Fake mineral water «Kakhovka» for Putin. How Russian occupants steal Ukrainian business in Kherson region

LLC «Troika» in Kakhovka. Photo: facebook.com/VodaKakhovka

After Russian occupants destroyed the Kakhovka hydroelectric station, they delivered 6 liter bottles of mineral water «Kakhovka» to residents of Ivanivka community in Genichesk raion, «First of all, we sent them to social institutions and low income families», as proudly reported Igor Kastukevich, the deputy of the Russian State Duma.

Bottle of this mineral water stood on the table of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin during his illegal visit to Kherson region in April 2023 when he met with commanders of the group of occupation troops «Dnepr» on the territory of seized resort base on the Arabat Strit.

Putin offers an icon at the headquarters of group «Dnepr»; bottle of mineral water «Kakhovka» stands on the table. Photo: kremlin.ru

Vladimir Solovyev, one of the main Russian propagandists, also bought a bottle of water «Kakhovka» when, accompanied by Russian «head» of Nova Kakhovka Volodymyr Leontjev, he visited seized Ukrainian supermarket «ATB» in Nova Kakhovka on June 9, 2023.

Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyev buys a bottle of mineral water «Kakhovka» in occupied Nova Kakhovka. Photo: screenshot of video

As it turned out, Putin and his propagandist were given counterfeit mineral water. The water is produced at LLC «Troika» stolen from its legitimate Ukrainian owner. In June 2023, the ownership of the factory has changed for the third time since the beginning of the Russian occupation. New «owners» are residents of Bakhchysarai in occupied Crimea.

How Russian occupants stole Ukrainian factory from each other

«The last time the factory was seized on June 1. Ten Russian soldiers came, encircled the factory and declared that there would be new management. People in civilian clothes also came and said that they would decide all issues about the factory. They fired almost all employees and started producing mineral water with their own resources», as told us Ruslan Romanenko, director and owner of LLC «Troika» which produced mineral water «Kakhovka» before the Russian full scale invasion.

Ruslan Romanenko, director and owner of Kakhovka LLC «Troika». Photo from social media

As he said, he has not had an access to his enterprise after Russian occupants seized Kakhovka on April 1, 2022.

Residents of Kakhovka confirmed information about new «owners» of the factory.

«Young Crimean guys from Bakhchysarai seized «Troika» on June 1. They told they received support of Volodymyr Saldo, the «governor» of Kherson region. Previous owners were dismissed for ineffective management. But it seems that new owners also do not know how to produce mineral water», as reported Kakhovka residents.

Kakhovka residents do not now new «managers» of LLC «Troika». Russian occupation authorities did not disclose their names. We can assume with high probability that LLC «Khersnoskie napitki # 1» [Kherson drinks], registered in Bakhchysarai on April 10, 2023, is the new owner of the factory.

Херсонские напитки №1 з росреєстру


It is remarkable that Pavlo Filipchuk, the Russian «head» of Kakhovka, thanked this company for the delivery of 10 tons of drinking water to residents of Kherson region after the Russian destruction of Kakhovka hydroelectric station.

Mineral water «Kakhovka», delivered by representatives of «United Russia» in occupied Ivanivka village in Genichesk raion. Photo from social media accounts of Russian occupants 

«Khersonskie napitki # 1» is headed by Nesterov Dmitrii Valeryevich. Its founder is LLC «Shalom» registered in Krasnodarskii krai of the Russian Federation on July 2, 2023. Valerii Ginsburg is among co-founders of LLC «Shalom». He is the member of pro-Russian illegal paramilitary unit «Oplot» and active participant of «Anti-Maidan» events. He has been detained by the State Security Service of Ukraine but then exchanged for Ukrainians arrested by Russian authorities. Other co-founders of this company are Russian propagandist Konstantin Knyrik and Yuri Fedin, the general director of LLC «Mediagroup «Newsfront».

All of them had an experience in falsifying renowned Ukrainian brands of mineral water. They have been investigated by the Center for Journalist Investigations in Center’s material «Falsified mineral water for Crimea».

However, they should have put a lot of efforts to gain an access to Kakhovka LLC «Troika».

Production lines of mineral water at LLC «Troika». Photo: facebook.com/VodaKakhovka

From Gubarev’s accomplices to local traitors

As Ruslan Romanenko, Ukrainian legitimate director and owner of LLC «Troika», reported, the first seizure of the enterprise occurred at the end of spring – beginning of summer 2022.

«I have not been in Kakhovka since the first day of the full scale war. We stopped the production of mineral water. Later I asked employees to get electronic equipment and throw it to Dnipro river. But they were scared as Russian occupants closely monitored the factory after Pavlo Filipchuk was appointed as the occupation «head» of Kakhovka. Russians threatened to those people who could destroy my equipment upon my order», as told Romanenko.

Residents of Kakhovka added that the Russian military together with Pavlo Filipchuk came to LLC «Troika» in spring 2022 and required money from the company’s management. Later they appointed their first «director».

«It has been mechanic of LLC «Troika» Vitalii Storozhenko. He gave internal information of the company to Pavlo Filipchuk, and the latter appointed him «director». One day Storozhenko gathered employees in the cabinet of director and declared he would be new «manager». Personnel of the company did not like him because he was not smart and did not like to work. He has «managed» the company for a couple of months. Russian occupants dismissed him and appointed another director», as reported residents of Kakhovka to the CJI.

Vitalii Storozhenko with his wife. Photo from social media

Yevhenii Orlov, friend of Pavlo Gubarev and ex-official of so-called «DNR», has been informal «supervisor» of seized LLC «Troika» and other Ukrainian companies in Kakhovka (including famous JSC «Chumak») during first months of the Russian occupation. He looted warehouses, appointed new «managers» and «directors» and tried to organize the work of enterprises stolen from their legitimate Ukrainian owners. However, he ran into conflict with «supervisors» from the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) in the summer of 2022. He has been arrested and detained by FSB in Nova Kakhovka.

Yevhenii Orlov. Photo from social media of Russian occupants

Russian citizen Zanakhadinov Boris Vladimirovich (date of birth – October 31, 1968) became next «director» of LLC «Troika» after dismissed Storozhenko.

Boris and Olga Zanakhadinov. Photo from social media.

Kovalenko Vitalii Viktorovych (date of birth – February 2, 1971) has managed the company together with Boris Zanakhadinov. He has headed the company of consumer cooperation «Kakhovski rynok» [Kakhovka market] of Kherson region consumer association since 2019.

Under their management, enterprise «Kakhovka» received the new name – LLC «Nordsted». This name was indicated on the bottle at the table of Vladimir Putin during his visit to the Arabat Strit in April 2023. But true official name of the company is LLC «Nordstell». This name is indicated in the Russian State Register of Legal Entities.

Inaccurate information about producer on labels of goods is considered by the Russian legislation as the serious violation. It seems Russian occupants tried to hide data about counterfeit production of «Kakhovka» mineral water.

Нордстелл з росреєстру


«We were surprised that they wrote «Nordsted» on the label, though, the enterprise has been registered as «Nordstell». It is difficult to understand the reason. Unknown Russians supervised the work of Boris Zanakhadinov and Vitalii Kovalenko. They never visited the premises of LLC «Troika». It has been like a pyramid.

Other renowned in Kakhovka people has been involved into the activity of seized enterprise. For example, before the Russian occupation, Lilia Martynova has been known as the head of the association of city condominiums. She has «managed» LLC «Nordstell» together with Zanakhadinov for some time. Many people saw her there. But then she left the company and disappeared. Perhaps, she understood that there was bad business there», as reported residents of Kakhovka.

Label of falsified mineral water «Kakhovka» from LLC «Nordsted». Photo by investigator.org.ua

Lilia Martynova rejected her involvement into the work of seized LLC «Troika» after the Russian occupation.

Lilia Martynova. Photo from social media

As Ruslan Romanenko, legitimate Ukrainian owner of LLC «Troika» reported, new «owners» of the enterprise dismissed Boris Zanakhadinov and Vitalii Kovalenko on June 1, 2023. Today, LLC «Nordstell» has nothing to do with production of counterfeit mineral water «Kakhovka».

«I was told that new «owners» were somehow connected with Yevhenii Orlov from so-called «DNR». Perhaps, he succeeded in restoring his control over the company. However, I cannot confirm this information», as said Ruslan Romanenko.

Russian occupants used the same scheme when they seized other enterprises in Kherson region. For example, they transferred JSC «Chumak» into so-called temporary management of Simferopol LLC «Olyva Group» created on July 13, 2022. As its new «director», they appointed collaborator Igor Semenchev-junior, deputy head of occupation administration of Kherson region on property and trade relations and industrial policy.

Renowned Ukrainian JSC «Dim marochnykh konjakiv «Tavria» [producer of cognacs] from Nova Kakhovka has been reregistered in the Russian State Register of Legal Entities. Known Kakhovka barber shop «Charivny cholovik» [Handsome man] has been registered in the Russian Register as «Volshebny muzhchina» on April 17, 2023.

But these changes have not resulted in the renewal of the work of seized companies. It seems Russian occupants pursued another goal. They looted and destroyed an equipment of «Chumak». Production of brandy in Nova Kakhovka has been stopped long time ago. There are no clients for seized barber shop as many of them left Kherson region after Russian occupation.