Police crime wave sparks talk of reform in Russia

Russian Police Patroloriginally published: 28th June 2009

The name Yevsyukov is now infamous in Russia. Denis Yevsyukov, the former head of a police district in the southern Moscow neighborhood of Tsaritsyno, is the 32-year-old police major shocked the nation in April when, upset by a fight with his wife, he went on a shooting spree in a Moscow supermarket that left three people dead and another six injured.

Seeking to explain the event later that day, Moscow police chief Vladimir Pronin called Yevsyukov “a good officer” who “has had a good career.” He added, however, that “it looks from the evidence we have that he had a nervous breakdown.”

But to many Russians, the crime was deeply sinister. An investigation later revealed that Yevsyukov had shot his victims with a gun that had been illegally removed from a criminal inquiry in Chechnya years before.

Since then, allegations have surfaced that Yevsyukov ran the Tsaritsyno district like a personal fiefdom, falsifying records on the number of crimes solved, and using his post to extort sums from people looking to avoid prosecution.

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