4. The contemporary period
4. The contemporary period
The fourth period, it is the contemporary one (from the early to mid 2000s) with unique particularities, which cannot be explained from the point of view of the usual features oforganized crime.
Below I cite my interview (2005) with the police officer of a unit specialized in fighting with organized crime (UBOP).
I.: What do you think about contemporary Russian organized crime?
R.: It isn't! There are we, «ment'y»! Who are the «krysha» [roof], who «protect» the stalls, the market, «points»? They are ment'y… Today all small trade enterprises, small and middle-sized business are under menty's roof Bandit won't come close!
The Police officer from the internal safety unit (in Russian USB) confirms (2005):
I: Is it really so shat the police is replacing bandits in providing this «protection» now?
R.: Yes, of course. Not even individual policeofficers or groups of policemen, but whole police subdivisions under the direction of the chief of the subdivision.
This situation isn't unique, but universal. We have now Russian police (militia) as an organized criminal group (community) – OCG. And this is not surprise. Many newspapers, journals and internet blogs publish reports daily on the actions of the police (militia) as organized criminal groups in different regions of Russia.
So, militia: «crishuet» (protected) small and medium-sized business, as well as retail drug business; protects criminal «authorities»; does nothing to counteract criminal organization etc. Besides, recently militia has taken part in a «black raid (usurpation)»; a seizure of a criminal structure or of a legal businesses, successful enterprises and companies. Perhaps the financial crisis has accelerated and enlarged the scale of the usurpation of someone else's businesses. Of course, organized crime and varioust organized criminal groups exist in contemporary Russia. But they are usually connected with the local police body, they are found under its «roof», its protection.
Criminal organizations, like other social organizations, strive to exert influence on the state power and to exercise control over it (through lobbying, bribery, infiltration of their representatives into power structures, etc.).
Criminal authorities become city mayors (criminal boss Gennadiy Kon-yahin was the mayor of the city Leninsk-Kuzneck, Vladimir Nikolaev or «Winnie-the-Pooh» was the mayor of the city Vladivostok), or deputies in local organs of power (leader of the criminal organization «Uralmash» Dr. Alexandr Chabarov, leader of the criminal organization in Krasnodarsky region Dr. Sergey Capok).
Many criminal organizations function in different regions of Russia under the reliable «krysha» (roof) of police body. This provides the possibility for a criminal to operate for many years without detection (the criminal group of Sergey Capok in Krasnodarsky region, criminal group of Kozaev in Sverdlovsky region, criminal group of Alexandr Trunov in Novosibirsk region, and so on).
More and more information is also becoming available on the lobbying of some representatives of state bodies by the mafia. Consequently, we confront a criminalization of business in combination with an economization and a politicization of crime.
For example, there is contemporary case of «Kuschevskaya phenomenon».
Kuschevskaya is a large cossack's village («stanicha») in Krasnodar Region in the south Russia. The population of this stanicha is more that 35 000 people.
On 5th November 2010 in Kuschevskaya 12 persons were killed in one house, including four children, one of them 9 month old. This situation is not unique, but this event struck the whole Russia. The patience of many millions of the people, living in small towns and villages may have come to an end.
The counsellor of the chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, a retired general-major of militia, Professor Vladimir Ovchinsky told the newspaper «Moskovsky Komsomolets» on 25.11.2010 and the journal «Ogonjok» on 22.11.2010:
«Kuschevskaya is not anomaly, hut a mirror of the whole situation in Russia with organized crime. The leading law-enforcement organ constantly report about a reduction in criminality, manipulates the statistical data, massively conceals the crimes, but in this time gangs run rampant in all region of the Russia… The main question is: why so many years did the enormous gang S. Capok operate in Kuschevskaya with impunity? There were suspicionsofmany crimes, including a murder of a farmer, a murder of a girl and hundreds of rapes. The people were practically starved, as in a concentration camp. And they had to keep quiet, because they were afraid. The gang's leader was a local deputy. He fell under the influence of the young deputy's cirkle. There is no one now to fight with the largest groups. Before the tragedy in Kuschevskaya its gang had a lucky streak in the city Miass. The Gang of Kozaev terrorized the city of Berezovsk in the Sverdlovskaya area for several years. It was not until the disturbances, organized by the people after the death of the gang leader, which compelled the authorities to react, that the situation changed.
The lawsuit against the leader of the largest national criminal community „Obschak“ in the Seaside Region (Russian Far East) went on for several years. „Obschak“ had more than 5000 active members. It was not simply a gang but a criminal army. The Chair of the Investigation Committee of Russia Management of the Investigation Committee to Russia fired the chief of the Investigation committee on Khabarovsk Region and his deputy for a breach of the oath. This is the story of what happened before! Not so long ago the Sverdlovskaya area was run by the gang of Chudinov. The gang forced girls aged 12-15 to prostitution. If one did not agree, she wasstran-gled and the dead bodies were buried in the woods. Only accidentally, one of the inhabitants of the town of Tagil found that grave with 15 dead bodies. This was a real shock to the society! The crime was revealed quickly, just like in the case of Kuschevskaya. But before that there had been no reaction to the losts girls for several years. But is it surprising that one criminal could operate against all the officers of the militia, controlling even the public prosecutor? No. They created the perfect conditions for criminal activity which remained unpunished, not a single person was held responsible…
The bandit operated fully confident in his impunity. Besides him there were many others involved in this activity wich lasted for 20 last years in the large cossack village Kuschevskaya, and in nearby areas, where the gang was known as „capoks“ – an organized criminal group (OCG) whose name comes from the surnames of its founder. They robbed, terrorized beat, and killed. After all these murders were obviously not the first for this OCG – in Kuschevskaya alone there are many unsolved murders, including the murder of the farmer Valeria Bogacheva, murderof the members of the local administration of Boris Moscovitch. The leader of the gang – Sergey Capok (some versions of the story say he was a murder on request) was „expensive“ in the region. He was a deputy of Kuschevskaya region. The Gang of Capok begain its operations in the 90s. This is a criminal organization with branches in many cos sack villages of the region also in possession of several legal business – a scattered network of farms, safety structures, where the group's personnel prepared the instructors of the special police».
In the Republic Bashkortostan criminal organization influenced the chief of the department of special expert operations – expert of criminal law centre under the republican Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Leonid Dayanov, who created the criminal community for drug trafficking involving 15 people.
The criminal community of thieves thenexplanded to St. Petersburg encompassing about 40 persons, six out of whom were policemen.
In Chelyabinskaya area a large OCG involved in insurance fraud was exposed (32 persons, out of whom 11 persons were militia officers). They prepared forged documents, in which they stated that there had been a car accident, and as a result they got the damages for the car. The documents were given to insurance companies for the purpose of collecting the payments.
Gennady Gudkov, deputy head of Committee of Security of Gosduma (Russian Parliament – Y-G), a retired colonel of FSB wrote to the «Russian Newspaper»: «Crime in large cossack village Kuschevskaya has shown not only the crisis of the law-enforcement system, but also the crisis of authorities… All gangs exist only because they are protected („cryshuet“) by the law-enforcement organs».
Writer D. Bykov asked:
«Why did the landlords of Kuschevskaya become criminals? Why the governor of the region Mr. Tkachev, did not undertake any measures to overcome this situation? Why did thirt five thousand people silently tolerate the robberies, the rapes, the stealing? Why did one hundred twenty million people, including children, peacefully and silently accept that they were deprived of the basic rights, liberties, hope, incentives, culture, and even freedom of thought? They were all afraid, but there is no one power, especially in the present, capable of inciting such terror. They were afraid that against such power all efforts were pointless and useless. Generally speaking, all these people were certain that the way things are is they way things must be. That Russia has not changed and cannot change. Their fear is not of the sheer terror spread by the bandits or even of their power. It is founded in deep internal consciousness that a society which has undergone any change will always be built in the same way. And they do believ that after the final meeting of the committee Gosduma (Russian Parliament – Y.G.) on safety a new gang, a new S. Capok, will appear in large cossack village Kuschevskaya, perhaps this time with the blessing of the highest powers in the country». (Profil, 22.11.2010).
On 27h November 2010 in Engelsky region in the Saratovskaya area ten participants of organized criminal community were detained. They had com-mited many felonies, including murders in the 1990s, at the request chapters of the head of the administration of the region, Michail Lysenko. Other representatives of the administration of the region also took part in the activities of the organized criminal group. The group was also well armed (http://news.mail.ru/incident/4860592/).
The advisor of the chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, a retired general-major of the militia, Professor Vladimir Ovchinsky spoke on the radio «Liberty» on 19 November 2010: «The situation with organized forms of criminality is critical… If in 1990s organized criminal groups struggled for power, they now control the authorities from the inside». The Head of the Central electoral commission of Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Churov, has said recently: «the attempts of the criminal structures go as far as to get their candidate onto the election list and even to participate in the electoral commissions».
Moreover, the Ex-President of the Russian Federation Mr. D. Medve-dev spook about «the joining of the police bodies and organs of power with the criminal world». And the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Russia Prof. V. Zor'kin write: «the joining of the authorities with crime… is not unique… Our state will change from being criminalizing to being criminal».
Of course, it caused unrest and increased competition in the criminal world. As result on 12.09.2009 Vyacheslav Ivan'kov («Yaponchik») was killed, and Asian Usoyan («Grandparent Hasan») was gravely wouded on 16.09.2010.
It is to difficult to understand it all, eapecially for someone who does not live in Russia, and has not studied the problem of authorities, police bodies and organized crime. There is no organized crime in the traditional understanding of the term. This is criminalizing police body (certainly, not all policemen), «legal» criminalizing business, institutions of power, which joined with the leaders of criminal organizations.
What are the causes of the development of the «new type» of organized crime in Russia? Here are some reasons for this:
• There is enormous social-economic inequality.
• A very big part of population (more than 70 %) is very poor.
• Many young people do not have work, education, profession or money.
• There are many goods and service in contemporary Russia (expensive motor vehicles, expensive restaurants, possibility to cross the border, and so on), but the majority of the population has no access to them.
• There is rampant corruption of all state organs including the police.
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