Corruption purge in Murmansk continues

Marina Kovtun's independence from elite pressure groups might be one of the reasons for all the corruption cases under investigation (Photo: Murmansk Duma)

Several cases of corruption among high-ranking officials are under investigation in the Murmansk region. A deputy in the regional Duma has been put on the federal wanted-list.


A special commission from the Federal Public Prosecutor’s office is working in Murmansk these days. Their mission is to reveal cases of violations of the law on housing and public utilities. So far their work has been rather successful.

As BarentsObserver reported, the former adviser to the governor of Murmansk, Gennady Shubin, was arrested last week on suspicion of embezzlement of billions of rubles from the regions power and utilities sector.

Now three other persons connected to Shubin are under investigation. One of them is Dmitry Gavrikov, a deputy in the Murmansk regional Duma. He has been put on a federal wanted list on suspicion of fraud of more than 1.5 billion roubles (app €37.4 million). Two others have already been arrested in the case, Arctic-TV reports. 

The Murmansk-based news agency M51 believes there is a connection between the purge against corruption and Governor Marina Kovtun coming to power. She was appointed Governor of Murmansk Oblast in April 2012. The large-scaled anti-corruption campaign started shortly afterwards. At the same time as the fight against corruption in Murmansk is part of a nationwide trend, there can be no doubt that the efficiency of the law enforcement bodies’ work is dependent on political will and the governor’s level of independence from local pressure groups. Marina Kovtun has succeeded in demonstrating to the elite groups her strength and independence, the agency writes.