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CAB041 / Russia / RUSSIAN PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES COMMITTEE FOR CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES COMMITTEE FOR CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION

¶1. (U) SUMMARY: In a press conference, Russian President Volodin announced that the Duma has formed the Комитет по коррупции Исследование [Committee for Corruption Investigation] (KKI) and that a series of official charges are likely to follow. END SUMMARY.

COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENT
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¶2. (U) In a press conference yesterday, President Volodin announced the formation of the Комитет по коррупции Исследование [Committee for Corruption Investigation] (KKI). Citing several key members of Duma, Volodin explained that the task force was a joint effort across party lines and positioned the KKI as a federal effort to eradicate corruption within the GOR. While several media sources praised the administration and Duma for the initiative, many critics felt it was too little, too late. Others went as far as to call the announcement empty grandstanding resulting from recent UN pressure. (Ref. 409A)

¶3. (U) Following the announcement, President Volodin refused to go into detail on which officials were under investigation and what charges were likely to emerge. (COMMENT: This reinforced the belief of many critics that the announcement was merely smoke and mirrors. END COMMENT.)

ADDITIONAL INTEL
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¶4. (C) This office was able to obtain a list of likely suspects targeted by the KKI. The list was obtained from a source within Duma, and while by no means final, it does give an indication of the direction the committee hopes to take. The list of suspects includes:

i. (C) Grigory Fedrov – Assistant Deputy Prime Minister; Accused of receiving bribes, forging documents, and conspiring with a known criminal organization.

ii (C) Styopa Dubinin – Minister for Sport, Tourism, and Youth; Accused of receiving bribes, involvement in arms trafficking, conspiring with a known criminal organization, and illegal drug use.

iii (C) REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED.

v. (C) Dmitri Obolensky – General in the AFRF; Accused of arms trafficking, theft of government weaponry, possession of illegal weaponry, and conspiring with a known criminal organization.

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MISSING SECTION
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viii. (C) Ivan Bushmanov – Former Lieutenant Colonel in the AFRF; Accused of arms trafficking, theft of government weaponry, and forging documents.

ix. (C) Pavel Chastakorlenka – Police Officer, Office for Combating Organized Crime; Accused of receiving bribes, trafficking in illicit substances, and conspiring with a known criminal organization.

COMMENT
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¶5. (C) While at first glance, President Volodin’s announcement seems like little more than the typical grandstanding and empty promises he’s become known for, KKI’s initial list of suspects appears very promising – with the inclusion of several high-value targets. If the Duma does actually follow through with charging and convicting these suspects it will go a long way to disproving critics of Volodin’s effectiveness. That said, the inclusion of REDACTED REDACTED makes US involvement and assistance in the matter very difficult, mainly because of REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED. And while the remaining suspects may be a much needed first step in cleansing the GOR of corruption, it’s far from an “eradication”. Of course, it’s also highly possible that this list of suspects is merely a sacrificial offering of scapegoats, intentionally leaked, and meant to appease the UN. Until additional information becomes available, it will be difficult to know for certain. END COMMENT.

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