Grigory Pasko: Another Victim of Personnel Reshuffles

darkin051508In Vladivostok they have carried out a search in the apartment of PrimorskyKray governor Sergey Darkin By Grigory Pasko, journalist The new configuration of power in Russia has demanded new personnel victims. I, like the majority of Russians, couldn’t care less about all those Sokolovs-Kudrins-Khristenkos… Not a single thing in even a single area of the life of Russia ever depended on them, after all. They – are puppets. And the puppet-masters, as a rule, do not light up on the screens of televisions. They decide the fates of these puppets behind the tightly closed doors of Kremlin offices and offices on Staraya ploshchad [where the presidential apparat is located—Trans.] PHOTO: Sergey Darkin at the controls of an aircraft. He tried so hard to be like Putin. It didn’t help…

After they had appointed/installed/set up Medvedev as president, it became clear that personnel changes would affect not only the government and the administration of the president. Most likely, things would come down to the provincial governors as well.And that’s exactly what happened. The first victim of the latest reshuffles, as could have been expected, became, it seems, the governor of Primorsky Kray, Sergey Darkin. According to a report by the Russian mass media, a search was carried out in his house yesterday. As a result of the search, a safe with documents was seized, while the head of the region himself ended up in the hospital. “The law-enforcement organs of Primorye within the framework of a criminal case on unlawful privatization in Vladivostok of objects of state real estate, carried out on Wednesday evening a search in the house of Darkin, having seized a safe with documents”, said a source in the siloviki structures of the region on Thursday [in the usual convoluted and nearly incomprehensible grammatical style so beloved of Russian officialdom—Trans.]“On Thursday, Sergey Darkin was hospitalized in the department of cardiology of one of the hospitals of Primorye”, reported another source.According to data from the siloviki structures, prior to the search having been carried out in the house of the governor, Sergey Darkin on Wednesday in the second half of the day had been invited to the procuracy of Primorsky Kray, where he gave evidence within the framework of a criminal case that had been opened earlier in relation to the acting head of the regional administration of Rosimushchestvo [the Federal Agency of the RF for the Management of State Property], Igor Meshcheryakov. Meshcheryakov is accused of fraud in an especially large amount.It is entirely possible that the search will be followed by the opening of a criminal case and a show trial – within the framework of the declared war on corruption – of the governor.Our regular readers already know that Vladivostok mayor Vladimir Nikolayev ended up in jail a year ago. He was convicted of “use of budget funds not as targeted”. Already then I wrote that the next victim of “independent” Russian justice would become none other than Darkin:

It goes without saying that the opening of the criminal case with respect to Nikolayev has nothing to do with legality and fighting corruption. If there were such an intent, then first, Nikolayev would have been in jail a long time ago. And second, not only he would be in jail, but also Primorsky Kray governor Sergey Darkin. And speaking of Darkin, I think that he is probably getting more and more uncomfortable given the events taking place in the Kray right now (arrests, checks, interrogations, replacement of power-structure heads): he could be next.

As we can see, I did not err. In actuality, the policy – both the foreign and the domestic, and the secret too – of today’s power of the Putino-Medvedevs is absolutely, in my view, predictable. It is limited by the intellect and view of the world of those who wield this power, their experience in conducting “special operations” in the style of the KGB, corporativeness, closedness, greed, and cowardice.


“Who? Me? I didn’t do anything!” Sergey Darkin has been a decided “underachiever” in his tenure as governor of Primorsky Kray. (photo from the internet)

But I don’t really care about Darkin. To me, he is just as irrelevant as all those Sokolovs-Kudrins-Khristenkos… Far more worrisome are the rumors about how some of the officials removed from their posts are now going to help fill the ranks of the country’s judges. If in the event with Ustinov the Russian people have been able to avoid such “happiness” (the former procurator-general and minister of justice has been appointed Medvedev’s plenipotentiary representative in the Southern Federal District), then in the event with today’s for now still procurator-general Chaika such a possibility remains: he may become the chairman or the deputy chairman of the Supreme Court.To this remains to be added that in the last eight years of Putinite rule, the ranks of Russia’s judges and procurators have aggressively been filled by persons from the ranks of the KGB-FSB. No Darkins will be able to withstand their onslaught…The opinion of a local expert:Mikhail Shinkovsky, director of IMO VGUES [Institute of International Relations, Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service], doctor of political sciences, professor:Darkin always has ominous clouds gathering and shells exploding around him. It is only a matter of time before something hits the governor. Just recall how many times there was talk of his dismissal. The need to replace the head of Primorsky Kray came to fruition a long time ago. His term in office expires in January of the year 2009 anyway, but I think they will remove him earlier.Who told you that Darkin and Medvedev are on friendly terms? The fact that at his inauguration Medvedev smiled at everyone says nothing at all. And in his new position he possesses a much greater volume of information on the real state of affairs. We all understand that things in Primorsky Kray – are far from squeaky clean.Among the heads of the regions of Russia Sergey Darkin – is an “underachieving student”. [Chechen president Ramzan] Kadyrov, let us suppose, is better, he has visible results. But here? The program “Apartment for the young family” – [tied up in] court proceedings. They brought in Australian cows – a criminal case ensued. By the way, there have been criminal cases aplenty opened up in relation to top Kray officials.Try and refute my utterance. After all, the sole successful project realized by Darkin has been – getting the team «Luch-Energiya» promoted into the premier league. There is an entire «Center for strategic elaborations», which created all kinds of programs for the development of Primorye. And has anything at all been realized?