MIA General-Major Vladimir Ovchinsky: mafia has infiltrated all government entities in Russia

MIA General-Major Vladimir Ovchinsky: mafia has infiltrated all government entities in Russia
Vladimir Ovchinsky

The renowned criminologist Vladimir Semenovich Ovchinsky, who was in charge of the Russian bureau of Interpol in the past, has given a new interview that surprises with its frankness.

The MIA General-Major admitted that in Russia the mafia and the government have fused together, and the criminals entrenched themselves in all tiers of authority.

According to the expert, the organized crime groups (OCG) of the late USSR and the formation of the modern Russian state period did not disappear, but simply changed qualitatively, writes Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper.

"Perhaps the main difference of the new criminals is that never - neither in the 1980s nor in the 1990s - there was such a large presence of the OCG representatives in the official state institutions. It is safe to say that in our country there is no "immaculate" state agencies - be it the government, ministries, governors machinery or the mayor's office ", says the Doctor of Law Vladimir Ovchinsky.

A specific place in this "chart" of corruption is held by the security agencies. Even in the "turbulent 90s" there was not such a large involvement of the law enforcement employees in organized crime groups.

"As an example, we can recall the absolutely fantastic case of the Moscow Region prosecutors, protecting the gambling industry. I, as a former Head of Interpol, claim that there are no analogues of this situation in the world", said the criminologist.

According to him, the Moscow-area prosecutors were representatives of a whole new breed of criminals. They are not just corrupt. "These people have taken the racketeers’ functions. They personally extorted, personally threatened, personally managed the criminals. It has never happened that the Deputy Prosecutor of the Moscow Region had turned his back and was placed in the wanted list. This is unprecedented", said Vladimir Ovchinsky.

Just in May 2011, the trial on the "bratskaya" OCG was finished. The gang was engaged in corporate raiding, illegal forest business, murder and racketeering. This criminal syndicate was headed by the former Deputy of the pro-Kremlin party "United Russia", a well-known businessman Vadim Malyakov. And the initiator of the killings was the Chief of the Bratsk MIA Department Vladimir Utvenko whose orders were executed police and gangsters. Finally, the Deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party, Alexander Zagorodnev, was the coordinator of their actions.

Twenty years ago, only the rare criminal could manage to "edge into power." One of those "lucky guys" was, for example, a thief in law nicknamed Poodle, who received the status of the presidential public aide to Boris Yeltsin. "He was clapped on to Yeltsin at the time. But he did not last long", said the Interior Ministry General-Major. Another solitary example is the famous gangster Mikhail Monastyrsky, who got  the Deputy chair.

"But it's just the few examples. This situation was not endemic, that's the main difference. Now there a kind of "nationalization of the mafia" is taking place: the mafia structures were actually replaced by the real authorities", says the Doctor of Law.

The Russian mafia feels at ease even in legitimate businesses, while in Europe, the organized crime is being gradually pushed out of it. An example of the conversion of the killers into the "effective managers" is a gang of Tsapkov in the Kuban village Kushchevskaya.

The criminologist draws attention to another dangerous trend: in Russia, the OCG have been replaced by the clans. "If earlier it was typical for people from the Caucasus, now the trend has spread throughout the country. The clans are all over Russia. And at the head of the clan, as a rule, there are criminal authorities", says Vladimir Ovchinsky.

According to him, the OCG can be held accountable, but Themis is not able to break the clan. The shell of the clan, consisting of the representatives of intelligentsia (doctors, economists, teachers), considers the criminal core to be the vanguard and is ready to defend it. "So it was, by the way, in Kushchevskaya. The gang that seized the entire village is also a kind of clan. In this case, the Tsapki constituted the core of the regional level", said the expert.

Now Russia is flooded with a new wave of violence, since even the most notorious criminals convicted in the "turbulent 90s" are released. As proof, the General-Major refers to the Supreme Court’s statistics for the years 2004 - 2009. For example, only 0.2% of the perpetrators of premeditated murder were given a life sentence. Only 3-4% of them were sentenced to 25 years. Of the 234 thousand convicted for causing grievous bodily harm, including causing the death, only two criminals were sentenced to the maximum term of imprisonment. From the same category of convicts 37% received a suspended sentence and walked free. 1180 criminals were accused of robbery in the same period. Of these, only three have received the maximum term.

147 thousand people were convicted for robbery. Of these people, only seven got the maximum term. For quite a rare article "Organization of a criminal community" 440 people were convicted. Of these, only 37 mobsters received the maximum term.

"But even those who receive the maximum terms are not very upset. They are released on parole after the half of the term. Therefore, the entire contingent of the 1990s, which, we think is doing his time inside, has been freed long time ago. Especially when there are all the conditions for this", summed up Vladimir Ovchinsky.

According to the criminologist, none of the old criminals became a law-abiding citizen after their release. By laws of the criminal world, if one was a leader, then he remains to be one. "The MIA General can retire and be forgotten, whereas the mafia underworld generals do not retire", says the former Head of the Russian Bureau of Interpol.

The Russian crime also has its "national characteristics". For example, such type of crime as corporate raiding is not in that well-spread anywhere the world.

Vladimir Ovchinsky believes that real defeat in the war against crime happened due to the fateful decision in 2008 when the            Departments for Organized Crime Control were disbanded, and all the forces were soon thrown into combat with the notorious extremists. "Experts believe that in 2008, after the elimination of the special forces, the situation at one stroke was brought back to where it was 20 years ago. As a result of this rash step, we have lost the structures which should deal with organized crime, and with the disbandment of these agencies a large number of professionals were lost", said the the MIA General-Major.

In addition, the files of the operational accounting related to organized gangs have been lost or destroyed. Although the public was assured that all had been saved. Because of this, on a nationwide scale up to 80 thousand active members of organized criminal groups remain free.

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