In this week’s column for the Moscow News, ‘Tough job for Russia’s new military police‘, I return to the vexed issues of crime in the ranks (still monstrously high) and the prospects for the new voennaya politsiya, something I’ve already written on here, although at that point without the benefit of Main Military Prosecutor Fridinskii’s splendid recent soundbite that “the scope of military corruption is mindboggling; it seems people have lost shame and a sense of proportion.” Nonetheless, the point does need to be reiterated that no police force – especially one drawn from an already-all-too-often-corrupted service – can ‘fix’ the problem. That needs to be a cultural process, a transformation of the Russian military that includes effective and law-based policing, but also extends to respect for all ranks, transparency of expenditures and a culture that holds senior officers to account. I think it’s a great step forward – but I’ll really start to believe in the VP when I see a senior officer in handcuffs, or them raid one of the underground factories producing counterfeit that you can still find sited on remote military bases to enjoy their “extraterritoriality” from regular law enforcement.
On Military Police in the Moscow News
Posted by Mark Galeotti on November 1, 2011
This blog's author, Dr Mark Galeotti has been researching Russian history and security issues since the late 1980s.
Educated at Cambridge University and the LSE, he is now senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague and director of the consultancy firm Mayak Intelligence. Previously he has been Professor of Global Affairs at New York University, head of the History department at Keele University in the UK, an adviser at the British Foreign Office and a visiting professor at MGIMO (Moscow), Charles University (Prague) and Rutgers (Newark).
His books include the edited collections 'The Politics of Security in Modern Russia' (Ashgate), 'Russian & Soviet Organized Crime' (Ashgate) and 'Spetsnaz: Russia's Special Forces' (Osprey) and he is a regular contributor to Jane's Intelligence Review, Oxford Analytica and many other outlets. He is a contributing editor to Business New Europe.
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