It would be hard not to find this amusing, if it were not so very horrifying. Oleg Kozlovsky reports on his blog about the truly amazing, chicken-with-the-head-off incompetence of Russia’s police establishment, who are far more dangerous to Russian citizens than the nation’s criminal element:
Yesterday, myself and two other activists of Oborona were arrested at a small action at the Moscow State University, my alma mater. We called students to participate in the Dissenters’ Day, which was planned for March 12th. We had leaflets, a loudspeaker and a flag. The police arrested three of us and took us into custody. Initially, they charged us with “a violation of the rules for conducting a public action,” which meant that we could be held in the custody for up to three hours and then be fined up to 1000 roubles (about $30).
While we were waiting for the police to prepare the charging documents, the maximum detention term expired. The police, however, didn’t want to let us go. One activist, Ilya Mischenko, managed to leave the police HQ unnoticed. They were upset and angry, blamed each other for this escape and feared sanctions from their bosses. By the way, leaving the police HQ before you are convicted by the court is not prohibited by Russian legislation.
I overheard a phone call and from the conversation of the police officers understood that they’d received an order from somebody who they referred to as a “general”. They were told to detain me by any means for two days, so that I wouldn’t participate in the Dissenters’ Day (of which I am an organizer). After a short discussion, they decided to falsely charge me with “petty hooliganism,” an offence that allows them to hold a person for up to 48 hours before a trial and then to convict her to up to 15 days in jail. The police officers, Mikhail Kotikov and Gennadiy Lemeshko, wrote false reports that I had been swearing while conducting the action and a new charge was brought against me.
However, I was lucky enough to escape from their custody to the underground technical floor of the University and then outside, and thus set myself free. I was told later that the police were panicking and tried to search the huge building, failed to find me and were discussing who was going to be fired for the escape.