Tag Archives: Aleksei Demovsky

What to take on the world? Use YouTube

From the New York Times

One day last fall, a police officer here put on his uniform and sat on a drab tan couch before a video camera. In a halting monotone, he recorded two video appeals to Vladimir V. Putin, 13 minutes in all.

He was a nobody cop from a nowhere city, but his words would startle this country.

“How can a police officer accept bribes?” the officer asked. “Do you understand where our society is heading?

“You talk about reducing corruption,” he said. “You say that it should not be just a crime, that it should be immoral. But it is not like that. I told my boss that the police are corrupt. And he told me that it cannot be done away with.

“I am not afraid of quitting. I will tell you my name. I am Dymovsky, Aleksei Aleksandrovich.”

The videos were uploaded to YouTube in November, and a nation that has grown increasingly infuriated by police wrongdoing could not take its eyes off them.

Here, finally, was an insider acknowledging the enveloping culture of corruption in Russia’s police forces — the payoffs large and small, the illegal arrests to extort money, the police chiefs who buy fancy cars and mansions on modest state salaries.

The videos have been watched more than two million times, giving Mr. Dymovsky a kind of fame in Russia similar to that of the police whistleblower Frank Serpico, who in the 1970s spoke out against police corruption in New York City.

Dymovsky was fired from the police force soon after posting the videos. His YouTube messages prompted a wave of videos from other Russian police officers describing corruption and the framing of innocent people.