Support The Moscow Times!

FSB Special Units Seize Russian Official With Murky Past – Reports

A regional head in Russia's Dagestan republic was detained Monday in a dramatic operation, media reports said, citing sources in law enforcement agencies.

Andrei Vinogradov, head of Dagestan's Kizlyar region, was detained by special units of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the local Chernovik newspaper reported Monday.

Vinogradov's bodyguards attempted to resist the detention attempt but were unsuccessful, the Interfax news agency reported. Nobody was injured during the arrest.

Neither official confirmation nor explanation for Vinogradov's detention had been given by the time of this article's publication.

A house belonging to Sagid Murtazaliyev, head of the local branch of the state pension fund, was searched Monday in connection with Vinogradov's case, Interfax reported. Murtazaliyev, who was the head of the Kizlyar district before Vinogradov, is currently hiding in Dubai, the report said.

Vinogradov's bodyguards were accused of killing four people in 2012, the Kavkazsky Uzel (Caucasian Knot) news website reported, prompting relatives of those killed to block a federal highway and demand that Vinogradov be fired.

“Everybody knows that unarmed people were brazenly shot by bodyguards of the head of the Kizlyar district Andrei Vinogradov,” one of the participants of the highway protest told Kavkazsky Uzel at the time.

Vinogradov was suspended from his post pending an investigation but argued in court that the people accused of the killings were not his bodyguards.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.