The right of the strong: why corruption in power structures means high treason

The right of the strong: why corruption in power structures means high treason
The right of the strong: why corruption in power structures means high treason
28 April 2021, 10:35Politics
The Prosecutor General's Office report on corruption among government officials raised the issue of qualifying crimes in the security forces as high treason.

Irina Mishina

According to a report by the Prosecutor General's Office, most of the corruption crimes among Russian officials in 2020 were committed by members of the security forces. Of these, 17.4% are those who held positions in law enforcement agencies (1,897 people). In second place are officials from the system of the Russian Ministry of Defense, they have committed more than 12% of all corruption crimes.

To be convinced of the authenticity of the conclusions of the General Prosecutor's Office, it is enough just to look at the crime report at least for the last week. Judge for yourself.

“This is, in fact, about the use of power for their own purposes. People are trusted with weapons, empowered. Moreover, the powers of power structures are constantly expanding. But those who have to fight corruption create it. We can say that the current employees of power structures feel their impunity. It follows from the report of the Prosecutor General's Office that bribes account for almost half of corruption-related crimes. This is, of course, the influence of the general situation in the country. Work in law enforcement agencies is difficult, and the standard of living is falling, people often do not have enough funds”, - says Mansur Yusupov, Major General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a member of the Moscow Prosecutor's Office, Chairman of the Moscow Anti-Corruption Committee.

But are the incomes of representatives of power structures so insignificant?

The average salary of police officers in Russia in 2020 was 40 thousand rubles. The highest salary for police officers is in Kamchatka, about 73,500 rubles, in Arkhangelsk - 60 thousand rubles, in Moscow - 55 thousand rubles.

Below 38 thousand rubles, as in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, in the regions this salary did not fall. Various allowances are applied to the salary. For example, for a title, for length of service, for qualifications. The allowance for the rank of junior police lieutenant is about 9,500 rubles, lieutenant - 10,000 rubles, senior lieutenant - 11,000 rubles. Thus, the salary of an ordinary police officer reaches the level of 40,000 rubles. For those who are older in rank, salaries are proportionately increased. Additionally, seniority allowances are accrued to the staff. A person who has worked in government agencies from 3 to 25 years is paid from 5 to 40% of his earnings. In addition, qualifications also affect the salary. In general, the police are not in poverty. To this should be added social benefits, such as free medical care in a departmental clinic for an employee and his family members.

In addition, the salaries of law enforcement officers are constantly increasing. So, for the employees of the FSB system over the past 5 years, it has grown by about 50%. If you believe the data in open sources, the salary of FSB officers ranges from 32 to 60 thousand rubles, for the generals of this structure it is 90 thousand rubles, for the special forces "Alpha" and "Vympel" it reaches 150 thousand rubles, for the soldiers of the special forces in hot spots is 200 thousand rubles. In addition to the standard salary, the FSB has additional payments: a bonus for length of service; additional payment for completing special tasks and assignments; quarterly and annual bonuses, travel compensation, etc. As you can see, law enforcement officers do not live in poverty. But many want to live even better.

“The other day I was in one educational institution of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, met with cadets of a militia university. I ask the guys where they want to go to serve after graduation, I ask who will go to the guards, to the precinct, who wants to work with minors. The overwhelming majority answered me: “We are going to the Office for Combating Economic Crimes”. The fact is that there is a “weld” in economic crimes: it is easy to persuade a businessman who turns to law enforcement agencies to bribe. Unfortunately, this happens everywhere and on a very large scale”, - retired police lieutenant general Aleksandr Mikhailov told Novye Izvestia.

According to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, the damage from corruption crimes in Russia for the year amounted to 58.4 billion rubles. To understand the level of sums used by law enforcement officers in uniform, it is enough to recall the case of Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko, who headed the anti-corruption unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The investigation finds more and more new accounts with him, and the country wonders whose money it is - the common fund of the siloviki or the Americans. As it turned out, the colonel, who headed the anti-corruption division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, preferred Rothschild Bank and the Geneva branch of Dresdner Bank. Experts agree that Zakharchenko himself could not have stolen in such volumes. The amounts involved in the corruption scandal connected with the case of Kirill Cherkalin, the head of the "banking" department of the "K" department of the FSB of Russia, and two former employees of this structure, Dmitry Frolov and Andrey Vasilyev, are also impressive. Recall that during the searches, about 12 billion rubles were seized from the security officers. The origin of the criminal billions was also found out - the FSB colonels "covered" banks that were engaged in cashing out, laundering and withdrawing funds abroad.

“Corruption is also on the rise because some law enforcement officials believe in their impunity. In fact, we are talking about a systematic abuse of authority", - said Major General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, retired, a member of the OS of the Moscow Prosecutor's Office, Chairman of the Moscow Anti-Corruption Committee Mansur Yusupov.

Indeed, in recent years, the powers of power structures have significantly expanded. They were given the right to shoot down drones invading the airspace over guarded objects and over crowded areas. To do this, it was necessary to amend the profile laws "On the Police", "On the Troops of the National Guard of the Russian Federation" and others. We also strengthened the Russian Guard, transferring to this department the functions of directing the fight against extremism of the Interior Ministry. Along with this, the guardsmen receive the right to conduct operational-search activities, and in addition - additional staff, the authority to install outdoor surveillance and wiretapping. As for the Federal Security Service, its employees have recently received a whole package of new powers from the hands of the president. The FSO was allowed to classify the personal data of the officials it protects, to block highways while the "big bumps" travel, and to use airports, sea and river ports free of charge. As for the FSB, the right to seize land "to fulfill its functions" was recently added to its unlimited powers. Also, this department will receive the right to create a state system for detecting and eliminating the consequences of computer attacks.

To top it off, the State Duma recently approved a bill that gave the Interior Ministry and the FSB the ability to collect biometric data from Russians without notifying the owners of this data "in order to ensure the country's defense, state security, law enforcement and counter terrorism."

Is not it too much? And isn't it this boundless, constantly expanding field of authority that creates the preconditions for a sense of superiority and impunity? “Recently I was on a trip to one of the Russian Caucasian republics. I ask the local police authorities how things are with the crime rate. They answer me: "But she is not, we squeezed her out." Subsequently, it turned out that the local police squeezed out the crime in a simple way: they simply occupied the "clearing" of criminals. In fact, in some cases, we are talking about the merger of the police with the world of crime, and the police assume all the functions of criminal groups, ”says retired police lieutenant general Alexander Mikhailov.

Are there any real ways to counter this today? Maybe it is better to conduct selection for admission to law enforcement agencies, better teach? “At first glance, many obstacles have been created for admission to law enforcement agencies and power structures - from a polygraph to a comprehensive medical examination. Nevertheless, the number of offenses in this system is not decreasing. We can say that today the law enforcement system has disintegrated completely. In order to return her work to a normal course, in my opinion, it is necessary to strengthen the control of the supervisory authorities over the activities of power structures, primarily from the prosecutor's office. Corruption undermines trust not only in law enforcement, but also in the state. Therefore, today I would equate corruption in law enforcement agencies with treason and punish it under the relevant article, ” retired Major General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Chairman of the Moscow Anti-Corruption Committee Mansur Yusupov said.

“In essence, the principle of law is being dismantled in Russia. They simply inform about corruption crimes, no one draws conclusions from this. I believe that in the event of corruption in the security forces, it is necessary to change the qualification of the act and consider it as treason", - retired FSB Major General Alexander Mikhailov told Novye Izvestia.

“Silovarchy” - thus, combining the words “siloviki” and “oligarchy”, American political scientist Daniel Treisman in 2006 proposed to name the economic and political system in Russia. By his definition, this is a state where politics and business are controlled by intelligence officers and the military. The violent crackdown on actions in the capitals, the surge in criminal prosecution under terrorist and extremist articles, high-profile searches of famous businessmen, reports of torture and bribery - all this speaks of the growing influence of the Silovarchia. Moreover, its ranks are constantly growing. In terms of the number of servicemen per population, Russia is now in second place in the world after North Korea: 62 servicemen per 10,000 population. If we add to this the numerous guards, private security companies, we will most likely find ourselves in the absolute first place in the world. Only corruption from this becomes more and more.

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