WikiLeaks cables: Russian government 'using mafia for its dirty work' World news The Guardian: "Spain conducted two major operations – codenamed Avispa (2005-07) and Troika (2008-09) – against mafia networks on its territory, resulting in the arrest of more than 60 suspects. They include four of the alleged leaders outside Russia: Gennady Petrov, Alexander Malyshev (Petrov's deputy), Vitaly Izguilov (a key lieutenant) and Kalashov. Despite this, the networks are said to have swiftly reconstituted.
On 13 January 2010 Gonzalez, a special prosecutor for corruption and organised crime, gave a 'detailed, frank' briefing to US officials in Madrid. In a classified presentation to a new US-Spain counter-terrorism and organised crime experts' working group he said the mafia now exercised tremendous control over sectors of the global economy.
He said Russia, Belarus and Chechnya – the Muslim republic of Russia run by a pro-Moscow president, Ramzan Kadyrov – were 'virtual 'mafia states' '. Ukraine was 'going to be one', he predicted. He spoke shortly before presidential elections in Ukraine won by the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych. The country is now back under Moscow's sway.
'For each of these countries … one cannot differentiate between the activities of the government and OC (organised crime) groups,' Gonzalez told the US delegation.
His observations are likely to provoke a hostile reaction from Russia's political leadership and could lead to a serious diplomatic falling out between Russia and Spain.
Gonzalez said it was an 'unanswered question' to what extent Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, was personally 'implicated in the Russian mafia and controls the mafia's actions'."
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