..., non-smoker, teetotaler, a good fellow and a family guy..." This is apparently what a Russian police officer must embody. I don't know how to put this politely, so I'm just going to come out and say it. I don't know one Russian man who fits this mold. Delicate? Teetotaler?
Last week, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev presented the “Professional ethics code for officials of the internal affairs agencies of the Russian Federation,” whic includes the aforementioned description.
The code is a comprehensive instruction for every aspect of a police officer’s life: from looks and posture, to not taking bribes, and even to loving his or her spouse. It will tell how to decorate your study (with modesty and a sense of proportion), how to communicate with foreigners (avoid discussion of politics and keep in mind the language barrier), and how to respect one’s uniform (go shopping or gambling in a casino only in plainclothes, unless your duty says otherwise).
Human rights activists branded the document senseless, because existing legislation was more than enough to improve the work of law enforcers. More to the point, the problem was never having substantial guidelines, but actually following the guidelines. Given the Russian inclination to disregard rules, maybe a better move would have been to make it a rule that policemen be hairy, smelly, unkempt, rough, chain-smoking alcoholics with multiple mistresses. Just a thought.
Thanks to Graham Dumas for directing me to this hilarious Russia Today story.