This year, military prosecutors returned more than 9 billion rubles to the treasury. If we add to them the value of land and a huge array of real estate returned to their rightful owner - the state, the amount will increase with many zeros. What types of crimes most often had to be dealt with by army law enforcement officers, what high-profile criminal cases were initiated and investigated on the materials of their inspections, whose legal rights and interests could be defended? These and other questions in an exclusive interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta were answered by the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation - the Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky.
Sergey Nikolaevich, what happens in the army with crime? Is it rising or falling?
Sergey Fridinsky: Despite some increase in the total number of reported crimes, today the situation with the observance of legality in the Armed Forces and other structures under our supervision is stable and generally manageable. Thanks to the joint efforts of the command, the military prosecutors, other law enforcement agencies in the vast majority of army units not a single offense has been registered. The reduction of grave and especially grave crimes, encroachments on the order of military service and a number of other categories of crimes has become steady.
It is gratifying that from year to year the number of servicemen who suffered from crimes steadily decreases. Of course, this does not mean that all problems are solved. There are also issues with violent crimes, corruption, embezzlement, which require a solution.
At the board of the military department, the president paid special attention to the need to fully implement the tasks of the state defense order and other programs in the field of military construction. How effectively does the military prosecutor's office manage to ensure the rule of law in this matter?
Sergey Fridinsky: A very voluminous and dynamic sphere, but there are some progress. This year, military prosecutors revealed over eight thousand violations of the law. According to the results of our work, more than a thousand officials are brought to various types of responsibility. According to the materials of inspections, 134 criminal cases are being investigated, 545 million rubles have been returned to the state. As a result of the overall effort, not quickly, but receivables, contract terms, reduced quality of manufactured products are reduced.
With the advent of the new leadership of the Ministry of Defense, the situation has radically changed
Among those brought to justice are not only military leaders, but also heads of enterprises, commercial organizations, and subcontractors. The work on controlling the legal spending of funds allocated for state defense orders does not stop.
For example, the management of one of the enterprises for the production of artillery systems "forgotten", which changed components to more modern and cheaper ones, and after our inspection we were forced to return 148 million rubles to the treasury. But we are not always so loyal.
According to the results of inspections by the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office and the investigation of the criminal case, the former leaders of the Voentelecom Joint-Stock Company, including its former General Director Tamodin, were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. There, due to the unjustified overestimation of the cost of work under contracts through affiliated companies, they managed to steal a total of about a billion rubles.
In order to enforce the sentence arrested on the assets of convicts.
In cooperation with the ministries and departments, our territorial colleagues in the subjects of the country revealed and prevented the facts of inappropriate and ineffective use of defense order funds, violations of the rules for conducting competitive procedures.
In some cases, military prosecutors prevented outright abuses in the calculation of the costs of performers at the stage of production of military products, their acceptance and payment. Thus, the joint-stock company "Zaslon", having received a one hundred percent advance on the development of equipment, spent a large part in the amount of almost 450 million for its own needs, hiding behind fictitious acts. The military prosecutors, together with other law enforcement officers, suppressed the attempts of these merchants to withdraw funds to offshore companies through affiliated structures on alleged transactions.
Why, in your opinion, in Russia are so many officials-grabber?
Sergey Fridinsky: If the answer to this question was transparent, it would be easier to cope with them.
There are many reasons for theft: economic, social, objective and subjective. In general - big money has always attracted unclean people. They do not give them peace. Especially when there is an opportunity to grab. Along with certain shortcomings in the control system, when placing orders and selecting performers, there are also facts of overt betrayal (it is difficult to name state interests) by individual officials.
Most recently, according to the results of inspections, the heads of military missions were brought to criminal responsibility. One for a bribe of a million rubles "closed" his eyes on the contractor's omissions. Another took the "left" work in the amount of 47 million rubles.
Time runs. Life is changing. Besperelschiki apply increasingly sophisticated schemes of theft. For example, military prosecutors uncovered the facts of use by unscrupulous counterparties when repairing military equipment of counterfeit or used spare parts.
In one of the cases, the ship’s aggregate of the early eighties, which, crossing the borders of several states, changing middlemen, “looked younger” by more than thirty years, tried to give for a new one. But the lives of hundreds of people depend on his work at sea.
There certainly has not been without corruption ...
Sergey Fridinsky: This year, on the instructions of the President of Russia, a number of legislative norms were adopted to control the movement of funds for defense, to tighten the requirements for contract performers, and to improve the acceptance of their results. By the way, many of them are formed taking into account the practice of work and military prosecutors.
These measures undoubtedly contributed to the maintenance of order. However, it is not necessary to relax yet.
The military component of the state is one of the parts of our society. And she is sick, unfortunately, with the same diseases. Corruption is no exception.
As before, the main objects of encroachment remain budget funds, funds allocated for construction, the issues of material supply and livelihoods of the troops.
That is, they make money on even the most necessary?
Sergey Fridinsky: Unfortunately, in recent years, the previously developed outsourcing system has not become more reliable. This year alone, more than 11 thousands of violations have been detected here. In the activities of the entrepreneurs participating in it, we often encounter substandard services, overstating their size and cost, including due to numerous intermediaries. It is also of concern that military officials are increasingly involved in criminal schemes.
In the Central Military District, for example, with significant debts to suppliers, officials of the local branches of Oboronenergosbyt and REU were not ashamed to appropriate over a hundred million rubles under fictitious contracts. Guilty detained, stolen returns.
In Irkutsk and Kaliningrad, merchants earned tens of millions, one might say, from a famous literary story - on the food of "dead souls". A number of chiefs of food services were dragged in here. In this regard, we suggested that the leadership of the Ministry of Defense should reform the entire system of the joint-stock company Garrison and its subholdings. This work has already begun.
There are questions to individual officials on the observance of prohibitions and restrictions related to the public service, the reliability of income and expenses. For such violations, at the request of prosecutors, this year alone, disciplinary officers over 700 were brought to justice, 14 were dismissed ahead of schedule.
Work on combating corruption will continue. You should not expect that military prosecutors here will become more tolerant.
The trial is over. And although the problem of the return of illegally sold military property is not completely closed, did you manage to fix something?
Sergey Fridinsky: I would like to begin by saying that military prosecutors continue to check the legality of the sale of real estate objects of the Ministry of Defense. One goal: to return sold for pennies and not to plunder further. The real estate and assets of the Ministry of Defense shareholders are a tidbit, and they are not a little willing.
Since then, the efforts of our employees have returned to the state real estate and property worth more than five billion rubles.
And how many more cases are pending?
Sergey Fridinsky: This year we sent 30 such suits to the courts. 16 reviewed, most satisfied.
I think that they are not the last, although the work is not easy.
The Defense Ministry has been engaged in the transfer of military camps that have been released for years. In terms of legality, is everything okay?
Sergey Fridinsky: With the advent of the new leadership of the Ministry of Defense, the situation has radically changed. Work to determine the future purpose of military property and its release has become more active, taking into account the tasks set by the Russian president for the future construction of the Armed Forces, as well as the interests of regional development.
I want to say about the increased overall level of interaction between the central military administration bodies and the leadership of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
However, not all issues have been resolved. A number of heads of administrations wrongfully refuse to accept the liberated facilities of military camps. The reasons are the lack of legal documents and acts of state registration, the lack of funding for their operation and maintenance.
Military prosecutors here can help something?
Sergey Fridinsky: We inform the prosecutor of the relevant subject of the Russian Federation about such facts so that he will react to them. If explanatory work does not help, go to court.
In 2013-2014, military prosecutors sent over 20 lawsuits forcing administrations to accept military camp sites. For the most part, they are satisfied.
Of course, it is necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the department. But after all, behind each such structure there are people - with their own problems and concerns. Don't you forget about them?
Sergey Fridinsky: Unfortunately, defenders of the Fatherland often need to be defended too. For us, the protection by means of prosecutorial oversight of the rights and guarantees of military personnel, members of their families and other citizens was and remains a task of paramount importance. The number of requests from year to year increases. This is primarily an indicator of the confidence of our citizens in the prosecutors.
This year alone, the military prosecutor’s office conducted more than 45 thousands of inspections, as a result of which more than 17 thousands of officials and other persons were prosecuted for violating the rights of citizens. Prosecutors in defense of their interests in the courts filed nearly nine thousand lawsuits, restored the rights of hundreds of thousands of people.
More than once I read with satisfaction letters of thanks and requests to encourage certain employees of the military prosecutor's office.
But it happened that they also dealt with complaints about the actions or inaction of prosecutors.
The most important joint achievement with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense is achievement in another - people in uniform have ceased to be "green men" and their attitude to society has changed radically.
What problems did the people most often come to you in the past year?
Sergey Fridinsky: Our employees dealt with a wide variety of issues - from paying salaries and wages, various allowances to illegal dismissal and housing. They helped to restore the labor rights of citizens, sought to provide benefits and material support to those to whom they are entitled by law. Solved many other problems.
Generally speaking, incoming appeals are usually associated with dismissal from military and public service, its passage, provision of housing, provision of medical services, payment of insurance sums to combat veterans, investigation of criminal cases, rental of premises of military camps.
It happens, we protect the legal rights of war veterans and their relatives.
Does anyone have the conscience enough to offend the front-line soldier?
Sergey Fridinsky: Unfortunately, it happens. For example, in Rostov-on-Don, officials decided to suspend the payment of a pension to a veteran of the Great Patriotic War. The reason - he, he says, temporarily went to visit relatives in Georgia. After our intervention, the money was paid to the veteran.
Another example. The widow of a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, who from the 1942 year to Victory was a member of the 79 Guards Rifle Division, was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the II degree, was denied compensation for the manufacture and establishment of a gravestone monument to her husband. And for obvious formal reasons - she was unable to present his veteran ID.
To quickly help a woman, we went to court. He made a decision: a veteran to recognize the participant in the war. The widow received due compensation.
You mentioned unpaid wages. A very painful question, especially in a crisis. Why, in your opinion, the severity of this problem does not subside?
Sergey Fridinsky: Often administrative arbitrariness entails infringement of the rights of hundreds of people, and the welfare of their families is made dependent on the whims or selfish aspirations of the leader.
For example, in St. Petersburg, the leadership of the local branch of the Slavyanka joint-stock company did not pay almost four hundred employees a remuneration for the sanitary maintenance of the barracks and housing stock of military camps. The amount of debt exceeded 11 million rubles.
Moreover, it should be noted that all the necessary contracts were concluded with these workers. By means of prosecutorial response, the debt was repaid, the perpetrators were brought to justice.
It is one thing when the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. And it’s quite another when its leaders deliberately go into conflict with workers, frankly infringe their rights ...
Sergey Fridinsky: It's not only about deliberately infringing on rights, but also about the lack of necessary knowledge. There are employees of business entities who do not know the law or do not fully realize their responsibilities. I mean the management team. But subordinates often do not want or are afraid to assert their rights. Of course, there is the so-called legal nihilism of citizens. But there are leaders-tyrants. With all sorts of have to meet.
The role of the prosecutor here is, first of all, to identify such cases in a timely manner, using the powers granted, to point out to the employer the inadmissibility of violations of the law.
It is important that such work be carried out in an extremely transparent manner. People should know that the prosecutor’s office in the event of a violation of rights without any bureaucratic delays will take prompt and effective measures to protect them.
I understand that it is too early to talk about the general results of the work of military prosecutors in 2015.
Sergey Fridinsky: Well, yes. We will sum up the final results of this year at the beginning of the next. But already now I can note with some satisfaction certain positive results of our efforts to ensure legality in the military organization of the state.
First of all, it concerns the strengthening of state discipline in matters of defense order. Joint efforts with other law enforcement agencies and officials this year managed to prevent budget losses of more than a billion rubles.
Much has been done to ensure legality in the course of combat training of troops, the solution of housing and other everyday problems of servicemen, persons dismissed from military service, and members of their families. In eleven months, at the request of our prosecutors, more than 11 of thousands of illegal legal acts were canceled, the rights of over 730 of thousands of citizens were restored.