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A highly-competent senior DPS inspector

"Three prizes were awarded for the successes of officers of Traffic Inspection Dept. #18. The third prize is a signed photograph of Vladimir Putin. The second prize is 100,000 rubles and a holiday in Sochi. The first prize is a portable stop sign."
Russian joke.Explanation 

Russian law enforcement.

The Russian law enforcement system contains the following services:

  • Police (Politsiya). The source of the page name, recently renamed back from its Soviet name Militsiya. It is part of the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs), a federal service which also deals with internal passports and registrations. All police officers have military-style ranks (that are nevertheless not considered true military ranks, unlike in the Moscow Centre, but form a separate chain of command known as Internal Service), from Sergeant all the way to General. Contains the following services:
    • PPS (Patrol and Post Service). Beat cops, uniformed police in cities. Stereotyped as extremely stupid and pettily corrupt -the jury is out on whether or not the PPS consists of Russians too stupid to get a job flipping burgers or the other way round. Wear ugly gray uniforms, however the Moscow metrocops recently (2013) received snazzy black uniforms. A popular joke virtually unchanged from the Soviet times goes this:
    Two students on the tram are telling jokes. One says to another:
    — Do you know why cops always go in threes?
    — No.
    — One knows how to read, another how to write and the third one is to watch these two dangerous intellectuals.
    They were then immediately stopped by a police patrol and are asked to produce the documents. The patrol commander checks the papers and says to his colleague:
    — Vasya, write this down...
    • Ugrozysk (Criminal Police). A mostly plainclothes detective service, charged with investigation of crimes.
      • This service and the previous one are based in otdeleniyes (precincts), based in city boroughs. In smaller towns, there is usually one precinct per town. There are also special precincts (LOVD) on railroads.
      • Precinct-based officers are widely stereotyped as lazy, corrupt and casually brutal, because due to the way the police reporting in Russia works officers have little incentives to accept complaints from people and opening investigations that have little chance to succeed, but are nevertheless given the percentage quotas of the crimes to solve. Thus is the widespread practice of faking the (easily solvable) crimes and roughing up local hobos (or other people they don't like) into accepting blame for someone's else deeds.
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    • GIBDD (State Inspection on Traffic Security), and its most well known subdivision DPS (Road Patrol Service). Traffic cops, the guys in charge of the speed traps on roads, hated by all motorists since even a barest trace of alcohol on your breath, resulting from random fermented foods and beverages, will land you in trouble with these guys, and also because the average Russian Drives Like Crazy. The non-DPS officers are mostly busy issuing driving licenses. Wear ugly blue uniforms. Also stereotyped as pettily corrupt and liking to collect fines to line their pockets. Also, fat.
    • OVO (Vedomstvennaya okhrana). Police security guards. They can be posted as guards in state and municipal organizations, but also work for hire for private citizens who can pay. You can mount a "call the police" button or burglar alarm in your home, which will summon these cops. If you can pay more, you can arrange for a police car to accompany yours.
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    • Uchastkovy (Territorial police inspectors). The third most often seen cops in cities (after PPS and DPS), charged with keeping an eye on the population in their homes. In the country, these inspectors are the only police around, tasked with duties not unlike American sheriffs. In the cities they are again based in precincts, which are divided into zones of responsibility for several of these officers. They are generally supposed to know all troublemakers on their beats, and often have large informant networks. Less frequently stereotyped as corrupt, but more often as lazy and inefficient.
  • SK (Investigations Committee), which is like the FBI but Russian. This is, unlike the previous ones, a separate federal service.
  • National Guard, formerly known as the Internal Troops, army-esque gendarmerie units. They are responsible for maintaining order, dealing with mass civil disorders, terrorism, etc. Formerly part of the MVD, now a separate second army of Russia.
    • OMON (Special Purpose Mobile Units). Riot control troops, infamous for suppressing rallies and demonstrations. Wear ugly urban camo uniforms, balaclavas and riot gear. They are also responsible for SWAT detachments (variously known as OMSN and SOBR, depending on the exact period), though it's pretty variable. Often seen in Western newspapers roughing up gay-rights demonstrators, despite having the word "HOMO" written on their backs.note 

  • The FSB is sometimes tasked with handling the most high-profile crimes such as terrorism. Hated by the police with a passion.


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