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Russian Whistleblower Cop On YouTube 176

Posted by kdawson
from the into-the-bear's-lair dept.
AHuxley notes a series of YouTube videos that have gone viral in Russia, in which senior police officer Alexei Dymovsky — in full uniform — details police corruption and calls on Vladimir Putin to act. "[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. I will show you the life of cops in Russia, how it is lived, with all the corruption and all the rest – with ignorance, rudeness, recklessness, with honest officers killed because they have stupid bosses.' His series of three 2-to-7-minute long videos released over the past week have together garnered 1 million hits on YouTube, and have spread across Russia. Dymovsky was promptly fired after the clips spread across the Internet, and a local prosecutor has opened an investigation into libel. An interior ministry source accused him of working for foreign agents and hinted that the format of Dymovsky's complaint was a problem, using a medium that remains largely free of government control." It's best to visit the Global Post link with NoScript and Flashblock enabled. Here's a Google cache link in case it's needed.
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Russian Whistleblower Cop On YouTube

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  • Isn't Noscript sufficient?

  • Dead man walking (Score:2, Informative)

    by mrmeval (662166)

    I doubt much will come of this. Putin is a putz.

    • Re:Dead man walking (Score:5, Informative)

      by Monkey-Man2000 (603495) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @03:43PM (#30100598)

      I doubt much will come of this. Putin is a putz.

      Except, a ridiculous number of deaths and other shady activities have resulted from similar criticism under Putin (e.g., journalists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia#Under_Putin [wikipedia.org]) And of course, Ukrainian politicians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yushchenko#Dioxin_poisoning) and defectors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Litvinenko#Illness_and_poisoning). This policeman's prosecution and/or death are imminent. . .

      • He would be well-advised to get out of the country by any means available. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean he can't be found, but at least they'll have to put in some extra effort.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by melikamp (631205)

          He will probably do fine. He is enjoying media attention right now and has a strong populist appeal. He got offered a meeting with the Minister of the Internal Affairs, and refused: he wants an audience with Putin. And he is not a kind of a whistle-blower who exposes a particular case of corruption, he mostly talks about how militsia (police) sucks, how it's ineffecient, does not protect people, does not reward its own employees. What drove him to the edge, in his own words, is also telling:

          He has a [6-yo] step-daughter Diana. She has a computer. And his own computer broke. He needed to do some urgent job -- something with narcotics. He asked to use his daughter's computer. She gave it to him, of course, and he brought the computer to work. For a few days it was used by the staff to work with documents. Then his daughter asked for her computer back, and they went to get it together. "Me and my daughter are walking down the hall. I have the monitor and she has the wires. We meet my boss, and he says: where are you taking the computer? I explained that it was my daughter's and I am taking it home. He nodded and we left the building and went to a bus stop. Then the inventory guy cought up with us and started yelling that we need to take the computer back. 'You don't have the right to take it out! Where are the documents about entry?' They took the computer and told me to get an official statement. All of this was very unpleasant, especially because the humiliation in front of the daughter."

          http://echo.msk.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by palegray.net (1195047)
            You may indeed be right; it would be difficult to make him disappear as long as he's something of a celebrity. It would look bad, at the very least.
          • by socsoc (1116769)

            Why did he bring a personal computer into a government agency?

            Of course people flipped, I'm one of the few IT people at my small private business and I still get raised eyebrows from people when I bring company assets to my vehicle in order to transport to a different location. If I saw a regular staffer walking out with a machine that looked similar to one of mine, I'd shoot him. At least I would in Russia. In the States I might just throw a bunch of mouse balls on the ground a la Home Alone.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by gclef (96311)

              He probably took it in because they have no budget to buy new ones...the part where it's made clear that he's not the only one using it is pretty telling. People were probably freaking out because it was the only working machine in the office.

          • He will probably do fine. He is enjoying media attention right now and has a strong populist appeal.

            Is he actually enjoying much media attention? The article is in a Western news source. The link you gave is to "Echo of Moscow", a radio station widely considered dissident, and with a very small - albeit loyal - following. I do not know if any mainstream Russian channels broadcasted that video or even mentioned it, or if any mainstream Russian newspapers wrote about it - but I would be surprised if they did, because after all they're all controlled by the state, and judging by how this guy already has trou

            • by melikamp (631205)

              Yes, from the Russian Wikipedia page it is clear that he does enjoy significant media attention. His clips were shown by and , which is pretty darn mainstream.

      • Except, a ridiculous number of deaths and other shady activities have resulted from similar criticism under Putin

        Could have said:
        "Except, a ridiculous number of deaths and other shady activities have resulted from similar criticism under Putin and every other Russian leader."

        Come on...do you think this is 'new'?
      • by ornil (33732) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:40PM (#30102002)

        I think you are forgetting that the man is appealing to Putin, not against him, and very respectfully, too. It's an old Russian tradition - to appeal to the czar against evil officials. Putin rather likes playing rescuer, swooping in and punishing the evildoers. So it may well turn out allright for him.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Putin seems more to be an astute and dangerous adversary rather than being anyone's fool. He is becoming a bit invisible at the moment as seems to be appearing a little weaker and less popular. Perhaps answering this 'challenge' and conducting a public purge of all of the clumsiest and most inept corrupt government officials will significantly enhance his image and popularity.

        I've got the feeling that this officer is significantly safer than some of the corrupt officials and their financial supporters ar

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @03:52PM (#30100654) Journal
      Putin may not do anything about it, but the first rule of dictators is you have to keep enough of the people happy. Stalin managed to do it: despite killing millions of his own people, the ones who survived did have their lives improved. Though granted it's not hard to have your life improved compared to life under the Tzars.

      Everyone knows Putin fixed the election, but most didn't care because they were happy enough to have him in there. But the fact that this got a million views so quickly like that is a suggestion that there is some real dissatisfaction among the Russian people. If Putin doesn't manage to find some way to make sure enough people are happy, then his regime will end, as surely as the regimes of dictators around the world have ended, whether they have fixed the election or not.

      Of course, making the people happy could be as simple as oil prices rising again and Putin using the money from the increased revenues to pay his policemen more and invest in social programs, which is what Chavez has managed to do.
      • Re:Dead man walking (Score:5, Informative)

        by leereyno (32197) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @07:40PM (#30102442) Homepage Journal

        Lives improved????

        I don't know what kind of lies they're teaching you, but that is just flat out wrong in every way.

        Repressions and famines occurring in the Soviet Union under the regimes of Lenin and Stalin described in the Black Book of Communism include:

                * the executions of tens of thousands of hostages and prisoners, and the murder of hundreds of thousands of rebellious workers and peasants from 1918 to 1922 (See also: Red Terror)
                * the Russian famine of 1921, which caused the death of 5 million people
                * the extermination and deportation of the Don Cossacks in 1920
                * the murder of tens of thousands in concentration camps in the period between 1918 and 1930
                * the Great Purge which killed almost 690,000 people
                * the deportation of 2 million so-called "kulaks" from 1930 to 1932
                * the deaths of 4 million Ukrainians (Holodomor) and 2 million others during the famine of 1932 and 1933
                * the deportations of Poles, Ukrainians, Moldavians and people from the Baltic Republics from 1939 to 1941 and from 1944 to 1945
                * the deportation of the Volga Germans in 1941
                * the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1943
                * the deportation of the Chechens in 1944
                * the deportation of the Ingush in 1944.(p. 9-10) (See also: Population transfer in the Soviet Union)

        The Black Book of Communism [amazon.com]

        • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @09:04PM (#30102938) Journal
          Did you even read my post, or are you knee-jerking to try to show off your knowledge of the topic? Yes, Stalin was bad. Millions of people suffered. But that in no way contradicts what I said in my post.

          Russia basically went from a third-world country to a world super-power, at one point even winning the space race. Education was free, there was no unemployment. For the people who remained, as long as they kept their mouth shut, life wasn't bad.

          Russia was built up in many ways on the back of slave labor. And yet, here is the crucial point: most people weren't slaves. Most people learned to keep their mouths shut. Most people did ok.

          Go read Machiavelli. It is ok for a dictator to oppress a minority in order to favor the majority, but it is essential to keep the populace happy enough. Dictators around the world have shown that if you don't learn this lesson, you will not be in power for long. If Putin fails at that, he will be deposed one way or another.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Lives improved????

          Yes, improved.

          You see, the Tzars were far worse than anything Stalin ever did, and for much, much longer, but Western history (for reasons purely coincidental - I am sure, ha!) somehow neglects to highlight (never you mind to trumpet from every roof, like it does with the Communist abuses) their countless purges, mass exterminations, internal deportations and endless famines, combined with an occasional idiotic war for some royal cousin's pride, all while maintaining a system of utter s

          • Not only the revolution you think of.
            There were several assassination attempts on Alexander the second by the revolutionaries in 1866, 1879, 1880 and and 1881 (the last one successful).
            There were prearrangements to assassinate his successor, Alexander the third, but the police arrested the revolutionaries and sentenced them to death. One of them was Lenin's elder brother.
            Then there was the Revolution of 1905 and the Revolution of February 1917 you think of.

    • by Mikkeles (698461)

      Putin puts the put in putz!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...I only hope that his courage is somehow rewarded.

    Whether he accomplishes anything out of this or not, the guy is still a hero in my book. Someone do a wikipedia article on him quick :)

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday November 14, 2009 @03:37PM (#30100564)

    and hinted that the format of Dymovsky's complaint was a problem, using a medium that remains largely free of government control.

    This from the "people who completely miss the point" department. If government control was working so well, this officer would have had no reason not to stay within the (ahem!) "proper" channels.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)

      No they don't miss the point, they are just working hard on getting back to the bad old days. Russia has been on a steady trail back to the oppression and control of the USSR days. They will probably never get the same control on information, just too hard to do at this point, but they are working on it. The whole "free" thing is just a facade.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by AdmiralXyz (1378985)

        Russia has been on a steady trail back to the oppression and control of the USSR days..

        They never really left.

        • In terms of freedom of speech and gatherings (and generally political freedom), as well as independence of press, Yeltsin's 90s were actually pretty decent. Too bad they sucked at virtually everything else, and so aren't remembered fondly.

          • by zyzko (6739)

            Well - they sucked at different things than the powers that are in control today - and the effect of sucking is depending on if you are on the giving or receiving end. Yes - in the Putin era some teachers and doctors have received paycheks more frequently than in the Yeltsin era, but the difference is small - the only changing thing is who is taking the cream at the top. The old oligarks are banished from Russia or in jail - only to be replaced with new ones.

            And while I don't want to blame the many Russian

    • Wow. Talk about swallowing the propaganda.

      Go take a look at reality sometime. Visit your local council. Take a look at the nepotism, the corruption, the incompetence, the arse covering, the back scratching.

      This is what government *is*, not what it's supposed to be or might theoretically be. National government is exactly the same, only *MUCH* bigger. How much exactly has the government enslaved future generations for? Who did they give it to?

      The difference in Russia is there is less hypocrisy and more shoot

      • Wow. Talk about swallowing the propaganda.

        Wow. Talk about having no sense of humor.

        Ah well. Less hypocrisy is not necessarily an improvement. Russia's government is what it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This blown way out of proportion by the media. Most cops in russia are corrupt and everyone in russia knows that. Where is the news here?
    Problem -> reaction -> solution?..
    Or just a media clusterf*k?
    My guess, they still don't know how to apply this.

    What's interesting is that the story originated from a closed digg-like community "Leprosorium". Then the russian MSM picked it up like its a fcking golden egg. Now slashdot? wtf?

  • by Quantos (1327889) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @03:46PM (#30100624)
    Corruption may indeed be so common as to be considered the norm. It should never be viewed with complacency. Here is a man with morals and ethics who is speaking out. I for one would hope that his actions will bring about some kind of change for the better. The only given here is that it will be a long and hard fought battle on all fronts.
    • by sponga (739683)

      Police Shoot in Legs and Beat Up Deranged Man -
      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6d6_1258056693 [liveleak.com]

    • You probably do not speak Russian, I do, so the guy says that he was given a higher rank of a lieutenant last spring in exchange for a promise to accuse an innocent man and put him to jail, which he did.

      From his messages it is apparent that his moral compass turned to the right side after he himself filled wronged. He says this:

      For ten years he worked in the force with very little (truly impossibly little pay), his wife makes twice his salary actually.

      He is expecting his first kid and he cannot get any pro

  • A very brave man (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cyko_01 (1092499) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @03:48PM (#30100634) Homepage
    ...may he rest in peace
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 14, 2009 @03:52PM (#30100656)

    Just want to know what would happen if a NY cop were to do the exact same thing, if he would have a job the following day?

    Seems like good intention that was doomed from the start. No police force would allow this officer to continue his job. Its unfortunate but true.

    As for corruption, my family works work in the restaurant business and my uncle works in construction in the NYC area, they can tell you all you need to know about buying city inspectors and cops on the take.
    And that's not even going into politics... oy!

    • by Max_W (812974) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @04:02PM (#30100756)

      We learned from you, you learned from us. It is not a good thing.

      The US economy is strong because there are a lot of good honest people in America. If the corruption in the US becomes rampant, like in the FSU, it will be a bad thing for every one.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No corruption is allready rife in the US - we just promote the most corrupt to ceo's and those with lesser talent for corruption to Congress etc.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by value_added (719364)

        The US economy is strong because there are a lot of good honest people in America. If the corruption in the US becomes rampant, like in the FSU, it will be a bad thing for every one.

        So is it the economy, or everything?

        I'd suggest a certain level of corruption is A Good Thing.

        Years ago when I lived in Chicago, it was customary to offer a small donation when pulled over by the police for speeding. Existing tickets could be be handled similarly (but more discretely) in traffic court; it wasn't uncommon for th

        • by nametaken (610866)

          Wow man, back in nineteen-diggity-two? They'd put your ass in cuffs for suspicion of even THINKING about bribing a cop around here now.

          Now you're really only allowed to bribe people in Chicagoland if you're a contractor friendly to a politician or a politician yourself.

        • by socsoc (1116769)
          Wow, please feel free to share your drugs with the rest of us...
        • by jgrahn (181062)

          The police officers walking the sidewalks ate donuts, openly smoked cigars, and talked to everyone, including the friendly black girls hanging out on street corners. Life was fine.

          Are you saying patroling police officers shouldn't talk to prostitutes? Why not? Seems to me that's the people they *should* talk to, to build trust, check that they are ok and so on.

      • by pjpII (191291) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:16PM (#30101812) Homepage

        I think the point that people miss is that every country has some degree of corruption, but it is what levels it is active at and how they deal with that corruption that is important.

        In the US, what we might term "corruption" in the sense of favoritism (or deviations from a US sense of "meritocracy") tend to occur at the very local level (small town nepotism, "networking", etc), or at the more rarefied levels of government and business (quod pro quos from both of the political parties, lobbying, the kind of no-bid blackwater/Halliburton sort of think, insider trading, etc). This isn't to say that corruption at the top is not a problem (in fact, it is much more influential in the long run than corruption at the bottom), but simply in the US it tends to be limited to the upper reaches of government and finance.

        In many other countries, the striking contrast to this is corruption in the middle, in addition to the top and bottom. Getting a job is basically impossible in some countries without appropriate connections, bribery is rampant and expected for basic "government provided" services, public works are often mired in those same problems of bribery (not scratching enough backs, etc). Even worse is when the guardians of civil society, the police, are dangerous to approach and more often on the side of criminals, as in Russia.

        The other major dividing line is the public reaction to exposure of corruption. In societies where corruption is most widespread, "revelations" are generally shrugged off (and have been probably more widely known prior to their revelation), whereas in less corrupt economies, there is at least some backlash against corruption, rather than simple apathy or active suppression. Being a whistleblower in the US can be bad for your job. Being a whistleblower in other countries (as shown by many of the posts pointing out other instances where political opponents have been assassinated, etc) can result in indefinite incarceration and torture, perhaps with an "accidental" death in prison.

        The advent of youtube, on the other hand, gives a voice to those who would be otherwise suppressed. Take the story of Imad Kabir [bloomberg.com], an Egyptian taxi driver. He was arrested (without charges) for participating in a fight. He was subsequently sodomized with a broomstick, which was video taped by the perpetrators. They were so sure of their immunity that they showed it to his co-workers, perhaps as a warning. When Kabir initially complained, he was actually prosecuted and jailed for assaulting an officer (dating back to his original assault arrest), but as the youtube video spread on various blogs, the officers were finally arrested. Without the internet, the officers who tortured Kabir probably would still be doing that kind of shit. Even the people who did post it to their blogs were threatened by the authorities.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Just want to know what would happen if a NY cop were to do the exact same thing, if he would have a job the following day?

      Bullshit. You claim to live in NY, yet you know nothing of unions? Especially the police unions. If they can keep people on even though they took bribes, they could surely do it for complaining about them.

  • Yakov (Score:3, Interesting)

    by esocid (946821) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @03:55PM (#30100684) Journal

    An interior ministry source accused him of working for foreign agents and hinted that the format of Dymovsky's complaint was a problem, using a medium that remains largely free of government control.

    Isn't it a running joke about how bad the Russian police force is? Seems like any interior or exterior complaint through the expected media doesn't do a damn thing.

    Oh yeah, preface that with "In Soviet Russia."

  • Could somebody be so kind as to post links to downloadable versions of the videos?

  • Corruption (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @04:10PM (#30100800) Journal

    Corruption didn't disappear with the advent of Putin. He only makes big, theatrical gestures, but has no interest in fighting corruption, because it is this corrupt system that is his lifeline. I've learned years ago, that journalists are the *only* true force opposed to corruption. I come from an ex-communist country where corruption is rampant (and I hate it there, because I can't stand that corruption, so I'll never go back), but the few bright lights of hope are the journalists who uncover schemes and collusions - and then bear the consequences.
      Well, in Russia these lights are all but quenched. Putin's regime has dealt with journalists so brutally, the few that aren't dead just fell into line.

    • I've learned years ago, that journalists are the *only* true force opposed to corruption.

      Communications major, I assume? There are plenty of corrupt journalists, too. And idiot sycophants who fawn over corrupt officials blindly.

    • Corruption didn't disappear with the advent of Putin.

      That's an understatement. The number of government officials doubled under Putin. Russia has more bureaucrats today than Soviet Union had, for half of the latter's population! And guess what they're all doing?..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 14, 2009 @04:22PM (#30100882)

    i had to cry watching this.

  • dymovskiy.ru (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 14, 2009 @04:48PM (#30101082)

    This cop dude has a website: http://dymovskiy.ru/ [dymovskiy.ru]

    Please don't /. it (it's in Russia anyways), use Google translation to english instead [google.com].

  • by obi1one (524241) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:02PM (#30101198)
    The Russian president just gave his state of the nation address [bbc.co.uk], and suprised some with his calls to prosecute and end corruption, modernize and privatize industry, and strengthen democracy. This police officer may be speaking out, at least partly, because of what the president had to say.
    • Wow, thanks for that link. It will be interesting to see what occurs because of Medvedev's bold assertitions toward the near future. The more he can separate himself from Putin the better for everyone.
    • The Russian president just gave his state of the nation address, and suprised some with his calls to prosecute and end corruption, modernize and privatize industry, and strengthen democracy.

      In other news, there are 3 major parties democratically competing for seats in every parliamentary election in North Korea, which are held regularly and on schedule (no, really [wikipedia.org]).

      Since Soviet Union fell, calls to "end corruption" were made yearly by every president and prime minister in office. Putin himself made such claims several times. Nothing ever come out of it.

      Oh, by the way, in Russian social context, "privatize industry" effectively means "steal it for a kickback from part of the profit", because pe

  • "Foreign agents" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "An interior ministry source accused him of working for foreign agents"

    Oh, yes. Because it's so unbelievable that police could become corrupt in any country, or that there might be police willing to speak out about it. Especially in Russia. It's so much more plausible that an agent of some foreign country put them up to it. That must be it. Corruption? What corruption. There's no corruption in Russia.

    Instead of being in denial, or blaming everyone else for it, how about dealing with the problem?

  • He is certainly a brave and conscientious man, and patriotic. This is not limited to Russia, Ukraine was the same when I visited and my Moroccan friend tells me you have to be well connected to even get a job as a police officer there due to the high level of guaranteed bribes. I hope he succeeds in his aim of inspiring the younger officers, and convincing them the current state is not what should be considered normal. His dream of what sounds like creating a Police Officers Union to ensure officers are wel

  • Oblig Yakov (Score:2, Funny)

    by TheoMurpse (729043)

    In Soviet Russia, YOU tube THE POLICE

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