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Belarus president sets goals for newly appointed KGB, Internal Affairs Ministry officials

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has made a number of personnel replacements in the structure of the State Security Committee (KGB) and the Internal Affairs Ministry, BelTA has learned.

New first deputy heads of these agencies have been appointed. Sergei Terebov, previously the head of the Gomel Oblast department of the State Security Committee, has been promoted to the position of the first deputy chairman of the KGB. In turn, Aleksandr Melnikov took over his job in Gomel Oblast.

Gennady Kazakevich has been appointed First Deputy Internal Affairs Minister, Head of Criminal Police. He previously worked as the head of the Central Office for Drug Control and Counteraction of Human Trafficking of the criminal police branch of the Internal Affairs Ministry.

Aleksandr Lukashenko's actions in this instance were not limited to only signing the paperwork. The head of state talked to top officials of the State Secretariat of the Security Council, the Internal Affairs Ministry, and the KGB, and the newly appointed officials to find out the state of affairs in the spheres they oversee, the degree of competence, and previous experience. The selection of executive personnel on an alternative basis is the key requirement the head of state always wants observed.

“These candidates have been checked. There are no circumstances standing in the way of their appointment, Comrade President,” State Secretary of the Security Council Andrei Ravkov reported.
The head of state wondered: “Are you telling me what [KGB Chairman Valery] Vakulchik has written?”
“No, we've checked them thoroughly. Together with all the agencies,” the head of the State Secretariat assured.

Then Aleksandr Lukashenko turned to the KGB chairman: “Valery Pavlovich [Vakulchik], are you sure? These are key positions in the KGB.”

But the KGB chairman also told the head of state that the suggested people are the best candidates for the jobs: “As per your requirements we wanted decisive executives, who are able to spearhead work in their positions and get things done.”

The head of state asked Internal Affairs Minister Yuri Karayev a similar question: “What do you think? As I recall, you'd been suggesting a candidate of your own, from the interior troops.”

The internal affairs minister responded by saying: “No, I've suggested only Gennady Arkadyevich [Kazakevich] for this position. The Security Services Department [of the Internal Affairs Ministry] suggested someone from the interior troops for the job. Gennady Kazakevich has served in various positions. Your requirement to appoint people with practical experience has been observed. It is the most legally qualified officer. Besides, he is a professor in the Internal Affairs Ministry Academy,” the internal affairs minister said.

Yuri Karayev could not pass up the chance to highlight Gennady Kazakevich's accomplishments in the fight against the spread of drugs in his previous capacity. “The key thing we've accomplished is we've ended the stalemate in the fight against drugs. We've recounted the accomplishments but a lot has yet to be done,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also talked to Gennady Kazakevich to find out trends and statistics in the work of criminal police as a whole. He asked about the share of drug enforcement and the counteraction of human trafficking in the total amount of criminal police work.

Gennady Kazakevich said: “If we talk about the structure of crime, then no doubt the number of crimes the criminal investigation department deals with is larger. However, if we talk about savvy criminals, online crimes, then the unit in charge of drug enforcement and the counteraction of human trafficking is the most advanced branch of criminal police from the point of view of information technologies.”

Among the most important areas of work he also mentioned fight against corruption and the counteraction of extremism. At the same time offenses against property represent 70% of the crimes the criminal investigation department deals with.

“The other 30% are corruption, terrorism, drugs, and human trafficking,” Aleksandr Lukashenko drew a conclusion and received a positive answer. “I've been shaping the discussion to ask you a question. Do you have sufficient expertise in this field? I am sorry for asking it. Because you've recently been focused on drug enforcement and human trafficking. Although those are important, comparatively new areas but these criminal offenses… Do you have practical experience in this field?”

Gennady Kazakevich said he had previously worked as the chief of a city-level investigation office and as part of the police branch that deals with economic crimes. There are specific traits and common ones in field investigation activities in every branch of criminal police. “I am going to get my feet wet, organize work,” he assured.
In conclusion Aleksandr Lukashenko explained why he had invited the chiefs of the State Security Committee and the Internal Affairs Ministry to attend the personnel appointment meeting. The person of the first deputy is quite important. If necessary, the person should have sufficient competence to take over as the head of the agency. “People should follow you. It is best when the first deputy or some other deputy takes over the ministry. It is what's important for me. I want you to understand that your first deputies should be able to take over your agencies in case you get another job,” the Belarusian leader noted.

The head of state was once again assured that all the suggested candidates had been trained in advance with this in mind. “From the ground and forward-looking,” Andrei Ravkov said to describe the approach to personnel selection.

“We'll see. It will be notable. This is why I implore you and the head of the presidential administration to avoid things like… You know… If a minister wants to work with a specific person, let him or her go,” the head of state pointed out.

Continuing the line of thought, Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned proposals concerning an appointment in the Security Services Department of the Internal Affairs Ministry. “You know I don't want newly appointed officials to bring subordinates from some previous job to the new office. Things shouldn't happen like that. Let's appoint professionals or someone from the outside. I don't want people covering each other's backs. I don't have any suspicions. But a question immediately rises: do only the interior troops have decent candidates? Because the internal affairs minister came from the interior troops himself,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The head of state noted he did not personally know the candidate for the job in the Security Services Department of the Internal Affairs Ministry. “It is likely a good, sensible man and a professional. But we definitely need reshuffle when people get appointed,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko made it clear he had absolutely nothing against nominating promising people and putting them on the fast track of the career ladder. “Human resources need new blood, but you should never drag a train of people you've served with once behind you. Send them to the State Secretariat, to the government, the presidential administration if they are sensible ones. Recommend them, fight for them,” the head of state concluded.