On December 26, Russia’s Interior Ministry confirmed what the magazine RBC reported two weeks earlier: Timur Valiulin, the head of the ministry’s ”Center E” Anti-Extremism Department, has resigned. One source told the magazine RBC that Valiulin was forced out after his ex-wife revealed that he owned undeclared real estate in Bulgaria and Italy between 2010 and 2012.
Valiulin took command of ”Center E” in 2012, after heading Moscow’s organized crime prevention unit and the capital’s anti-extremism department. In April 2018, the U.S. government sanctioned Valiulin and dozens of other prominent Russians in response to “a range of malign activity around the globe” by Moscow. In October 2017, at a meeting of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council, Valiulin advocated prosecuting parents and teachers whose teenage children and students participate in unsanctioned political protests.
Sources also told RBC that Russia’s other law enforcement agencies’ main complaints about Valiulin were related to his operatives’ meddling in commercial disputes, not Center E’s aggressive approach to political and online ‘extremism.’