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Moscow Region's Top Prosecutor Quits

Alexander Anikin, who quit as the Moscow region's chief prosecutor today.

The Moscow region's chief prosecutor, Alexander Anikin, submitted a letter of resignation on Monday over conflicts between supervisory agencies caused by his handling of a high-profile case involving illegal casinos.

The scandal began in February 2011 when investigators said Moscow region prosecutors were protecting a chain of illegal casinos owned by businessman Ivan Nazarov.

Anikin was appointed two months later and replaced 28 municipal and regional prosecutors over a two-year period.

Alexander Ignatenko, a former Moscow region deputy prosecutor, and Dmitry Urumov, former head of the regional prosecutor's department, were two of the key players fired for their suspected involvement in the racketeering operation.

The “purge” supposedly turned deputy prosecutors general Viktor Grin and Vladimir Malinovsky against Anikin, who submitted a first letter of resignation in spring, a source in law enforcement told Kommersant.

Prosecutor General Yury Chaika rejected his initial request, but his latest attempt to leave the role will be accepted during his vacation, which started today.

A source told Interfax that the tensions between the regional administration and prosecutors meant that a change in leadership was inevitable.

Moscow deputy prosecutor Alexei Zakharov is expected to fill the soon-to-be-vacant role.

The Regional Prosecutor's Office and Prosecutor General's Office have declined to comment on Anikin's resignation.

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