In February 2021 the Project team of investigative journalists published a long piece developing the suggestion first made by Nikita Girin that the former head of the Karelian FSB (2011-2016) Anatoly Seryshev was the “very grey cardinal” [R] operating behind the scenes to sustain the persecution of Yury DMITRIEV.
After moving to Moscow Seryshev resumed his malignant influence over the case, wrote the journalists, especially when he became an aide to President Putin on 13 June 2018. The former FSB chairman, one might add, also once headed the organisation in Karelia (1990-1994). And neither Nikolai Patrushev nor his close ally President Putin can have approved then or since of Yury DMITRIEV’S activities, e.g. his attempt in 2002 to stop the erection in Petrozavodsk of a monument to Yury Andropov. (Since October 2021 Seryshev has been presidential plenipotentary in the Siberian Federal District.)
Taking up Selyutsky’s suggestion that “someone’s relative” had taken offence the Project journalists proposed, but failed to prove, that Seryshev was in some way related to NKVD officer Vasily Seryshev (1902-1943). The 2016 “list of executioners” indeed includes Junior Lieutenant Seryshev [R] but indicates that he spent the late 1930s in the Belorussian SSR and, after being arrested in 1939, died in prison rather than at the front.