ORGAN TRANSPLANTS, OR RETURN OF THE MGB
01/25/2018 | Ilya Rozhdestvensky – especially for The New Times
What is waiting for the law enforcement agencies and special services after March 18? The New Timesfound out which options for reform are being discussed in the highest echelons of power
Complex of FSB buildings in Lubyanka Photo: Flickr / Photo of Moscow Moscow-Live.ru
In May, after the inauguration, the head of state will have to determine not only the new leadership of the Kremlin and the White House, but also a new configuration of power structures. As three high-ranking interlocutor NT , close to the leadership of the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, explain , now there are consultations on how the new structure will look.
MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY
Official emblem of the
FSB of the Russian Federation Photo: fsb.ru
Discussions mainly go around the project of the Ministry of State Security. This idea was actively discussed in the summer and autumn of 2016, but then, explain two NT sources , the decision of the issue was postponed due to the approach of the pre-election period. After March 2018, when the voting takes place, the initiative can still be implemented.
Available NTthere are excerpts from the concept prepared by the supporters of the MGB on the Lubyanka. The Ministry should unite the Federal Security Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service and the Federal Security Service, and the counterintelligence will be the main agency, the document says. “The concentration in the FSB of foreign intelligence and security functions looks logical, <…> because in the advanced mode it will allow them to intercept them (SVR) and promote neutralization (FSO) at the stage of origin of shares (foreign states aimed at destabilizing the situation in Russia)” , – stated in the concept. The materials also emphasize that the formation of the MGB will “create and maintain dualism” among law enforcement agencies: it is assumed that the ministry will balance Rosgvardia with Viktor Zolotov. Finally,
Among the likely leaders of the MGB, NT interlocutors are called not only the FSB director Alexander Bortnikov, who has been in charge of the service for almost ten years, but also the director of FSO Dmitry Kochnev. The latter heads the department relatively recently: in May 2016, he replaced Yevgeny Murov in this post. The choice was then between Kochnev and Oleg Klimentiev, who headed the presidential security service after Viktor Zolotov. According to the interlocutor of NT in the FSO, preference was given to Kochnev, because he is able to solve “difficult personnel issues.”
“IF THE FSB, THE SVR AND THE FSO REPORT THE SAME THING TO THE PRESIDENT, EQUALLY DEAL WITH THE FIGHT AGAINST CRIME INSIDE THE COUNTRY, STUDY PUBLIC OPINION AND” REFLECT EXTERNAL THREATS, “THEN THEY ARE LOGICAL TO UNITE,” SAYS THE SOURCE
And Kochnev justified these expectations, for a year and a half, sending more than ten FSO generals to resign; another subordinate Kochnev, head of the FSO Security Service in the Caucasus Gennady Lopyrev, was sentenced to ten years in prison for taking bribes. A source in the service explains this by changing the team: the dismissed officers were close to Murov, many of them “sat up” in their posts, and Lopyrev completely overestimated his hardware weight and the opportunity to contact the president directly. If the MGB is formed, the FSO will not lose its influence, say two interlocutors of the NT , and for Kochnev, if appointed to the post of minister, this will be a noticeable increase.
NT interlocutors found it difficult to answer the question about the position of SVR director Sergei Naryshkin on the reform. According to one of the interlocutors, the former speaker of the State Duma has been occupying the current post for less than a year and a half, but during that time he had joined the collective well, without serious rearrangements, appointing only his deputy Sergei Gerasimov (before that he worked as the first deputy minister of justice) would prefer to keep the current state of affairs.
However, another NT sourceon Lubyanka urges not to write off Bortnikov. To the FSB director in recent years, there were two significant claims from the president: the first was connected with confrontation with the leadership of Chechnya during the investigation of the case of the murder of Boris Nemtsov, the second with the failure of the special services in the fight against terrorists, which resulted in the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg in April 2017, which coincided with the arrival of Vladimir Putin in the city. However, the source notes, the confrontation with Kadyrov has been exhausted, and on the anti-terrorist line the FSB was rehabilitated: at the end of the year Bortnikov reported on 23 prevented terrorist acts. If the director leaves his post, it is only for the reason that he occupies a position longer than his predecessor, Nikolai Patrushev, for almost ten years. In this case, Bortnikov, probably, will go to work in the Security Council, the source continues.
TO THE FSB DIRECTOR IN RECENT YEARS, THERE WERE TWO SIGNIFICANT CLAIMS FROM THE PRESIDENT: THE FIRST WAS CONNECTED WITH CONFRONTATION WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF CHECHNYA DURING THE INVESTIGATION OF THE CASE OF THE MURDER OF BORIS NEMTSOV, THE SECOND WITH THE FAILURE OF THE SPECIAL SERVICES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISTS, WHICH RESULTED IN THE TERRORIST ACT IN ST. PETERSBURG IN APRIL 2017 , WHICH COINCIDED WITH THE ARRIVAL IN THE CITY OF VLADIMIR PUTIN
FEDERAL INVESTIGATION SERVICE
Official emblem of the FC of the RF
The general outline of the ministry has not yet been determined. According to one source, it is likely that the Security Service of the President will not enter the MGB and will exist as a separate structure. Two more interlocutors claim that the option of separating the MGB from investigative functions, which will be handed over to the new structure – the Federal Investigation Service (FSR), is being discussed. As noted in the concept, “the TFR and all investigative units of other law enforcement agencies” will enter it, that is, the FSB investigative department and the Interior Ministry investigative department, “whose employees will be withdrawn from the state and re-certified.” This, as the interlocutor in the FSB leadership notes, gives scope for personnel maneuver.
The idea of the FSR appeared simultaneously with the MGB – in the summer of 2016. And for the same reasons as the MGB, it was laid for a while under the cloth. Now it has again appeared supporters, for example the head of the investigative department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Alexander Romanov, to whom such a regrouping will add influence. Against Vladimir Kolokoltsev, because his ministry after such a reform will actually “departmental precinct,” said the source close to the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
However, FSR is not the most attractive option for the FSB. According to two sources in the special services, they would prefer not to abandon the investigative functions on the Lubyanka, but to concentrate them in their hands, pushing the TFR back to the background. The offensive against the investigators in the FSB has been going on for a long time: part of this offensive, for example, was a criminal case against high-ranking officers of the Investigative Committee .
THE IDEA OF THE FEDERAL INVESTIGATION SERVICE IS SUPPORTED BY THE HEAD OF THE INTERIOR MINISTRY’S INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT ALEXANDER ROMANOV, TO WHOM SUCH A REGROUPING WILL ADD INFLUENCE. AGAINST VLADIMIR KOLOKOLTSEV, BECAUSE HIS MINISTRY AFTER SUCH A REFORM WILL ACTUALLY BE “DEPARTMENTAL PRECINCT”
As part of the same offensive in mid-December 2017, the State Duma, Senator Alexei Alexandrovintroduced a bill that proposes to give the Prosecutor General and his deputies the right to seize any criminal case or materials of verification of a crime detected by the FSB and to transfer it for investigation to the service. “The proposed changes will increase the effectiveness and objectivity of the preliminary investigation in a number of criminal cases identified by the bodies of the FSB, the preliminary investigation of which is being carried out by investigators of other preliminary investigation bodies (for example, investigators of the Russian Investigative Committee against judges, prosecutors and investigators),” document in an explanatory note, without hiding whose authority will be curtailed. Now the draft law has been submitted to the Committee for State Construction and Legislation. The interlocutor of NT in the leadership of the State Duma said that the law was prepared with the fate of the FSB, because he has good chances of acceptance.
THE FATE OF BASTRYKIN
The Federal Investigation Service is not the only option for the reform of law enforcement agencies. NTalready wrote that the Investigative Committee can return to the bosom of the General Prosecutor’s Office, from which it was allocated in 2011. In addition, the functions of the TFR can be divided between the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB: the police will withdraw economic crimes, and counterintelligence – corruption. One of the interlocutors of NT says that the idea of creating a single investigation committee on the basis of the TFR and the investigative department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has not been buried until the end. The main lobbyist for such a transformation was the police general Alexander Savenkov, which in late November 2016, Vladimir Putin dismissed from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. However, after this, there are enough supporters of this version of the investigation reform in the law enforcement bodies, the source notes.
All three scenarios stipulate that the current chairman of the TFR, Alexander Bastrykin, will not remain at his post. A well-acquainted with him interlocutor NT believes that in case of resignation Bastrykin will ask for the post of head of the St. Petersburg Academy of the Investigative Committee. The source explains this by the fact that the educational institution will survive, no matter how the events develop. In addition, Bastrykin considers the academy to be his brainchild and wants to take care of him.
ALL THREE SCENARIOS STIPULATE THAT THE CURRENT CHAIRMAN OF THE TFR, ALEXANDER BASTRYKIN, WILL NOT REMAIN AT HIS POST. IN CASE OF RESIGNATION BASTRYKIN WILL ASK FOR THE POST OF THE HEAD OF THE ST. PETERSBURG ACADEMY OF THE INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE
Bastrykin’s dissatisfaction with the country’s leadership has been ripening for a long time. His appearances in the press, the conflict with the deputy editor-in-chief of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Sergei Sokolov , the property found in Bastrykin in the Czech Republic, allegedly connected with members of the Tambov criminal gang, mentioned in the materials of the Spanish investigation, are just a few underlying reasons for which the work of the chairman of the SKR ceased to suit the president. Among the less obvious sources NT calls the protracted conflict Bastrykin with Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika, which resulted in the case of the roofing prosecutors of underground casinos in the suburbs, “The case of the generals of the TFR” and confrontation with the FSB. Thus, the special service continues to seek criminal prosecution of Alexander Drymanov, the head of the Moscow department of the CPS, close to Bastrykin, in the case of Shakro Molodoy.
The chairman of the CDF himself , in the fall speaking before the students of the Faculty of Law of Moscow State University, admitted that talks about reforming the Investigative Committee are under way. Excerpts from the record of his speech are at the disposal of NT . At the same time Bastrykin recalled that his department has its own proposal for reform, which consists in the re-establishment of the post of judicial investigator. About this idea in the TFR is spoken from the end of 2015, but as a senior NT interlocutor in the law enforcement agencies draws attention , it is unlikely that this initiative will be implemented in the near future, since more radical changes are on the agenda so far.