conditions to worsen more in the next six months. Considering the rating of districts in changing the dynamics of the business activity index, Nizhnekamsk District has been on the first position this year – the index has increased by 4,8%. It's followed by Kamskoye Ustye and Muslyumuvo Districts. Bavly District has been the leader in fall where the reduction of the index was equal to 11,6%.

To inculcate love for sport and football from an early age, teach how to move on even when you're hurt and go on playing, show a child that only hard work can help to achieve a result – it's the main goals of Vityaz football academy. Its creators – two young entrepreneurs Rustam Ismailov and Azat Ashirov – say they wanted to make the project not only commercial but also social when creating it.

To inculcate love for sport and football from an early age, teach how to go up even when you're hurt and go on playing, show a child that only hard work can help to achieve a result – it's the main goals of Vityaz football academy. Photo: vk.com/vityaz_kzn

''It seems we're creating infrastructure, do everything. It seems there is everything, for example, in Kazan. We held the Universiade, FINA World Championships, FIFA WC, but can't reach mass sport. There is such a problem. How can we achieve it? We started to think about it and created a project that would be interesting for children,'' tells Rustam Ismailov.

The academy is designed for children from 3 to 14 years. Every age category has its own programme of classes. A special method has been chosen – German. Coaches are strictly selected. In addition, they take additional classes on the specifics of the method, children's psychology, upgrade their qualification.

As for the site to fulfil the project, here the businessmen had a clear position – the classes must be given at school and kindergarten. Rental will be cheaper, and the price will be consequently more attractive. The project seems to be topical – development of sport among children is a priority now. The young entrepreneurs hoped to open Vityaz throughout Tatarstan. Here is where problems began. Heads of educational establishments refuse to decide something, they directly send to a region's head.

''We decided to go further. We turned to heads of municipalities. Here it all began: it's impossible to reach out to them. We've been failing just to meet with them for more than six months. At the same time, I'd like to give an example that in the Republic of Bashkortostan we managed to fulfil this project during a month,'' Ismailov shares his concerns.

Rustam Ismailov told Rustam Minnikhanov about the problems frankly at the session of the Entrepreneurship Council. The president's reaction was instantaneous.

''Could you name the district you turned to? I just won't receive these heads for six months,'' the head of the republic immediately reacted.

To put it mildly, the situation is strange. Speaking about the development of SMEs in the republic, this process is very slow in most districts. Regression is seen in some of them. According to the research, the index of business moods in Tatarstan has fallen by six points at once – from 43 to 37. Entrepreneurs note the business climate in the republic is getting worse, while relations with local authorities remain tense.

The index of moods also affected the business activity. In 2018, this indicator has considerably reduced – from 48 to 43 points – in comparison with the last year.

''Functionaries don't like force by nature. Actually, I say every week: 'Let's turn our face to businesses. A person hired two-three people. It's additional working places,'' Rustam Minnikhanov is surprised. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

''If this tendency remains, we dared to continue the dynamics, the business activity in Tatarstan, in general, is going to fall to 37 points next year. It means the number of companies closing their business, reducing the staff can exceed the number of those who are developing. It's a critical situation,'' commented Plenipotentiary on Protection of Entrepreneurs' Rights under the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Timur Nagumanov.

''Functionaries don't like force by nature. Actually, I say every week: 'Let's turn our face to businesses. A person hired two-three people. It's additional job opportunities,'' Rustam Minnikhanov is surprised.

Entrepreneurs Rustam Ismailov and Azat Ashirov's problem wasn't left unattended. A representative of Almetyevsk District with a ready decision to fulfil the project reached out to an entrepreneur almost an hour after the council ended.

What exactly did Vladimir Putin mean?

These days Vladimir Putin has made a very important statement for national republics. The president urged to revive the programme on conservation of national languages in the country and reminded such a programme existed in the USSR. Tatarstan responded to this offer very quickly. Moreover, the news caused a serious discussion at the Forum of National and Regional Mass Media, which was in Kazan last week.

''We expected there would be some compensation for the incorrect law to a certain degree, which almost deprives the population of the right to study mother tongues. And, naturally, such a compensation mechanism to play it back,'' political expert Ruslan Aysin is sure.

Another question is how the new programme will look. Vladimir Putin gave to understand something similar existed in the USSR. Probably a new document will be recreated analogously. The programme's status hasn't been announced either. Will it have federal or regional power? Almost every national region, moreover Tatarstan, already has such programmes. And this means the strategy of a set of solutions nationwide was supposed.

''We expected there would be some compensation for the incorrect law to a certain degree, which almost deprives the population of the right to study mother tongues,'' Ruslan Aysin is sure. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

There is one moment all experts agree with – the educational system must be given pride of place in the content of the new document. Because the development of languages of ethnicities of Russia is impossible without the participation of educational establishments in this process. And competent specialists from national regions should participate in the creation of the new document.

''This programme, first of all, should presuppose training of teachers – mother tongue teachers. This problem is very topical. For instance, Tatar language teachers aren't trained in Russian regions. Though three-quarters of Tatars live there,'' says chief research fellow of the Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences Marat Lotfullin.

''The regional and national mass media are given a special role in the conservation and development of national languages. This is why they also must in the centre of attention of the national state policy,'' State Adviser of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev noted and welcomed the participants of the media forum.

''It's a very delicate topic, one should act very carefully and find mutual understanding. The president always tries to react as a situation demands, it's the reaction of the country's president to the state of languages. The law had been discussed for long, it's been adopted, devotees will be found now again. One can't try to put state education standards higher than the Constitution of Russia and constitutions of regions or their charters. It's not politics if the interests of the country's official languages, official languages of its peoples aren't considered at the level of standards. On the contrary, precisely like it's said in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, one should help to conserve languages. Standards must be approved at all levels,'' Shaimiev said and noted ''we all want everything to be good in the country.''

Undoubtedly, the new programme on conservation of national languages at the federal level must give a new impetus to develop the language, culture and education of peoples living in Russia. Experts believe not only gaps in legislation will be found while this problem is solved but the peoples' ethnic and cultural potential will be found that can't simply remain in history.

The State Housing Fund made a decision to change the contractor in three blocks of flats, which have been built for long. Photo: Roman Khasayev

From slum to borrowed slum

The problem of blocks of flats of the first stage in Rainbow micro district whose construction was to have ended one year ago on the instruction of the Tatarstan president finally made progress last year. The State Housing Fund made a decision to change the contractor in three blocks of flats, which have being built for long. Other construction companies will complete the work instead of Kazan Production and Construction Association, which failed all deadlines blocks of flats based on a social mortgage, which is more than 1,000 flats. The Tatarstan Ministry of Construction assured the housewarming party will already be celebrated in late September in one of the blocks, the other two will have it by New Year. Potential residents attribute the merit of the decision to change the contractor to themselves. Visits to officials, letters of complaint and single-person protests did their job.

Dmitry has been holding a single-person protest for the second week as if it was his work. It's good now he can do it – he is on a legal holiday. The group of activists has seven people like Dmitry. Replacing each other in turn they stand near the building of the Cabinet of Ministers, then the office of the State Housing Fund and the Administration of Major Construction of the Kazan Executive Committee with posters. There is one requirement – to finally complete the construction of the three blocks of flats based on a social mortgage in Rainbow.

Dmitry is the future resident of the block 11-1 in Rainbow micro district. It was to have been commissioned as early as 2015. The deadlines were postponed twice. The last one was in spring 2018. It's 85% ready. The readiness of the neighbouring 11-5 block is only78%. Kazan PCA froze the construction a couple of weeks ago.

The new school No. 182 or, more precisely, the polytechnic lyceum, will open its doors on 1 September already. The school is just several tens of metres far from the troubled 11 th quarter of blocks of flats. People haven't had a housewarming party but already enrolled their kids at this school. Not to take their kids from other districts of Kazan, people have to rent flats in Rainbow. Considering that the three blocks of flats have just about 1,200 flats, Rainbow won't have enough dwellings to rent.

While people with posters had single-person protests, the government of Tatarstan was deciding the further fate of the lasting constructions. In the end, it was decided to change the contractor. Tried and tested companies will save the social mortgage borrowers – Narodny Dom and Stroitel Plus.

Considering that the three blocks of flats have just about 1,200 flats, Rainbow won't have enough dwelling to rent. Photo: Yulia Kosolapkina

Kazan PCA will commission the third block of flats 11-3 anyway. Now a commission is working in the block, and if all deficiencies are successfully eliminated, a housewarming party is expected in late September, the construction ministry assures. But social mortgage borrowers decided not to wait for the housewarming party and moved to Rainbow on 18 August, to a tent camp.

Gulnara Gasimova and another hundred of slum residents from Vysokaya Gora had another problem first. At the beginning of the year, they were urgently rehoused to a social block of flats on 8, Stantsionnaya Street. While in spring, when the snow melted, the constructors' gaps started to come to the surface.

''It's just a disaster. There is no outdoor illumination, a descent down the stairs in the entrance can end with an injury even in daylight. How should women with baby carriages, disabled and old people go down?'' residents are indignant.

Neither are there conditions for little residents of the block based on a social mortgage. The children's playground looks as if had a bomb attack. But the biggest problem of residents is in the absence of the perimeter walk near the new block. It was destroyed after the ground was laid in a hurry. This is why all rainwater goes to the underground. The locksmith says the water in the underground reaches the knees sometimes. It's pumped out twice a week. And if it rains a lot, one can stay in the underground for days. The locals don't exclude groundwaters also go underground.

As residents of social mortgage blocks of flats on Stantsionnaya Street says, these blocks of flats were built in a swamp. Their words don't raise doubts. All rainwater goes to a neighbouring forest. And judging by the state of trees, while the majority of them are rotten, it's seen the place is boggy here.

The block of flats on 8, Stantsionnaya Street was erected by Ak Tash construction company. GlavInvestProyectStroy from Vysokaya Gora was charged with improving the territory. But according to the chat the two companies have, the agreement wasn't signed. Though the contractor reported to the State Housing Fund all the work would be completed till late August. Meanwhile, the locksmiths of the managing companies continue keeping a vigil near the troubled block by pumping hundreds of cubic metres of water out every day.

By Ekaterina Ivanova
Tatarstan