risky move, a former Russian police officer has taken to the Internet in full uniform to detail the corruption, danger, and brutality of his line of work.In a breathtakingly
In an open video address to Prime Minister Vladmir Putin, Alexei Dymovsky says, "Maybe you don't know about us, about simple cops, who live and work and love their work. I'm ready to tell you everything. I'm not scared of my own death." How much does Dymovsky have to fear? The answer might surprise those of us who are accustomed to the relative freedoms of self-expression.
Over the past week, Dymovsky's videos have gotten more than a million views altogether and have created quite an uproar in Russia. In the videos, he speaks with an air of desperation, frustration, and resignation rarely seem on camera. He speaks of the ten years he spent serving and protecting his country.
Dymovsky served in the Russian army from 1996 until 1998. After that, he worked as a district commissioner of the city police in the Amur region. In 2004, he was transferred to the city of Novorossiysk police department, where he eventually advanced to the post of senior security officer and oversaw crimes related to drug trafficking.
"We are working as hard as we can with all our souls," Dymovsky says. After referencing losing two wives, who refused to put up with his work, and problems with "relationships with the bosses," Dymovsky says, "I want to talk about it now." He speaks of being denied leave of absence or medical treatment for illness, about police taking bribes and about pervasive corruption. "I am not afraid," he says, "I am telling my name... But I cannot stand detecting the nonexistent crimes, imprisoning people who are not guilty. I can't stand it anymore."
Take a look at one of the videos Dymovsky has posted so far:
These videos bear significant political impact, but they also speak to the importance of the Internet in acting as our generation's soapbox. Any wronged person has an almost infinite capacity to express, persuade and convince. Currently, a source at the Russian Interior Ministry's internal security department has confirmed to at least one publication that representatives of several human rights organization actively support Dymovsky.
The officers mentioned in Dymovsky's reports have filed libel suits against him, and the Russian interior minister has said his office is investigating the former police officer's claims.