Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 133

Military police, an institution unprecedented in Russian history, will be introduced in the Russian armed forces. According to Lt. Gen. Vladimir Kudakov, head of the Russian General Staff’s security directorate, the need to create such units is explained by "the complication of the criminal situation in the country, and its increased influence on order among the troops." (Itar-Tass, June 19)

According to the general, criminal groups are trying to establish contacts with servicemen in order to obtain weapons and ammunition. In addition, the number of serious crimes committed by servicemen themselves is growing, and their primary investigation demands a professional approach. As now conceived, the organs of military security, the military auto inspectorate, and the commandant’s office will form the basis of the military police. They will be supplemented by tens of thousands of servicemen, who will perform various law enforcement functions, including conduct of searches and the detaining and guarding of criminals.

The creation of military police in the Russian armed forces is to take place in stages, beginning some 10 to 12 months after passage of the law "On Military Police," which was drafted with the participation of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Until recently, military police functions in the Russian armed forces were carried out by the commandant’s office and commandant’s companies — which existed in every Russian military unit — together with the organs of the military auto inspectorate and security. Violations and crimes committed by servicemen and agents of the security services are investigated by organs of the military prosecutor’s office. But, against a background of worsening crime both inside and outside the Russian armed forces, the efforts of the aforementioned organs has proven to be insufficient.

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