Ivan Pavlov, lawyer
I can characterize Pig Loop as a very competent and experienced investigator. That is why he differs from the rest, he is very intelligent, tactful, unlike others and from what we see now in the investigative department of the FSB, it was possible to communicate with him normally. It is difficult to imagine how he will manifest himself in the role of the head of the pre-trial detention center, but I think that he is fulfilling the task received by his leadership and will do what he is told. For all his intelligence, this is a person who clearly fulfills the commands of the leadership, and this provides him with career growth, like everyone else.
Lefortovo is a pre-trial detention center that used to be under the control of the KGB. Then all the pre-trial detention centers were given to the Federal Penitentiary Service, that is, to the Ministry of Justice, but this does not mean that all the detention centers ceased to be subordinate to the state security bodies. There are isolation wards subordinate to the regional departments of the Federal Penitentiary Service, and there are – to the federal Federal Penitentiary Service. It is in Lefortovo that SIZO No. 2 is subordinate to the central apparatus of the Federal Penitentiary Service. There are about seven isolation wards, which are subordinate to the federal FSIN, in Russia – there are in Krasnodar, Vladikavkaz, Chelyabinsk and St. Petersburg. This means that these are some kind of special insulators. If you look closely at them, they all have a close relationship with the FSB.
Lefortovo has the most direct connection with the FSB: the isolation ward is connected by corridors with the FSB investigation department. To deliver a prisoner for interrogation to the investigator, you just need to lead him down the corridor. I know that the same thing is in St. Petersburg. SIZO No. 3 on Shpalernaya Street in St. Petersburg is connected through corridors with the building on Liteiny. There is the investigative service of the FSB, and the entire department of the FSB.
“Lefortovo” is connected by corridors with the investigative department of the FSB. To bring a prisoner for interrogation to the investigator, you just need to lead him along the corridor.
Evgeny Smirnov, attorney
Mikhail Svinolup was appointed acting head of the pre-trial detention center at the end of last year, but it became widely known only now. If you have heard, in the first department of the FSB there is such an investigator, Alexander Chaban, tough and unprincipled, who does not hide his emotions. So, Pig Loop is the complete opposite of him. He behaves respectfully and does not cause negative emotions. It is clear that they do the same thing and the result is the same. But Pigolup’s approach has always been distinguished by such intelligence.
[Ранее Издание «Агентство» опубликовало подробности биографии и методов работы следователя Александра Чабана, который ведет дело бывшего журналиста Ивана Сафронова, обвиняемого в госизмене. – The Insider].
Swineloop has made good progress in his career as an investigator. As a result, he became deputy head of the first department of the FSB investigation department. Deputy heads not only do business themselves, they are engaged in “intellectual work” on business – they develop a strategy, coordinate investigative actions, act as think tanks.
Svinolup was in charge of the case of Svetlana Davydova and the case of Sergei Minakov. Both of these cases were dropped. In general, he was noted in many high-profile cases from 2017 to 2019, when he was the deputy head of the first department. He considered the complaints of lawyers against investigators, he agreed on the extension of the preventive measure and put resolutions on the documents that were sent to the court. He developed a strategy for almost all high-profile cases that took place during that period.
About two years ago Pigolup was unexpectedly transferred from this job. He formally resigned from the FSB and moved to the FSIN in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center as a deputy head. And then they started talking about the fact that he was transferred to prepare the filling of the vacant position, which will open after the departure of the head Romashin. Therefore, the appointment of his acting chief, and then the chief is a predictable decision.
SIZO “Lefortovo” used to be part of the KGB of the USSR, and then into the system of the FSB of Russia, that is, this SIZO was subordinated to the security organs. In the early 2000s, he was legally removed from the FSB at the request of the European Court of Human Rights, and for about 20 years the FSB did not advertise that Lefortovo would still remain under the control of the Chekists. The appointment of Svinolup to the position of Acting Head of Lefortovo is actually a declaration: “Yes, this is the FSB detention center, we still rule here, it still submits to us and performs common tasks with us.”
This is a signal to the whole community – Lefortovo has returned to its former harbor. In the FSB and before that in the KGB, there was an apparatus of seconded officers. This is when a person works in the FSB and at the same time holds a public position in a department not subordinate to the FSB. The fact that he continues to work for the state security bodies is usually not advertised, but I am sure that this is exactly the case with Svinolup – he works both in the FSB and as the head of the pre-trial detention center.
It is very convenient for the FSB to control the pre-trial detention center. Everyone is now hearing about the case of Ivan Safronov. The pre-trial detention center works well with the investigation in order to obtain the necessary testimony. It is necessary to push on Vanya, he suddenly finds himself cut off from correspondence, he is placed in a punishment cell. In the pre-trial detention center, he is put under the pressure that is usually exerted in the state security organs. Investigators can calmly come to their wards in this jail, although this is prohibited by law and is generally nonsense.
It is very convenient for the FSB to control the pre-trial detention center. Everyone is now hearing about the case of Ivan Safronov. The pre-trial detention center works well with the investigation in order to obtain the necessary testimony.
The meaning of the SIZO is to ensure that the conditions dictated by the law are observed, and that the accused cannot communicate, including with the investigator, without the presence of a lawyer, especially directly in the cell. The investigator does not hide the fact that he comes to watch the video cameras, comes to them to conduct a sincere conversation, which is not recorded in any way. It is almost impossible to prove this, except in the words of the accused. Therefore, the FSB completely returns the Lefortovo detention center under its control in order to work on such cases and put pressure on the accused.
The centrally subordinated isolation wards, which used to belong to the FSB, formally monitor compliance with all instructions, and, as a rule, torture is not allowed there. If this happens, then outside the walls of these institutions. We can recall one of the latest cases with those accused of a terrorist attack in the St. Petersburg metro. They were tortured before being detained and only after that they were brought to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center.
[Подробнее о пытках в этом деле в материале «Пытки, секретные тюрьмы ФСБ и фальсификация улик в деле о теракте в питерском метро». – The Insider].
We can also recall the case of Yevgeny Petrin, a former FSB officer accused of treason. He was also beaten before his arrest, they wrote about this, traces of the use of force against him were recorded. After that he was placed in the Lefortovo SIZO and was not tortured again.
If we talk about psychological torture, they continue in Lefortovo, for example, in the form of a ban on any communication, when inside the pre-trial detention center the prisoner cannot see anyone except the employee of the detention center and his cellmate. The circle of communication is completely limited, correspondence, telephone calls are limited. This can be sustained for a month or two, and when people are there for years, it is psychological torture.
The case of Svetlana Davydova
Svinolup, being an employee of the investigative department of the FSB, became famous in the case of the mother of many children, Svetlana Davydova, who was accused of high treason in early 2015. This was the most resonant case of treason and espionage in Russia.
The FSB opened a case against Davydova after she contacted the Ukrainian embassy and reported that the military unit near her house in the city of Vyazma, Smolensk region, was empty, and the military were allegedly sent to Ukraine. Davydova based her assumptions on a telephone conversation she had accidentally heard in the minibus, which could indicate that the servicemen had gone to Donetsk.