Source: Rucriminal

The state tightens control, gradually eliminating the remaining "loopholes" through which unclean civil servants leave for the time being from responsibility. One of the most notable recent initiatives aimed at combating corruption practices: the proposal of the General Prosecutor's Office of Russia to control the expenses of officials not only during their work in official positions, but also after their dismissal.

The Law on Counteracting Corruption has been operating in our country since 2008: it provides that officials can not conduct business activities and are obliged to provide the state with information about the incomes and property of themselves and their families. It has already shown its effectiveness: in recent years, many high-ranking officials who stain themselves with embezzlement, including mayors (for example, the head of Vladivostok Igor Pushkarev) and governors (Alexander Khoroshavin, who led the Sakhalin region, Nikita Belykh, who headed the Kirov and more recently the head of the Udmurt Republic Alexander Soloviev). However, in all these cases it was a question of state men caught red-handed during their stay in the civil service. That is, each of the named gentlemen had to be convicted in time, until they, figuratively speaking, "hid in the house": that is, they did not resign.

Meanwhile, the origin of the capitals of many of the former officials deservedly causes public questions. According to, the story of the luxury villa purchased by the ex-governor of the Tula region Vladimir Gruzdev in Sardinia is very indicative in this respect: Gruzdev left the post of head of the region in February 2016, and in November his wife Olga, as the authoritative Italian newspaper reports La Stampa, acquired in Italy an elite property worth 25 million euros. Note that before that Gruzdev led the region for five years and did not declare extra-earnings. The initiative of the Prosecutor General's Office, if it is passed by the legislator, will just allow monitoring and checking of such incidents within three years from the time of the dismissal of officials. At the same time, such checks are proposed to be carried out not only by ex-state employees, but also by their spouses: the total income of the family, including real estate, personal transport and securities, will be studied. The basis for the audit can serve not only initiatives of law enforcement agencies, but also, for example, media reports.

The explosion of public outrage that followed in Russia after the publication of information about the Gruzdev's mansion in Sardinia could have caused this kind of verification. Moreover, an optimal candidate for testing a new law in practice, as soon as it enters into force, is already available. "The ex-governor of the Tula region Vladimir Gruzdev is a unique character even by the standards of the kind of modern Russian political" get-togethers ", whose resources are not enough to influence the real agenda of the decisions made in the country, but it is enough for personal enrichment. Usually representatives of this milieu try to camouflage the true meaning of their "march to power" by means of at least some achievements in the sphere of social and economic development entrusted to their care by municipalities and regions. Gruzdev, however, was not even capable of this, "political analyst Alexei Vitkovsky said. Very indicative in this respect is the story with the Development Corporation of the Tula region: as it turned out just a few days ago thanks to one of the local bloggers, this organization whose stated goal was to implement projects on the principle of public-private partnership and received as a contribution to the authorized capital of Vladimir Gruzdev Almost 600 million rubles., Could not attract any private investor as a result. Money literally dissolved in the air, and such a large misuse of funds occurred against the backdrop of a sharp increase in the debt of the Tula region, which under Gruzdev increased from 7 to 16 billion rubles., That is more than double.

It is not surprising that as soon as rumors spread persistently across the region that Gruzdev could soon repeat the fate of Komi governor Vyacheslav Geiser and the head of the Sakhalin region Alexander Horoshavin, arrested after the corrupt schemes revealed by the investigation, the governor of the Tula region hurried to retire from his high post. It is rumored that the official seriously feared that he could repeat the unenviable fate of his colleagues in the gubernatorial shop, and therefore, to explain the suddenness of his decision (he remained for another year until the expiration of his term as governor), he referred to family circumstances. In the current situation, such tactics proved successful: Gruzdev not only escaped the prison term for his dark affairs, but he was able to save face in the eyes of public opinion. In coordinating his departure from the post of head of the region, the President of Russia promised to think about finding Gruzdev work in Moscow in accordance with his "wishes and skill level."

Mr. Gruzdev, with his characteristic conceit, decided that after such words he would be appointed at least as head of the state corporation, the federal minister, or even the prime minister. As a result, Vladimir Gruzdev believed so much in that that in the summer of 2016 he began to tell his acquaintances that he had almost been appointed head of one of the largest state corporations - Rossetei, and that he refused the post of Deputy Minister of Transport as from a post that did not correspond to his level. At the same time, he stated that the trustee of the President, Alexei Dumin, would help him in this. The fact that Dyumin really is widely known as a man of outstanding business and personal qualities, enjoying the confidence of the head of state, gave credence to this myth creation. However, the appointment did not follow.

Reality, however, presented Vladimir Gruzdev with a completely different plan. The news of the acquisition by the ex-governor of a villa in Sardinia for fabulous money finally made his dreams of appointing a high state post illusory. Even the most optimistic ambitious will not be able to claim that voters will react positively to the fact that he plans to lead the country straight from the beach in Sardinia, combining, so to say, the pleasant with the useful. Moreover, at the same time, the initiative of the Prosecutor General's Office to improve the law on civil servants not only puts an end to the political ambitions of the ex-governor, but also makes one wonder whether Mr. Gruzdev will not have to use his luxurious villa in the near future in order to obtain Political asylum in Italy. Since Gruzdev ceased to be the governor of the Tula region, a little over a year has passed, and the initiative put forward by the Prosecutor General's Office provides for a three-year period to verify the incomes and expenditures of former officials. Time for the law enforcement agencies to pay close attention to the strange chronology of events, from which it follows that a few months after retiring the ex-governor was able to acquire an elite property abroad, thus quite enough.

Source: Rucriminal