Author`s name Olga Savka

Russian Government and Parliament Disregard Nation's Security

The level of criminality is growing in Russia, the parliament does nothing to stop it

The work of Russian law-enforcement bodies became the talk of the town a long time ago. They can shoot dead governors, high-ranking officials, deputies and businessmen in the center of Moscow, acts of terrorism happen on daily basis in Chechnya and other southern republics. Moscow has been recognized the criminal capital of Europe. Acts of terrorism and other crimes are very frequent in Moscow - Russian people do not associate such things with something horrible anymore, they are already used to it.

The State Duma of Russia has recently held a discussion devoted to the issue of the anti-terrorist law. Vladimir Kolesnikov, deputy prosecutor general, made a speech at the meeting. Kolesnikov said that there were 407 terrorist crimes committed in Russia in 2002. Rosbalt news agency reported that the number of crimes had increased (+68). Gunmen have killed 780 military men and wounded 1,525. Kolesnikov added that the majority of acts of terrorism had been registered in the Chechen republic. In 2001, 821 military men were killed and 2,537 were wounded as a result of acts of terrorism in Chechnya.

Russians are used to news reports about armed conflicts and acts of terrorism in Chechnya, because the war in the republic (or the counter-terrorist operation) has been going on for several years already. However, Russian military officials say that law and order is about to be established in Chechnya. The situation in the republic is going to be controlled by the Russian Interior Ministry. Russian police officers will be dealing with the criminal situation in Chechnya, although it seems that it will not be easy to achieve a certain progress in this respect.

Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov is busy with his party affairs at present. Parliamentary elections are coming soon, but it was not possible for the ministry to  solve a lot of recent notorious crimes. It would be reasonable for the parliament to take care of the security issue, to pass adequate laws, for example. Yet, the State Duma does not want to do it.

Russian deputies are going on vacation on June 21st. It seems that they are not interested in law-enforcement bodies' activities. This indifference made the Duma Council reject the question connected with considering a draft statement from deputy Viktor Ilyukhin. The issue has been adjourned till autumn. However, this is a very interesting document, below you can find several excerpts from it.

"The Statement About Unsatisfactory Activities of Russian Federation Law-Enforcement Bodies:

The criminality in the Russian Federation has taken a threatening scale. One may say that it has become a national disaster. Over three million crimes are committed nationwide on the yearly basis. Massive infringements upon Russian people's lives, health and property can not but raise a deep concern.

"About two million people suffered as a result of crimes in 2002, including 94,000 underage people, 630,000 women; 76,000 people died, the health of 68,000 people was seriously damaged. The criminal world possesses huge financial opportunities. The shadow economy accumulates about 40 percent of the GDP. The organized crime and bribery has deteriorated the entire state administration system, which is a very serious obstacle for reforms.

"The growth of criminality can be explained with a low level of the social and economic development of Russia, a strong lack of moral discipline, unemployment, alcohol and drug addiction. Unfortunately, a lot of numerous state programs and arrangements remain unexecuted. The Russian government does not pay proper attention to the issues of struggle with criminality.

"Russian law-enforcement bodies lobby firms, banks, businessmen, professional interests are betrayed. The low wages reduce the number of professional employees. A lot of acts of terrorism have not been prevented in Moscow, including the recent hostage crisis. Thousands of crimes remain unsolved, including the crimes connected with assassinating State Duma deputies, outstanding scientists, businessmen and other citizens.

"Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov violated the law of the Russian Federation, chaired United Russia party and got involved in political activities. It is not excluded that the powerful system of the interior ministry will be used for the interests of only one party, not for the interests of the people. In this connection, the State Duma states that the struggle with criminality and guaranteeing security for Russian citizens should become one of the first priority among all state goals.

"The State Duma asks President Putin and the Russian Federation government to consider the question of dismissing Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov from the position."

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