Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

7 Super Cops Named to the 7 Super Regions

The Interior Ministry on Wednesday named the last of the police chiefs to patrol the country's seven super districts, completing a weeklong process that analysts say is part of a Kremlin drive to reign in the regions.

Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov on Wednesday presented Major General Boris Uyemlyanin as the head of police for the Northwest Federal District in St. Petersburg.

Gryzlov said Uyemlyanin, who had earlier served as police chief for the Arkhangelsk region, would consolidate the operations of the northwest district's regional police departments to avoid "unnecessary overlapping."

Uyemlyanin, in turn, said he would reshuffle the regional police departments and tackle as his top priorities organized and economic crime and juvenile delinquency.

Gryzlov said all federal police departments would coordinate the activities of regional police departments.

Earlier, he said that each federal police department would employ about 150 officers who are to include criminal analysts, investigators and commando teams. He named cracking down on drug trafficking and economic and organized crime as their priorities.

Regional police chiefs are accountable to the federal police chiefs.

The appointment of police chiefs to the seven federal districts, which President Vladimir Putin created from Russia's 89 regions into last year in a bid to reduce the powers of regional governors, comes just weeks after parliament passed a Kremlin-backed bill stripping the governors of their right to have a say in the appointment of regional police chiefs. That decision now rests solely with the interior minister.

Gryzlov picked out the seven federal chiefs and forwarded their names to President Vladimir Putin for approval.

The only post whose nominee did not get immediate approval was for the Southern Federal District, Interfax reported. The original nominee for the post was Lieutenant General Sergei Shchadrin, who had headed the Rostov regional police for two years. Shchadrin turned down the offer. Late last week, though, he was named the chief for the Central Federal District, an area that includes Moscow.

The Southern Federal District police chief job ended up going to Krasnoyarsk regional police chief Mikhail Rudchenko.

Political analysts said the federal police chiefs will help the Kremlin in strengthening its powers in the regions, particularly since two important posts — in the southern and central districts — are being filled by outsiders.

By picking Shchadrin and Rudchenko, the Kremlin can be sure that the two men do not have any loyalties to the governors in the districts they will represent, said Yevgeny Volk of the Heritage Foundation.

"The federal authorities are sending a clear message to the governors: 'Guys, we will control you,'" Volk said.