Abdulatipov condemns arrests of Dagestani top officials

Abdulatipov condemns arrests of Dagestani top officials
Ramzan Abdulatipov Photo: Vladimir Smirnov / TASS

The ex-head of the republic said the arrests were a "campaign" and reminiscent of Vladimir Zhirinovsky's proposal "to surround the Caucasus with a razor wire."

Ramzan Abdulatipov, the former Dagestani head and the special representative of the Russian president on cooperation with the Caspian states said today’s arrests of high-ranking officials were a "campaign" and reminiscent of Vladimir Zhirinovsky's proposal "to surround the Caucasus with a razor wire," in an interview with RBC.

According to Abdulatipov, what the authorities should have done about the accusations was "investigate, instead of starting a campaign and keeping the republic in this nervous tension." The former head of Dagestan said that the arrests discredited the republic’s authorities in general. He noted that before he stepped down from the post of republic head in the fall of 2017, the fight against crime had been "just as vigorous". "I changed 26 heads of districts, changed the government twice," Abdulatipov said. He added that all the defendants were brought to justice.

According to Abdulatipov, the "campaign" provokes distrust and suspicion towards Dagestan and Dagestanis. When top officials get arrested, it should be done "carefully and reasonably" in order to avoid negative consequences, he said. He also lamented that "Dagestan and Dagestani people have changed, while the image of Dagestanis in Moscow has not."

Ramzan Adulatipov left the post of Dagestani head on October 3, 2017. Vladimir Vasiliev, who used to head United Russia State Duma faction, became the interim republic head. The resignation proposal was reportedly a surprise for Abdulatipov, who had apparently intended to keep his office for a while. While announcing his retirement at the session of the People's Assembly of Dagestan, Abdulatipov was displeased by the fact that some people in Moscow "impose quite unpopular decisions on the president."

On February 5, law enforcement officers came to search the houses of the Dagestani interim Prime Minister Abdusamad Gamidov, his deputies Shamil Isayev and Rajudin Yusofov and the former Education Minister Shahabas Shakhov. The officials were suspected of embezzling budget funds allocated for the implementation of a health program in Dagestan. The officials were reportedly taken to Moscow by a charter flight, and they will be interrogated in the central office of the FSB. The detainees are going to face charges. Investigative Committee stated that the number of persons involved in the case might increase.

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