ANDREI SKOCH: CAREER AND BIOGRAPHY OF A RUSSIAN POLITICIAN
Andrei Vladimirovich Skoch is a state deputy and a philanthropist, but he got his start as a successful entrepreneur. However, after being elected to the State Duma, he chose to focus on parliamentary work and charitable activities. Andrei Skoch’s foundation Pokolenie (Generation) has contributed more than 15 billion rubles to various humanitarian purposes.
FAMILY, YOUTH AND THE BEGINNING OF HIS CAREER
Andrei Skoch was born on January 30, 1966 in Nikolskoye village, Odintsovo district, Moscow region. He grew up in an ordinary family: Andrei Vladimirovich’s father worked for many years at the Salyut machine-building plant, which supplied engines for the military-industrial complex and the civil sphere. Andrei’s father was the one who taught his son diligence and his attentive attitude to people. After school, Andrei was drafted into the Armed Forces. He served in the Soviet Army in a reconnaissance and amphibious company. Skoch received his higher education after demobilization, graduating from the psychology faculty of the Moscow State Open Pedagogical University, and later became a candidate of pedagogical sciences.
In the late 1980s, Andrei Skoch decided to engage in entrepreneurial activity. Together with his long-term business partner Lev Kvetnoi, he opened a bakery cooperative, then a company that sold computer components. In the early 1990s, businessmen reached a new level by selling petroleum products. The entrepreneurs purchased raw materials and sent them for processing. The finished petroleum products were then sold at petrol stations and fuel bases.
Later the partners invested their earned capital in the Interfin company. The company was engaged in investments, including in large metallurgical complexes. Over time, the company’s asset portfolio was replenished with large shares in the Lebedinsky Mining and the Processing and Oskol Electrometallurgical plants located in the Belgorod region. At one of them, Andrei Vladimirovich took the position of deputy general director.
WORK IN THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT
In 1999, Skoch Andrei Vladimirovich decided to run for the State Duma. He won the election in a single-member constituency and became a deputy. After being elected, he transferred all his business assets to his father, Vladimir Nikitovich. Today, Andrei Vladimirovich is rightfully considered one of the most experienced Russian parliamentarians, since he has been a deputy of six convocations and has co-authored over 160 legislative initiatives. Most of Skoch’s drafts had a clear social orientation, in particular, the following can be noted:
- a provision of social support measures to educators of military personnel;
- extension of the popular “dacha amnesty” ordinance;
- raising the minimum wage in accordance with the subsistence minimum.
Andrei Vladimirovich was a member of various committees at different periods, at one point heading the Expert Council on the Mining Industry and Metallurgy. In autumn 2021, Andrei Skoch was included in the State Duma Control Committee. Skoch’s long-term legislative activity has earned him numerous state awards, as well as letters of commendation from the leadership of the Russian parliament.
THE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION POKOLENIE (GENERATION)
Andrei Vladimirovich Skoch is the founder of one of the most famous charitable foundations in Russia. In 1996, he created the humanitarian organization “Healthy Generation” (“Zdorovoye Pokolenie”), whose main task was to help sick children. Some time later, the foundation was renamed just Pokolenie when its field of activity began to expand. The humanitarian organization’s programs cover various areas and categories of the citizens: young authors, students, big families, and veterans. Significant funds are allocated to support various social institutions of the Belgorod region. In 2020, Andrei Vladimirovich’s Foundation allocated 2.3 billion rubles for the construction and reconstruction of 75 social facilities, including nurseries, schools, and medical institutions.
The humanitarian organization headed by Andrei Vladimirovich Skoch finances a number of large awards in various fields. Thus, the foundation established an award for achievements in the field of cardiovascular surgery. The laureates received 10 million rubles each. More than 22 million rubles were spent to finance the Healthy Childhood Award, awarded for achievements in the organization of children’s medical care. In addition, for 16 years, the foundation organized the “Debut” literary prize to support young writers.
One of the main areas of work of Skoch’s humanitarian organization is supporting the medical industry of the Belgorod region. At the expense of the fund, world-class medical centers have been built in the region, hundreds of units of high-tech medical equipment have been purchased, as well as 130 ambulances. The Foundation has financed the construction of 29 paramedic and obstetric stations in the region as well.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Skoch’s humanitarian organization provided support to the medical institutions of the Belgorod region, spending 60 million rubles in just a month and a half. With this money, personal protective equipment, disinfectant, and necessary equipment for working in the “red” zone were purchased. Pokolenie also helped the Belgorod Orthodox sisterhood, which was forced to close their refectory after the pandemic broke out: the organization gave them 10 thousand sets of disposable tableware to help them continue their work.
Andrei Skoch’s activity has been repeatedly awarded by the Russian state and other social institutions. Among his accolades are the medals of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, I and II degrees, the Order of Honor, Alexander Nevsky’s Order, and the Samara Cross of the Republic of Bulgaria. In 2006, the politician was awarded the title of “Honorary Metallurgist”.