Russian police have reportedly been released from a gag order on publishing crime reports days after the World Cup was brought to a close.
Reports surfaced on June 14, the eve of the football tournament, that an Interior Ministry directive had ordered its branches to self-censor their usual crime reports. Instead, the law enforcement websites were instructed to share exclusively positive stories, such as successful police operations.
The operational reports will resume on July 25, an anonymous Interior Ministry source told the FlashNord news website on Wednesday.
“The ministry’s federal and regional websites were banned from publishing reports on murders, rapes, suspect searches, robberies and deadly road accidents from June 5 to July 25,” the source was quoted as saying.
Interior Ministry websites in 19 Russian regions published 100 times fewer negative stories between mid-June and mid-July, compared to the preceding month, the 7x7 news website tallied after the World Cup final.