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Russian police officer who asked Putin for corruption probe fired

MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) - A police officer from the southern Russian city of Novorossiisk has been fired after posting a video on the web asking Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to launch a nationwide corruption probe, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Sunday.

Police Major Alexei Dymovsky from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk in the Krasnodar Territory recently posted two videos on his website accusing his chiefs and colleagues of corruption. Dymovsky addressed his speech to Putin. The video address was also posted on YouTube with English subtitles.

The video shows Dymovsky saying department chiefs forced officers to solve nonexistent crimes and even "jail innocent people" to improve statistics and lamenting that ordinary staff were treated "like cattle," had no days off or sick leaves, as well as saying that young people came to work to police on a 12,000 ruble monthly wage ($413) because they knew they would have "tributes."

"I am addressing you to ask you to carry out an independent investigation across Russia. I am ready to show the commitment to carry out this investigation. I have many acquaintances who care about the truth," Dymovsky told Putin in his address, adding that he was ready to tell the premier of those "ordinary cops who live, work, who like this work."

Dymovsky also said: "I will turn the entire life of cops throughout Russia inside out, with corruption and all the rest - ignorance, boorishness, recklessness, when honest, really honest officers die because they have dumb bosses...I would very much like to talk to you one-on-one."

Putin was informed of the video address, but "said nothing as reacting to such statements is impossible without having checked the claims," according to the Russian prime minister's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, as quoted by media.

"On instructions from Russian Interior Minister, Army General Rashid Nurgaliyev, officers from interested Krasnodar Territory police units carried out, for two days, a check of claims outlined by Dymovsky. The check has not confirmed the claims. Besides, it turned out that Dymovsky defames his colleagues," Interior Ministry spokesman Police Maj. Gen. Valery Gribakin said.

"The results of the check were reported to Krasnodar Territory police chief, Police Lt. Gen. Sergei Kucheruk. Kucheruk... decided to dismiss Dymovsky," Gribakin said.

He also said a Russian Interior Ministry commission comprising "officials from the personnel department, internal affairs division and other interested units" will start on Monday a complex internal check of the Novorossiisk police department.

Gribakin said a report would be drafted following the check, and that Nurgaliyev would present it to President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Maj. Dymovsky worked in the police department since 2004. He dealt with illicit drug-related crimes.

The Novorossiisk police department said the major has not appeared at work "almost since August 2009" as he was on a sick leave. The department also said it believes Dymovsky should have discussed the problems inside of his unit instead of "bringing them to the web and tarnishing the image of Novorossiisk police."

"We disagree with his statement that police officers put up with a lack of free time... and small wages only because they are frightened by their chiefs. We knew where we went and realize that our work is inevitably connected with great difficulties," the Novorossiisk police department said in a statement.

Dymovsky earlier said on Moscow-based Ekho Moskvy radio that his colleagues support him in private conversations. He also said he was being pressured and had to hire a bodyguard to ensure the security for himself and his family.

President Medvedev has highlighted corruption as one of the country's key problems. In May 2009, Medvedev said corruption in Russia needs to be made "improper" and public opinion should contribute to this way of thinking.

Shortly after taking office in May 2008, Medvedev signed a decree to set up a presidential anti-corruption council and approved a plan to deal with the problem in July 2008, proposing that special units be created in every branch of government.

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