Russia’s police officers are taking a step back into the heroic past – from now on, they will be wearing brand new badges that look just like those of their 19th-century predecessors.
They closely resemble the badges used by the police before the 1917 revolution. The new aluminum badges are decorated with a two-headed eagle and the Interior Ministry’s emblem.
The only difference from the 1917 badges is that there will be no ribbons or laurel wreaths.
Traffic policemen will get round badges, while all other officers will have oval ones.
New police arm patches are also being introduced. They will picture two crossed sheathed, symbolizing that officers can use force only in extreme circumstances, and a laurel wreath, a symbol of glory.
The new equipment is part of the ongoing major reform of the police force. All the country’s policemen have been subjected to reexamination, and many Interior Ministry officials and police officers have been demoted or fired.
Political analysts, however, say that some of the worst offenders might have slipped through the net of anti-corruption reforms.
The plan behind the reform, which is expected to cost the country some 280 billion rubles, is to cut the current nationwide force of 1.4 million down to no more than 200,000 officers and officials.
The initial deadline for completing the assessments was June 1, but it has been pushed back to the start of August due to the difficulty of the exams.