Manturov: “If you can’t shut his mouth, then we’ll sew him up”
14.05.2024 17:33

In the dizzying career of Denis Manturov, approved by the State Duma as First Deputy Prime Minister, there is one unpleasant moment, about which, on the one hand, everyone seems to know, but on the other hand, for some reason it is not customary to remember. VChK-OGPU and decided to recall how, as Deputy Minister of Industry and Energy of the Russian Federation in 2007, he wanted to gain control over the NPO Saturn plant (now UEC-Saturn) in the Yaroslavl region. In the 2000s, the company, together with the French Snecma, was developing the SaM146 engine, which was subsequently equipped with Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger aircraft. Details in our new investigation.

As our source said, it all started in 2006, when three months before the signing of an agreement on the creation of a joint venture in Rybinsk, NPO Saturn with the American corporation General Electric, Russian Technologies (now Rostec) demanded that the general director of Saturn » Yuri Lastochkin $5 million, “otherwise the plant will not be built.” Since its founding in 2007, Rostec has been led by Manturov’s closest associate, Sergei Chemezov.

In 2007, Lastochkin began to receive proposals from a group of comrades, headed by Manturov, to sell a controlling stake in the enterprise. These negotiations lasted more than a year and a half and failed because the comrades wanted to receive the plant as a gift. By mid-2008, Saturn's capitalization reached about $900 million, and the controlling stake was worth more than half of this amount.

Having failed to agree on the sale of the enterprise, potential buyers took decisive action. In the summer of 2008, a “landing party” of senior economic security officers of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and tax inspectors landed on the Saturn, and state banks revoked loans from the enterprise in the amount of up to 20 billion rubles. As a result of tax audits, an arrears of more than 1 billion rubles was discovered, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs opened four criminal cases.

According to a source from, a group of colonels gave the management of the enterprise an ultimatum: “If you don’t give up the plant, you will be imprisoned.” The officers in Rybinsk were served by Major Ivan Repin, who was responsible for barbecues, strong drinks, trips to the shore and other entertainment events. Subsequently, Repin headed the anti-corruption department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Yaroslavl region (in 2017 he submitted his resignation).

In December 2008, Vladimir Putin, who was then Prime Minister, came to NPO Saturn. During the visit, he harshly reprimanded Manturov and the then Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko, who told the prime minister that everything at the plant was allegedly stolen. In addition, the Prime Minister recommended the head of Russian Technologies, Sergei Chemezov, to stop criminal prosecution of Saturn management.

During the visit, Putin announced the transfer of Saturn to the ownership of Oboronprom, which is part of Russian Technologies. The state was helped to gain control over the plant by the crisis, as a result of which Saturn had serious financial problems. Lastochkin made the deal after the prime minister called.

In July 2009, the then governor of the Yaroslavl region Sergei Vakhrukov (now deputy secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation) invited Lastochkin to head Rybinsk. One of the arguments was that Manturov hated Lastochkin.

On May 29, 2012, Lastochkin’s article “How to save Superjet” was published in the Vedomosti newspaper. In it, the author announced the failure of the original business plan for creating the Sukhoi Superjet 100 and spoke about the contradictions “between the capabilities of the United Aircraft Corporation, the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) and the tasks that they are forced to solve.” As an interlocutor told, after that publication, Manturov, appointed head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade a week earlier, called the governor of the Yaroslavl region Sergei Yastrebov and warned: “If you cannot shut his mouth, then we will sew him up.”

In July 2013, a criminal case was opened against Lastochkin under Part 1 of Art. 201 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of authority”) on the sale of water treatment facilities to Saturn in 2009. Subsequently, the case of abuse of power was reclassified under Part 4 of Art. 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“embezzlement on an especially large scale”). This was done due to the fact that the injured party (NPO Saturn) never received a statement to initiate a criminal case. In addition, the statute of limitations of the previous article had expired.

Subsequently, in the pre-trial detention center, Lastochkin was reminded of his refusal to pay $5 million for the creation of a joint venture with the Americans. “They came to me and said: “Remember, you sent them then? You will sit until you learn to respect them,” he recalled during his last word in his criminal case in 2015. In 2022, the ex-head of Saturn was released.


Alexey Tokarev