Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Corruption In Russia, Part 2: Law Enforcers Often The Worst Offenders

Posted by Info on 28/11/2009

Many agree law enforcers’ main activity isn’t really solving crimes, but using their official positions for profit.

From drivers forced to pay routine bribes to traffic police, to business owners paying to keep government inspectors from arbitrarily shutting them down, the government itself estimates people in Russia shell out $300 billion in bribes each year.

‘Sense Of Impunity’
Kirill Kabanov, a former security service officer who heads a private group called the National Anticorruption Committee, says state bureaucrats are among the wealthiest people in Russia.

“You’re appointed to an official position. You’re given status, a state post, and you don’t have to do anything but collect the money you’re in a position to take. Bureaucrats have the most expensive cars and mansions. And above all, the sense of impunity.

That extends to police, who, to cover their activities, are said to regularly fabricate or set up crimes rather than investigating actual crimes. Police are also believed to spend much of their time falsifying statistics to meet Soviet-era quotas for cases they’re required to solve — sometimes by framing innocent people.

Earlier this month, a police major in southern Russia came to national attention after posting YouTube videos describing a culture of massive corruption. Aleksei Dymovsky criticized his superiors for ordering him to arrest innocent people or be punished by being required to work overtime without pay. Dymovsky appealed to officers to confront their superiors about corrupt behavior. He was suspended and is now under investigation.

Kabanov, of the National Anticorruption Committee, carries a pistol to work. Investigating corruption is like “going to war.”
Kabanov says any doubts were removed by a recent law against extremism outlawing the discrediting of officials. “Now if you call a bureaucrat a thief, you can be prosecuted as an extremist,” …more here

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