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Putin fires director of Federal Penitentiary Service amid torture scandal in Russian prisons


Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Alexander Kalashnikov, the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service (known for the Russian initials as FSIN), from his position. The decree about his dismissal was published on the official website of the Kremlin.


“To dismiss Alexander Petrovich Kalashnikov from the post of the Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service. This decree comes into force from the day of its signing,” the document says.


Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia Arkady Gostev was appointed to the position of the FSIN chief instead.

Kalashnikov headed the Federal Penitentiary Service in 2019

Kalashnikov took over as Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service in October 2019. Prior to that, he served as head of the FSB department for the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

In 2021, Kalashnikov was included in the sanctions lists of the European Union, the United States and Canada.

Soon after Kalashnikov’s appointment, Eva Merkacheva, deputy chairperson of the Moscow Public Monitoring Commission, noted that the new chief of the Federal Penitentiary Service had extensive experience in fighting corruption.

Kalashnikov’s resignation took place against the backdrop of a torture scandal in Russian colonies. Earlier in November, a human rights project unveiled footage of prisoners being tortured at the Federal Penitentiary Service hospital, as well as in the Saratov region.



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