14,000 leaders and active members of organised criminal groups were tracked down this year and charged with a total of almost 30,000 crimes, announced Alexander Chekalin, the deputy head of the Russian interior ministry and the chief of its Public Security Service, at a public security police conference that opened on Thursday in Vologda, the center of the Vologda region of Russia's Northwestern Federal District. It is public security police /which constitutes two thirds of Russian police/ who's "responsible for maintaining order on the Russian territory," said Chekalin. All in all 400 investigations into grave crimes went to court and 107 contract killings were exposed since the beginning of the year. During the same period, departments for combatting corruption staved off more than 21,000 offences against government service and local self-governing bodies. The number of persons proved guilty of malfeasance in general and bribery in particular has grown by 20% and 15%, respectively.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart