Understanding the Modern Russian Police: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Understanding the Modern Russian Police

1st Edition

By Olga B. Semukhina, Kenneth Michael Reynolds

CRC Press

337 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781439803486
pub: 2013-05-24
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Understanding the Modern Russian Policerepresents the culmination of ten years of research and an ongoing partnership between the Volgograd Academy of Russian Internal Affairs Ministry (VA MVD) and the Volgograd branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (VAPA). The book provides a timely and comprehensive analysis of the historical development, functions, and contemporary challenges faced by the modern Russian police.

Spanning more than two centuries of history, the book covers:

  • The tsarist police evolution that witnessed the creation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (MVD) in 1802 and concluding with the 1917 October Revolution
  • The Soviet era from the 1917 October Revolution until Stalin’s death in 1953
  • The Khrushchev and Brezhnev periods, and the Soviet police’s maturation into a professionally educated and well-equipped law enforcement system
  • The transformational period of police development beginning with Gorbachev’s perestroika and concluding with the first term of Putin in 2008
  • The structure, authority, and workforce of the modern Russian police
  • Public-police relationships existing today in Russia
  • Reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on corruption and abuse of power, along with a legal analysis of practices by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
  • The 2011 Police Reform by Medvedev

The book concludes with some predictions on the future of the Russian police and its potential reforms. Encompassing the efforts of many great researchers from Russia, this exhaustive review of the history of policing in Russia enables readers to comprehend the societal and political forces that have shaped policing in this country.

Table of Contents


The Russian Police Prior to the October Revolution of 1917

Creation of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Subsequent Emergence of a Police Bureaucracy during the Reign of Alexander I and Nicolas I: 1801–1855

Police Administration during the Reform Era: 1856–1881

Imperial Police during the Counterreforms of Alexander III and Nicolas II: 1881–March 1917

Police Development between the Two Revolutions: March 1917–October 1917 23

The Creation and Early Development of the Soviet Police: 1917–1953

The Creation of the Soviet Militia of Peasants and Workers; Its Role during the Civil War of 1917–1919

Policing during the New Economic Policy (NEP) of 1921–1928

Transformation of the Soviet Police under Stalin (1930s–1953)

Further Soviet Police Developments: 1953–1985

Development of the Soviet Police after Stalin’s Death: 1953–1964

Counterreform of the Soviet Police during the Late 1960s and Stagnation during the Early 1980s (1964–1985)

Transformation of the Soviet and Post-Soviet Police from 1985 to 2008 89

The Soviet Police under Gorbachev: 1985–1991

Early Development of the Post-Soviet Police under Yeltsin: 1991–1999

Development of the Modern Russian Police under Putin: 1999–2008


Structure, Function, and the Workforce of the Modern Russian Police

The Structure of MVD Agencies

MVD Agency Authorities

Workforce of MVD Agencies

Public–Police Relations in Modern Russia

General Public Views of the Russian Police

Crime Rates, Victimization, Fear of Crime, and Contact with Police

Issues of Public–Police Cooperation in Russia

Perceptions of Police Officers in Public–Police Relations

Media and Public–Police Relations

Police Corruption and Abuse of Power in Russia

The General Problem of Police Corruption in Russia

Underlying Factors of Police Corruption in Russia

Common Forms of Police Corruption in Russia

Police Corruption and Ethnic Minorities

Analysis of Modern Anticorruption Measures in Russia

Conclusion: The Path to Reforms



About the Authors

Dr. Olga B. Semukhina is an assistant professor of criminology and law studies at Marquette University. Dr. Semukhina holds a law degree from Tomsk State University and Master of Science degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida (UCF). She defended her SJD dissertation on international standards and comparative criminal procedure at Tomsk State University in 2002. In 2007, Dr. Semukhina defended her PhD dissertation on rule of law and comparative court process at UCF. Dr. Semukhina is also a former defense attorney in Russia and a former assistant professor of criminal law and procedure at Tomsk State University. Dr. Semukhina received multiple grants from the Ford and the Soros Foundations, the Open Society Institute, the Civil Education Project, the IREX and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (U.S. State Department) to conduct research and sustain the development of legal services Russia. Together with Dr. Reynolds, Dr. Semukhina participated in a number of projects examining police corruption and misconduct in Russia.

Dr. K. Michael Reynolds joined the faculty at the University of Central Florida in 1997. He was a law enforcement practitioner for 12 years prior to entering academia. For more than a decade, he has worked with Russian colleagues in Volgograd and Moscow. He also participated in educational programs in Tbilisi, Georgia, at the International Black Sea University. Dr. Reynolds received a long-term Fulbright award in 2007 and was hosted by the Volgograd Academy of the MVD of the Russian Federation. There, he taught courses utilizing GIS for crime analysis and conducted empirical research with Dr. Semukhina. This decade-long partnership with numerous Russian collaborators provided a framework to secure a U.S. Department of State grant to promote civil society and address human rights issues in Southern Russia.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration