Politic and force interaction
Election of the Governor of St. Petersburg has already been appointed - on September 8, citizens will have to make their choice. So far, the most famous is Acting Governor Alexander Beglov. In the case of a successful political test, he will have to interact with the power unit of St. Petersburg. So far, the preponderance is not in bed of the candidate from the government. The CrimeRussia finds out the reason.
The path to Olympus
Alexander Beglov has long been known in the political arena of St. Petersburg. Back in 2002, the Governor of St. Petersburg, Vladimir Yakovlev, forming a new government, introduced him as a new head of the city administration office. For a long time, Alexander Beglov headed the Kurortny district, where most people in business, officials and respected citizens live and rest. The closed government recreation centers and motels are located there.
Kurortny district of St. Petersburg
Today, Alexander Beglov does not need a special presentation. He has a certain political weight and the title of a good manager. He will have to introduce only to the renewed power unit of the city law enforcement agencies. After all, their support is necessary. New elections are always a new round of the struggle. The situation with Alexander Beglov is very complicated. There is no person in his team yet who could manipulate staff and papers. Also, former Governor Georgy Poltavchenko characterized Beglov as a non-contentious person inclined to compromise. These qualities are not suitable when dealing with security officials, who use power and considered readiness for regular communication as a weakness.
There is no doubt that the Interior Ministry and the FSB will take part in the upcoming elections. It is a harsh competition since the political Olympus of the city is another party of confrontation for oligarchs close to the Kremlin. It is no secret that Poltavchenko enjoyed the support of the Rotenberg brothers, and the Kovalchuk brothers are behind the Beglov’s back.
However, there is a severe difference in political weight between Poltavchenko and Beglov. Being once ranked, Georgy Poltavchenko looked down on the generals, having direct access to the Head of State. The heads of departments (for example, the same Sergey Umnov) had to reckon with this. After all, Umnov did not have ties to the top. Beglov has the opportunity to communicate with the first person of the state, but no understanding of inter-clan layouts and relationships between departments. The city needs a person who understands the situation and finds the right approaches to the generals, given the frequent visits of law enforcement agencies to the administration’s offices.
Battle of portfolios
As we have already noted, there will be a very tough political race in which all possible folders with compromising materials will be used. Now, the Beglov team faces a tough situation. All the folders that could Sergey Umnov covered, he took with him. It is possible that Umnov shared this information before leaving.
Communication with KGB-FSB is complicated as most of the generals left following Poltavchenko. Besides, sometimes even Poltavchenko was unable to influence some decisions of law enforcement agencies, despite his authority.
If elected, Alexander Beglov would face an urgent task - to establish a dialogue between the authorities and society; his predecessor did not condescend. The power existed separately; the city and the townspeople could not cooperate. Local politicians, cultural figures, businesspeople have no interaction with officials from Smolny. Nobody will be able to hide, neither Beglov nor the candidate who theoretically could win the election. Beglov has also made reshuffles with support of the security forces. After all, it is necessary not only to conduct purge but also to make sure that the ‘protuberances’ of criminal cases do not wound their own.
Today, we can try to imagine how these or other relations between Alexander Beglov will develop if he is elected the Head of the city. So far, it can be said that none of the elite groups will weaken their position.
For example, it is clear that any elected Governor will have no problems with the city Prosecutor’s office Head, Sergey Litvinenko. He avoided the resignation after the crusade of Prosecutor General Litvinenko. Moreover, his fate will also be at stake after the elections. Thus, the support of the newly elected Governor is vital for him.
Plenipotentiary Alexander Gutsan, who was previously the Deputy Prosecutor General, will not provide any active support to Beglov in terms of establishing interaction with the commanding generals. He is a fellow student of Dmitry Medvedev and is not related to the clan of the Kovalchuk brothers. That means only one thing - the Plenipotentiary is under the control of another political clan, and Beglov’s relationship with the security forces does not concern him at all.
The new General of the North-West Customs Administration, Alexander, is not Beglov’s problems at all. The Moscow protégé is too busy with his internal departmental war, barely recovering from the criminal cases and arrests. Thus, neither objections nor any support from him can be expected. Unlike his predecessor, he has no political weight in St. Petersburg.
The Head of the FSB Directorate for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, Alexander Rodionov, plays his game. He and Head of the ICR Alexander Klaus are the last two of the five generals, who influenced the life of the city. Beglov may have a gag in mutual understanding because the FSB understands the command “to clear Smolny” quite literally. Therefore, Rodionov has to fight corruption very soft. In case of misunderstanding, Alexander Beglov will have to seek help from his acquaintances, the Kovalchuk brothers, to solve the problem of communication through administrative resources.
Beglov has the most sustainable relationship with the Head of the St. Petersburg ICR because of the helpful attitude of Alexander Klaus, and, secondly, due to the situation with his further tenure as the Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Alexander Bastrykin. He will need the support of the Mayor in the event of his resignation and work at the St. Petersburg Academy of the ICR.
The newly elected Governor has the worst relationship with appointed Head of the State Ministry of Internal Affairs for St. Petersburg and Leningrad region Roman Plugin. The General has already made it clear, both to Beglov and to the entire political establishment, that he does not care about the traditions of St. Petersburg. The purge of the head office leaders has already demonstrated that the Ministry of Internal Affairs in St. Petersburg is stiff. Also, the new Governor is waiting for another unpleasant surprise from the new General. That is a possible union of 18 districts of Ministry of Internal Affairs, following the example of Moscow. How the boundaries of these districts will be coordinated, who will be responsible for what and how many Muscovites will occupy leading positions in these districts — that is the duty of the new city Mayor or one of the vice-governors. The only candidate today is new Vice Governor Lyubov Sovershaeva. However, her expressive and emotional approach to the solution of issues may erode the moat of misunderstanding, which has already arisen between Acting Governor Alexander Beglov and new Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of St. Petersburg Roman Plugin. However, only September 2019 will come up with a response.
The intel scandal involving Oleg Smolenkov, who had access to the Kremlin and possessed valuable information, has become a widely discussed topic. It was CNN who reported, citing sources in the CIA and Donald Trump administration, on the “informant” being evacuated from Russia in 2017. It turned out that for certain people in Russia, the spy’s disappearance was not a secret, while the Russian elite denied the fact of espionage in unison with the American one. The Smolenkov family was forced to leave their luxurious mansion in Virginia, and their current whereabouts are unknown. Smolenkov’s “patron,” Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation for the International Sector Yury Ushakov, continues to fulfill his duties. The CrimeRussia looked into the story of “exfiltration” of the top informant and the possible consequences of his work as an intelligencer.