“Bark as you can”. Swearing, hysterics and chaos in MIA 

“Bark as you can”. Swearing, hysterics and chaos in MIA
Photo: RIA Novosti/Anton Denisov

The Head of the Investigation of Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Central Federal District of Moscow Aza Batazhova became known to general public after the audio recording of her conversation with subordinates, during which she suggested one of the employees to shoot himself because of his “foolishness”. Life discovered why does the police prefer communicate with the help of swear words and screaming.

All subordinates call the Head of the Investigation of Administration of MIA in the Central Federal District of Moscow Aza Batazhova - Terminator behind her back. This nickname she got from a famous short meeting, which record was published earlier by Life.

- What was published is nothing. If she is not in the mood or you did something wrong it is better to keep out of her sight. She will badmouth you hard, - tells one of subordinate.

However, many police officers declare that heads of territorial subdivisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are under constant pressure from their superiors.

- They shout at us, while people from central office shout at them, - police officers note.

They say that Terminator was shouting on a short meeting for a reason – she was worried about the future report to the higher administration and therefore required to “tie up loose ends” on old criminal cases.

After the Head of the General Investigative Administration of the MIA in Moscow Natalya Agafyeva swore at too slow employees, Aza Umarovna instructed one of the employees to come to work on Saturday to finish the case that "hangs" for more than a year in the police office. The investigator decided to come on Sunday, but he did not complete the task. It acted as a catalyst of the superiors’ anger.

Batazhova suggested hem to shot himself “because he is a moron” and he “has no brain and male honor”.

She also added that if she had caught his eye that day she would have reprimanded him.

- If I had caught you on Saturday, you would have certainly met a Terminator, - she said.

The ill-fated meeting

The meeting took place, presumably, on August 22. First Batazhova called all subordinates into her cabinet by one and told everyone that she prohibited them to sit down. Thus, they were standing apparently, throughout the all "execution".

Batazhova was to face her superiors and explain why criminal cases, all terms of which had already been expired, had not been finished yet and brought to trial. She was nervous, blaming the subordinates in the delay. The same also concerned resolutions on prolongation of a period of investigation ("delays").

- Today in the morning I must report to the general why I don’t finish cases, why I exceed prescriptive limits, - she was getting mad, - We should have brought the “delays” to the General Investigative Administration already in the afternoon! I was standing there like a moron, f***!

The anger of the head switches to those investigating officers who did not come on Saturday. Because of heavy workload investigating officers do not often see their family and try to spend with heir wives and children at least one day off a week. Batazhova does not accept such excuses.

- How can you not respect yourselves? Grown up men finding excuses like kids in school. The only thing you do not say yet is “I went to change clothes because I peed myself”. Everything else I have already heard from you. About a wife and about kids, and about anything else, - she shouts, - You are talking about your wives like they are f**** “Miss Worlds”! You are afraid to loose them! This is the point you reached. As if they support you, not you support them. Your wives are already controlling you. If your wives control you, go and satisfy them as they want! And in that case you won’t be paid here.

Approximately at this time, a certain general from the General Investigative Administration of MIA in Moscow connected through a selector or video conferencing. Batazhova said to him illegibly that she did not have any information. In response he frostily asked to prepare all necessary documents.

- Yes, comrade General! – said Batazhova and immediately continue yelling at her subordinates, standing in the cabinet.

- What should I say? What the f*** should say, huh?! If today everything already got to the GUVD [General Administration of MIA], that you can not f***** finish anything?! It is good that he is nor screaming, because he sees in what state I am in. Why, he says, you, Batazhova, go to work all day long, but do not give any results? How can I make you work, make you finish on its due date? How?! Beat your head with cudgel, break your skull?!

New flame of anger was caused by the fact that a female investigator did not move to a cabinet of another investigator as she could not work with him. When the girl asked to find a compromise and transfer her to another cabinet, Batazhova reminded her of her “screw ups” and demanded her to immediately write a statement about transferring back to the district administration.

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Another batch of insults showered on the head of the investigator who incorrectly executed the sick certificate: instead of going to doctors from the departmental hospital of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, he went to a district hospital.

Aza Umarovna immediately forced him to write a letter of resignation at own will. However, that was not all. Terminator called an employee from the personnel department and ordered to send a notice of dismissal to a military enlistment office. Now, if something happens, the dismissed investigator will be sent to compulsory military service.   

Closer to the end of the meeting Aza Umarovna, who have already calmed down slightly, remembered a well-known quote that irreplaceable people do not exist, however she expressed confidence that she herself will remain on her place.

- Don’t play with “we are irreplaceable”. Don’t you understand that there are no irreplaceable people? With all that shortage of an investigative unit we still continue to dismiss people. Stop dreaming! I will be sitting here like a sucker. Everyone will be dismissed but I will stay.

Look from the inside

The recording received ambiguous reaction among investigating officers and police officers of Moscow. Many police officers considered statements of Aza Batazhova too tough and dangerous. All remember how not so long ago investigating officer in Ufa shot himself because of stress at work. The officer left a suicide note, where he wrote that he could not bear the harassment of the management.

After that the community of a social network VKontakte, Podslushano u politsii (Overheard at the police) conducted a survey among 50 thousand subscribers. It appeared that 71% of police officers exposed to pressure from the administration, and 3% from them even had suicide thoughts due to this.

At the same time, some employees do not see anything unusual in Batazhova's behavior.

— A normal working situation in the investigation. Nothing unusual. I am not surprised at all, - says Moscow investigator Semen. – When the general calls us, even we want to shoot ourselves.  One was taken from toolbox meeting with a heart attack.

At the same time, the Batazhova’s superiors completely supported her. Head of the General Investigative Administration of MIA Natalya Agafyeva supported Batazhova, declaring that the investigator upon whom the anger of Aza Umarovna fell, provoked the chief himself.

Similar loud “swearing” scandal was in 2011, when officers of Danilovsky Office of MIA posted a record of how militia major Alexey Maryansky excoriated district police officers. Media reported then that after this case the Ministry of Internal Affairs issued special brochures — guides on how employee should talk to colleagues and citizens. They even started to put registrars, which recorded all negotiations of police officers in patrol cars UAZ. Then if the record contained swearing words – the policeman received a penalty.

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Life asked military psychologist, director of special programs in the Moscow center of protection from stress Alexey Zakharov whether similar "anti-abusive" initiatives are effective.

—  The situation which determines fixed humiliation of subordinates will lead to the fact that there won’t be effective management of subdivision, the authority of such chief will be very low and accomplishment of his instructions will always be called into question — Zakharov considers. — A chief has enough methods to bring up subordinate without shouts. Therefore any measures to reduce such cases should be taken. Including video recorders. Because when such things are recorded and looked through - it disciplines.

Psychologically helpless

Breakdowns of bosses and ordinary employees, are not uncommon, and are a sad trend in the system of Internal Affairs. The work is intense – nerves break down. In general, there are staff psychologists in the police departments for such cases. It is assumed that each employee can come to them and tell them about the service and personal problems to get emotional relief. But most police officers do not like psychologists, contemptuously call them "loonies" and consider a trip to them as sign of weakness.

- I would better drink with the commander or with colleagues and discuss urgent problems, than to go to a psychologist, - he investigating officer Nikolay says. – I believe that a psychologist in department – is a completely useless unit. You can still hold one or two on the whole Administration. I have never gone to a psychologist in 10 years and I am not going to. Among my colleagues no one have ever gone to the departmental psychologist to complain about work or about personal problems.

Moreover, conversation with psychologist can lead to additional problems on service.

- Psychologist with shoulder straps is not a psychologist, but ear and eye of the management, - in absentia agrees with his colleague St. Petersburg field investigator Pavel. - And a revelation with him — direct road to CPD [Center of Psychological Diagnostics, where police officers are examined, and deviant behavior is being identified – Life].

It is a vicious circle – problems appear on service, but you can not go to a psychologist, because you will only get new problems. Life discussed this topic with an ex-prosecutor who asked not to mention his name. According to him, the situation is pretty sad.

- All people are born with conscience. And they go to bodies mainly on the impulse of soul. And when you come to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, conscience won't be amputated there. And when beginners see how the innocent are imprisoned for any rubbish, for any nonsense, and guilty persons shirk from criminal liability... This atmosphere ruins everything - the former prosecutor says. – A person enters an internal conflict – between what he should do by order of the administration and what his conscience tells him to do. This is the very cognitive dissonance, which also leads to similar conflicts, both to alcoholism, and to psychological problems.

The interlocutor says that it is impossible to solve these problems easy way. Employees, even after reform of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, still pursue indicators and still get nervous and have nervous breakdowns when there is no indicators.

— The baculine system changes, new terminology is invented, but the essence of "sticks" doesn't go anywhere — he summed up.

Therefore, similar cases become possible. In conclusion Life gives "a gold collection" of Aza Batazhova's quotes — semi-comic, but actually gloomy evidence of the atmosphere, in which the Russian police officers work. Surnames from the quotes are changed.

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Golden quotes of Aza Batazhova (Terminator)

- Grown up men finding excuses like kids in school.

- Have anyone ever slept with you, Shamanov?

- Shamanov, why are you just standing? Bark at least, as you can!

- Are you relaxing? Relax! You will relax just a little bit more and will go back “to the ground” (About female investigator, who transferred from Central Administrative District “from ground”, meaning from a lower division).

- You have completely lost it <...> I know that you squeak like piggery, before enter my cabinet.

- Everyone will be dismissed but I will stay.

- Why was not you (addressing to a senior investigator) here [on Saturday]? I can not understand how could you fail to control the office. You must live here, with these morons, to change the situation for the better (meaning other investigating officers).

- Oh, I’ll come up to you and hit your forehead with my gun!

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