One year after Russia hosted the World Cup of soccer, one of the stadiums which was completed and opened just months before the event, seems to have had a serious difficulty and may fall into the world. bubble.
From the falling brickwork and drifting call to the stadium to the drainage system that increases the risk of flooding, the Kaliningrad soccer stadium has nothing to do well, press the Russian slave between the Baltic state in Lithuania and Poland.
The reason? Critics say that everything is related to the site. Kaliningrad Arena was built on wetlands in a loose soil floodplain which had not previously occupied any large structures of any kind. It was intended that the builders would build the foundation of sand, but instead applied for the work, alleged allegations – including arrests, including a senior local officer now on trial.
Russia spent more than $ 14 billion to host the FIFA World Cup in July and August 2018, making it the most expensive soccer competition in history. And like the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in the southwest of the Black Sea, infrastructure construction and stadiums t was corrupt with corruption charges, kickbacks, and shoddy work.
Strangers and infrastructure in cities hosting events such as the World Cup or the Olympics are not strangers or strangers. Even some of the 2016 Olympic Games sites were introduced Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has already abandoned. But the critics say that there are few facilities as there were at the Kaliningrad Arena.
Kaliningrad Arena, which cost about $ 300 million, was largely forgotten over the western region of Russia after hosting four World Cup matches. It is now as a home at FC Baltika, a Russian side at which is lower than that, which typically takes a few thousand fans as part of the games.
But he was under national light on September 9 when he organized a Euro 2020 qualifier between Russia and Kazakhstan.
Instead of winning the 1-0 Russian win, a columnist has one of the main daily sports of the nation, Sport-Express, surprise at the stadium stage, the national team would not play again and questioned whether the structure could fall.
Among the changes, Aleksei Moisa, director of the municipal servant, Gidrotekhnik, said with a meeting involving senior officials of the city on 10 September that its sewerage and drainage systems are in poor condition, and that he was concerned about the lack of it. there is an urgent need to correct the problems.
Following Moisa's comments on drainage issues, others expressed them concerns that heavy rainfall can cause serious flooding in the stadium.
The stadium in Kaliningrad was always among the main problems of the dozen built for the 2018 World Cup. Built from the start of the competition, its completion was delayed until March 2018, but months before the first game. As a result of financial problems, the company was responsible for determining the design of the bankruptcy stadium.
The 35,000 seat facility on Oktyabrsky Island, a ground spit sitting between two branches of the Pregola River, was built. It was difficult to create a site, mainly because the pleasant soil does not form the strongest basis for major structures. The builder said that this contributed to the final cost of the stadium.
The tycoon Kremlin-Aras Agalarov, the principal contractor of Crocus Group, the general contractor for the stadium, said that half of the required sand, and a lower quality, was used to reinforce the foundation.
“The regional administration was designed to prepare the land under the stadium construction site by pouring a series of six meters of construction sand, but in fact only half was used, and it was not building sand, but clay sand,” Agalarov told RBK independent Russian outlet in 2016.
In July 2017, the police captured Amir Kushkhov, former Kaliningrad regional minister for construction, Sergei Trubinskiy, deputy regional director in charge of building control, and Khachim Eristov, senior manager at GlobalElektroService, a subsidiary of Summa company, contracted to carry out preparatory stadium construction work, including the lining of the base with sand.
According to the Kommersant daily Russian business, the three suspects were stolen 500 million rubles ($ 7.8 million at current exchange rates) for the construction of the Kaliningrad Arena.
These were not the only keepers linked to Kaliningrad stadium scandal.
In March 2018, police in Moscow kept Ziyavudin Magomedov, co-owner of Summa, along with his brother, Magomed Magomedov. They were charged in a larger case involving theft of 2.5 billion rubles ($ 39 million), a This unspecified amount was linked to the Kaliningrad stadium project.
According to Russian investigators, the charges arise from the offer of 785 million rubles ($ 12.2 million) won by GlobalElektroService for the basic preparatory work done by Kaliningrad Arena.
LifeNews on the Russian tabloid site in July 2017 reported that GlobalElektroService had suspected that a subsidiary, Industrial and Technical Equipment Management, was in use to transfer 300 million rubles of the accounts in Cyprus.
Solomon Ginsburg, Kaliningrad's high-profile politician and member of Kaliningrad Oblast's Public Chamber, an official advisory board of civil society, said that what he had called the “thievery” of the project was rooted in a site location that was not good.
“Various people in Kaliningrad had proposed a different case for organizing the Soccer Cup games – recreating an existing Baltika Stadium,” said Ginsburg with RFE / RL Russian Desk, referring to the older former town of second division of FC Baltika.
If that plan were implemented, he said, “the cost would be almost half, reducing the chances of contamination as well. But a person had to build a huge structure in a bulb, bury millions of tons of sand and billions of rubles. ”
Kushkhov, the former most senior official officer charged in the case, argues that he is innocent.
Speaking at the recent Kaliningrad court hearing through a video link from Moscow, where he was imprisoned since arrest, Kushkhov said he did not understand the charges imposed against him and suggested that there was a lack of evidence.
“If I am accused of committing a crime, then where is the conspiracy proof?” Kushkhov asked the court. “And where is the money, the 752 million rubles that I allegedly stole?”
Written by RFE / RL correspondent Tony Wesolowsky and based on reporting by Aleksandr Gmyrin, correspondent for the North RFE / RL of Russia.
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