Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Zhevago has been removed from the management of the Zaliv shipyard (Kerch, Crimea), which he owns. The shipyard announced this in a press release circulated by the Crimean Ministry of Information and Communication, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

"The people involved in pushing one of the largest shipbuilding companies in Europe to the brink of disaster have been excluded from management of the company. Now, we are primarily talking about Ukrainian oligarch Konstantin Zhevago," the press release states.

The press release also states that Zhevago illegally took possession of shares in the shipyard and used it to launder illicit proceeds.

Crimea’s Minister of Industry Andrei Skrynnik recently said that the Zaliv shipyard was practically not functioning and that Russian companies were holding buyout negotiations with the owner of the shipyard. "Negotiations with Russian investors that are willing to buy it are underway," Skrynnik said at a meeting of the Crimean Council of Ministers in Simferopol on 19 August.

Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov previously stated that the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade was considering the possibility of several companies (particularly Rosneft and Sovkomflot) placing orders with Crimean shipyards, including the Zaliv shipyard. The minister described the Zaliv shipyard as “a very good dry dock, more than 300 meters in length, and over 70 meters in width." "As of today, there is nothing similar in Russia," he said.

The Zaliv shipyard issued a press release on 26 August, stating that it was the victim of a forcible takeover by a company of the same name registered in Moscow as a limited liability company with an authorized capital of RUB 10,000. According to the press release, representatives of this limited liability company seized offices and documents at the shipyard with the help of armed men. The police and the FSB were informed about the incident, but they did not respond. Moreover, according to the press release, the general director of the shipyard was threatened in an attempt to force him to sign an agreement on lease of the assets of the shipyard to the limited liability company, but he refused.

The Zaliv shipyard is one of the largest shipbuilding enterprises in Eastern Europe. It specializes in construction of tankers, chemical and container carriers, and oil and gas drilling platforms. Exports account for more than 95% of its sales. Its main markets are Norway and the Netherlands.