“Confrontation between the Head of St. Petersburg FSB Directorate and general Plugin is inevitable” 

“Confrontation between the Head of St. Petersburg FSB Directorate and general Plugin is inevitable”
Should the interests of the two law enforcement services collide, an adequate response to Roman Plugin is guaranteed Photo: The CrimeRussia

Since the appointment of general Roman Plugin the Head of the General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation, significant changes have occurred in the regional police headquarters. Almost all his deputies have already left offices; now the time has come for heads of district MIA administrations. According to sources, these plans have been agreed with Moscow a long time ago, and St. Petersburg faces administrative and territorial restructuring.

New faces

New police chiefs have already been appointed to three districts of St. Petersburg. Dmitry Veselov, who used to serve in the Danilovsky district of Moscow, took charge of the MIA Administration for the Tsentralny District. The next appointment was made to the rebellious Vsevolozhsky district, whose former head has done dirt on Plugin by resigning in warm blood. In addition, the district authorities have flooded the general with letters demanding to deal with the ‘cemetery mafia’. As a result, Plugin has put 39-year-old colonel Anatoly Iogan in charge of the MIA Administration for the Vsevolozhsky District. Sources told The CrimeRussia that the personnel is closely watching the new boss. However, unlike general Plugin, Iogan does not rush to purge the ranks of the MIA administration under his command.

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Anatoly Iogan and Dmitry Veselov

Police lieutenant colonel Andrei Selyugin has been appointed the Head of the MIA Administration for the Kronshtadtsky District of St. Petersburg. He is well-known to the local police; users of MIA forums note that “Kronshtadt is lucky. Its new chief is not an outsider who does not care about local problems”.

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Andrei Selyugin (on the right)

These reshuffles are in line with the new policy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. As The CrimeRussia wrote earlier, the minister is going to amalgamate the current territorial districts into larger administrative districts as it was done in Moscow. This would allow to reduce the number of supreme commanders and appoint ‘right’ people to the key positions, thus, preventing St. Petersburg officers from forming an ‘anti-Moscow block’, while police commanders dispatched from Moscow will execute orders of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region in full obedience.

The servicemen are not happy with the forthcoming changes and grimly joke that the new commanders should preventively undergo the polygraph test.

Celebrations for the Administration of Internal Security

Many experts consider the above events a raiding takeover of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region committed by appointees from Moscow and predict a conflict between Roman Plugin and the Directorate for the City of St. Petersburg of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation. "His appetites are well-known, and his collision with the FSB is just a matter of time, – users of online forums state. – This would mean his heroic return to Moscow similarly with his father, who had to leave Murmansk at some point". Other Moscow natives would return to the capital as well as soon as their boss departs from St. Petersburg.

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Roman Plugin

According to our sources, such a sequence of events is possible within one–two years, after the successful conduct of the election in St. Petersburg, provided that Vladimir Kolokoltsev, the current Minister of Internal Affairs, leaves the office. But so far, the new command of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region is reviewing the performance of the personnel inherited from general Umnov. The first victims have already been identified. According to the media, the large-scale purge of district MIA administrations has started by now. A few days ago, Petr Kirillov, Deputy Head of the MIA Administration for the Volosovsky District of St. Petersburg, was arrested for participation in commercial activities. A criminal case has been instituted under Article 289 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal participation in business activity) in relation to the ‘business' run by Kirillov jointly with officers of the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate. Sources expect new charges to be laid against him soon under Article 285 (abuse of official powers) and Article 290 (bribe-taking) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Officers of district MIA administrations are now wondering who may be the next candidate for termination and criminal prosecution. After all, many inspectors and operatives were aware of and involved in unlawful deeds committed by their commanders.

Sources name the persons to be dismissed (and possibly arrested) in St. Petersburg any time soon: Dmitry Butylkin, Head of the notorious MIA Administration for the Krasnosel’sky District; Yuri Smirnov, Head of the MIA Administration for the Krasnogvardeisky District; and Sergei Avtomonov, Head of the MIA Administration for the Vyborgsky District. In addition, a number of mid-ranked police officials from the Leningrad region are going to be terminated. Due to the remoteness from St. Petersburg, the serfdom law is in effect in many distant areas – and local police chiefs resemble ‘bad sheriffs’ from American movies terrorizing their towns.

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Dmitry Butylkin, Head of the MIA Administration for the Krasnosel’sky District

Elections and politics 

The desire of the new command to reform the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region in their own way is understandable. Some police officers even welcome the changes; their only desire is to finish the promised restructuring as soon as possible and leave on vacation to Turkey and Thailand recently announced permitted destinations for civil servants. But the large-scale restructuring hasn’t begun yet. For almost two months, the policemen have been waiting for the outstaffing of the entire personnel. Now it is scheduled on July 1 – and this date is not final. No one can say why general Plugin is delaying the reform; perhaps, he is too busy dealing with the legacy of Umnov and Piotrovsky?.. 

In the meantime, the reshuffling of the command staff is ongoing. For instance, Sergei Strelin has taken an extended vacation. As The CrimeRussia wrote earlier, Strelin likely won’t return to his position and would be transferred to the MIA University. The situation with colonel Paradeev is more complicated – he is going to attain the maximum service age pretty soon. Therefore, Plugin may allow the decorated criminal investigator to hold his post until the honorary retirement. At least, no information about the possible resignation of Paradeev is available so far.

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Colonel Igor Paradeev, Head of the Administration of Criminal Investigation of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region

Inspired by searches in the Main Investigations Administration of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, many policemen are wondering when Oleg Antropov is going to be removed from office. Some officers even make bets whether ‘janitor' Plugin is capable of getting rid of this general or not. However, the main factor here is the balance of interests in the Ministry of Internal Affairs – not the personal desire of Roman Plugin. Overall, sources believe that no mass arrests can be expected prior to the forthcoming elections. 

The most exciting events should begin after the vote – in fall and before the New Year. In the course of the amalgamation of the current territorial districts into larger administrative districts, mass terminations of high-ranked police officials and heads of district MIA administrations are more than likely. The newly-elected governor will face a severe challenge because the designation of administrative districts involves the revision of existing territorial units in the city. 

The current district heads are to be laid off, and a bitter struggle for cushy jobs between them is imminent. Many of these people have friendly ties with local police chiefs, while others have ‘high patrons' in Smolny Palace. Such a large-scale reform is a difficult task requiring significant financing. Therefore, it definitely won't commence until the elections.

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 Aleksander Rodionov, Head of the FSB Directorate for the City of St. Petersburg

According to the sources, the confrontation between Aleksander Rodionov, Head of the FSB Directorate for the City of St. Petersburg, and Plugin is inevitable. One of the reasons behind it may be the excessive ‘zeal’ of the MIA general. Traditionally for FSB officers, Rodionov is a very reserved person – but he obviously does not like the Moscow manners. Should the interests of the two law enforcement services collide, an adequate response to Roman Plugin is guaranteed. The result of this political battle is beyond any doubt. But again, no local fights between governmental agencies are expected in St. Petersburg right now – each law enforcement service is currently implementing its own objectives.

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