As many as 5,000 law enforcement employees left their jobs at Russia’s Interior Ministry in July, the police body's head announced Thursday.
“The personnel shortage is very large. I would even call it critical,” Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev was cited as saying at an internal ministry meeting by Interfax.
The Interior Ministry encompasses an array of agencies responsible for law enforcement operations, including Russia's police force, migration affairs directorate, drugs control directorate and the Center for Combating Extremism — a body notorious for cracking down on anti-government activists across the country.
Kolokoltsev instructed the ministry’s employees to “do everything possible to minimize the risks” from staff shortages.
“I understand that in conditions of understaffing, a colossal burden falls on employees. But this is the case when one must work according to the principle ‘overpower with skill and not with numbers’,” he said.
Worker shortages in the first quarter of 2023 in Russia reached their highest level since the start of record-keeping in 1998, according to an April survey by the Central Bank.
According to the survey, the most acute shortages were observed in the manufacturing, industrial, mining and transportation sectors. But the survey didn’t include numbers for the government sector despite many of its workers being mobilized to fight in Ukraine.