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“The traffic police take bribes, let’s close them”: Sergei Stepashin on how under Yeltsin the traffic police were renamed the traffic police and why the name has now been returned

Date: July 18, 2024 Time: 10:14:51

Sergei Stepashin

Photo: Ivan MAKEEV.

Former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, spoke with KP political observer Alexander Gamov.

… – Hello! I am Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, Alexander Gamov, Stepashin’s assistant. There was information that the traffic police, which under Sergei Stepashin (you were then Minister of the Interior) became the traffic police, are now returning to the traffic police. Why is that?

– First of all, where did the traffic police come from? Some people are surprised here. Actually, Sash, the story goes like that. Yes, I was the Minister of the Interior. And at one of the meetings, President Boris Yeltsin, to whom I was presenting a report, told me: they say, people are more worried about how the traffic police work: “They accept bribes, it is not clear what they are doing, the majority Above all, the negative influence of them, we will close them as a service.”

– Sergei Vadimovich, seriously?

– Well, I say: Boris Nikolaevich, there are different people there and in general it will be difficult to do without road safety. Yeltsin: “So take care of road safety, what does the traffic police have to do with it?” Well, I return to Zhitnaya (there is the Ministry of Internal Affairs – AG), I call the head of the traffic police (then there was Vladimir Aleksandrovich Fedorov, a lieutenant general, a respected man, then he worked as a senator for a long time). Well, I tell him, jokingly and seriously: that’s it, the decision is made, the service closes. Of course, he has eyes on his forehead.

– I still would!

– I say: here is one day, let’s think that I will report to the president about improving the traffic police service. And then they came with a new name: let’s call it: Inspection…

– State.

– … about road safety – traffic police.

– Complex abbreviation.

– But what was the point of changing the name? For the service to specifically deal with road safety, the name leads to functions. I even gave a special order prohibiting various types of ambushes, seizure of documents without permission, etc. Well, then for some reason my order was canceled when I was no longer Minister of the Interior.

– But in vain!

– And – the second story. Vladimir Putin has already assumed the presidency, I already worked in the Accounts Chamber. Once he asked me: “Listen, Sergei, who came up with this name? You will break your tongue”. Well, I told him the first story. We laughed with him. And then it was decided to call him that: traffic police – traffic police, whoever wanted – traffic police, whoever wanted – traffic police.

– Well, now the traffic police have returned.

– For me, Sash, the issue is not in the return or the name, but in the fact that the service is really involved in road safety. (And most employees do this.) So that there is no corruption, so that the service helps our people, especially in cities like Moscow, Leningrad (as Stepashin usually calls St. Petersburg. – AG), in other large cities. , where traffic is very difficult. Now there are different types of scooters and other means of transportation. Well, they called the traffic police again, that’s what they called it. Something else is important. He also wrote about our tasks when I was Minister of the Interior: that the people should not be afraid of the police and our glorious traffic police, but to be with them and restore order. This is how I would comment on the return of the traffic police. Well, to be honest, I always called this service just that – traffic police, even when I was a minister.

– And I just remembered one more episode. The Minister of the Interior, General Stepashin, was traveling in civilian clothes and without a flashing light. And somewhere at an intersection a traffic police officer approaches and knocks on the side window with a stick…

– No, wait, the story was like that. She was returning from Dagestan late at night. Difficult operating environment. And I was driving a normal car… It had Shchelokov license plates (Minister of the Interior of the USSR – AG), all traffic police knew these license plates from the Soviet Union.

– What numbers?

– I don’t remember now. Naturally, there were no flashing lights or security. In fact, there was such a story: the traffic policeman stopped and started hitting with his baton (that is, with his rod). My driver comes out and says to me: “Are you crazy? This is the minister who is coming.” “What minister? Come on, turn around.” So they decided to fire this guy. The next day, one of the newspapers published that “Stepashin fired an honest traffic policeman.”

– How did you react to?

– I called this guy and asked him what was going on. Well, he’s stuck! It turns out that he was there for two days without resting, day and night, on the road. Of course, then I punched the head of the traffic police. And he left the boy in the service. As far as I know, that traffic policeman has already risen to the rank of colonel.

-Have you talked to him lately?

– No, I didn’t communicate. Just out of curiosity, I was following the situation, Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kolokoltsev told me about it.

– Don’t you remember your last name either?

– No. Well, it’s been a long time. Thank God I remember your last name. (laughs)

– An interesting episode, I think today is the time to remember it.

– The citizens! The main thing is not to violate traffic rules, and if you do, let an honest traffic policeman come across you!

– And if he is not guilty of anything, Stepashin will protect him now.

– Definitely.

– Thank you, Comrade Colonel General!

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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