Staunton, April 25 – The increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Ingushetia, already the highest in per capita terms in the North Caucasus apparently has been paralleled by a rise in the number of Ingush who refuse to live according to the isolation regime and thus force the police to ticket them.
These developments have prompted Mikhail Korobkin, republic minister for internal affairs, to issue an unprecedented call for Ingush to obey the law. “In the name of your lives and the lives of those close to you, don’t violate the self-isolation regime! Stay home and let us work defending you from criminals!”
“Don’t distract us from our real work by requiring us to search for and detain those who violate the self-isolation regime! Be people and treat the police as people” because our 3,000 officers are “people too,” the major general says (gazetaingush.ru/obshchestvo/my-tozhe-lyudi-obrashchenie-ministra-vnutrennih-del-po-respublike-ingushetiya).
Since isolation was introduced to combat the pandemic, Korobkin says, “all of us from the minister and heads of units to the ordinary policemen have been occupied with one thing: patrolling the streets, checking addresses and stopping cards only in order to find violators of the self-isolation regime.”
“The number of violators is growing,” he continues. We are occupied with what the law tells us to be – the writing up of tickets about violations and bringing violators to administrative responsibility.” That’s hardly the task we should be focusing on – righting crime and countering extremism and terrorism. But those are our orders.
Korobkin continues: “Not long ago, we were pride by a special professional achievement: Ingushetia has the very lowest crime rate in Russia.” But now we can’t devote our efforts to continuing that record.
“Let us work! Don’t pull us away from the struggle with criminals, terrorists and extremists! Don’t force us to continue a banal patrolling of the streets only because you aren’t sitting at home! Think about yourselves! If the police don’t fulfill their main work, you will have to live in great danger!”
But also “think about us, about the police! We also have lives like yours. We risk being infected by the coronavirus much more than you do … Among our ranks are those who are infected and ill, who have been kept from doing their jobs by illness and isolation. Show pity for your brothers and landsmen! Show pity as people.”
What is particularly unpleasant, the MVD chief says, is that some Ingushetia residents call us names when all we are trying to do is our jobs. “Your insults leave painful wounds on our souls. We are people too! We have souls!” You need to stay at home to “save hundreds and thousands of lives.” We need to get back to our real work.
Since the pandemic started, Korobkin notes, appeals from doctors to citizens to do the right thing have become commonplace. They are on the front lines of the fight but so are the police. “We also are forced to work in hellish conditions to save people.” And we too have the right to say to all of you “Stay home!”