The Dagestani storm. Acting Governor against ruling clans of Dagestan 

The Dagestani storm. Acting Governor against ruling clans of Dagestan
The aim of the Dagestani Head is to destroy the tradition of the clannishness Photo: The CrimeRussia

A series of high-ranking officials arrests, including the head of the Cabinet, ministers and mayors of major cities, and the subsequent resignation of the entire government, sent the bureaucratic elite of Dagestan into a spin. Who is next and what are the prospects for the republic? The CrimeRussia figures out the ultimate goals of an unprecedented anti-corruption crusade in the North Caucasus.

Starting from February 5, the republic of Dagestan resembles a disturbed anthill. Never before the federal center has affected the internal affairs of the Caucasian sub-sovereign so clearly. The events are escalated so quickly that analysts do not have time to predict what will happen next. It remains to observe.

First, a massive blow to corruption in the Caucasian republic was compared to the relatively operation of the siloviki in Komi, which resulted in the criminal case of creating a gang under the leadership of Head of the region Vyacheslav Gaizer. After a week of investigative measures and radical personnel reshuffles in Dagestan, it became clear that the situation in the Caucasus is much more serious.

Six on exit

On the night of 4 to 5 February, the siloviki arriving from Moscow conducted a series of searches and detentions in the apartments of the Head of the government of Dagestan, two vice-premiers and a former Minister of Education. Interim Prime Minister Abdusamad Hamidov, deputy prime ministers Shamil Isayev and Rajudin Yusufov, as well as former Education Minister Shahabas Shahov, were immediately taken to Moscow after the detention, where they were arrested the next day until April 5.


Abdusamad Hamidov is escorted to Moscow

All of them are considered members of an organized criminal group, which has stolen state funds allocated for the social needs of the region. According to Kommersant, the case of officials is supervised by one of the most experienced experts of the ICR - senior investigator for priority cases under the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Lev Gur, and according to the source of RBC, the investigation has enough materials to charge the detainees with the creation of a criminal community.

However, on that day they were charged with embezzlement of funds allocated from the republic's budget for the implementation of social programs in the region (part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code - Swindling). Somewhat later, interim Head of Dagestan Vladimir Vasilyev dismissed the regional Parliament, urging the ministers to continue their work before the transfer of cases to successors. On the same day, photographs of the arrested disappeared from the website of the government of Dagestan.

The damage caused by officials to the republic's budget, the investigation estimates at 100 million rubles ($1.7m). This sum consisted of several episodes: the purchase of an overpriced building for a kindergarten, fraud with a fictitious acceptance of works on the reconstruction of a special detention center for illegal immigrants and the theft of money for the creation of engineering communications for the Orlinoe Gnezdo camp in Gunib.


Orlinoe Gnezdo

According to the investigation, one of the vice-premiers Shamil Isayev actually owned it through the controlled Mayak LLC, which director was his protege. The camp, according to the base Kontur-Focus, received 25 million rubles ($433.500) of state contracts, the customers of which were the Ministry of Labor of Dagestan, the Republican Committee for Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Education, which was headed by Shahabas Shahov.

Shahabas Shahov's apartment

Shakhov, according to the version of the ICR, disposing of the budget funds allocated under the Education federal target program prepared documents on the validity of the need to purchase a building for a kindergarten in the village of Halimbekaul in the Buinaksky district. Hamidov, in turn, was concerned with enlisting this kindergarten for customers, developers of facilities for 2014. As a result, the building of former Shurinka restaurant worth 12 million rubles got 31.8 million rubles ($551.300). Another 41 million rubles were stolen during fictitious reconstruction of the institution for the temporary detention of foreign citizens; Hamidov and Yusufov stole funds through controlled Grandstroy LLC by organizing a formal e-auction.


Shahabas Shahov

None of the detainees admit their guilt. Hamidov argues that the case "is trumped up," although his lawyers do not even intend to appeal the measure of restraint because "the existing practice exposes that it is useless."


Abdusamad Hamidov

Former Head of the Ministry of Education Shahov, who was fired back in December 2017, promises to "tell the whole truth," although he does not consider himself a fraudster.


Shamil Isayev 

Shamil Isayev was upset. The former Deputy Prime Minister is waiting for house arrest. His lawyers ask to release him on bail (the amount has not yet been called) or under personal guarantee. According to lawyers, public figures of science and culture of Dagestan and even one astronaut are ready to go bail for him. Isayev's sons, who have two apartments in Moscow, are ready to offer them for serving his arrest, as they worry about his health. It is possible that Isayev's unstable health condition, as his defense claims, causes such insistent requests. However, there may be one more reason. According to Dailystorm, referring to the internal audit documents of Norilsk Nickel, the construction company of the Isayev family Evropeya is related to transactions for the purchase of housing in the Kuban for employees of Norilsk Nickel, the damage from which amounted to 400 million rubles ($6.9m).

Searches in the luxurious apartments were filmed. During investigative actions in the mansions of officials of one of the poorest regions, many worthy things were discovered - from pompous luxury items, such as a full-sized scarecrow and the coats of animals to a whole arsenal of firearms.

A gilded TT gun with initials, Beretta and Makarov's pistol, as well as two Kalashnikov assault rifles in combat condition and cartridges to them were found at the house of Prime Minister Abdusamad Hamidov. The Minister kept a battle-worthy arsenal in the mansion. As well as a package with a powdery substance of pink color, reminiscent of amphetamine, and two self-made bongs made of plastic bottles for smoking marijuana were seized. His colleagues in the cabinet got a gun of unknown design and an inlaid automatic pistol Stechkin.



The apartments of officials in which searches were conducted deserve no less attention. Moreover, according to the declarations published on the website of the government, the arrested ministers live rather poorly.



So, according to the document, for 2016 Head of the government Abdusamad Hamidov earned 1.973.661 rubles (about 165 thousand per month) ~$33.600. He owns, according to the declaration, only a house with a total area of ​​44.8 square meters (!) and a dacha with an area of ​​224.9 square meters, two plots of land (600 and 230.9 square meters), and there is no own car at all. The wife of Hamidov, who earned 12.000 rubles a year, uses a house with an area of ​​230.9 square meters, and two of their young children have an apartment of 42 square meters. Shamil Isayev, according to the declaration, is poor too - half of the residential building with a total area of ​​100 square meters and Toyota IPS. He earned 2.519.291 rubles ($43.600) in 2016. Despite of it, they live in their own pleasure

Arrests for ministers did not become an afterclap. Head of government Abdusamad Hamidov even waited for the siloviki, after sending a wife with two children to another city.

On January 19, 2018, after searches at home and in the capital administration, Mayor of Makhachkala Musa Musayev, who is known as one of the main members of the team of the provisional Prime Minister of Dagestan, was detained. In 1993, when Hamidov became chairman of the board of the Elbin commercial bank, Musayev headed the currency and economic bank department. In 2011 he received a post in the republican Ministry of Finance, which was headed by Abdusamad Hamidov.


Abdusamad Hamidov, Ramazan Abdulatipov and Musa Musayev

A criminal case was initiated against Musayev under Esceeding Official Powers (item (c), part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). According to investigators, in March 2016 he illegally handed over a plot of land with an area of ​​17.5 thousand square meters to the Arsk brick plant (ASPK OJSC). The investigation believes that he received for this 1.1 million rubles ($19.100), while the market value of this site is 81 million rubles ($1.4m). Also, Musayev is checked for involvement in other similar crimes.

The Republic does not forget the ex-Mayor Said Amirov, who is currently serving a life sentence for organizing the terrorist attack and preparing an attempt on territorial investigation department of the ICR in Dagestan Head Arsen Hadzhibeyov. In addition, Amirov was charged with preparing a terrorist attack to assassinate Head of the Dagestani pension pool Sahid Murtazaliev (currently on the wanted list for organizing assassination attempts against security forces and financing terrorism), the plane of whom was to be got down from the Strela-2M missile.


Said Amirov

Disabled Amirov was so influential that everyone was forced to reckon with him, and when he was arrested Makhachkala was blocked by armored vehicles and helicopters circled in the sky. It is said that the former President of Dagestan, Mukhu Aliyev, visited the Mayor of Makhachkala, and not vice versa. Heads of Dagestan, ministers and security forces were changed, but Amirov stayed for 15 years, as he was the main support of the Kremlin and the conductor of federal decisions in Dagestan, opposed separatism and fought with militants of Shamil Basayev, for that he was forgiven. 

Although Musayev as politician is far from the same level, the source of The CrimeRussia among Dagestani publics believes that he was a protege of Abdusamad Hamidov, a representative of the Dargin clan, one of the few who managed to agree on an alliance with former Head of the republic Ramazan Abdulatipov, an Avarian by nationality. Therefore, when, a week after his arrest, a representative of Abdulatipov's clan, chief architect of Makhachkala Magomedrasul Gitinov, who is the uncle's husband to the niece of the ex-Head of Dagestan, was arrested.


Magomedrasul Gitinov

At first, it was reported that the cases of Musayev and Gitinov were related, but when choosing the measure of restraint, the investigation mentioned another episode under the abuse of authority by the head of the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of Makhachkala when drawing up his town plan, the boundaries of land plots were violated and the city suffered damage for the amount of 4 million rubles ($69.400).

The Head of Dagestan, Vladimir Vasilyev, commenting on the January arrests of officials, then announced the future crusade: "The criminal case against the Mayor of the capital is a step towards a number of measures that will be taken to restore order in this area. They will be consistent and productive."

Plane from Moscow

In the last days of January it became known that a special commission of the Prosecutor General's Office started its work in Dagestan, it is headed by Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Sydoruk, who has been in charge of the North Caucasus department for a long time. According to First Deputy Prosecutor Alexander Buksman, the task of the commission is "to check the legitimacy in the republic."

путин и васильев.jpg


Head of the republic of Dagestan is Vladimir Abdualievich Vasilyev, a native of the Moscow region Klin. He is Colonel-General of the Militia Retired, Candidate of Legal Sciences, Honored Lawyer of the Russian Federation, Member of the General Council of United Russia. In the period from 1972-1983 he worked in the Baumanskiy District Department of Internal Affairs of Moscow. Then he was Deputy Chief of the Department of Internal Affairs in Moscow, Deputy Chief of Personnel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, First Deputy Chief of the Moscow Main Department of Internal Affairs. Since 1997, Vasilyev served as first Deputy Chief of the State Interior Ministry's GUBOP, the First Deputy Minister. After the appointment of Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo he left the authorities. A number of media related this to Vasilyev's personal conflict with Rushailo. In 1999-2001, Vasilyev was deputy secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation. In 2001 he returned to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the post of Deputy Minister of Boris Gryzlov. During the terrorist attack on Dubrovka in October 2002, he directed the police headquarters for the release of hostages. In 2003 he was elected to the State Duma in a single-mandate constituency, in 2007, 2011 and 2016 he was re-elected. Since 2012 he was a vice-speaker and leader of the United Russia party in the State Duma. Heading the State Duma Security Committee, he was the initiator and co-author of a number of amendments to legislation to combat extremism. In the State Duma of the 6th and 7th convocations, Vasilyev oversaw the interaction of lawmakers with the RF Armed Forces and the Prosecutor General's Office, as well as the work of the Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption.

According to the source of The CrimeRussia, the commission includes 38 employees of the Prosecutor's Office from different regions and approximately the same number of representatives of the Investigative Committee of Russia. The interdepartmental commission is made for prompt fulfilment of the tasks assigned to it - seconded employees of the central apparatus of the ICR should immediately initiate criminal cases on violations identified by prosecutors. Kommersant notes that the first results of the commission will be announced one month after the beginning of the audit, the source of The Crime Russia notes that the mopping-up can drag on for three months.

As The CrimeRussia previously reported, there is a commission of the central apparatus of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, consisting of BIA staff and the personnel service of the capital's headquarters, as well as seconded staff of the FSB central apparatus.

According to the RIA Derbent, the commission of the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation checks the complaints of policemen of the Botlikh, Caspian, Khasavyurt and Kazbekovsky police departments for their leadership. According to Dagestani blogger Arslan Kadimagomedov, at the moment it is known about the initiation of at least 50 criminal cases against Dagestani officials, which is far from the limit. Half of them - young employees, 'hungry' for initiative and career, the blogger writes. In one of the districts, he says, currently there is a team of FSB operatives, who detained Colonel Zakharchenko. In addition to a number of ministries and departments, raids are being prepared in the energy agencies, the Russian Post and the pension service in Dagestan.

According to some information, the security forces' operation in Dagestan is controlled personally by the Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev. Chairman of the ICR Alexander Bastrykin, who flew to Makhachkala on February 8 to gain personal control over the investigation of resonant cases, Head of the Interior Ministry Vladimir Kolokoltsev, who visited the republic on the eve of mopping-up and director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov are in charge.

On February 6, while the Moscow Basmanny Court determined the measure of restraint for the detained ministers, the operation in Dagestan continued. Two criminal cases were initiated against former head of the administration of the city of Kizilyurt Ustarkhan Alyukov, suspected of Exceeding Official Powers (part 2 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). This time, the investigation believes that in 2012, Alyukov illegally granted two local residents the ownership of urban land with an area of ​​600 square meters and 500 sq. m. 


Ustarkhan Alyukov

Searches have also been carried out, but he was not detain. The former official headed Kizilyurt from 2008 to 2013 and last year was already sentenced to 4 years suspended with a probation period of 3 years. In October 2017, the court found him guilty of illegally selling the shares of RusHydro, which are in municipal ownership. Then the damage was estimated at 25.4 million rubles ($440.400).

Panic and trembling

On February 7, RIA Novosti reported on searches and seizures in several ministries in Dagestan. According to the agency, investigative and operational activities took place in the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health of Dagestan, as well as in the republican administration of the Federal Bailiff Service. In addition, Interfax reported that the Traffic Police personnel was completely replaced. According to the source of the agency, they were replaced by consolidated groups of police and Rosgvardiya from other regions of Russia.

The departments denied the fact of the searches, explaining the activities of the siloviki with checks, but this convinced no one.

According to sources in the republic, after a series of arrests and searches, most of the officials of the government of Dagestan and administrations of cities and districts have panic. reported on February 7  the introduction of a ban for Dagestan officials at all levels, from the republican to the heads of administrations of districts and settlements, to travel outside of Russia. The ban will be in effect until the end of the inter-agency audit. According to NEWS-R, officials are not allowed to leave Dagestan either. The newspaper writes that several officials were returned to the republic from Stavropol, through which they tried to leave for Azerbaijan.

On February 8, the cleanup in Dagestan changed punitive character to constructive. Detentions and searches continued, but appointments also began. Vasilyev appointed young Minister from Tatarstan Artem Zdunov, who had previously positively established himself as Minister of Economy of Tatarstan, the Head of the government.


Then a number of appointments were announced. Anatoly Karibov, who in 2013 held this post and in the previous government, is appointed first Vice-Premier, Head of the republican MFC Osman Khasbulatov is appointed the Minister of Economy. Ummapazil Omarova, who at the same time will hold the post of deputy chairman of the government, got the post of head of the Ministry of Education of Dagestan. And although the end of the interdepartmental operation is still far off, we can summarize that the task with which Vladimir Vasilyev arrived in the republic in October 2017 was fulfilled.

"Where is the money, Zina?"

Vladimir Putin's question about the millions directed to social needs, during a phone-in with Mayor of Makhachkala Said Amirov, could characterize the attitude of the federal center to the region, wich is 75% subsidized from the state budget. In order to get an answer to it former militia General Vasilyev was sent to Dagestan.


The reason for the high level of corruption that persecutes the Dagestanis at any level, from the child's enrollment in kindergarten to the appointment to senior positions, political scientists do not hesitate to call the clan character of the institution of power, which has become a big problem not only for Dagestan, but also destabilizes the situation in the entire North Caucasus.

According to the source of The CrimeRussia, a semi-feudal system based on the principle of national quotas (in Dagestan live representatives of more than 30 nations) is a sick corn of the federal center. The heads of the republic are changing, the cabinet of ministers is completely updated - the level of corruption remains stably high. The new leaders are fiercely fighting with it - criminal cases are being initiated, officials who are being caught in are being imprisoned, but they do not blame their own. Therefore, according to the source of The CrimeRussia, other corrupt officials are replaced by others.

When Ramazan Abdulatipov was dismissed, he himself proposed several candidates for the post of provisional Head of the republic from the local, the source said. However, all of them were left without Moscow's attention and a 'political heavyweight' came to Dagestan; according to Putin, Vladimir Vasilyev should fundamentally break the administrative traditions that are pulling the republic to the bottom.

"Vasilyev studied the situation for three months and looked around, after sending Abdulatipov's team to resign, he did nothing radical. And this temporary inaction even provoked sharp criticism from the public, who expected more decisive measures from him. And they followed," said the source of The CrimeRussia in one of the public organizations in the Caucasus.

Model for breakage

Former Minister of Press and Mass Communications of Dagestan Nariman Hadzhiev, commenting on situation in the republic, described it as "an indicative flogging with the goal of establishing federal control in an uncontrolled region". According to head of the National Anti-Corruption Committee (NAC) Kirill Kabanov, the Dagestani system cleanup was the result of a serious special operation, the choice of methods and figures in which was optimal."

A number of political scientists argue that corruption has always been in Dagestan, and a cleanup is just a show for the positive perception of the current authorities by the electorate on the eve of presidential elections. Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman of the Russian President, replied that the anticorruption campaign in Dagestan "will go beyond one region." The representative of the Kremlin confirmed the fable that was widespread today. Many experts consider the coordinated action of federal agencies and departments as a fundamentally new scenario for the struggle to decriminalize the regions, some kind of 'greeting' from the federal center to other marginal republics, and to Dagestan's neighbors in the North Caucasus. And on February 9, the siloviki strengthened the faith of political scientists in such development - searches conducted by seconded employees took place in the building of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation for Ingushetia.




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