‘Burned card’ of general Antropov 

‘Burned card’ of general Antropov
Oleg Antropov may become the next victim of ‘janitor’ Plugin Photo: The CrimeRussia

Six months ago, no one could predict the state of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region by the time of the forthcoming elections. After the appointment of Moscow general Roman Plugin in charge of it, the St. Petersburg police has undergone significant changes. Major general of justice Oleg Antropov, Head of the Main Investigations Directorate, is ‘the last man standing’ from the old command of the MIA General Administration. Most probably, he is going to become the next victim of ‘janitor’ Plugin.

Inconvenient investigation

The CrimeRussia wrote earlier that, sooner or later, the interests of the new Head of the General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation would inevitably focus on the chair currently occupied by general Antropov. However, at the time of the large-scale inspection carried out by the team of auditors under the command of general Eduard Sobol, the Main Investigations Directorate looked much better than other subdivisions of the MIA General Administration.

The performance of the police investigators was recognized satisfactory – unlike the work of all other units of the MIA General Administration. Of course, it is necessary to keep in mind that general Aleksander Romanov, former Head of the Main Investigations Directorate of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region and current Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, had personally asked the inspectors of Eduard Sobol to be loyal to this subdivision. The plan of general Romanov was simple: if the Main Investigations Directorate receives a bad mark, this would weaken his positions in the forthcoming struggle for the ministerial chair. Reportedly, Romanov did not really care about the fate of general Antropov.

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Oleg Antropov, Head of the Main Investigations Directorate of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region

The heightened interest of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation in the Main Investigations Directorate of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region implies that somebody is determined to unseat Antropov, while the support for him ‘in the circles of power’ is currently very low.

A month ago, rumors started circulating that audits are ongoing in the economic block of the Main Investigations Directorate, while operatives of its 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th Departments are investigated by the FSB. This information was never confirmed officially – but it may be classified for the general public.

According to the media, businessman Aleksander Terent’ev has recently submitted a complaint about the actions of officers of the Main Investigations Directorate and had a personal meeting with Aleksei Vasil’ev, Head of the Directorate for Internal Security of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. The businessman is currently tried for swindling in the Nevsky District Court of St. Petersburg. According to the investigation, Terent’ev and his lawyers have pulled out a fraud scheme to seize assets of his business partners. Similarly with many other swindling cases, many aspects of the indictment are unclear. For instance, plenty of important documents have mysteriously disappeared from the case file.

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Aleksei Vasil’ev, Head of the Directorate for Internal Security of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region

One more straw

Interestingly, this criminal case was investigated by the above-mentioned 4th Economic Department of the Main Investigations Directorate currently checked by the FSB. The complaint submitted by businessman Terent’ev includes a letter from some Tomilina, a former investigator of the Main Investigations Directorate, claiming that several hundred pages had disappeared from the case file, including search records and results of expert assessments. In other words, the court is currently examining the case without these documents. The businessman asked Aleksei Vasil’ev to check the actions of the investigators – but did not received an answer yet. Some experts believe that the new Head of the Directorate for Internal Security is unwilling to become involved in old quarrels – but this is not quite so. The information was received and likely conveyed to general Plugin.

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Roman Plugin, Head of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region

It is just premature yet to launch an open assault against the Main Investigations Directorate under the command of general Antropov. The above-mentioned audits and searches in the Main Investigations Directorate are nothing more than intelligence operations. No one is going to start a full-scale war prior to the elections. Oleg Antropov was recently promoted to the rank of general by the supreme national leadership. President Vladimir Putin does not award such ranks without a reason – obviously, somebody had lobbied the promotion of Antropov. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to remove him from office now.

However, this does not mean that rival law enforcement structures won't dig into the Main Investigations Directorate with the connivance of the Moscow clan led by general Plugin. It is necessary to keep in mind that the primary goal of Roman Plugin is to seize the full control over the once-independent MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region and weaken the cohesive St. Petersburg team by appointing natives of Moscow to key posts. The story involving the termination of Moscow general Sukhodolsky has taught the Moscow clan a lot; the past mistakes were taken into consideration. The old St. Petersburg generals stepped down from their positions without a fight – it is considered a mauvais ton to struggle for the chair on the verge of retirement. Oleg Antropov was the only young high-ranked police functionary in the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. An entire theatrical play is currently performed with the purpose to remove him from office. By contrast, Plugin has dealt with others shortly and without gloves.

A person without epaulettes

A bitter struggle for the chair of the police investigation chief of St. Petersburg is forthcoming. Oleg Antropov may not expect to get any support from his fellow townsman Romanov currently serving in Moscow. The point is that, initially, Aleksander Romanov had planned to appoint Dmitry Kakoshin to this post – but the Umnov–Matveeva duo has overplayed him. By the way, Marina Matveeva was his chosen successor – but she hasn't supported Romanov in the battle for the next successor; as a result, Oleg Antropov was appointed in charge of the Main Investigations Directorate.

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Marina Matveeva, ex-Head of the Main Investigations Directorate of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region

Aleksander Romanov has remembered well this ‘betrayal’. In fact, Romanov had struggled not against Matveeva and Umnov – but against Sergei Gerasimov nicknamed the “presidential aide for special cases” and “general without epaulettes”. Gerasimov, ex-Deputy Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service and ex-First Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, used to work for some time in the MIA Department for the Vyborgsky District of St. Petersburg and has strong ties with this city.

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Sergei Gerasimov

His son Pavel Gerasimov is currently the Head of the MIA Department for the Admiralteisky District of St. Petersburg.

According to the sources, Gerasimov senior had lobbied the appointment of Marina Matveeva in charge of the Main Investigations Directorate of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region and then arranged her ‘honorable resignation' – Matveeva became a judge of the Statutory Court with a personal driver, high salary, and small workload. The appointment of Oleg Antropov to the general's position of the Head of the Main Investigations Directorate of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region reportedly was a major victory of Sergei Gerasimov. He is known as a person able to solve complicated issues, including staffing ones. Being a Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, he had urgently arrived in St. Petersburg to announce the Presidential Order removing general Sukhodolsky from office "after the discovery of certain information in the course of the audit of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region". In those ‘revolutionary' days, he had chaired the operative conference of heads of law enforcement structures of St. Petersburg.

It is impossible to predict the actions of Gerasimov under the current circumstances. General Romanov does not care about the fate of Oleg Antropov – who is a protege of his rivals. Matveeva has no powers to support Antropov anymore. Umnov was transferred to Moscow after his honorable retirement and may not affect the political struggle in any way. No one can say whether the fate of Antropov is of interest to Presidential ‘Grey Eminence’ Sergei Gerasimov.

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Aleksander Romanov, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation

Therefore, the new Head of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region does not rush to launch a full-scale onslaught on the ‘independent’ police investigation subdivision and general in charge of it. Roman Plugin has enough powers; he reforms the St. Petersburg police according to a premeditated plan. But he won’t get into a war with overwhelming forces. It is necessary to understand who are your rivals and secure the support ‘from above’. This is why cautious Aleksei Vasil’ev, Head of the Directorate for Internal Security of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, abstains from abrupt movements and waits for orders from his boss – general Plugin. The sources believe that the current uncertain situation will be resolved after the gubernatorial elections scheduled on this fall. Time will show whether another native of Moscow is appointed in charge of the police investigation of St. Petersburg or not.

 

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