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Police Open YouTube Channel

One of the first three educational videos posted on Themvdtube channel.

The Interior Ministry has opened an official channel on YouTube, the popular site where policemen and ordinary people have complained of police corruption.

The channel, named Themvdtube and bearing the slogan “Serving the Law, Serving the People,” contained three educational cartoons on Tuesday that warned against online fraud and gypsy cab drivers and offered tips on how to protect children from criminals.

Ministry spokesman Valery Gribakin said the channel’s main goal was to raise awareness against fraud, Itar-Tass reported.

The ministry’s web site, MVD.ru, contained no official announcement of the channel late Tuesday, but the ministry did invite YouTube users to comment  on its page on the Vkontakte social networking site.

The Vkontakte page remained almost empty Tuesday, but the YouTube channel’s own comment section was awash with criticism. “It would be better to show a video of how to beware of police officers because the majority of them present a significant danger,” a user named Malyagurt wrote.

YouTube has been used by a string of whistleblowers. Ex-police officer Alexei Dymovsky, perhaps the best known of them, was arrested and lost his job in the Krasnodar force after he appealed to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in 2009.

Last weekend, Konstantin Timofeyev, head of the organized crime unit of Siberia’s Kemerovo region, posted a video address in which he complained to President Dmitry Medvedev and Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev that local police leaders were in cahoots with “bandits.”

Regional police refuted the claim Tuesday, saying Timofeyev was upset about losing his job under an ongoing police reform.

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