In 2022, UAH 106 million was spent on the procurement of periodicals. Procuring entities most actively purchased periodicals for 2022 in December 2021 and January 2022. These two months account for 67% of the total amount of contacts — UAH 71.3 million. In total, Prozorro conducted more than 11,500 tenders, the item of which were periodicals. The cost of the majority of concluded contracts did not exceed UAH 5,000.
Most frequently, state employees purchased publications on accounting, personnel management, and labor protection. The largest number of contracts was awarded to LLC MCFR-Ukraine, which has Russian origins.
In Prozorro, periodicals are most often purchased to:
- replenish library funds;
- meet the information needs of the employees of the institution (improving the knowledge of employees, practical aspects of legislative innovations, advice on organizing a certain process in the institution);
- cover the activities of state institutions by publishing information in periodicals.
The leader in the costs of such procurement is Kyiv Oblast, which accounts for a fifth of the total amount — UAH 21.7 million.
Dnipropetrovsk region comes second with the result of UAH 10.9 million. Here, half of the costs fall on the procurement of the “Our City” newspaper. The largest number of its copies for 2022 was purchased by the Department for Local Self-Government, Internal and Information Policy of the Dnipro City Council — 108,000 for UAH 3.9 million. Another 19,400 copies for UAH 1.5 million were purchased by the Department for Self-Organization of the Population of the Dnipro City Council.
Kharkiv Oblast comes third — UAH 8.6 million. Here, the newspaper “Kharkiv News” is popular. Previously, this media was municipal, but even after privatization, the city continued to support it. Kharkiv City Council ordered from the newspaper services to cover its activities for UAH 1 million. Municipal enterprises buy the newspaper the most. For example, for 2022, ME “Kharkivzhylbud” ordered 14,800 copies, MSE “KHARKIVHORLIFT” — 10,500, ME “Kharkiv repair and construction enterprise” — 20,000. For 2023, the volume of procurement of “Kharkiv News’ is higher than in 2022. For example, only ME “MISKELEKTROTRANSSERVIS” ordered 43,800 copies for UAH 250,000, the procurement was carried out outside Prozorro.
According to our calculations, the most popular periodicals purchased in Prozorro last year were those related to accounting and budget. UAH 8.2 million was spent on them. Procuring entities most often chose “Accounting: budget,” “All about accounting,” “Budget accounting and remuneration,” “Professional accountant,” “New budget accounting,” “Advisor in the field of budget accounting.”
Periodicals for HR-specialists come second. UAH 4.9 million was spent on these newspapers and magazines. The most popular of this group were “Kadrovyk-01,” “KADROVYK.UA,” “Salary and HR,” “HR Consultant”, “HR of Ukraine.”
Periodicals related to the field of labor protection come third. At least UAH 4.6 million was spent on them. Most often, magazines and newspapers “Labor Protection and Fire Safety,” “Labor Protection,” “Labor Protection at the Enterprise” were purchased.
Then come periodicals for doctors — UAH 4.3 million. For the most part, “Practice of managing a medical institution. Special issue,” “Medical Accounting,” “Medical Newspaper,” “Handbook of the Chief Nurse,” “Nurse,” “Medical Director” are purchased.
And periodicals for buyers come fifth — UAH 3.64 million. To properly conduct tenders and monitor the latest changes in legislation, procuring entities purchased the magazines “Advisor in Public Procurement” and “Public Procurement.”
About a hundred state institutions also purchased foreign periodicals. For example, the National Bank of Ukraine subscribed to the Central Banking magazine for 2022. And for 2023 — print edition and electronic access to Bloomberg Business Week and The Economist. It also acquired access to electronic versions of Consensus Forecasts-G-7 & Western Europe, Focus Economics, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the Financial Times. The total cost of these periodicals amounted to UAH 1.5 million.
Subscription to electronic versions of foreign periodicals was also issued by the I.F. Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies. In particular, for 2023, it acquired access to Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Times, Time.
In early March 2022, the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine banned the import and distribution of all publishing products from the territory of russia. However, even before the full-scale russian invasion, some procuring entities bought russian periodicals. For example, Admiral Makarov National University of Shipbuilding, for 2022, subscribed to the russian publications “Ventilation, heating, air conditioning, heat supply, and construction thermophysics (AVOK)”, “Marine Collection” (the official journal of the navy of russia), “Shipbuilding,” “Gas Turbine Technologies.” In December 2021, Vadym Hetman Kyiv National Economic University subscribed to Russian journals “World Economy and International Relations,” “Social Sciences and Modernity,” “Society and Economy,” “USA and Canada: Economy, Politics, Culture” for 2022. However, the supplier did not provide the magazines because of the ban on the import and distribution of publishing products of russia.
According to our estimates, the largest number of contracts was concluded by LLC MCFR-Ukraine for UAH 21.6 million. The company supplies electronic and printed magazines “Holovbukh,” “Kadrovyk-01”, “Work and Salary,” “State Procurement” and programs “Expertus-kadry,” “Expertus-holovbukh,” “Expertus-medzaklad.”
The top three leaders included the Akademperiodyka Publishing House of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which concluded one contract for UAH 5.6 million with the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine for the preparation and publication of 43 scientific periodicals.
Ukrainization of Russian Periodicals
The leader in sales of periodicals in Prozorro 2022 LLC “MCFR-Ukraine” is a company with russian roots. It is known through its electronic and print magazines “Holovbukh,” “Kadrovyk-01,” “Labor and Salary,” “State Procurement.”
LLC “MCFR-UKRAINE” was established in 2005, it is the legal successor of LLC PUBLISHING HOUSE “HOLOVBUKH.” The latter was established in 2006 and ceased operations in 2009. According to YouControl, at the time of termination of activity, the ultimate beneficiary of the HOLOVBUKH PUBLISHING HOUSE was the Russian CJSC MCFR, and the head was Artem Tepliakov from Kyiv. LLC “MCFR-UKRAINE” changed its owners several times. Today, its ultimate beneficiary is a resident of Israel Jacobs Russell Lawrence, through the Cypriot “AR JAY CORPORATION SERVICES LIMITED.” From 2009 to September 2022, Artem Tepliakov was the director of MCFR-Ukraine.
Prior to Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, MCFR operated using Russian platforms and technologies. After February 24, the company severed these ties. In June 2022, EXPERTUS TECH LLC was established, in which Artem Tepliakov is the director. The founder of the enterprise is a resident of Sumy Oblast, Vitalina Zhovtia.
The whole team went to work in “Expertus.” As the director of the digital publishing house Artem Tepliakov noted in an interview with Hromadske Radio: “Expertus has preserved almost the entire client segment, its jobs, pays taxes, regularly conducts free webinars for educators, doctors, HR specialists, labor protection managers from the newly de-occupied territories and supports the Armed Forces of Ukraine financially.”
Artem Tepliakov also says that russians seized control of the old publishing house, hired a new head in Ukraine and began to turn to clients with black PR against the Ukrainian team.
According to YouControl, a person with the name and surname Artem Tepliakov is listed as the ultimate beneficiary of REOSVIT LLC and has russian citizenship, he owns 51% of the company. Another 49% of the company belongs to his wife — Ukrainian Nadia Tepliakova.
In a comment to DOZORRO, Artem Tepliakov said that he had studied the issue of renouncing the citizenship of russia, but at the moment, it is impossible to do this in Ukraine due to the absence of the russian embassy. Options for finding an embassy in other countries take a lot of time and are not reliable. However, he has plans to renounce citizenship when possible.
“I live in Ukraine, my wife is Ukrainian, and the children go to Ukrainian school. I myself learned the Ukrainian language,” added Artem Tepliakov.
He also noted that “Expertus” does not cooperate with russian business and currently continues to fight for the client base of MCFR, which russians are trying to take away from the team.
During its existence, EXPERTUS TECH LLC has concluded contracts in Prozorro for UAH 19.7 million, in 2023 — for UAH 400,000. Since the creation of Prozorro, MCFR-Ukraine LLC has concluded contracts for UAH 147 million, in particular, in 2022 — for UAH 21.4 million, and in 2023 — for UAH 400,000.
A significant share of expenses falls on the procurement of local newspapers and magazines. For example, the Chechelnyk Village Council purchased a subscription to the newspaper Chechelnytskyi Visnyk, the Baranivka City Council subscribed to Slovo Polissia, the Vyzyrka Village Council to the Slava Khliboroba magazine, and the Baryshivka Village Council to Baryshivskyi Visnyk.
Often, subscription to local newspapers is one way to cover the results of the activities of local councils. For example, the Department of Social Protection of the Population of the Pokrovsk City Council (Donetsk Oblast) subscribed to the regional newspaper Mayak “with a general political purpose of the local sphere of distribution and thematic focus (coverage of the activities of local authorities and events in the city of Pokrovsk and the annexed territories of Donetsk Oblast) for the II-IV quarter (April-December) of 2022.” The amount of the contract is UAH 1.5 million.
Slavske Village Council (Lviv Oblast) spent UAH 440,000 on printing the newspaper “Slavske Visti” to “cover the activities of the Slavske Village Council and its executive bodies for 2022.” The circulation of the newspaper is 66,000 copies, the frequency — once a month. The cost of services includes the collection and preparation of material, preparation of photo content/infographics, layout of pages and designs, newspaper printing, delivery.
The Berdychiv district state administration concluded three contracts for “coverage of the activities of the district state administration by publishing information” in local newspapers “Novyny of Andrushivshchyna,” “Ruzhynska Zemlia,” “Zemlia Berdychivska.”
Moreover, local councils subscribe to periodicals to distribute them free of charge to residents of local communities. Thus, the Pokrovske Village Council ordered 11,000 newspapers “Pivdenna Zoria” for veterans, unemployed pensioners, and large families. Halytsynove Village Council subscribed to “Ridne Prybuzhzhia” for subsidized segments of the population.
Procurement for 2023
From December 2022 to January 22, 2023, procuring entities conducted 1,600 tenders and concluded contracts for UAH 34 million for the subscription of the periodicals for 2023. The most popular publications concerned personnel policy and public procurement. UAH 1 million and UAH 970,000 was spent on them, respectively. Another UAH 930,000 was spent on the subscription to publications related to the field of labor protection, UAH 653,000 — on accounting and budget. The leaders in terms of expenses for periodicals are Dnipropetrovsk (UAH 12 million) and Kyiv (UAH 7.7 million) oblasts.
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