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Russia Sees 2015 Crime Rate Spike

The increase means that Russia looks set to see an annual rise in the crime rate for the first time in several years, reversing a steady downward trend.

The crime rate in Russia has reversed a longstanding downward trend, jumping sharply in the first eight months of this year by 6.7 percent, according to a top Russian prosecutor.

Almost 1.5 million crimes had been committed in Russia this year by Sept. 1, Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Malinovsky said during a talk at the Civic Chamber on Tuesday, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Malinovsky said the new figures could not fail to cause alarm, RIA reported.

The increase means that Russia looks set to see an annual rise in the crime rate for the first time in several years, reversing a steady downward trend.

Malinovsky highlighted a particular jump in the number of crimes committed by people under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, RIA reported.

There were 2.1 million crimes reported in Russia in 2014, 2.2 million in 2013 and 2.3 million in 2012, according to statistics from the Prosecutor General's Office.

In July, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree reducing the number of police in the country by 10 percent to a little over one million people. Russia is in the throes of an economic crisis caused by an oil price collapse and international isolation over Ukraine, which has driven a rise in poverty, falling real incomes and reduced government spending.

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