Russia: “Postal Cop” Gets Life Imprisonment

Denis Yevsyukov, a 32-year-old Moscow policeman who killed two and injured seven people, was sentenced to life imprisonment on February 20, 2010. The verdict became the hot topic in the Russian blogosphere, igniting discussions about police corruption, modernization challenge and responsibility of the authorities.

Back in April 2009, when the tragedy happened, CCTV video [RUS] of the “postal cop” had a huge effect on the blogosphere. The incredible violence and almost computer-gaming effect of the footage made Yevsyukov a popular culture meme, embodying police irresponsibility and lack of restraint.

Some bloggers like  ps_76 celebrated [RUS] the verdict:

Надеюсь что это хоть чуть чуть тормознет охреневшую ментовню.

I hope that this [the verdict] will slow down these crazy cops.

LJ user smolyak surrealistically recalled his phobia of policemen that emerged after Yevsyukov's rampage:

В метро я не езжу, но сегодня надо было. И что я увидел. В вагоне рядом со мной стоял настоящий майор Евсюков. Мне стало не по себе. Я представил, как он начнет стрелять. Специально пересел. Все время смотрел на мужика, который должен был первым лечь. Евсюков не стрелял, я вышел на нужной станции.

I don't usually use metro, but today I had to. And this is what I've seen. The real major Yevsyukov was standing in the train cart right next to me. I felt ill at ease. I imagined him starting shooting. I changed my sitting place on purpose. All the time I was staring at some man who should be killed soon. Yevsyukov didn't shoot, I got off on the right station.

Blogger smuul called for the reform of the police:

До чего дошли, чтобы в милицейской куртке и стрелять в мирных людей? Это могуть делать только ублюдки. А ведь обыкновенный 32-х летний сопляк… Реформа и только реформа всей системы! А нам меньше болтать и больше работать. Как на Западе. И ЗАКОННОСТЬ во всем, законность, понимаете?

Where did it go to shoot people in police uniform? Only complete bastards can do that. And this was a 32-year-old wimp. Reform and only reform of the whole system! And we should chat less and work more. Like in the West. And Rule of Law everywhere, do you understand?”

Four days before the verdict, Yevgeny Chichvarkin [RUS], Russian businessman in exile, suggested [RUS] that the Yevsyukov's rampage was provoked by the corruption in his department and urged “to protect Yevsyukov as the crucial witness of the Moscow police department corruption.” He claimed that the Yevsyukov had become a weak link in the powerful machine of the police corruption, involving raider attacks, drug trafficking and prostitution.

Another blogger samaritatyanin suggested Yevsyukov's rampage was probably much more complicated and doubted the case was [RUS] closed with the verdict:

суд на Евсюковым закончился. осудили, приговорили. вот только так никто и не понял, что произошло то на самом деле. да, он стрелял и убил, ранил. но делал он это явно не в здравом уме, и не пьяный был до белой горячки. я могу сказать только одно – у него съехала крыша, и стрелял он, находясь в мире своих иллюзий – это ведь видно из записи камер магазина.

The Yevsyukov process is over. He's guilty and charged. But no one still understands what really happened. Yes, he was shooting, he killed and injured. But he was clearly insane, he wasn't drunk. I can say only one thing – he was crazy and he was shooting being in the world of his illusions – it can be seen on the CCTV

Trying to defend “good policemen,” LJ user severianin made a stand [RUS] against the “campaign against the police,”:

Удивительна и реакция наших сограждан. Они с упоением, как на псовой охоте загонщики, кричат в адрес милиции: “Ату их, ату!” И получается ситуация, когда грехи “евсюковых” висят уже на всех милиционерах, т.е. ты ещё ни в чём не виноват, но уже виноват.

The reaction of our fellow citizens is surprising. Being in raptures, like riding the hounds they cry to police: “tally-ho!, halloo!” And it turns out, that the sins of “yevsyukovs” are hanging on all policemen, so you're innocent but at the same time you're already guilty.

LJ user defender_faith wondered [RUS] who would be the best actor for Yevsyukov's role in a movie. The first answer was “Nicholas Cage,” a reference to the last Werner Herzog's movie with the actor.

Although incidents with violent and corrupt policemen happened before, they have never been that cinematic. A “yevsyukov” became an idiom for the violent cop-criminal, a “bad lieutenant,” person doing everything what he's supposed to fight with. Yevsyukov together with another police Web.2.0 celebrity Aleksei Dymovskiy [EN] developed into the background for the so called “Anti-Police Campaign.” This is a phenomena reported by some media experts who note an increasing number of materials about police crime in all kinds of sources (from independent to Kremlin-affiliated).

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