Fears that police reform may prove too selective

While all the country’s policemen are subjected to re-examination, some of the worst offenders are reported to slip through the net of anti-corruption reforms.

As the Interior Ministry has nearly completed its re-examination of the police force, Russia’s Investigative Committee is also being re-assessed.

Two of the six committee departments out of six have been downsized, and more than ten top investigators have been fired. Still, the media reports that a number of policemen involved in the Magnitsky case have managed to survive the clean-up.

“The re-examination takes three minutes per person. They don’t ask any questions, unless they dislike the employee for some reason and the bosses want to get rid of them,” Mikhail Pashkin, from the Police Trade Union Co-Ordination Council, told RT. “Unfortunately, the reform has squeezed out everybody who’s sane. I don’t envy the people who get to serve on this force. It’s become much worse than it used to be.”

In recent months President Medvedev has been downgrading or firing Interior Ministry officials and police officers on a weekly basis.

Police chief Rashid Nurgaliev has warned that officers with a large gut might only pass the new benchmark if they meet all other requirements. The Interior Ministry also plans to introduce psychological tests designed to assess a police officer’s inclination to accept bribes.

The Russian police force is currently undergoing a complete transformation, which will see every police officer tested and either fired or reinstated.

The plan behind the reform 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.

The ambitious plans will cost the country 280 billion rubles.

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