Russian police department fires lieutenant allegedly because he refused to prosecute Internet users for antiwar posts
Journalists haven’t identified their sources, and Russian law enforcement isn’t disclosing many details, but a police officer in Nizhny Novgorod has lost his job apparently for refusing to prosecute Internet users for publishing antiwar content on social media. Meduza pieces together what we know about “Lieutenant Kirill B.”
On Friday, Russia’s Interior Ministry announced that a police officer in Nizhny Novgorod was fired in June for “gross violations of professional discipline” following an internal audit. According to claims shared on Telegram, the official in question is a 24-year-old lieutenant who worked in Nizhny Novgorod’s “anti-extremism” department.
The news outlet Astra has identified the man as Kirill Belousov. According to other reports, Internal Affairs investigators allegedly found that he “was under-zealous about combating ‘extremist’ posts on Vkontakte and also refused to register complaints concerning publications on social media about ‘fakes’ and ‘discrediting’ information against the Russian Army.” An unnamed source told Astra that Belousov sent identical messages to many people who tried to report online antiwar content. His response read, “Your report is incorrect. In connection with this, I consider it inappropriate to review it.”
At least one of the people who received this response then filed a police report against Belousov directly. According to Astra, he is now under investigation himself.
Cover photo: slexp880 / Shutterstock.com