Russian police are overwhelmed by the number of people snitching on neighbors and colleagues: report

Russian war critic
Russian artist Alexandra Skochilenko, 33, accused of spreading disinformation about the Russian army, gestures during her verdict hearing at a court in Saint Petersburg on November 16, 2023.OLGA MALTSEVA
  • Russians are snitching on rivals and neighbors, a BBC report said.

  • A police officer told the BBC police are inundated with denunciations.

  • The Kremlin has introduced draconian laws to suppress criticism of the Ukraine war.

Russian police are being inundated with denunciations by Russians of their fellow citizens over their alleged views on the Ukraine war, BBC News reported.

In the wake of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Kremlin introduced draconian new rules to punish people criticizing the so-called "special military operation.'

Under the laws, Russians can be fined up to $560 or imprisoned for up to five years if found guilty of vaguely defined offenses that involve discrediting the military.

Police officials told the BBC that officers are fielding "endless charges on the discrediting of the army".

"People are always looking for an excuse to denounce someone over the 'special military operation,'" a recently retired police officer told the BBC, adding: "Whenever something real comes up, there's nobody to investigate. Everyone's gone to check on some grandma who saw a curtain that looked like the Ukrainian flag."

A serial informer, who goes by the name Anna Korobkova but did not disclose her real identity, told the BBC she had filed 1,397 denunciations since the invasion.

One man told the BBC he is being held in jail on terrorism charges after being falsely accused by a colleague after an argument.

The BBC claimed that Russians are being arrested on the basis of spurious accusations by people who hold grudges.

Human rights group OVD-Info told The Financial Times in February that around 20,000 people have been arrested in anti-war protests in Russia.

The report said that around 440 people face more serious charges over their alleged opposition to the war, and could face jail terms of up to 15 years. Some of those facing charges have fled the country.

Read the original article on Business Insider