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Putin Fires 11 Officers In Law Enforcement, Prisons


Russian President Vladimir Putin

By RFE/RL

Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired 11 top officers in two of Russia's main law enforcement agencies and other ministries, in the latest shuffle of the agencies.

The decree signed and issued by Putin on April 6 also promoted the lead investigator in a probe into alleged embezzlement of state funds by a renowned theater director.

The order targets a range of officers in the Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee, Russia's equivalent to the FBI, along with other officials from the Emergency Situations Ministry and the ministry overseeing the country's prison system.

The order does not specify the reasons for the firings.

Aleksandr Lavrov, the promoted Investigative Committee officer, headed the so-called "Seventh Studio" criminal investigation that targeted theater director Kirill Serebrennikov.

Investigators accused Serebrennikov -- who repeatedly clashed with the government over artistic freedoms and has sharply criticized the ruling elite -- of embezzling $1.1 million in state funds.

He has denied the charges and many of Russia's leading cultural figures said the prosecution was aimed at silencing his criticism of the Kremlin.

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