“Where the President is concerned, criminal cases do not proceed.”
«В отношении президента уголовное дело не ведется.»
September 6, 2011
Translated from the Russian by La Russophobe
This is a rough translation of a shocking interview recently posted by the ZAKS.ru website which details personal corruption by Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg. Some paragraphs have been digested. We welcome any linguistic commentary or corrections from readers, either in the comments section or by e-mail.
Eleven years ago, Russian prosecutors closed Criminal Case No. 144,128.
Later, it became known as “the Putin Affair.”
Investigators do not doubt that the then-president was implicated in a number of crimes related to embezzlement of budget funds while was serving in the government of the City of St. Petersburg. Lt. Col. Andrei Zykov, a senior investigator for special matters at the Investigation Department of the Interior Ministry, was in charge of the case.
He sat down with ZAKS.ru’s Oleg Mukhin to discuss his experiences.
MUKHIN: What is “the Putin affair”?
ZYKOV: From 1993 to 1995, the Russian government was providing substantial financial support to many businesses. They were losing money, on the verge of collapse, desperately trying to stay afloat to preserve jobs. They needed infusions of cash to pay salaries. State funds were distributed from the coffers of state-owned enterprises.
There was a construction company in St. Petersburg called Twentieth Trust which had been privatized in 1991. In 1993 alone, roughly $4.5 million disappeared from the company’s books, and it was getting 80% of its revenues from the City. It appeared that it had laundered tens of millions of dollars, and in 1999 a criminal case was opened to investigate. This became known as the “Putin affair” because, while Anatoly Sobchak was mayor of the City Putin was at that time his second in command. Every signature in regard to budget transfers would have a passed across Putin’s desk.