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Observers: Corruption hits Russian security

By Tom Evans, CNN
An image from Russian TV shows a burning car near a police station in Karabulak on April 5, 2010.
An image from Russian TV shows a burning car near a police station in Karabulak on April 5, 2010.
  • Albats: Putin promised democracy for security, and Russia got neither
  • Former Chechen rebel has claimed responsibility for Moscow subway attack
  • It killed at least 40 people and wounded more than 60

(CNN) -- On the day a suicide bomber killed two police officers in the Russian republic of Ingushetia, a leading independent journalist in Moscow said the Kremlin will never defeat terrorism if it does not end corruption in law enforcement agencies.

"There is a fundamental problem that doesn't allow Russia to fight terrorism, and that's the awful corruption of the law enforcement forces in Russia," said Yevgenia Albats, chief editor of Russia's New Times magazine. She spoke Monday on CNN's "Amanpour" program.

Albats said Vladimir Putin, then Russia's president and now prime minister, promised democracy in exchange for security back in 2000, but the result was neither democracy nor security.

The bomb in Ingushetia killed two police officers and wounded four others outside a police station in the town of Karabulak. It was the latest in a string of attacks in the North Caucasus region of Russia that have followed a March 29 double suicide bombing on the Moscow subway system.

Video: Analysis of terror in Russia
Video: Moscow feels pain of Caucasus
  • Russia
  • Vladimir Putin

The Moscow bombing killed at least 40 people and wounded more than 60. A former Chechen rebel who is now advocating global jihad has claimed responsibility for that attack.

Dimitri Simes, president of the Washington-based Nixon Center think tank, told CNN it's vital for Moscow to restore the capabilities of Russia's Federal Security Service, the successor organization to the KGB.

"Frankly, I will say something very controversial. They have to restore (the) good police work of the ... Federal Security Service," he said. "It lost most of its informers. It became very ineffective. And they cannot do the most important thing: terrorism prevention."

Stephen Cohen, a professor of Russian Studies at New York University, said Moscow can't end the terrorist attacks by withdrawing from the Caucasus region, because it's a constituent part of the Russian Federation.

"Secession will not be permitted, because the Kremlin feels it'll be the breakup of the Russian state. But if it can be a negotiation about real federation, and then that begins to raise the question of democracy, there may be some semi-solution there."