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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

KGB Vets Call for End to Turf War

A group of retired senior KGB officials have called on the country's security services to end a turf war between competing agencies that has turned into a bitter public conflict.

In an open letter published Wednesday in the ultranationalist newspaper Zavtra, the retired officials -- including General Vladimir Kryuchkov, the last KGB chief -- warned security services of the consequences of infighting

"Trust us from our experience," they wrote. "There will be major troubles, and this is unacceptable."

Security services should be a source of stability in the country, not one of discord that can be exploited by "foreign and domestic destructive forces," they wrote.

The former officials supported Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Cherkesov, who went public with a similar demand in early October following the arrests of several senior drug control officials by the Federal Security Service and the Investigative Committee.

The arrests were widely seen as revenge against Cherkesov's agency, which had an active role in the investigation into Tri Kita, a Moscow furniture store accused of evading millions of dollars in import duties and smuggling Chinese goods through FSB storage facilities. The investigation led to the ouster of several high-ranking officials in the FSB and the Prosecutor General's Office last year. President Vladimir Putin assigned Cherkesov's people to the case.

Cherkesov wrote an article in Kommersant on Oct. 9 arguing that internecine feuding over power and influence between security services was a threat to national stability.

Putin scolded Cherkesov in Kommersant for publicly airing dirty laundry but on Oct. 20 created a new state committee to fight illegal drugs and named Cherkesov as its chief.

In e-mailed comments Wednesday, Vagif Guseinov, former KGB head of Soviet Azerbaijan and one of the signatories of the letter published in Zavtra, said the infighting was driven by business and greed.

"These werewolves in epaulettes have only financial and selfish interests," Guseinov said, adding that Putin's role is critical in cleaning security services of corrupt elements.

n Senior Federal Drug Control Service officer Alexander Bulbov, whose arrest last month prompted Cherkesov to pen the article in Kommersant, has named three FSB generals he says were behind his arrest, Gazeta.ru reported Wednesday.

In a statement given at the Moscow City Court on Wednesday, Bulbov identified the generals by their last names: Kupryazhkin, Feoktistov and Kharitonov, the report said.

Bulbov stands accused of ordering illegal wiretaps and accepting bribes from firms in exchange for official protection. His lawyer, Sergei Antonov, said the defense intended to file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, Gazeta.ru reported.