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Kremlin says anti-corruption campaign in Dagestan not tied to politics

Earlier, the head of Dagestan dismissed the regional government following the detention of the region’s acting PM and his two acting deputies

NOVOSIBIRSK, February 8. /TASS/. The anti-corruption campaign conducted in Dagestan is not related to politics but stems from the need to obey the law, and it is not tied down to just one region, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday.

"The geography of the ongoing anti-corruption campaign is not limited to one region, namely Dagestan in this particular case, it is consistently and intentionally being carried out nationwide," he stressed.

Peskov assured that "the investigative procedures are not tied to politics."

"In this particular case, of course, [the investigators] are guided by legal considerations and the inevitability of punishment for any committed crimes, be it economic or in any another sphere," he noted.

"Therefore, everything must be left to the investigative authorities, and ultimately to judicial bodies, which are able and authorized to decide on the illegality of certain actions," Peskov explained.

On Monday, acting head of Dagestan Vladimir Vasilyev dismissed the regional government following the detention of the region’s acting Prime Minister Abdusamad Gamidov and his two acting deputies Shamil Isaev and Rayudin Yusufov. Detectives are charging them and Dagestani ex-Minister of Education Shakhabas Shakhov with embezzling funds earmarked from the region's budget for local social programs. The suspects embezzled sums totaling 95 million rulbes ($1.6 mln). Investigators earlier detained Makhachkala Mayor Musa Musayev and the city’s chief architect Magomedrasul Gitinov on charges of abusing power while transferring land plots in the republic’s capital. On Wednesday, the People's Assembly of Dagestan (the republic’s parliament) approved the appointment of Tatarstan’s ex-Economy Minister Artyom Zdunov as Prime Minister of the North Caucasian republic.

The above developments in the region are unfolding amid the ongoing work of a special commission, which since late January has been examining Dagestan’s compliance with law. It was also reported that in mid-January the Russian Prosecutor General's Office sent a special group of 38 prosecutors, headed by Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Sydoruk, to verify the activities of the region’s authorities. The media regularly reports on searches being conducted on the premises of local governmental bodies and even on the region’s department of the Federal Service of Court Bailiffs (FSSP). However, TASS’s sources in law enforcement agencies stressed that these are not searches, but rather operational activities (including seizure of documents), which are part of the probe of the detained officials.