FSB General on Ulyukayev’s arrest: ‘They just opened a pack of cigarettes – they to take one by one and smoke’
Member of the Council on Exterior Defence Policy of Russia Aleksandr Mikhailov thinks we need to fight against corruption in Russia as if it was a swine influenza
Economic Development Minister of Russia Alexey Ulyukaev's arrest over $2 million bribery might affect the existing system of corruption kickback and lead to big checks of the sources of high-ranking functionaries' property. A former FSB Major General, member of the Council on Exterior Defence Policy of Russia and former director of the Government Information Department of the Russian Government Apparatus Aleksandr Mikhailov shared this opinion with readers of Realnoe Vremya.
'It is seen they wanted to show who wore the trousers'
Mr Mikhailov, what was your first reaction to the news about the possible arrest of the minister?
I think they just opened a box, like a pack of cigarettes. So they will take one by one and smoke. This arrest could not be made simply. Probably they reported to the supreme commander-in-chief who estimated all the information and nodded. The creation did not last a week. I don't doubt that Putin knew that.
Theoretically, it could be done in another way like in the case of Serdyukov – to dismiss and shake a leg like it was in 1996 when the former Acting Prosecutor General of Russia Ilyushenko was under arrest, according to the information of the Moscow Administration of FSB. It was a very serious topic: it was spread in the press first, then it was carried out. But Ilyushenko's case did not reach the court (Editor's Note: he was accused of abuse and bribery with regard to the case on sale of 25 million tonnes of oil for 2,7 billion rubles by Balkar-Trading. The case closed in 2001). Deputy Minister of the Economic Development Ministry of Russia Roman Panov was arrested in his old days (Editor's Note: in 2015, his implication of guilt of steal of 39,5 million rubles expended on preparation for APEC-2012 summit in Vladivostok was admitted). Here they did not want to temporise, to get rid of him on the sly. It is seen they wanted to show who wore the trousers. Though it is difficult to speak about it without having all the information.
Another tendency is very important here. Governor of Kirov Oblast Nikita Belykh and Governor of Komi Vyacheslav Gaizer's arrests were also high-profile. Neither of them enforced the state policy. They were just regional leaders.
'Ulyukayev will face face even more after the arrest'
If the version of the Investigative Committee is true, and the corruption estimation of the Economic Development Ministry allowed Rosneft make a deal on privatisation of Bashneft's state stake, should we wait for the results of privatisation of other companies?
There were many different criminal stories about privatisation. Nobody will tell you everything about them. But it is even seen that elements of corruption are on the surface. Undoubtedly, doubts arise when the box was opened, when the technology appeared as it frequently happens.
I think if it is true, many people will be seriously checked. Not on bribery but appearance of a certain property that can't be purchased on legal incomes.
I think Ulyukayev will face even more after the arrest. A big number of other episodes will appear that people who became victims of corruption schemes and kept silence about. We are not speaking about the privatisation itself. We should consider only questions with corruption when we arrest a criminal and show those people who suffered from his actions.
I think Ulyukayev will face even more after the arrest. A big number of other episodes will appear that people who became hostages of corruption schemes and kept silence about. Photo: kremlin.ru
'To come people back down to earth to the max'
Candidacies are seriously examined by different aspects while being appointed as juries, prosecutors and big functionaries. Why does the system fail?
Personal deformation not necessarily starts before the appointment. Deformation of views and behaviour frequently began being in power, when a person starts feeling his impunity, closeness to the higher management and total untouchability! A person can turn into a moral moron in ten years. It is not the case of the quality of the examination but the presence of immunity to such things. Our domestic oppositionists focus on behaviour in power for a reason.
No 'greed shot' is needed. We need to fight against it as if it was a swine influenza, to come them back down to earth to the max with confiscation of property, deprive these amenities and possibilities of using 'means of social mobility of directors' as well as close relatives, children and grandchildren. Everything was simpler and more honest in the past. A person had the right to have six ares and a 4x6 house. If a bigger house appeared, the Department Against Misappropriation of Socialist Property paid a visit and started to count the bricks the house was built of. After the counting, it asked: 'Where did the money come from? Maybe you found a treasure or your grandmum died in Philadelphia?' Everything was simple, no Alladin's caves that Zakharchenko had, though he is likely to be a fake character, such Ulyukayevs must be behind him.
'Title of general of Ministry of Internal Affairs estimated at $1 million'
A certain behavioural pattern has appeared when the kickback system at the expense of the budget – and President is seriously speaking about these things – became unofficially legal. The sum of $2 million is not big for a reason. It means the stability of such incomes. The title of general in the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was estimated at $1 million in the past – nobody caught anybody in the act, but the price was known.
Today's arrest of Ulyukayev is a signal that all the possessions of the political elite and not elite kept in safes must be discovered and estimated how they comply with state workers' salaries. Photo: tumix.ru
Won't the kickback system stop if Ulyukayev is arrested?
It depends on the effect of this arrest. If it is jaw-dropping and causing a great response, at least, they will give a pause. If it is approved with all the proletarian hatred, a new wave of reveals can be expected. For example, there were so many scandals with these expensive watches worn by different people that photographers accidentally detected. Journalists asked: 'Where are they from?' But no pre-investigation checks took place.
The course was set a long time ago. President said: 'Stop terrifying business'. Criminal responsibility was adopted for that. A technology is needed to make this course real. Today's arrest of Ulyukayev is a signal that all the possessions of the political elite and not elite kept in safes must be discovered and their compliance with state workers' salaries estimated.