How Russian police hides crime

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
I just read an interesting series of recent articles from a Russian magazine:
Преступления без наказания
Реквием по РУБОПам
Онлайн-школа юного бандита

It all talks about the failure of the authorities there to effectively fight crime.

One fascinating graph they give

Violet bars represent the number of reports of crimes submitted to the police by citizens, in millions, by year. Yellow bars show the number of actual investigations/cases launched each year. As you see, from 2005 to 2015, the number of complaints to police about crimes jumped twofold, yet the number of criminal cases launched constantly DECREASED.

This is because the police are under pressure from own commanders (who are under pressure from the government above) to maintain the appearance that crime, especially violent crime, is always going down, that society is better, these days. Because otherwise, Putin, who always talks about the "wild 90s" and how awful Russia was in that decade before his rule, will lose all credibility :)

The police actually have a set QUOTA of crimes they must solve every month and year.

So, instead of actually working to better deter or solve crimes, what do the cops do? They fudge the numbers. In small property crimes, thefts and such, they look for any excuse to avoid registering it on paper, in fact, as the article notes, in many cases, when people do come in to report a theft, the cops themselves try to CONVINCE them that maybe they are mistaken "Maybe you just lost your [phone/wallet/whatever]." They also repeatedly point out the minuscule chances of actually apprehending the thief and recovering your property.

There is also a wall of bureaucracy, tons of tedious paper work for the claimants to fill out.

All of it does seem to be working to discourage people from reporting small crimes like pick-pocketing

A poll mentioned in the first article finds that no less than 35% of victims of crime in Russia in 2017 did not bother to report it to the police...

That's why as you see in the graph above, the overall number of crime reports has also began to decrease lately. The article also speculates that "the more concerning reason may be that more and more citizens are losing all faith and trust in our law enforcement and so see no point in contacting them anymore"...

The cops also cook the data in other ways. For example, as the article also talks about, if a home burglary is reported, they inspect the crime scene, collect fingerprints and other clues. If they then have no suspect for it right away, they simply hide the evidence file, by putting it away into the case of some other random criminal they may already have in custody, assigning the blame to that one. Plenty of such guys there don't mind it too, the more crimes they can claim responsibility for, the more credit they'll get in prison camp later haha

And if, later, they do end up also catching the guy actually responsible for the burglary in question, if they really, really have to, maybe they'll find that old evidence file for him. But, meantime, that's another case closed right away, another good statistic for the Internal Affairs Ministry. While a criminal remains free to continue burgling folks homes... According to an officer they spoke to (anonymously, of course) at least 80% of property crimes are handles this way. And only about 50% of thieves and burglars are ever actually apprehended...

It's not just burglaries though, the article also talks about homicides

They claim, alarmingly, that only 20% (!) of all murders in Russia are actually ever solved (and Russia has a homicide rate, currently, of 10.82 per 100,000 people, compared to 5.35 for the US: List of countries by intentional homicide rate - Wikipedia)

In 2017, apparently, an investigation by Russian prosecutors determined that police had deliberately concealed from registration at least 39% of "severe crimes" (i.e. murders, mainly, as well as other crimes that caused serious bodily harm to victims). It is believed that most of this is related to organized crime. Same for drug trafficking-related crimes, vast majority of which "occur outside the attention of the authorities", because "they are overseen by powerful criminal syndicates that may involve high ranking figures within law enforcement agencies themselves, and the government".

Second article talks about the demise of the RUBOP

The Regional Directorates for Combating Organized Crime.

These were special police units under direct federal control in every region, whose main job, since 1996, was, as the name implies, fighting the mafia. And they were damn good at it. By early 2000s, they actually had a lot of Russia's largest and mightiest criminal groups on the ropes, their bosses either in prison of having to try to keep running their "Brotherhoods" from exile in other ex-Soviet republics and beyond. But, in 2008, the RUBOPs were disbanded, and their functions passed back to regular, locally-run police detective units.

But the advantage of RUBOP was that, as a federally-run force, they were free from the influence, financial and otherwise, that local mafias in many regions in Russia can wield over the local law enforcement. They had far, far fewer instances of corruption and treachery.

Though, the article does mention a Central UBOP agent in Moscow, named Vladislav Makarov

who, since the 90s, led an alleged double life, as both a law enforcement officer and, simultaneously, the head of the "Kemerovskie" a highly secretive organization of assassins who performed contract killings for especially the Orekhovo mafia, a once powerful syndicate from the Moscow suburbs, and later, for the Solntsevo mafia who ended up absorbing what was left of Orekhovo after the latter decimated themselves in a bloody internal power struggle (read here about Soltnsevo group: Nice yachts...)

As it turned out, one of the Orekhovo (and later Solntsevo) bosses was his old high school classmate and close personal friend. Clear failure of background vetting there lol

Makarov was eventually exposed and disappeared and remains at large to this day. Some say he is hiding abroad and is still involved in hits for hire for Russian organized crime; while others think he is probably dead (I do too), as he knew too damn much about the operations of the Orekhovo and Solntsevo groups and they likely just bumped him off as soon as it became clear that his cover at RUBOP was blown... Probably his own guys, the Kemerovskie, many of whom he would have himself trained, ended up doing him in. Ironic, but, it is what it is, you live by the bullet, you die by one ;)

Anyway, the RUBOPs were first localized in 2001, stripped of federal funding and status, and disbanded altogether, again, in 2008. Afterward, the article says, there was a known video from a mass gathering of organized crime bosses in Moscow, where they drank vodka to the health of then Internal Affairs Minister, general Rashid Nurgaliev, for this. And another recording where two of the mob bigwigs were speculating how much money the mafia had to pay various politicians to arrange this (the shutting down of RUBOP).

Just gives you an idea of exactly how corrupt Russia is: organized crime was able to pay to have an agency that was effectively fighting them disbanded!

Third article is about how many criminal groups around the country now use the internet to recruit young people

especially via the AUE phenomenon I discussed before:
How ISIS is trying to recruit young Americans

Apparently, the original idea for AUE came from a guy, a Thief in Law (mafia boss) Georgy Uglava, aka "Takhi"

A Georgian, of course lol No shocker there. The Georgians essentially invented the mafia over there, pretty much wrote all the rules of the game there, as I mentioned here: Georgia (country) may export weed

Takhi was the first, it seems, to suggest using the internet to both attract young people to the criminal lifestyle in general, and recruit them to the "Brotherhoods" out there. Smart guy, in a twisted, evil kind of way...

Anyway, yeah, very interesting. Plenty of stuff I was already aware of, but a lot I also had no idea about...

Some of it kinda scary, especially about the corruption. Especially about the demise of RUBOP... Crazy, how powerful the mafia is over there, these days... :(

Worse than the cartels in Mexico...

And then, you consider that this country also holds one of the world's two biggest fucking nuclear stockpiles...

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