Russia: Scandal-Plagued Interior Minister Appointed to Security Council
Russia’s unpopular former Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev has been appointed the Security Council’s Deputy Secretary. Nurgaliyev, who was interior minister for eight years, was sacked from his position on Monday following a number of police brutality and corruption scandals that drew wide attention in Russia.
Nurgaliyev was widely criticized for his failure to curb corruption and violence in law enforcement. However, the Head of Russia’s Human Rights Council and presidential adviser Mikhail Fedotov defended Nurgaliyev, saying corruption is inherent in the system.
State Duma member Alexander Khinshtein referred to Nurgaliyev as the “the most unpopular minister [in government].” Khinshtein, a vocal critic of Nurgaliyev, is a member of the ruling United Russia party, which supports President Vladimir Putin.
In 2011, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev put forward a series of measures to curb police corruption. Through reevaluation tests aimed at weeding out corruption and incompetence, the police force was cut from 1.2 million to 1 million.
However, few Russians believe the reforms made much difference. Distrust and fear of police prevail.
Russia’s new Interior Minister is the former Moscow Police Chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev.