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Interior Minister orders large-scale operation to decriminalize Moscow

July 30, 2013, 9:59 UTC+3

470 detained and brought to police stations to run through database

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Photo ITAR-TASS/ Artiom Geodakyan

Photo ITAR-TASS/ Artiom Geodakyan

MOSCOW, July 30. (Itar-Tass) - Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev ordered a large-scale special operation to decriminalize Moscow.

“After the Matveevskiy market incident, Head of Russia’s Interior Ministry ordered Vladimir Yakunin, head of Moscow police to launch a massive operation and decriminalize Moscow”, the Ministry’s press center told Itar-Tass on Tuesday, July 30th.  

According to the press center’s representative, this operation will include not just Moscow marketplaces; it will include curbing organized crime and crime lords. It’s not a two-three day operation, it will go on much longer.

Previously, press service of the Moscow Head Office of the Interior Ministry told Itar-Tass that police officers are raiding Moscow markets, as ordered by Anatoly Yakunin. “Within the framework of decriminalization efforts targeting markets of Moscow’s western region 470 people were detained and brought to police stations to run through the database. All of them had their fingerprints taken, some of them were charged with administrative violations,” the spokesperson said.

Matveevskiy market incident

Last Saturday Matveevskiy market became site of a clash between civilians and police officers: about two dozen natives of Russia’s southern regions tried to prevent the authorities from apprehending their compatriot, suspected of raping a 15-year-old girl. As a result of the scuffle, one police officer received a serious head injury and had to be rushed to intensive care. Video of the policeman taking a beating has been already uploaded online.

Investigators opened a criminal case an attempt on the life of a law enforcement officer over this attack. The police have detained a man and a woman, who are suspected of attacking policemen. Russia’s Investigative Committee has announced that they are planning on requesting a warrant for their arrest.

Head of the district police department, responsible for the area where the market is located, has been dismissed. A number of police officials are now targets of an internal inspection, results of which will be made public.

Meanwhile, the rape suspect has been successfully detained and charged; the victim has identified the assailant. According to police spokesperson, the suspect has also confessed. 

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