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Russian police, citing a “Western” model, has called on Russians to be more active when it comes to informing on their neighbors



Crime prevention in Russia is stymied by the reluctance of citizens to inform law enforcement agencies about possible offenses – simply put, they do not want to “snitch” on their neighbors.
The country’s Minister of the Interior, Vladimir Kolokoltsev, spelled out this opinion in a recent interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets. According to Kolokoltsev, the task of bringing down crime levels requires not only an improvement in police practices but also a “fundamental shift in the Russian mentality.” The minister cited foreign practice to illustrate his idea.
“In Western countries, informing the law enforcement of your neighbor’s illegal or criminal activities is not considered inappropriate or disgraceful – this is actually how most crimes are solved or prevented. But Russia has a particularly dark history with regard to this matter, and it has left a lasting impression in people’s minds. We are guided by a powerful stereotype that snitching is wrongful and immoral. Even the word itself disgusts most people,” Kolokoltsev said.
Fellow committee-member Boris Reznik, on the other hand, believes that such “cooperation” will do more harm than good, calling Stalin-era repressions to mind.
Stalin was born Joseph Dzhugashvili in the Georgian town of Gori in 1879. In his youth he imbibed both the seminary training and the Great Russian nationalism that many would later link to his tyrannical exercise of power. He was an early activist in the Bolshevik movement, where he first assumed the pseudonym Stalin (which means “man of steel”), and was twice exiled to Siberia by the Tsarist authorities. When the Russian Revolution triumphed in October 1917, Stalin returned from exile, and was named General Secretary in 1922. The post was largely an undistinguished administrative one, but Stalin used it to fortify his power base and control over the bureaucracy of the ruling Communist Party. When the communist leader, Vladimir Lenin, died in 1924, a struggle for control broke out that pitted Stalin against his nemesis, Leon Trotsky, and a host of lesser party figures. Stalin’s victory was slow and hard-fought, but by 1927 he had succeeded in having Trotsky expelled from the party and, in 1929, from the country (Trotsky was tracked down and killed by Stalin’s agents in Mexico City in 1940).
Image of the Soviet death campsBy 1928, Stalin was entrenched as supreme Soviet leader, and he wasted little time in launching a series of national campaigns (the so-called Five-Year Plans) aimed at “collectivizing” the peasantry and turning the USSR into a powerful industrial state. Both campaigns featured murder on a massive scale. Collectivization especially targeted Ukraine, “the breadbasket of the Soviet Union,” which clung stubbornly to its own national identity and preference for village-level communal landholdings. In 1932-33, Stalin engineered a famine (by massively raising the grain quota that the peasantry had to turn over to the state); this killed between six and seven million people and broke the back of Ukrainian resistance. The Ukrainian famine has only recently been recognized as one of the most destructive genocides of the twentieth century (see Robert Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow, and the Web resources compiled by The Ukrainian Weekly). The Five-Year Plans for industry, too, were implemented in an extraordinarily brutal fashion, leading to the deaths of millions of convict labourers, overwhelmingly men. These atrocities are described in the corvée (forced) labour case study. The millions of deaths in Stalin’s “Gulag Archipelago” (the network of labour camps [gulags] scattered across the length and breath of Russia) are dealt with in theincarceration/death penalty case study.  MORE
“Reporting your suspicions to the police on any given pretext? We’ve already seen this in our history and on a dreadful scale, at that. We still remember the era of denunciations – it’s in our genetic memory. And the very thought of doing it again is abhorrent. Just think how many envious or simply dishonest people will falsely denounce their neighbors. It’s clear that the idea will do more damage than good,” Reznik said.  MORE

Obama Campaign Again Urging Supporters

to Report on Non-Believers. Is the Obama

Campaign being Gestapo-esque?


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