06MOSCOW6547, YURIY CHAYKA NOMINATED AS RUSSIA’S PROCURATOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW6547 2006-06-20 15:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5136
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #6547 1711519
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201519Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7862
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 006547 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR INL/PRAHAR 
DOJ FOR OPDAT (LEHMANN) AND OIA (BURKE) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR KCRM RS
SUBJECT: YURIY CHAYKA NOMINATED AS RUSSIA'S PROCURATOR 
GENERAL 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 6268 
 
     B. MOSCOW 5934 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns. Reasons 1.4 (B/D). 
 
1.  (SBU) President Putin nominated current Minister of 
Justice, Yuriy Chayka, as the next Procurator General to 
replace Vladimir Ustinov, who resigned June 2.  The 
Federation Council's Committee on Legal and Judicial Affairs 
supported the nomination June 19; it will go before the full 
Federation Council June 23, where it is expected to win 
approval, and Chayka can then legally assume his duties.  In 
his first public statement after his nomination, Chayka noted 
that the office of the Procurator General could be effective 
in fighting corruption, but he spoke against setting up 
special offices within the Procurator General to address 
corruption among senior officials.  Instead, he hinted that 
pressing for revision of the legal education system in Russia 
might be among his early priorities. 
 
2.  (SBU) A professional lawyer by training, Chayka has 
worked as a prosecutor since his graduation from the 
Sverdlovsk Juridical Institute in 1976.  He is one of the few 
senior holdovers from the Yeltsin era where, among other 
positions, he served as the acting Procurator General in 
1999.  Appointed Minister of Justice in 2000, Chayka has 
cultivated a reputation as being among the relatively few 
cabinet officers who have made themselves accessible to the 
public, including human rights organizations that have worked 
with him and other officials in the Justice Ministry to 
improve conditions in the country's prison system.  Lyudmila 
Alekseyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, was among 
those who reportedly characterized Chayka's nomination as a 
good choice. 
 
3.  (C) COMMENT:  Although Chayka had been mentioned as one 
of the candidates for Ustinov's job (ref A), his nomination 
still came somewhat as a surprise.  While Chayka has built a 
solid reputation as a professional prosecutor and effective 
manager, his unquestioned loyalty to Putin was probably the 
most important factor in his choice.  Under Ustinov, the 
procuracy had become a stronghold for the "siloviki" wing of 
the Kremlin.  Observers claim Chayka's appointment should be 
seen as a reflection of Putin's desire to maintain a balance 
of power between competing Kremlin factions in important 
government posts.  Attention will now turn to Chayka's 
replacement at the Justice Ministry.  PolPred Dmitiry Kozak 
is being mentioned as one of the top candidates.  Kozak's 
appointment as Justice Minister would bring him back to the 
capital, but it is unclear how he -- or anybody as Justice 
Minister -- could advance his political fortunes in that 
traditionally weak position. 
BURNS

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