Posted 6 января 09:04

Published 6 января 09:04

Modified 6 января 11:35

Updated 6 января 11:35

Results of 2022: the most high-profile arrests of the year and the new "fashionable" crimes

6 января 2023, 09:04
The Federation Council supported the initiative to toughen the punishment for sabotage up to life. How else? After all, Vladimir Putin recently set the task of seriously strengthening the work of security agencies in key areas: identifying traitors, spies and saboteurs. But in 2022, they have already worked ahead of the curve.
Сюжет
Security forces

Victoria Pavlova

Judges will not have to be asked to become stricter: they, like legislators, are on the path of tightening the screws all 2022. The suspects have almost no chance of not being taken into custody during the trial. If the prosecution demands to restrict the defendant's freedom, "so that he does not go anywhere and does not influence the investigation," then the judge will almost certainly send the person to jail in a pre-trial detention center. It is not accepted to release under house arrest or bail even when considering crimes of minor gravity. In the first half of 2021, the court chose house arrest as a preventive measure for 4.21% of satisfied petitions, and in the first half of 2022, even less often - only 3.67%. The judges completely forgot about the bail. In the first half of 2021, bail was released in 0.08% of cases, and in the same period of 2022 – only 0.05%. A total of 21 people were awarded the right to be released on bail.

At the same time, the work of the investigative bodies demonstrates an amazing consistency. A study of the most high-profile arrests of 2022 showed that these cases can be divided into several categories. And the security forces seemed to be trying to spread them by time. Today they are engaged in some crimes, tomorrow – in others. And so on in turn.

Bad hackers

The year 2022 for law enforcement officers began with the hunt for hacker groups. Now it sounds fantastic, but the first arrests took place at the request and with the support of the United States!

On January 15, 2022, 16 members of the hacker group "REvil" were detained in 14 cities of Russia on the basis of a request from the United States and Joe Biden's demand. During the searches, 426 million rubles, 600 thousand dollars, 500 thousand euros, crypto wallets and 20 premium cars were seized. The group infected the servers of major Western and Asian companies, including Apple partners, with ransomware programs. Kaspersky Lab recognized them as the most successful hackers in the world in 2021.

On January 22, 2022, a court in Moscow arrested four members of the hacker group "The Infraud Organization", including the leader Andrey Novak. Cybercriminals stole credit card data. And again, the detentions were supported by the United States. American law enforcement officers took up this group back in 2018 and detained 13 people. By that time, hackers had caused $530 million in damage. For 4 years, criminals lived quietly in Russia, but everything changed after Putin and Biden discussed cybersecurity issues in Geneva in the summer of 2021.

The third request for the arrest of hackers came to the Moscow court on February 7: the investigators of the Ministry of Internal Affairs demanded that six hackers be sent to jail on charges of illegal circulation of payment funds. This time, the name of the group was not disclosed, but most of its members had official employment in ordinary companies.

A series of arrests of cybercriminals ended by mid-spring. On April 14, a petty-bourgeois court arrested Dmitry Pavlov, the alleged founder of the world's largest darknet market, Hydra Market, for drug trafficking.

Traitor Scientists

The beginning of the special operation changed a lot. It turned out that there are a lot of hidden enemies in Russia – traitors to the Motherland. Moreover, the vast majority of them are among scientists.

Back in early February, the Primorsky Regional Court sentenced, taking into account mitigating circumstances, 70-year-old acoustic scientist Viktor Korolev to 12 years in a strict regime colony, who, according to the prosecution, collected information about submarine detection systems to transfer them to another state.

But it was just a warm-up, the raids began in the summer. On June 30, a court in Novosibirsk arrested Dmitry Kolker, head of the Laboratory of Quantum Optical Technologies at the Institute of Laser Physics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, on suspicion of treason (presumably for reading lectures in China agreed with the FSB). He was taken to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center directly from the hospital, where he was lying with pancreatic cancer of the fourth stage. The day after the transportation, he died.

In August, it was the turn of the chief researcher of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics SB RAS, Professor of NSU and NSTU 75-year-old Anatoly Maslov. He is accused of transmitting data related to hypersound, representing state secrets. Perhaps the reason for the arrest was Maslov's work with scientists from China, the USA and Germany.

Alexander Shiplyuk, Director of the Institute of the S.A. Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, closed the summer months. He was arrested on suspicion of treason in August. He, like Maslov, is known for his studies of processes taking place at hypersonic.

In September, Mikhail Baranov was also arrested on suspicion of treason – his data coincides with the name of the former top manager of the MiG aircraft company. There is no reason to count on indulgences for those arrested: on September 5, the court sentenced the former adviser to the head of Roscosmos and journalist Ivan Safonov to 22 years in prison.

Fakes

While the FSB was searching for traitors, the police took up work on the ideological front, suppressing the spread of fakes and other information discrediting the Russian army.

On March 22, a court in Moscow for the first time arrested and sent a man to jail for an article about the distribution of fakes about the army. It turned out to be a technician of the emergency point of the Moscow Ministry of Internal Affairs Sergei Klokov. According to his lawyer, all statements about the special operation were made by him exclusively in personal conversations.

In April, opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza* was arrested for spreading fakes (recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation) - the reason was a speech in the Arizona House of Representatives. After that, he was also charged with carrying out the activities of an undesirable organization – the Free Russia Foundation **, and it all ended with charges of treason for criticizing the Russian authorities at public events in Lisbon, Helsinki and Washington.

In July, a detention took place, which received the loudest continuation: Moscow politician Ilya Yashin was sent to jail for streaming on YouTube about the events in Bucha. In December, he was sentenced to 8.5 years in a penal colony and banned from using the Internet for 4 years after his release.

But in 2022, you don't have to be a politician and an oppositionist to get into jail. In St. Petersburg, the court arrested Victoria Petrova for videos posted on the social network, the information in which differs from the voiced by the Ministry of Defense. Priest John Kurmoyarov still remains behind bars in a pre–trial detention center for a video with arguments about a special operation, although the investigation has been completed, he has pleaded guilty, and he will definitely not escape to Ukraine - there is a "Peacemaker" in the register of enemies. They even got to an elderly stoker from Vologda: he posted several videos on his VK page, which talk about the brutality of the actions of the Russian army. The courts do not take into account the number of subscribers and the influence of fake distributors on the audience in any way – the accused is sent to a correctional colony for 3 years.

Scary Telegram

Anonymous telegram channels ceased to be anonymous in 2022. Rostec and Promsvyazbank amicably staged a real roundup of channel administrators who published unsightly information about top managers of state-owned companies. They are all accused of extortion of large sums.

First, on August 1, a journalist Alexandra Bayazitova was arrested on charges of extortion from a top manager of Promsvyazbank, Alexander Ushakov, who wrote texts for various resources as an employee or freelancer, including for the telegram channel "Hell's Money". Together with Bayazitova, media technologist Olga Arkharova and PR specialist Inna Churilova were arrested in the same case. It is not known what danger Bayazitova may pose at large. The demand to release Bayazitova from jail was made by State Duma deputy and TV presenter Yevgeny Popov and a member of the HRC Kirill Kabanov. But the journalist is still being held behind bars.

Ten days later, the Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested three administrators of the Project Scanner channel on suspicion of fraud: Vladislav Malushenko, Evgeny Moskvin and Alexey Slobodenyuk. The creator of the channel Ruslan Leviev by that time was already under house arrest in the case of discrediting the army.

In September, the court sent to jail the administrator of the channel "Somehow like this" Anatoly Spirin at the request of the director for special assignments of Rostec and Tina Kandelaki's husband Vasily Brovko. The case states that the suspect extorted 150 thousand rubles. The applicants did not stop there. And in November, Kirill Sukhanov, the commercial director of Ksenia Sobchak, Arian Romanovsky, the former editor-in-chief of Tatler, and Tamerlan Bigaev, a Life journalist, were detained. On a similar charge of extortion, Stanislav Sadovov and his father, the administrator of the "Kremlin Mamkoved", and the administrators of the "Backstage Whisperer" and "Volga Brief" were arrested.

University scammers

There is another previously atypical category of defendants – employees of higher educational and scientific organizations accused of fraud.

The largest purges took place in RANEPA. At first glance, the cases have nothing to do with each other, but what was their background? In April, Acting Director of the Far Eastern Institute of Management of the RANEPA Igor Makurin was arrested on suspicion of embezzlement of 1.3 million rubles, which were supposed to go to a professional development program. And at the end of June, the rector of RANEPA Vladimir Mau was sent under house arrest: he was accused of fake employment of 12 people at the university, which allowed him to steal 21 million rubles from the academy's budget. He was followed by Vice-Rector Ivan Fedotov. In the same case, former Deputy Minister of Education Marina Rakova, her husband Artur Stetsenko, director of "Shaninka" Sergey Zuev were arrested earlier.

A similar charge (charging salaries to employees who do not work) was brought against the former director of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences (INION RAS), Yuri Pivovarov. Only the damage is much less: 1.5 million rubles.

Leaky laws in the field of public procurement allowed the vice-rector for Scientific Work of the Institute of Technology (SPbGTI) Alexander Garabadzhiu to order for 1.5 million rubles and pay for works that cost about 40 thousand rubles. The subsequent searches at the institute allowed law enforcement agencies to identify thefts of more than 40 million rubles.

It was not without the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences: in October, Oleg Kabov, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was detained as the head of the laboratory for the intensification of heat exchange processes at the S.S. Kutateladze Institute of Thermophysics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, on charges of fraud committed by an organized criminal group, or on a particularly large scale.

The year 2022 brought unexpected arrests and shocking convictions. Judges' decisions are becoming more and more unpredictable. Ksenia Sobchak noticed that murderers and rapists are released from custody without any problems, but those accused of unproven economic crimes are kept behind bars. You can also add to them those accused of spreading information that is incorrect from the point of view of the authorities.

Why did this happen? What should ordinary people be afraid of and what to expect next year? "NI" talked about this with a human rights activist, a member of the HRC and a journalist Yeva Merkacheva.

- We live in a new reality. In this new reality, the state believes that it is necessary to strengthen control over the information space and fight dissent. Because it is precisely in these realities that, as the authorities believe, it is unacceptable. That's when everything settles down and everything will be fine, that's when, according to the authorities, it will be possible to talk about freedom of speech, about human rights in a broad sense, and so on. And now we live in special conditions. Martial law has not been declared in our country, but in this context, everything is being served that now we need to keep an eye on everything.