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INSIGHT -RUSSIA - update on Chaika-Patryushev battle

Released on 2012-05-10 01:00 GMT

Email-ID 5531544
Date 2008-04-11 06:36:51
ATTRIBUTION: Stratfor sources in the Kremlin
ITEM CREDIBILITY: 2 (he's too involved, to say the least)

As we know Chaika's battle over who gets the new Russian FBI position has
been fierce. Patryushev and Sechin put their guy forward, Alex
Basturkin-who is an old companion of Putin's. Basturkin works below Chaika
in the Prosecutor General's office, but tried to take the credit in front
of Putin for a slew of recent OC and smuggling nabs. He was active in the
Bulbov and Storchak affair.

Well, since the end of March Chaika has put Bastyrkin on the defensive...
he has started to clean house among the top Russian prosecutors who are
more loyal to Bastyrkin than Chaika. He just suspended four of Russia's
biggest prosecutors: Dmitri Dovgy, Alexei Novikov, Sergei Glukhikh and
Yuri Ermakov. Now Chaika is starting corruption cases against all of them.
Dovgy had received 2 million dollars in exchange for the liberation of a
suspect, a deal all the more disgraceful in that it concerned an affair
linked to Yukos. Ermakov and Glukhikh for their part may have worked for
the transfer of Vladimir Barsukov -the "godfather" of the Tambov mafia in
Saint Petersburg arrested last autumn - from his high-security cell in the
notorious Matroskaya Tishina to Saint Petersburg, where he was able to
regain his freedom thanks to other connections.

To put it simply, right now Chaika is rubbing his hands. The contest
between him against Bastyrkin appears as won for now. But, as is
well-known, Chaika has bigger fish to fry and certain allies to help
boost. Mainly the boss of the Federal anti-narcotics service, Viktor
Cherkesov. With the most recent attacks by Chaika on Patryushev's man
Bastyrkin, Cherkesov believes more than ever in his chances to replace
Nikolay Patryushev in the Lubyanka after mid-May.

Of course, all this is up to Putin in the end, who is trying to find a way
to remove Patryushev from his post without disrupting the balance. One
option is to offer him a post as vice Prime minister in charge of power
structures; the other option is to give a delay on any shifts to see how
snap reactions to the power handover go first and then start to make
changes in autumn.

Lauren Goodrich
Director of Analysis
Senior Eurasia Analyst
Strategic Forecasting, Inc.
T: 512.744.4311
F: 512.744.4334