RUSSIA

Can Russian police really do that?

This video, supposedly filmed by the Russian police, emerged on the internet on Monday. We don't know where it came from, nor is it possible to know exactly where it was filmed. But our Observers confirm that this type of cruelty is not unusual. Read more and see the video.

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This video, supposedly filmed by the Russian police, emerged on the internet on Monday. We don't know where it came from, nor is it possible to know exactly where it was filmed. But our Observers confirm that this type of cruelty is not unusual.

"The police are often very cruel to drunk people"

Ruslan Linkov is the head of "Democratic Russia," a human rights organisation based in Saint-Petersburg.

The man in the video seems to be a regular passenger who fell asleep on the train. He's probably either ill or inebriated. The train will have stopped at the end of the line and the police are checking for lost items or sleeping passengers. If the person in this video was in fact feeling ill, then the actions of the people in uniform are also criminal, as they're not helping him get medical attention but rather leaving him in a vulnerable position.

Such cases are not rare. In Saint Petersburg there are frequent occurences of theft involving police officers. People drive around the city in police cars and police uniforms looking for wanderers that are in various stages of inebriation, or that don't look "Slavic". They'll then stop them under the pretext of checking their documents, go through their personal items illegally and without a witness, and take things away, from cash and mobiles to jewellery.

The police are often very cruel to drunk people. Not long ago three policemen were jailed for beating up a man who was a patient in a sobering-up medical station (a place that takes in people who are found on the street in a state of severe intoxication).

Homeless people are treated even more violently. While normal people like the man in the video might be touched on the face, homeless people are usually kicked - demonstrating disgust and neglect."

The video was posted on LiveLeak April 14. The face of the passenger has been blurred by the Observers. The guards' uniforms seem to be those of a special unit of the interior ministry.

As he holds the passenger's face, the soldier says:

"These bastards won't let me sleep! Fuck! Fuuuck!"