The issue opens with an interview with Dmitry Ovsyannikov, Governor of Sevastopol. The head of the region spoke about implementing large infrastructure projects, about the activities of the Free Economic Zone and Culture Space that being established on instructions from the President of the Russian Federation. “In 2017, Sevastopol received presidential support for building a park with a memorial complex To the Defenders of Sevastopol in 1941–1942”, Mr Ovsyannikov said. “The plans involve building museums and an opera and ballet house there, as well as a concert hall and a ballet school. All the buildings will be incorporated into a landscaped area with the new public space stretching from Artillery Bay to Katernaya Street. Design work and geodesic surveying are now under way and we are transferring land plots to the project’s operator, the National Cultural Legacy Social and Cultural Project Foundation. At the same time, work is under way on developing the layout of the park and mutual alignment of the buildings. The plans are based on a concept produced by a competition-winning designer from Sevastopol and leading Austrian architects are participating in the project. Another, equally large-scale project is to be implemented on an adjacent site. Metropolitan Tikhon has spearheaded the founding of a Christianity Museum; a Russian History Museum and new exhibition spaces of the Chersonesus Open Air Museum will be built there, too. They will be sited on lands formerly owned by the Ministry of Defence of Russia; the Ministry has already transferred title to land plots covering about eight hectares.”
Sevastopol’s Governor also said the construction of a new runway at Belbek airfield is slated to be completed by the end of the year. Winemakers participating in the Sevastopol Wine Road project will be able to change the category of their lands to build small hotels and restaurants at their wineries. “We will present this project in the very near future”, Mr. Ovsyannikov said.
The main topic of the issue, Challenges 2024, is dedicated to a goal President Vladimir Putin has set for Russia: achieving a breakthrough in economic development and becoming one of the world’s five biggest economies by 2024. The featured articles on the subject dwell on how Russia needs to change in order to tackle the task and consider whether Crimea will be able to synchronize its development with the rest of the country without lagging behind and slowing the progress down.
“We are now going through a period of power transition and the battle is on to decide to whom the power will transfer. I remember Igor Sechin saying he did not even care what a governor’s name was. And today, Sechin is beginning to move his people to the regions, because he wants them in power at the next stage. There is a struggle that is picking up pace between the old and new Putin elites, law enforcement and security people, on the one hand, and technocrats on the other,” Evgeny Minchenko, one of Russia’s leading political scientists and political technologists, President of the Minchenko Consulting communications holdings, said in an interview with Business Crimea.
Mr. Minchenko noted the major improvements in political management in Crimea compared to the Ukrainian period. “Even so, there are the same people at the middle and lower levels of the bureaucracy and this is creating certain problems”, the expert said. “Traditions of minor and even major negligence remain, as does the traditionally high level of corruption among Ukrainian officials. It is higher than in Russia, I can say it will all confidence, because we have worked a lot with both Ukrainian and Russian authorities and we can compare.”
The Challenges 2024 section concludes with Michio Kaku, a famous physicist and science writer, author of The Future of the Mind, describing scientific achievements that can transform our lives in the very near future. Business Crimea publishes the most striking excerpts from the lecture Professor Kaku delivered at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum; they are called “We are Approaching the Era of Perfect Capitalism.”
“Two years longer and two billion more” is the title for an article in the Infrastructure Development section analyzing the changes to the Federal Target Programme for developing the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. The In Detail section describes establishment industrial parks in Crimea, and an article called “Drawn-Out Preparations” analyses why construction of industrial zones has not yet been launched.
Norwegian entrepreneur and construction company owner Hendrik Weber gave an interview to Business Crimea describing his plans to establish a tourist company offering travel to Crimea for Norwegians. “I am already looking for partners; on my way back from Crimea, I will hold talks in Moscow with interested parties and lawyers. There is demand in Norway for travel to Crimea. Many people enquire about visiting the peninsula”, Mr. Weber said.
The Technologies section features an interview with Dmitry Gachko, General Director of IT-GRAD in St. Petersburg. The company works on the Russian corporate cloud solution market. He spoke about the project for launching the IT CRIMEA science park in Sevastopol, which would create 1,000 jobs. IT-GRAD has purchased and is now reconstructing a 16-storey building, a former telecommunications design bureau on the grounds of the Musson plant. It will house an IT cluster with co-working areas, a venture fund and conference complexes. The authors of the project plan to bring Crimean companies together in one place and attract back offices of major federal players. “The science park is not a real estate development project for us. Our goal is not to get rent from residents”, Mr. Gachko said. “For us, the science park is a way to bring together a critical mass of professionals who will generate a flow of ideas. And we will be able to foster those ideas, set them up as startups, grow them and release them on to the market. That cannot be done in a vacuum. We need to create an appropriate environment and a science park is just such an environment.”
The Face of Crimea section features an interview with Dmitry Kiselyov, founder of the Koktebel Jazz Party Festival and director of the Rossiya Segodnya media holding. “The time of hippie Koktebel is past. We need pure-white sails now”, he said of the village’s development. He believes that building a marina for yachts will attracts tourists, including foreign visitors, and a golf course in the Tikhy Bay will protect the natural landmark from real estate development. Describing his professional experience, Dmitry Kiselyov pointed out parallels between the US today and the USSR in the “era of stagnation.” “We have changed places in many respects”, the General Director of Rossiya Segodnya said. “I was only able to travel abroad for the first time when I was 35. I went to Bulgaria and my trip had to be approved by a committee of some Lenin-era Bolsheviks. Back then, people in the West kept telling us that freedom of movement was a great value, and people could not be stripped of it. And today I am banned from travelling abroad again, because the US and the EU have imposed personalized sanctions on me. And so it goes in everything. We have long since been told that a free market is wonderful and now we stand for the free market, while they stand for sanctions. Now we stand for the WTO (World Trade Organization), while they impose tariffs on us. Before, our state leaders greeted one another with kisses; now this is being done in the West. There is clear resemblance even in simple stylistics. Recently, I watched Trump spend six minutes in Congress simply standing at a microphone. People applauded him, and he just stood there riling them up. If you remember we had this saying, ‘Today, he is playing jazz and, tomorrow, he will betray the Motherland.’ Today, western countries do not allow their musicians to travel to the Koktebel Jazz Festival. They are afraid that today, he plays jazz here, and tomorrow, he will betray his American homeland.”
“Today, Russia still benefits from the fruits of his labours: thousands of kilometres of railways, churches, and the apple of his eye, the resort in Gurzuf. When planning it, Gubonin strove to surpass the best examples of the French Riviera.” So begins the article about Russian entrepreneur Pyotr Gubonin, published in the Legacy section.
The article “Crimea’s Counterparts of the Great Wall of China” tells the story of the system of fortifications erected at the time of the Bosporan Kingdom over 2,000 years ago and about the “long walls” that blocked Crimean’s mountain passes in the Middle Ages. The History section continues with an article “Capitanatu Gotitie”, a detailed story of Italian colonists in Crimea. The Culture section is dedicated to the life and works of Robert Falk.