Police of Russia

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The Police
Emblem of the Police of Russia.svg
Russian police Emblem
Нагрудный знак сотрудника Полиции.jpeg
Russian Police badge
Flag of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.svg
MottoСлужим России, служим закону!
We serve Russia, we serve the law!
Agency overview
Preceding agencies
Employees904,871 (2016)
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Operations jurisdictionRUS
Map of Russian districts, 2018-11-04.svg
Map of the Federal districts of Russia
Size17,075,400 km2
Legal jurisdictionFederal law "On police"
Governing bodyMinistry of Internal Affairs (Russia)
Constituting instrument
  • Law "On Police"
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed byState Duma's Security Committee
HeadquartersZhitnaya 6, Okhotny Ryad, Moscow
Appointment by the President of Russia responsible
Parent agencyMVD
  • November 10, 1918

Police (Russian: полиция, tr. politsiya, IPA: [pɐˈlʲitsɨjə]) is the federal law-enforcement agency in Russia, operating under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It was established in 2011, replacing the Militsiya, the former police service.

It is the federal police service of Russia that operates according to the law (Закон "о полиции"),[3] as approved by the Federal Assembly, and subsequently signed into law on February 7, 2011 by then President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev.


The system was created for the protection of public order and the fight against crime in the Russian Empire. Re-organized from March 1, 2011, under the Russian Federation (except for structures not related to the Ministry of Internal Affairs that already existed).

16th century[edit]

In 1504, cheval de frise were installed in Moscow, under which the guards were stationed. The locals kept the guards. The city was divided into areas, between which gates with lattices were built. It was forbidden to move around the city at night or without lighting. Subsequently, the Grand prince Ivan IV established patrols around Moscow to observe safety.

Sudebnik of Ivan IV transferred the cases of "about guided robbers" under the jurisdiction of honorary elders. Before this, the Letters of Honor were like awards and were given by the petition of the population itself. The lip of the letter permitted local society to manage independently in the field of labial work. In cities, police functions were performed by the mayor.

Robber administration was first mentioned in 1571 and, since then, has existed continuously until the 18th century. Since 1539, in Moscow, the boyars are mentioned in written sources, by which robbery is ordered. Konstantin Nevolin believed that it was a temporary commission established to destroy the robberies, which then intensified. But, since the robberies did not stop, the temporary commission turned into a standing committee, and thus, robber administration appeared.

17th century[edit]

By decree of August 14, 1687, the affairs of the robber administration were transferred to the Zemsky administrations. In April 1649, Gran prince Alexis issued a decree on the urban blessing. By decree in the White City, a team was created under the leadership of Ivan Novikov and clerk Vikula Panov. They were betrayed by five lattice clerks and "one person from 10 yards" with roars, axes, and water pipes. The detachment was supposed to protect fire safety and order.

Police officers in large cities were called Zemsky Yaryg. In Moscow, they were dressed in red and green clothes. In other cities, the color of the clothes could be different. On the chest, they had the letters "З" (Z) and "Я" (YA) sewn.

In 1669, instead of elders, detectives were introduced everywhere.

18th century[edit]

Dragoon (left) and a police officer. 1718. Postage stamp Russia 2013.

The police force in Saint Petersburg was established as the Main Police in 1715 by decree from Peter the Great. Initially, the staff of the St. Petersburg police consisted of the deputy general-police chief, 4 officers, and 36 lower ranks. The clerical and ten clerks kept office work in the Main Police Station Office. The police not only kept order in the city but also carried out several economic functions, engaged in the improvement of the city — paving streets, draining swampy places, garbage collection, etc.

On June 7, 1718, Adjutant general Anton de Vieira was appointed General Polizeimeister.[4] To solve the tasks, the created Chief Police Office and one army regiment were handed over to the General Polizeimeister. All the ranks of this regiment became police officers. Through the efforts of General de Vieira in 1721, the first lanterns and benches for rest were installed in St. Petersburg.

On January 19, 1722, the Governing Senate established the Moscow Police. The Ober-Polizeimeister was appointed by the emperor from military or civilian ranks. By the instructions of July 20, 1722, the Ober-Polizeimeister supervised the protection of public peace in Moscow, was the head of the Moscow Police Office. In 1729–1731 and 1762–1764, the head of the Moscow police was called the General Polizeimeister.

On April 23, 1733, Empress Anna signed a decree "On the establishment of police in cities." The police received the authority of the court and had the opportunity to impose penalties in criminal cases.

19th and 20th century[edit]

The Detective Department was founded in 1866 operating under the Police Department of Ministry of Internal Affairs, and by 1907 similar departments had been created in other major cities of the Russian Empire, including Moscow, Kiev, Riga, Odessa, Tiflis, Baku and Rostov-on-Don. Other districts were policed by rural police or gendarmerie units.

The 3,500 strong police force of Petrograd provided the main opposition to the rioting, which marked the initial outbreak of the February Revolution. After the army units garrisoning the city defected, the police became the main target of the revolutionaries, and a number were killed. The Police of the Russian Empire was dissolved on March 10, 1917, and on April 17 the Provisional Government established the People's Militia (Militsiya) as a new law enforcement body.

Soviet Militsiya[edit]

The militsiya was formed on March 10, 1917, which replaced the former police organizations of the Imperial government within Russia. There were detachments of the people's militsiya and the workers' militsiya that were organized as paramilitary police units. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the militsiya in Russia existed until March 1, 2011.

2011 Police reform[edit]

Police officer, 2018
Summer uniform of a Russian police officer

Russian police reform (Закон РФ "о полиции" (Zakon RF "O politsii" {Law on police}) is an ongoing effort initiated by former President Dmitry Medvedev to improve the efficiency of Russia's police forces, decrease corruption and improve the public image of law enforcement. On February 7, 2011, amendments were made to laws on the police force, the criminal code, and the criminal procedure code. The amendments came into force on March 1, 2011. These changes stipulate a personnel cut of 20% in law enforcement, a renaming of Russian law enforcers from "militsiya" (militia) to "politsiya" (police), substantial increases in wages, centralization of financing, and several other changes. Around 217 billion rubles ($7 billion) have been allocated from the federal budget to finance the reform.

Main changes and aims of the reform[edit]

  • Name change. Under the reform, the name of Russian law enforcers was changed from the Soviet-era term "militsiya" (militia) to the more universal "politsiya" (police) on March 1 2011.[5][6]
  • Personnel reduction and salary increase. The number of police officers was reduced by 20%, dropping from 1.28  million to 1.1  million by 2012. The reduction was accomplished via a comprehensive evaluation of all officers. The evaluation was conducted before June 2011, and those failing the evaluation will end up losing their jobs. All officers who in the past have received administrative penalties or who have links to the criminal underworld will be fired.[7] For those officers surviving the reduction, salaries will be increased by 30%.
  • Centralisation. As a result of the reform, the Russian police were made a federal-level institution, with funding accomplished fully from the federal budget. Under the old system, police units responsible for public order and petty crimes were under the jurisdiction of regional and city authorities, financed from the regional budget and responsible more to the regional governors than to the federal center.[8]
  • Changes to police and detainee rights. According to the new law, the detainee will receive a right to make a telephone call within 3 hours of the detention. They will also receive the right to have a lawyer and interpreter from the moment of their detention, and police must inform the detainee of their rights and duties. The police will lose their right to carry out and demand checks of a company's financial and business activities. Police may also no longer detain a citizen for an hour just to verify his identity.[9]

Central administration[edit]

Rashid Nurgaliyev, former Russian Minister for Internal Affairs (2003–2012), who led the dissolution of the Militsiya.
  1. Criminal Police Service: Criminal Investigations Department (Russian: Уголовный розыск)
    • Main Office for Criminal Investigation
    • Main Office for Combating Economic and Tax Crimes (Russian:Отдел борьбы с экономическими преступлениями)
    • Office for Operational Investigation Information
    • Co-ordination Office of Criminal Police Service
    • Main Office for Public Order Maintenance
    • Main Directorate for Road Traffic Safety (Traffic police) (Russian: Государственная инспекция безопасности дорожного движения)
    • Main Office of the Interior for Restricted Facilities
    • Main Office of Interdepartmental Security Guard Service
    • Co-ordination Office of Public Security Service
    • Main Office of the Interior for Transport and Special Transportation
    • Office for Passports and Visas
    • External Labour Migration Department
    • Legal Office
    • Office for Crisis Situations
    • Office for Resource Provisions
    • Finance and Economy Office
  2. Logistical Service
    • Office for Material and Technical Support
    • Finance and Economy Department
    • Medical Office
    • Office for Communication and Automation
    • Office for Capital Construction
    • Co-ordination Office of Logistical Service
    • General Services Office
  3. Independent Divisions
    • Office of Affairs - the Secretariat
    • Main Office for Internal Security -Internal affairs
    • Control and Auditing Office
    • MVD Inquiry Committee
    • Forensic Expertise Center
    • Main Office for Organization and Inspection
      The MVD Inspector General
    • Main Office for (Special) Investigations
      Special branch
    • National Central Bureau for Interpol
    • Mobilization Training Office
    • Main Center for Information
    • Main Legal Office
    • Office for International Co-operation
    • Office for Information Regional Contacts
    • Main office for Drug Enforcement (former FSKN)
    • Main office for Migration issues (former Federal Migratory Service)



A police car, 2018.
Ka-226 of the Moscow Police Service in flight, 2008

Russian police use a number of different models of automobiles which range greatly in age and technical specification.

Patrol Cars[edit]


All Terrain Vehicles[edit]

Armoured vehicles[edit]


Rank insignia[edit]

The Russian Police do not use the rank of corporal.

Private Staff Junior Supervising Staff
Shoulder insignia
for everyday uniform
Russian police private.png Russian police junior sergeant.png Russian police sergeant.png Russian police senior sergeant.png Russian police master sergeant.png Russian police warrant officer.png Russian police senior warrant officer.png
Rank Police Private Police
Junior sergeant
Police Sergeant Police
Senior sergeant
Police Starshina Police Praporshchik Police
Senior praporshchik
Medium Supervising Staff Senior Supervising Staff Supreme Supervising Staff
Shoulder insignia
for every day uniform
Russian police junior lieutenant.png Russian police lieutenant.png Russian police senior lieutenant.png Russian police captain.png Russian police major.png Russian police lieutenant colonel.png Russian police colonel.png Russian police major general.png Russian police lieutenant general.png Russian police colonel general.png Russian police general 1.png
Rank Police
Junior lieutenant
Police Lieutenant Police
Senior lieutenant
Police Captain Police Major Police
Lieutenant colonel
Police Colonel Police
Major General
Lieutenant General
Colonel General
General of the Police of the Russian Federation

There is a four-star police rank, General of the Police of the Russian Federation (Генерал полиции Российской Федерации). The rank is only newly established.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Наша история". 78.mvd.ru. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  2. ^ 2012 estimate
  3. ^ "Закон РФ "О полиции", N 3-ФЗ".
  4. ^ "Просмотр документа - dlib.rsl.ru". dlib.rsl.ru. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  5. ^ "Police reform: easy rebranding followed by complicated actions". Russia Today. 18 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Bill Backed by Kremlin Gives Police Officers 'Manna'". The Moscow Times. 23 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Russia's rebranded police initiated with major layoffs". Russia Today. 1 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Will Russian police reforms be more than a name change?", website, RIA Novosti, retrieved 2019-01-10
  9. ^ "Changes to the law "On police"". RIA Novosti. 2010-11-01.

External links[edit]