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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prison Chief Yury Kalinin Resigns

Federal Prison Service chief Yury Kalinin has resigned upon reaching the mandatory retirement age, Interfax reported Friday.

By law, federal officials must resign upon turning 60, as Kalinin did Oct. 28. President Vladimir Putin can extend their careers for an additional five years, however.

As of Sunday, Putin had not made a decision on Kalinin's future. A Kremlin spokeswoman said she had "no information" regarding a possible decision on Kalinin's resignation. No statement has been issued by the Federal Prison Service or the Justice Ministry.

Kommersant reported Saturday that Kalinin's resignation might have been linked to an ongoing investigation into the abuse of inmates at a prison camp in the Perm region.

During his televised call-in show on Oct. 26, Putin responded to a letter from inmates at the prison. The president said the letter "was not the first signal of this kind," and that the Prosecutor General's Office would investigate.

Putin's reply came as something of a surprise, because the Federal Prison Service rates the prisons in the Perm region among the country's best, Kommersant reported. Prosecutors announced last Thursday that the allegations contained in the letter to Putin were serious enough to warrant the opening of two criminal investigations.

Kalinin is one of the federal government's longest-serving officials. He assumed command of what was then the Interior Ministry's Main Corrections Directorate in 1992, and held on to his post as the prison system was folded into the Justice Ministry.

The Federal Prison Service, created in 2004, operates 765 prison camps, seven prisons and 368 detention facilities, which housed a total of 869,900 inmates as of October 2006, according to the service web site.