General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Mansur Yusupov: “It has become much more difficult to die in Russia, and this is good”

Interview
General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Mansur Yusupov: “It has become much more difficult to die in Russia, and this is good”
General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Mansur Yusupov: “It has become much more difficult to die in Russia, and this is good”
11 December 2020, 11:43
The statistics of mortality from external causes in the Russian Federation have appeared in the public domain. These data, although they remain alarming, indicate a significant decrease in the crime rate in Russia.

What is the reason? Correspondent of Novye Izvestia Irina Mishina interviewed Major General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, retired, member of the OS of the Moscow Prosecutor's Office Mansur Yusupov.

- Mansur Ravilovich, you have worked in the Ministry of Internal Affairs since the 70s, you have gone from a guard policeman to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Directorate. You probably could observe how the statistics of mortality from external causes in our country changed with your own eyes. According to the latest data, mortality from external causes in Russia has decreased from 368 thousand people per year (this is the data for 1994) to 128 thousand in 2019. The number of deaths from homicide is now lower than in a quiet 1962 and 8 times lower than in 1994. How can you explain this?

Mansur Yusupov:

- There are two reasons for this. On the one hand, virtually all entrances of houses, shops, all city organizations are equipped with outdoor surveillance cameras. Everything is viewed from several cameras. It is difficult enough to be unnoticed now, and criminals know it. Of course, they are aware of the technical capabilities of the modern investigation. What we now have in the arsenal of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Investigative Committee is not comparable to what was in the 60s, 70s and even in the 90s in Russia.

Murders are investigated today sometimes in 1 day. When I came to the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department in the 70s, I went to the scene of the crime alone as an investigator, although I am not a criminalist. We drew up a protocol of the inspection of the scene, tried to collect evidence, but we acted mainly based on logic. Now a large group is leaving for the crime scene, including not only an investigator, an interrogator, but also experts. One hair left at the crime scene can be used to identify the killer. This was not the case before.

In general, it is quite easy to find the murderers by phone billing at the point of the crime. Recently, a contract murder on Karamyshevskaya embankment, during which a man who had withdrawn 100 thousand rubles from a bank was robbed, was solved in 2 days - experts calculated the conversation between the customer and the perpetrator of the crime using telephone billing.

- Why, in your opinion, there are fewer contract killings?

Mansur Yusupov:

- In the 90s I worked as the head of the city police department in the Central Administrative District of Moscow. There were, frankly, a lot of contract killings. Among them were paradoxical ones: FSB Colonel General Trofimov was shot by unknown persons at the entrance of his house. And this crime could not be solved for a long time! Now the CCTV footage will show the killer instantly. There is another factor as well. Before the "noughties" there was a strong influence of the so-called "thieves in law". Now this audience is under the strict control of law enforcement agencies. Theft has moved to another level, it is a corruption component. But that's another topic.

- For a long time you headed the Department of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Transport. How has the number of accidents decreased now? The death toll in car accidents rose from 1989 to 2003. Now, compared with the "peak" of deaths from road accidents (it falls on 2003), this sad figure has decreased by almost 2 times.

Mansur Yusupov:

- Over the years, tens of thousands of kilometers of roads with several dedicated lanes have been built. The quality of roads, their coverage and illumination have also improved. The situation was also affected by the widespread installation of cameras that monitor speeding.

In the 90s, a huge number of accidents occurred on the Moscow Ring Road: drivers flew there at great speed in the dark, in oncoming lanes - all this was a "hot spot" of our transport system for a long time. After the roads with separated lanes, 4-5 lanes each, were built there, the road was illuminated, cameras were installed that monitored the speed, the situation changed radically. Today we have a paradox: in comparison with the 80s, the number of vehicles in Moscow alone has increased 100 times. In the 80s, there were about two million cars in Moscow, now more than 8 million. Moreover, the number of road accidents is decreasing every year. These are statistics.

- Probably, the fact that the Russians switched to better and safer cars also played a role. Nowadays it is very rare to meet a Zhiguli, Lada or Volga on the road...

Mansur Yusupov:

“This played a significant role in reducing the number of road traffic deaths. Domestic cars did not have airbags, in foreign cars that get into an accident, almost everyone remains alive. Take as an example the recent high-profile case - an accident in the center of Moscow with the participation of Mikhail Efremov. It was a head-on collision at speed. After him, Efremov got out of his jeep as if nothing had happened, and the driver of the van, alas, died. Was a witness when two foreign cars collided in an accident and both drivers remained alive. Many foreign cars are equipped not only with airbags, but also with shock-absorbing frames, they have aluminum fenders and hoods. In frontal impacts, the engine goes down under the car. Cars are now being made to keep the driver as safe as possible. On expensive cars of the latest models, the electronics in a collision is triggered in such a way that the steering wheel itself goes to the side to save the driver.

- Mortality from alcohol poisoning has decreased by almost half, if we count from the 90s. What factors influenced this?

Mansur Yusupov:

- Now alcoholic beverages are tightly controlled by Rosalcohol and Rospotrebnadzor. The flow of homemade alcohol is virtually shut off. In the 90s, there was literally a stream of industrial alcohol from Finland and Holland. It was diluted and sold in bottles with beautiful labels. We had our own production of low quality alcohol in Ossetia. From this alcohol they made homemade vodka, from which people died. At the beginning of the two thousandth, the examination, control and certification of alcoholic beverages were introduced without fail. Measures against counterfeit alcohol, as far as I know, were taken at the state level. At that time, I was just in charge of the security department of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry; we held a large number of meetings with government agencies regarding counterfeit products.

Now, on the initiative of the Association of Veterans of Law Enforcement Agencies, an all-Russian conference "Anti-counterfeiting" is held annually, at which all such cases are made public. According to the latest data, a large number of non-certified products are now going through Belarus from other countries. We try to react to every such fact.

- Summing up all that has been said, is it possible to speak of Russia's breakthrough in the fight against external causes of death?

Mansur Yusupov:

- I would not idealize the situation, because it must be viewed in comparison with other countries. Unfortunately, in Europe we are far from being leaders. But if we take certain areas of the struggle for the life and safety of people, I can say: our life has become much safer.

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