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POLITICS

Police tattle tales. How the FSB recruited every tenth police officer in Russia

Sergey Kanev

On November 10, the Russian police celebrate their professional holiday - Internal Affairs Officer Day. Lavish events have been canceled in connection with the war, and in general the Interior Ministry has approached the holiday in far from the best shape: the country's economic situation has been deteriorating, crime is growing, and operatives, instead of catching thieves and murderers, are mainly engaged in surveillance of dissenters. However, the police themselves are also closely watched. As The Insider found out, every tenth officer of the Interior Ministry works for the FSB – either voluntarily or for money. And often, a police officer's promotion directly depends on his cooperation. Secret documents from the archives of the FSB's Directorate “M”, which were made available to The Insider, made it possible for us to reconstruct some particularly striking tales of police officers' recruitment and showed how the FSB used its control over police officers to its advantage.

ALL CARDS
  • Tale One: Police help the FSB to kidnap people

  • Tale Two: Using the kompromat

  • Tale Three: The safe house

  • Tale Four: The Missing Safe

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FSB's Directorate “M” oversees the Interior Ministry, the Justice Ministry, the Federal Penitentiary Service, and even private security companies (PSCs), which are engaged in protecting public events involving high-ranking officials. The main tasks of the so-called “emmers” include combating foreign intelligence, detection of corruption and operational management of the intelligence apparatus. There are emmer offices in the main buildings of the Interior Ministry, Federal Penitentiary Service, and the Ministry of Justice; walking past, employees of these agencies always try to pass them as quickly as possible. There is a similar office in the Criminal Investigation Department of the Interior Ministry (CID), now renamed the Main Criminal Investigation Directorate of the Interior Ministry (MCID). Almost every morning officer of the FSB's Department “M” Sergei Kudinov was visited by operatives who came to see to report on the situation in their units. And for meetings with particularly valuable agents, the handler used a cafe near the CID building, or other safe houses. The Insider estimates that almost every tenth police officer regularly reports to his FSB handler.

Tale One: Police help the FSB to kidnap people

On January 15, 2008 in Moscow, unknown assailants kidnapped a former member of the Tajik Presidential Guard, Alijon Goibnazarov. By that time, he had Russian citizenship and worked as a private cab driver at the Izmailovo market. Goibnazarov's relatives raised a hue and cry and soon the hostage was found in the departure area of Domodedovo airport. His face and body bore signs of beatings and his hands were handcuffed. The ex-guard did not have a Russian passport and was escorted to Dushanbe by two members of the Tajik Interior Ministry: Major Shaimuradov and Senior Lieutenant Maksutov.

Later Goibnazarov told human rights activists how he had been kidnapped:

“I found myself in a dark cave to which they'd been driving me for about twenty minutes. There they started kicking me with truncheons, hands and feet. In the course of the beating, the edge of the bag lifted, and I saw boxes of drinks sitting on racks and some other interior details. A thought flashed in my mind: “Cafe basement.” When they finished beating me, I heard the basement door open. A man, who sounded elderly, entered the room. Everyone addressed him politely, “Mr. Consul,” and told him that the next phase was up to him. He said that the easiest way of dealing with me would be for them to kill me and dump my body in the woods.”

Up to the moment of Goibnazarov's abduction his phone was being tapped, and the surveillance was conducted by the 2nd Service of the FSB and the Criminal Investigation Department of the Main Directorate of Internal Affairs for Moscow. Tip-offs were provided by the Tajik police officers who had been “shadowing” Goibnazarov for more than a week.

It turned out that the Dushanbe policemen had not received official permission to carry out operational activities on Russian territory and the Moscow Chekists and surveillance team from 38 Petrovka St. had not been informed about it.

On top of everything else, Goibnazarov was a Russian citizen and his extradition had to be coordinated with the RF General Prosecutor's Office. The case reeked of an international scandal, and since the allegedly illegal detention involved Russian operatives, FSB's Department M became involved. However, it was not easy to do: Lubyanka blamed everything on the Interior Ministry, which, in turn, blamed the FSB.

In the meantime, the superiors demanded that Major Sergei Kudinov, the overseer of the CID, should urgently provide the results of the inspection, and then, luckily, there was a knock on his door. The visitor turned out to be Lieutenant Colonel K. He not only reported the circumstances of Goibnazarov's illegal detention and named the operatives, but also brought with him a detailed report addressed to Deputy Interior Minister Evgeny Shkolov (it should be noted that Shkolov had served together with Putin at the KGB's Dresden station). Major Kudinov appreciated Lieutenant Colonel K.'s initiative and, in a report to his superiors, asked for his inclusion in the category of “trusted operational contacts” (TOCs).

The Insider's source in the MCID said that later on agent K.'s career went uphill, and even when the 12th Department, where he served, was disbanded, he was transferred to a higher position. At the same time, all traces of the ex-guard Goibnazarov have been lost.

Tale Two: Using the kompromat

According to documents from the archives of the FSB's Directorate “M”, the majority of agents in the Interior Ministry were recruited with the help of compromising information – some of them had been protecting car thieves and prostitutes, taking bribes, and so on. But there are cases when an officer was put before a choice: either snitch or resign.

For example, a certain agent “Alimov” from the personnel department of the Interior Ministry informed his supervisor Kudinov that a candidate for the post of CID chief in the Directorate of Internal Affairs for Moscow's Central Administrative District, Major N., had a fake passport. This was discovered when the major was buying dollars at an exchange office. Since N. had lived in Kazakhstan for a long time, the emmer Kudinov opened an operational review case codenamed “Kazachok” in respect of him. It soon turned out that “Kazachok” had been issued a Russian passport by the Society for Assistance to Migrants to Russia, located in Almaty. However, for some reason, several hundred passports turned out to be invalid.

N. faced dismissal from the police force, at the very least. The FSB officers decided to take advantage of the situation and invited dispirited “Kazachok” for a confidential conversation. Afterwards, Kudinov pointed out in his report:

“During the meeting N. behaved calmly, in a balanced way, answered the questions asked by the operative in a comprehensive manner, showing understanding of the tasks facing the security agencies. Further, he proactively reported on a possible location of a person who was on the federal wanted list. The characterization information received from agent “Alimov” about N. is positive on the whole. He is characterized at the place of service as a decent person, an experienced, professionally trained officer.”

As a result of the interview and study of N. the operative put forward a proposal about the advisability of considering him as a candidate for further confidential cooperation with the security services.

As The Insider found out, N. now has a new passport and was promoted three years ago.

Tale Three: The safe house

Some FSB agents also play their own game and eliminate competitors. For example, operatives of the Directorate of Internal Affairs for Moscow's Southern Administrative District found a brothel with prostitutes on Nagatinskaya embankment, where drugs were also sold. Several girls and the so-called dispatcher Roman Shcherbak, who had arrived in Moscow from Lugansk, were detained in an apartment. During the investigation it turned out that the apartment was intended for conspiratorial meetings with police agents and was assigned to Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Roslov, a criminal investigation officer of the Directorate of Internal Affairs for Moscow's Central Administrative District.

Soon agent “Z” called Major Kudinov's cell phone number and asked for a confidential meeting. The secret rendezvous, as the FSB officer wrote in his classified report, took place “in the pre-agreed place conforming to the requirements of secrecy”. “Z” informed the handler that Lieutenant Colonel Roslov had solved all the problems and the brothel was operating as before. After the visit to the emmer, the prostitutes were finally driven out, and the safe house got a new “owner.”

According to the data available to The Insider, Agent “Z” himself was running a brothel on a nearby street and used his handler to take out a rival. But Major Kudinov was satisfied and reported to his superiors:

“As a result of the conversation, TOC “Z” was requested by the operative to obtain operationally significant information regarding the emerging operational situation in the CID and any CID employees who use their position for personal gain.”

As can be seen from Agent “Z”'s further reports, he continued to report unscrupulous colleagues to his handler, and thus several criminal cases were opened.

Tale Four: The Missing Safe

Safe Box 59 disappeared from the main building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on Zhitnaya Street. The box was used to store top secret documents and agents' files dating back to 1989. Hundreds of police agents planted in various gangs and semi-criminal structures became exposed to a deadly threat. A huge scandal broke out. Criminal cases and high-profile resignations among high-ranking police officers loomed on the horizon. Then the FSB's Directorate “M” became involved in the search for the perpetrators.

It turned out that during repairs in the premises of the special archive the safe was carried out to the corridor where it remained for several days. Chekists rounded up all the agents in the central office of the Interior Ministry and after confidential conversations outlined the circle of possible suspects. Among them was Major General K., formerly in the Saratov police. The frightened general came into Kudinov's office and to the surprise of the latter began telling him how high-ranking police officers in Saratov offer protection services to businessmen and drug dealers, take bribes, stay on crime bosses' payrolls and sell non-staffers' police IDs.

Among other things, he reported how local operatives, commissioned by friendly businessmen, extorted debts, “raided” competitors, and tortured detainees in a specially equipped basement. One Turkish citizen was beaten within inches of his life and had to be resuscitated.

After completing his “confession,” General K. offered his services as a confidential informant. To which Kudinov's superiors gladly agreed.

As to the missing safe with the classified documents, the investigation found out that the soldiers of military unit 7456 of the Interior Ministry troops had been ordered by the building's commandant, warrant officer Sergei Maidankin, to take it out of the building. Then the safe was loaded onto a KAMAZ and sold as scrap metal. Maidankin was sentenced by the Zamoskvoretsky District Court to 1.5 years of probation.

Sergei Maidankin
Sergei Maidankin

Meanwhile, The Insider's sources in the Interior Ministry do not believe in the story with scrap metal and think that the theft was a contract job. This version is supported by the fact that after the murder of the criminal kingpin Aslan Usoyan (Ded Khasan) in Moscow, operatives found some of the papers from Safe Box 59 in his personal archive.

The Insider congratulates offciers of the Interior Ministry on their professional holiday.

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