On November 6, a police officer at the Department of Internal Affairs in Novorossiysk used his personal Web site to address Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and talk about numerous problems police officers face in Russia.
In his video address available on www.dymovskiy.ru and YouTube (part I and part II [RUS]), Aleksey Dymovskiy is calm and meticulous. He talks about diminishing police honor, bribes, corruption and low pay that poison lives of many police officers in Russia.
I think many people will understand me. I want to work but I am fed up with fictional plans when we are forced to investigate crimes that don’t exist. I am fed up with fictional plans when we are told that we need to imprison certain people. I am fed up with staged crimes designed to put some people in jail.
Continuing with his revelations, Dymovskiy admits putting an innocent person in jail under the pressure from his supervisor:
The director of the Department of Internal Affairs awarded me rank of a major, which I received in May, because I promised him to put an innocent person in jail. I’m not afraid to say that. I understand that it can be punishable. But it is the truth and I admit that.
Dymovsky also appeals to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urging him to investigate those problems and put an end to the widespread corruption in the police.
The video hit a “viral” stage within hours after its publication with several hundreds of thousands of clicks on YouTube. It was widely covered by the Russian mainstream media and discussed on the countless blogs. It is one of the first examples when Russian citizens successfully deploy new media platform to draw attention of the government toward hot issues in the country.
The novelty of “citizen video addresses” in Russia is best indicated by a cautious comment from one of the most popular bloggers in the country dolboeb:
A monologue with enormous force. I won’t be surprised if it turns out to be a viral marketing. The character is too out-of-this-word.
Another blogger marchenk writes:
None of us is an angel… I wouldn't admire him [Dymovskiy] as an honest policeman and the lover of the truth (he admits himself that he received the rank of major for putting an innocent person in jail). […] However, sincere respect for bravery. There are honest police officers after all. Because of them, it makes sense to push forward police reforms.
I hope to God his publicity gives him protection and honest consideration of his situation.
On Sunday, November 8, Rashid Nurgaliev, the Russian minister of internal affairs, announced the audit of police forces in Novorossiysk. Meanwhile, Dymovskiy has been fired “for libel and actions that damage the honor” of the police.
In his interview to Russian radio station “Ekho Moskvy,” Dymovskiy said he had been followed and was considering sending his family to Moscow for security reasons.