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Top cops axed by Medvedev

More victims of the police reforms have been found as President Dmitry Medvedev fires 10 generals as part of a clear-out of the force.
His purge saw senior officials lose their posts across the country, including the bosses of the Kurgansk and Voronezh regions' internal ministry departments and the interior ministers of the Sakha, Mordoviya and Kalmykiya republics.

No misconduct

But this was a case of cutting off the dead wood rather than rooting out oft-cited police corruption.

"There were various reasons. They were reaching the age of retirement, left of their won free will, and the state of their health," a ministry source told RIA Novosti.

Names and places

The hit list was; General-Major and deputy head of internal affairs directorate in Sverdlovsk region Viktor Berdnikov, General-Major and head of Barnaul internal ministry legal institute Nikolai Mikhailov, General-Major Yakov Stakhov from Sakha in Yakutia, General-Major Boris Timonchenko from Kurgansk and General-Lieutenant Oleg Khotin from Voronezh.

They have been joined by Kursk region internal affairs chief Major General Viktor Bulushev, Perm police chief General-Lieutenant Yury Gorlov, Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous region internal affairs boss Nikolai Gudozhnikov, General-Major Anatoly Zhuravlev from Kalmykiya, and General-Major Nikolai Larkov from Mordoviya

Ministry shuffle

March 15 saw the first meeting of a presidential commission to conduct an external check-up of senior personnel in the ministry. 179 people have applied for reappointment and positions provisionally offered to 145. They will be subjected to further scrutiny in due course. About 50 have been dismissed, RIA Novosti reported.

The relevant documents are sitting in Medvedev's office and have not yet been given the presidential seal of approval.

Medvedev, who says corruption is a major problem eating away at the national police, ordered a 20 per cent cut in staff at the interior ministry in late 2009.

Senior staff are expected to go through a reassessment process and officers in the slimmed down force would get bigger salaries, AFP reported.

Hopes lowered

Last month interior minister Rashid Nurgaliyev surprised observers by not being among the first police officers to get rubberstamped.

But that was as far as optimism for radical overhaul went. Human rights campaigners claimed the reforms did not go far enough and that supposed reform would happen behind closed doors and by presidential decree.


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