Viktor Cherkesov, a discredited Putin ally, dies at 72

Viktor Cherkesov, a longtime friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin who ran afoul of the Kremlin for suggesting a split among Russia’s security elites in public, passed away at the age of 72 in St. Petersburg.

The Rosbalt news website reported Cherkesov’s passing late Tuesday after “a severe illness.” Natalia Cherkesova, his wife, is the one who survived him.

Cherkesov started working for the KGB in 1975, the same year Putin joined the organization. After rising through the ranks, he continued to work for the Federal Security Service (FSB), which replaced the KGB after the fall of the Soviet Union. From 1992 to 1998, he served as the head of the FSB’s St. Petersburg branch.

Cherkesov served as Putin’s deputy when the FSB chief was chosen in 1997. Cherkesov was appointed Putin’s presidential representative to Russia’s Northwestern Federal District after Putin was elevated to the presidency in 2000.

The Federal Drug Control Service of Russia was then led by Cherkesov from 2003 until his departure in 2008.

The sacking of Cherkesov by Putin was largely regarded as retaliation for Cherkesov’s open discussion of internal strife within Putin’s ranks in a newspaper article in 2007.

Publicly chastizing Cherkesov for the piece, Putin said:

“one who makes claims about the secret service war must first themselves be blameless.

This Article Contents

Viktor Cherkesov’s date of birth and age.

Viktor Cherkesov was born on July 13, 1950 in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, USSR. He was of Russian nationality. Viktor was 72 years old when he passed away on November 8, 2022.

Viktor Cherkesov’s career.

Cherkesov oversaw the MBR/FSK/FSB Saint Petersburg Directorate, the KGB’s replacement organization, from 1992 to August 1998.

He served as Vladimir Putin and Nikolai Patrushev’s First Deputy Director of the FSB from August 1998 to May 2000. He served as President Vladimir Putin’s plenipotentiary representative to the Northwestern Federal District from 18 May 2000 to 11 March 2003.

He served as the head of the Russian Federation’s State Committee for the Control of the Circulation of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances from March 11, 2003, until his death in March 2004, when it became the Federal Drug Control Service of Russia.

Analysts believed that the arrests of numerous senior Federal Drug Control Service personnel by FSB operatives at the beginning of October 2007 were related to a long-running conflict between Viktor Cherkesov, Igor Sechin, and other members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

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The Russian Drug Enforcement Administration officials arrested on criminal charges earlier that month were allegedly the exception rather than the rule, turf wars between the secret services could threaten the stability of the country, and the only scenario for Russia that is both realistic and relatively favorable is for it to continue its evolution into a corporativist state, according to an article written by Cherkesov and published in Kommersant on October 9, 2007.

What is Viktor Cherkesov’s education qualification?

In 1973, Cherkesov received his law degree from Leningrad State University. He served for the KGB in Leningrad and the Leningrad Oblast Directorate from 1975 to 1991, where he pursued political dissidents such as Democratic Union members.