Putin reshuffles Russia's law enforcement structures

MOSCOW - Russia's President Vladimir Putin fired several high-ranking law enforcement officials on Saturday in one of the biggest overhauls of the country's power structures in recent years.

According to a decree published on the president's official legal portal, Putin fired the Southern transport public prosecutor Seregei Dmitriev, the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service in Moscow Igor Klimenov, and Deputy Interior Minister of the annexed Crimea region Dmitry Neklyudov.

Putin also dismissed, among others, two deputies of Russia's Investigative Committee, Yuri Nyrkov and Vasily Piskarev. He raised the rank of the Committee's investigator for special cases case, Lev Gura, to a senior investigator.

Gura took the post of General Major Igor Krasnov, who was appointed a deputy of the Investigative Committee.

Krasnov spent the past decade investigating some of Russia's biggest assassinations and assassination attempts. He has also been known for his work on cases on Russia's ultranationalists. A year ago, he was appointed the chief investigator into the death of the opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, killed in February 2015.

There was no reason given in the president's decree for the personnel changes in the federal agencies, which also included several dismissals and appointments in regional law enforcement agencies.

In a separate decree Putin appointed, as expected, former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, deputy chairman of the President's Economic Council.