Support The Moscow Times!

Traffic Police Investigated in 'Human Shield' Case

The Investigative Committee's Moscow branch opened a criminal investigation Wednesday into allegations that traffic police stopped several cars to form a "human shield" across a road as they attempted to detain a petty thief.

The incident early Friday came to light after one of the drivers posted a video on YouTube (embedded below) alleging that traffic police pulled him over and ordered him to park his Mercedes lengthwise on the Moscow Ring Road.

He and another driver were told to remain in their vehicles, which were damaged when a silver Audi slammed into both and drove off. The Mercedes driver, Stanislav Sutyagin, said the police told him that no compensation would be paid, despite extensive damage to his vehicle, because the suspect had not been caught.

The Investigative Committee said in a statement that it opened the criminal case after concluding a preliminary investigation.

"The role of each of the police officers in this incident will be investigated and determined. The necessary investigative measures are being conducted to gather and confirm evidence of the police officers' guilt," the statement said.

The officers were not identified in the statement. If charged and convicted of abuse of authority, they would face up to four years in prison under Article 285 of the Criminal Code.

Earlier Wednesday, Moscow police chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev fired the supervisor of the officers accused in the incident, issued a harsh warning to the city's top traffic cop, Sergei Kazantsev, and apologized to the drivers, Interfax reported, citing Moscow police spokesman Viktor Biryukov.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more