A criminal case of fraud is opened after a historical reenactment of the Battle of Kursk which had cost 2.2 million rubles ($29,000). The funds for the event were allocated to an NPO controlled by Sergey Ivanov, a municipal councilor from Syzran. Initially, the resources were to be spent on special effects, but instead, the reenactment took place in a gym with fake tanks. The Kommersant newspaper reported this on February, 27.
Investigators opened a criminal case of fraud after a reenactment of the Battle of Kursk in Syzran. Sergei Ivanov, a municipal councilor, had received 2.2 million rubles from the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives. The main event within a school patriotic festival was supposed to be a reenactment of a historical event.
The reenactment took place in a university gym in Syzran with fake tanks and students performing in homemade uniforms. They banged the mock-up tanks with their fists imitating cannon shots and explosions, while the festival project had promised "special effects".
The prosecutor's office had been contacted by Konstantin Tretyakov, leader of a youth organization, who complained about the suspicious character of the event. The public was particularly outraged with the "special effects" and its secret budget. There was no information on how much was spent on guns, pants, military hats, props, and old-fashioned shoes, while the tanks were obviously "homemade.”
Ivanov claims that the grant money was spent on metal tanks and machine guns, 60 sets of uniforms of various kinds, banners, and displays, plus the video recording. The councilor had even contributed his own money to the organization of the event. At least, this is what he says. He also claims that he has learned about the criminal case from social media. Officially, he is not yet a defendant.
Recently, the authorities spend more state funds and presidential grants on militaristic propaganda. In Kaluga, the Man Z contest was held with means from the Presidential Fund. During the awarding ceremony, an armored personnel carrier was brought to the entrance to the hall where it was held. In the Rostov region, the Foundation for Assistance to Disabled Children used a presidential grant on banners with portraits of killed Russian soldiers.
Children making balaclavas for the military and competing on tank training grounds. Regional winners of the 2023 presidential grants