14 April 2022
by Aleksandr Podrabinek
Today I sent a statement to the Moscow General Prosecutor through the Internet portal
To Moscow General Prosecutor, State Councillor of Justice Second Class Denis Gennadievich Popov
As a citizen of the Russian Federation, I am extremely concerned by two questions of state importance: hunger among lower-ranking police, and petty theft in the police department.
But let me go in order. On the evening of 11 April, the Moscow police arrested the well-known Russian oppositionist Vladimir Kara-Murza for altering his trajectory of movement and accelerating his pace (I’m not joking, this is how it’s written in the reports). The violator was taken to the Khamovniki police station, where he spent the night, and the next day was sentenced in Khamovniki district court to 15 days’ jail for failure to obey the police.
On the afternoon of 12 April, while the entire country was celebrating Cosmonauts’ Day and our unlucky martyr for the truth was languishing in a police dungeon at 62 Usachev Street, I brought a package to the Khamovniki police station for the administrative prisoner. It contained outerwear and also socks, soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, moist wipes, three half-litres of drinking water, and two good-size pies: one with meat, the other with eggs and spinach. I handed in all this, wrapped up into packets, at the window of the duty officer, who swore she would pass it on to prisoner of conscience Vladimir Kara-Murza.
I was given no receipt, not that I insisted. After all, on the wall by the police station entrance hung a colorful poster: “The people’s trust is the police’s strength.” There is no disputing that our police are strong and many; and since all this is maintained on the people’s trust, then why shouldn’t I trust our police since our entire nation does?
And I did trust. In vain, it turned out. They gave the prisoner everything except what was tastiest — the meat and spinach pies. I think the police officers ate them themselves, to the health of the administrative prisoner. They probably don’t know the Russian saying, “Your own cracker is better than someone else’s pie.” On the other hand, they certainly do know “Only a fool isn’t glad of a pie.”
Mr. Prosecutor! The petty theft of personal property worth from between one thousand and two and a half thousand rubles falls under Article 7.27 of the Administrative Violations Code. The pies cost about one and a half thousand rubles. And the sanctions under this article are up to 15 days’ jail. I am by no means calling for sending the unlucky police officer to the hoosgow to bunk with Kara-Murza for 15 days, but theft in the police calls for some kind of reaction, you’ll agree.
Moreover, in my opinion, it is absolutely essential to seriously discuss the question of hunger in police ranks. After all, only prolonged undernourishment combined with vitamin deficiency, protein starvation, and a critical reduction in intellect could incite a guardian of law and order to such an infraction. A hungry police officer is a threat to society!
I ask you to take prosecutorial measures in response immediately.
14 April 2022
Translated by Marian Schwartz