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Russia: Groups of Police Volunteers May Be Established

(Apr. 1, 2009) In an interview given to the Russian government-owned daily newspaper ROSSIISKAIA GAZETA on March 10, 2009, the Minister of Internal Affairs (police) of the Russian Federation stated that his Ministry has drafted and introduced to the Russian legislature a bill on Citizens' Participation in Public Order Protection aimed at reinstating Soviet-style groups of police volunteer assistants formed from among students and workers. It is expected that these groups, established under the supervision of local police departments, would help policemen to fight street crime and monitor order during public events and other mass gatherings. The members of these groups would carry out patrol duties according to an established schedule or be summoned for service as needed. Armed with rubber batons, they would have the right to apprehend people and initiate reports on the commission of crimes. While on duty, they would be recognized as public officials and resistance to them would be considered a crime. It is expected that that people with criminal records or who have been accused of drug abuse will not be admitted as volunteers. (Michail Falaleev, Police Call Citizens to Secure Public Order [in Russian], ROSSIISKAIA GAZETA, Mar. 11, 2009, available at