Sunday, April 21, 2024

At Least for the Duration of the War, Veterans are to Be Protected from Police Violence, Konstantinov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 18 – Vladimir Putin has talked about veterans of the war in Ukraine as a major source of the future elite of the country. Now, there is a sign that such veterans already are to enjoy a kind of protection from police action that up to now only Kadyrov’s men and senior members of the Russian elite, Daniil Konstantinov says.

            On April 16, Kommersant reported that Aleksandr Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, has demanded that police who beat a veteran in St. Petersburg be investigated for possible charges of exceeding their authority and abuse of office, something he rarely does for such police actions against ordinary Russians (

            And what this means, commentator Konstantinov says, is that veterans appear to have joined the privileged elite of the country, those who are untouchable as far as the police are concerned and that until now included only forces loyal to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and the most senior members of the Russian political and economic hierarchies.

            People in those categories, of course, could be arrested if the Kremlin approved, Konstantinov continues; but they generally escaped the kind of physical abuse that Russia’s police routinely visit on all other categories of Russian citizens without any intervention by the Investigative Committee or the courts.

            This development, which is obviously intended to make joining up more attractive and which may not last beyond the war itself, is certain to worry many Russians who already fear that returning veterans, many of whom have criminal pasts may now feel even freer to commit crimes, even violent ones, against other Russians.   

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