Drunk Riot Police Beat Man to Death in Moscow
The vague borderline between Russian police and criminals keeps fading. Three drunk policemen in uniform from 2nd Operative Police Regiment (2nd OPM) beat to death a customer at McDonald’s in southeastern Moscow, Gazeta.ru reports (in Russian).
Moscow police chief Gen. Vladimir Kolokoltsev immediately ordered to fire the three (their names are Anver Ibragimov, Alexey Chernikov, Viktor Kuznetsov) and suspend their boss, head of 2nd OPM. The swift reaction is understandable: Kolokoltsev’s predecessor, Gen. Vladimir Pronin was fired just half a year ago after head of Tsaritsyno district police Denis Yevsyukov (also drunk or possibly drugged) killed two and injuried seven in a supermarket. But the frightening frequency of similar incidents in different regions of Russia tells that such measures won’t change anything. Russian police need to be completely reformed, otherwise it will be getting out of control more and more.
This problem has been worsening since Putin came to power because he is believed to be (and is) a representative of siloviki, who granted them unlimited powers in exchange for loyalty. But, like Lord Acton said, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The 2nd OPM is essentially a riot police unit that is often used to disrupt and disperse opposition/democratic rallies along with OMON. For instance, they were arresting and beating peaceful protesters including myself at Triumfalnaya Square on October 31. Since nobody was killed then, we should consider ourselves lucky.