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Insight - Russia - Security Wars

Released on 2012-05-10 01:00 GMT

Email-ID 5522668
Date 2007-10-23 19:45:39
**from a Kremlin source who is involved in the situation.
This is weird and I had to read it like 5 times to finally get it.
But this is the story from behind that Kremlin article that was talking
about the inside security wars going on that Fred sent out a few weeks
sorry I hadn't gotten around to this email yet.

This <> pits the Igor Sechin/Nikolai Patrushev tandem
(respectively the #2 of the presidential administration and the boss of
the FSB) and the director of the Federal anti-narcotics agency (FSKN),
Nikolai Cherkesov, as well as generals Viktor Zolotov and Evgeni Murov
(director of the FSO, the service charged with protection of senior
personalities, and head of Vladimir Putin's personal guard).

To summarize the facts, October 1st, general Alexander Bulbov--#2 of FSKN
in charge of operations and <> of Viktor Cherkesov - as
well as three of his associates were arrested by agents of the FSB and the
Prosecutors investigating committee. They were then placed in preventive
detention following a judgment by the Basmanny tribunal in Moscow. They
are suspected of corruption and illegal wiretapping. The affair took on a
public dimension when the boss of the FSKN - in an unprecedented act -
published a warning in the daily Kommersant against the suicidal impact of
an open war between these power structures.

In reality, the arrest of general Bulbov is but the visible tip of the
iceberg. The genesis of this affair can be found around two scandals that
shook the power centers in recent years which were barely broadcast
outside the Kremlin. It involved, on one side, <>, a furniture
smuggling case that broke in 2000 implicating senior customs and FSB
officials. Charged with the case, the general Prosecutor's office - at the
time directed by Vladimir Ustinov- tried to stifle a matter that risks
plunging into an endless spiral of retaliation between Interior, Customs
and the FSB. The situation was so delicate that Vladimir Putin had to call
on an old university friend, Vladimir Loskutov, an investigator in the
Saint Petersburg Prosecutor's office, to follow the case. The Russian
president also chose to assign the FSKN, regarded as <>. The
other case, which finds the same parties involved and which explains the
most recent events in Moscow, concerns contraband imports from China and
also directly implicating the FSB, the owner of the warehouses where the
merchandise was discovered.

<> and the <> had as a direct consequence
the dismissal of the General prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov and his team in
the spring of 2006. The Customs service was also <> and taken over
by a trusted associate of the president, Andrei Belyaninov. The head of
FSB, Nikolai Patrushev, was able to save his skin, but he had to get rid
of several associates (including the deputy director of economic security,
Sergei Fomenko) The Sechin-Patrushev-Ustinov clan saw in these
misadvantures the hand of Viktor Cherkesov, whose long-held ambitions to
become the head of the FSB are well known.

The counter-offensive by the Sechin-Patrushev-Ustinov clan (resorting to
justice) has gone through three phases.
1) First they decided to marginalize the Prosecutor General Yuri
Chaika when he entered office. The Sechin-Patrushev-Ustinov clan saw
Chaika as too close to Surkov and too close to Cherkesov. So Sechin has
set up under the radar a new high-profile investigating committee linked
to his office take over most of his powers.
2) They then drew closer to Alexander Bastyrkin, the head of the new
committee, who sees no objection to strengthening his team with officers
from the FSB detached administratively. The role played by Bastyrkin's men
during the investigation of general Bulbov owes nothing to chance. The
very fact that Cherkesov's assistant is in personal charge of the Chinese
smuggling and the <> cases also explains a lot.
3) The other signal sent by the Patrushov-Sechin clan (to which must
be added the Interior minister, Rashid Nurgaliev) is the arrest of
Vladimir Barsukov alias Kumarin generally presented as the <>
of the Tambov group, the main criminal organisation in Saint Petersburg.
The object of Barsukov's arrest would be to compromise one of the
principal allies of Cherkesov, general Viktor Zolotov, as well as his
friend, Evgeny Murov. In place of a <>, the
Sechin-Patrushev-Ustinov trio had already in early summer teleguided a
message by a Duma deputy, Nikolai Kupryanovich, who asked the General
prosecutor to examine the possible links between Zolotov and Kumarin.

Nikolay Patrushev and Igor Sechin have another reason to want to eliminate
Zolotov : they in fact suspect him of <> with Evgeny Murov, for
Dmitri Medvedev. It is in fact agents of the FSO who guard over the
contact between the first vice Prime minister and his principal links
inside the power structures, namely Alexander Bortnikov- the head of
economic security for the FSB - , Oleg Safonov- a former KGB agent who
passed through the Saint Petersburg municipal administration and the Court
of accounts, named Interior vice minister last year - and Evgeny Shkolov-
an intelligence agent who was on duty in East Germany with Vladimir Putin
before becoming a technical adviser to Dmitri Medvedev and taking over the
department of economic security of the Interior ministry in2006.

Now open to public view, the <> will without doubt
make Vladimir Putin do what he most dislikes: intervene to arbitrate in
his closest circle. Otherwise, the second phase of his reign risks
beginning on a very dangerous base.