Liubov Duyko, the head of legal consultation office, made comments on events involving construction of an equestrian centre in Repino villa community

20 June 2011

An equestrian centre shall be built in the forest zone, Repino villa community. Owners of the neigbouring houses, including famous people such as actor Oleg Basilashvili, Rector of St. Petersburg State University Nikolay Kropachev, and ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina are unwilling to live close to the stable.

Last November, a resolution on surveying works at the land plot of 2 ha (to the north west of 23, Novaya Street.) was issued to OOO “Kurort development” company” , directed by Mikhail Miropolsky, brother of the assistant of Mikhail Mirilashvili (the owner of “PetroMir” holding). The same person is director of OOO “Repino Development”, which is, according to the USRLE, owned by “PetroMir”.

“Truth be told, it's too soon to say what would this equestrian centre be like. We are at a stage where we try to understand, whether it is actually possible to build it there,” said Mikhail Miropolsky, having literally repeated the words of the St.-Petersburg governor Valentina Matvienko, who said that one should think twice before starting a project on the forest land.

According to local community, Mikhail Mirilashvili is both legally and “spiritually” related to construction of a stable. As the director of charity foundation “Rossiyski Evreysky Congress” he sponsors seminars for children at the Cinematographer art center, organized by Nadezhda Shaydakova, the director of the Center. At the same time Mikhail Miropolsky, the brother of his assistant, is on friendly terms with Shaydakova’ s husband Vladimir, the former director of the Cinematographer art center (and of the Cinema House, St.-Petersburg), and present director of “Lenfilm”. This friendship makes it possible to connect the equestrian centre to utility services of this cultural institution, which makes this project considerably less expensive.

In 2009, when Mikhail Mirilashvili was released from a place of detention, he sold his house in Repino to Omar Gurtskaya, the head of ZAO “Imperiya Farma”, a business partner of Sergey Matvienko, the son of St.-Petersburg governor Valentina Matvienko.

Opposite to the future stable there is a summer residence of Ulyana Lopatkina, prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre, she felt alarm when she knew that construction works shall take place. “I have not been there for a long time. Should a small stable be constructed at the private land plot, I shall not oppose to it. However, an equestrian centre should not prevent neighbours from living a normal country life. I believe that a real equestrian centre makes it rather difficult enough. But, probably, some legislative procedures are provided for such situation,” she said.

Oleg Basilashvili, the People's Artist of the USSR, living near the Cinematographer art center, opposed to deforestation and said that developers were "slobs" trying to imitate western millionaires’ lifestyle. “People were always eager to live in Repino as it is an upscale place to live in, however, as a result, it was absolutely ruined. To the north west of the Cinematographer art center, where the stable shall be built, a wood is presently located, there is a rolling ground, and a buffer zone. Very few forest areas are kept intact by now, but these people still need to build an equestrian centre there. They have psychology of slobs, impudent persons who fall greedily upon money and suddenly wanted engage in equestrian sport,” said he.

Some people believe that the equestrian centre was meant for horses owned by Valery Gergiev, the head of the Mariinsky Theater, whose summer residence is being built in the neighbouring street (by the way, just opposite the summer residence of Vladimir Shaydakov). If it is true, it will look strange enough, if his subordinate Ulyana Lopatkina, as well as his boss at the St.-Petersburg State University Nikolay Kropachev will “enjoy” neigh and smell of horse dung. However, Valery Gergiev informed us that “This is the first time I've heard about my horses being related to this stable”. The head of “Kurort Development” Mikhail Miropolsky refused to comment this suggestion.

According to lawyers, the land plot is a part of a recreational area and it would be acceptable to build there an indoor sports center without viewing stands. “Later, when design process will begin, it will be clear what it would be like. The key point is to obtain the approval with the Sanitary and Epidemiological Inspectorate which obliges developers to comply with the whole complex of environmental standards, to erect such facilities. Should all standards be complied with, and should local community feel no discomfort, there shall be no problems at all. However, it does not prevent community from going against construction and from opposing to it,” said Liubov Duyko, the head of legal consultation office at the law firm “S&K Vertikal”.

According to local community, at public consultations conducted on May, 30, not a word was said by developer’s representatives about a system to prevent diffusion of the horse dung smell. One of them stated that “Public consultations were generally unprepared in terms of information, however, they were successful.” 

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