Former editor-in-chief of Ekho Moskvy, Alexei Venediktov, responded to an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Foundation, in which Alexei Navalny’s associates accused him, among other journalists, of “cutting the budget of Moscow” through the city improvement program “My District”. The FBK stated that Venediktov received 680 million rubles from the Moscow City Hall under a contract for the publication of the My District magazine.
About the project of such a publication on the history of each of the 123 districts of Moscow, a journalist told back in April 2020 in an interview with BBC Russian Service. Now Venediktov has confirmed that his company “Education – XXI century” really received 680 million rubles from the mayor’s office, but for him personally the project turned out to be unprofitable.
How explained On March 8, a journalist on Facebook, the company had only 389 million rubles to create the magazine, excluding printing services (191 million rubles) and taxes (110 million rubles). (These calculations by Venediktov included an error of 10 million rubles – Note by Meduza.) He estimated the cost of the magazine at 128 rubles, dividing the contract amount by the total circulation of 5.3 million paper copies.
According to Venediktov, 23.4 million rubles went to his personal account out of the total amount of the contract. “However, 6 million is the return of the loan that I gave the company when there was a shortage of funds (we reissued the number due to an error). Thus, in 2.5 years, I, it would seem, earned 17 million rubles on the project, ”the journalist said.
However, he continues, the contract was stopped when the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation declared Venediktov a “foreign agent” (this happened in April 2022) – at that time 112 out of the planned 123 issues had come out.
And then the team and I decided to release these 11 districts with our own money, which cost my family’s budget much more than the 17 million earned (on which I also paid taxes in the amount of a million).
So as a result, I personally did not make a dime from this project, but I consider it a great educational story. Moreover, if it were not for my foreign agency, such a project would be underway in at least four other regions.
Nevertheless, I will leave insinuations, assumptions and assumptions on the conscience of those who insinuate, admit and assume.