Monday, February 22, 2021

Russian Police Set to Arrest Intoxicated inside Their Homes and Take Them to Sobering Up Stations

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 21 – Now that the Putin regime in the hopes of reducing super-high mortality about Russian men has restored Soviet-era-style sobering up stations, the Russian interior ministry has published draft rules that will allow the police to go into the homes of people who are reported to be drunk, detain them, and take them to such stations.

            This goes far beyond what was the practice in Soviet times when the militia routinely picked up those found drunk on the streets and took them to such facilities and represents yet another case in which today’s Kremlin is using a medical excuse to cover another of its assaults on the rights of ordinary Russians.

            The draft rules ( have not yet been formally approved, but the reasons that the interior ministry gives for their introduction ( appear likely to guarantee that they will be in the near future.

            According to the ministry, the new powers for the police are needed in order to implement the recent changes in federal law governing the powers of the police with respect to those who are suffering from alcohol or drug-induced intoxication. In general, the ministry says, the police will detain those found in that condition on the streets or in other public places.

            But – and this is the disturbing aspect of the rules – they will also enter apartments and homes “if there is a basis to suppose” that people within them are intoxicated and present a threat to the life and health of others or to property. Such people will also be detained and taken to the new sobering up centers.

            In detaining the intoxicated either in public places or in their homes, the police are to exercise particular care to ensure that those drunk from alcohol or drugs do not have weapons, an unusual admission by Russian officials that possession of guns and other means of violence is becoming increasingly widespread and a threat to the police. 

            The sobering up stations, it will be recalled, were re-established by a Duma action in December 2020.  They are to be set up and paid for by regional governments. 

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