Rape in Ufa police: System hits rock bottom 

Rape in Ufa police: System hits rock bottom
The Russian police has hit yet another bottom Photo: The CrimeRussia

The investigation of a high-profile police rape case is ongoing in Ufa. The picture becomes more and more clear with each day. Concurrently, new details of intersexual relations in the police are popping up. The bizarre story of the 23-year-old female interrogator gang-raped by her bosses vividly illustrates the moral portrait of those supposed to protect us.

Finding an excuse

Overnight into October 30, 2018, three fellow servicemen were drinking in the Migration Division of the Department for the Ufa District of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for the Republic of Bashkortostan: 34-year-old major Pavel Yaromchuk, Head of the Migration Division; 51-year-old Eduard Matveev, Head of the MIA Department for the Ufa District; and 50-year-old Salavat Galiev, Head of the MIA Department for the Karmaskaly District. The place was chosen for a purpose – there are no residential buildings nearby; therefore, no risk to be spotted by local residents intoxicated and in uniform. Furthermore, there are no officers on duty in the Migration Division.

The reason for the feast was likely not too significant. According to some sources, the party was held to celebrate the forthcoming promotion of Eduard Matveev. His former boss, Artur Akhmetkhanov, has been appointed Acting Vice Premier of the Republic of Bashkortostan. Akhmetkhanov had allegedly planned to take the Head of the MIA Department for the Ufa District with him to the big-league politics. Other sources claim that the reason was much more trivial. “There was the 100th anniversary of the Komsomol on October 29. Yaromchuk, Matveev, and Galiev decided to celebrate it,” – a source of Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in the investigative bodies says.

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Eduard Matveev, Salavat Galiev, and Pavel Yaromchuk

In the course of the drinking party, the policemen became desirous for female companions. One of their subordinates agreed to bear their company and took with her a 23-year-old friend – interrogator Gyuzel (the name is changed).

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Victim

“A female friend invited her after the work. Nearly in the form of order. The boss has called and invited them. A car was sent for them,” – a relative of Gyuzel says.

According to Komsomolskaya Pravda sources, Gyuzel was in sympathy with 34-year-old Pavel Yaromchuk, while he had a liking for her. Gyuzel's female friend also felt sympathetic to Yaromchuk, and she has demonstrated this. As a result, a conflict escalated between the girls resulting in a fight. The winner is unknown, but the friend had to leave. By the way, Aslyam Khalikov, defense attorney for Matveev, claims that on that night, there were not two – but three women in the office; he believes that this circumstance excludes any possibility of the rape. 

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Lawyer Aslyam Khalikov

Regardless of the number of girls in the room, ultimately Gyuzel was left alone with three men there.

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Next morning, the girl came to investigators and reported the rape. She said that Yaromchuk, Matveev, and Galiev had raped and beaten her. She cried for help – but no one could hear her: there were neither officers on duty in the building nor residential homes nearby.

Official version: brief and without details

The supreme MIA command decided not to wait for the investigation results, and the three policemen have been dismissed on the next day “for deeds discrediting honor and dignity”.

Operatives of the MIA General Administration of Internal Security have been dispatched to the Republic of Bashkortostan “to verify the information on a grievous crime” committed against a police officer.

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Eduard Matveev, Salavat Galiev, and Pavel Yaromchuk have been charged under Article 131 (rape) and Article 132 (violent actions of sexual character) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. They face up to 10 years behind bars.

Residences and offices of the suspects have been searched. The expert assessment confirmed the fact of the rape. Biomaterials of Pavel Yaromchuk have been found. However, Yaromchuk is currently a witness in this case because he made a plea deal.

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Salavat Galiev in court

On November 2, the Kirovsky District Court of Ufa has remanded the three police officers in custody for two months – until December 31, 2018.

Family guys and sportsmen

According to sources, later the policemen have stated that they had sex with the 23-year-old female interrogator by mutual consent. Furthermore, all the three officers have a nearly perfect reputation.

Eduard Matveev, Salavat Galiev, and Pavel Yaromchuk were characterized positively in the past. According to Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, Yaromchuk was a fan of the healthy lifestyle; being an inspector of the Federal Migration Service, he had participated in the departmental Spartakiad and even took a second place in the darts competition. The 34-year-old policeman is married for the third time; he has two children from the two past marriages and two kids in the current marriage.

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Salavat Galiev

Yaromchuk’s wife Vasilya entirely supports her husband claiming that he could not participate in an orgy. According to her, Pavel was at home on that day. 

“On the evening of October 29, he drove home, parked the car, and stayed at home for the rest of the night. On the next morning, he, as usually, went to work. In the evening, he couldn’t be contacted; then called and briefly said that they have some inspection. Later he told that he is accused of rape”.

Another suspect, Matveev, had recently told journalists about his high crime solving rate, including grievous and especially grievous crimes. In his last year's report, he has paid great attention to "the strengthening of discipline and law-obedience among the personnel". According to Matveev, 80 officers have been brought to disciplinary responsibility in 2017. In order to reduce the number of disciplinary incidents involving the personnel, quarterly service training sessions have been introduced. 

However, a criminal case was reportedly instituted against Matveev in the past for a sale of a stolen vehicle with altered VIN number.

It is also necessary to note that Eduard Matveev had ties with ‘golden prosecutor’ Ramil Garifullin – owner of numerous real properties and hundreds of millions of rubles found in the course of searches in his residence.

Not much information is available in relation to the third suspect – 50-year-old Salavat Galiev, Head of the MIA Department for the Karmaskaly District. He used to be a deputy of Eduard Matveev and was never involved into any ‘shady’ stories. Based on his photos posted on social networks, the officer likes sports and plays guitar.

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Salavat Galiev

The positive publications about the policemen in the media and on social networks have stirred up sympathy among some readers – while others accused the press and social networks of deliberate whitewashing of the officers. Some Internet users had even called for a rally in support of Yaromchuk, Matveev, and Galiev. 

Blame yourself or ‘Shurygina in uniform’ 

According to some information, the victim is either a daughter or niece of general Irek Sagitov, Deputy Head of the Directorate for the Republic of Bashkortostan of the National Guard of Russia. Colleagues were aware that Gyuzel was a relative of the general. “They are not idiots to jump at her and rape, – a source of Komsomolskaya Pravda–Ufa newspaper claims. – It is also interesting how could she end up in their company? It is unlikely that commanders would drink alcohol in the presence of junior personnel”.

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According to the media, Irek Sagitov is stressed and suffers from preinfarction angina due to the incident.    

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Irek Sagitov

In July 2018, Gyuzel has graduated from the Ufa Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and started serving at the Department for the Ufa District of the MIA for the Republic of Bashkortostan. Groupmates say different things about Gyuzel. Allegedly, her name was mentioned in relation to several scandals. Two years ago, a cadet was booted from the institute amid harassment allegations brought by her. After that incident, the girl has been nicknamed ‘Shurygina in uniform'.    

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In the meantime, some media outlets published materials questioning the guilt of the policemen: the authors claim, either directly or not, that the interrogator had sex with them voluntarily or that there were no sexual encounters at all. Furthermore, alcohol was found in Gyuzel’s blood as well – advocates for the officers believe that this confirms her voluntary participation in the party. Colleagues of the suspects also don’t believe in their guilt: “No one has doubts that there was a sex contact or contacts. But there is a version that this was done by mutual consent. However, in the morning, she felt ashamed and decided to file a complaint”. 

“I thought from the very beginning that this interrogator from Ufa was not that white and fuzzy, – blogger hueviebin1 writes on LiveJournal. – Have you seen this interrogator? What a sexy baby. Why do you think such cuties join the police service with its predominantly male contingent? The reason causing such young beautiful girls to join such a risky service is obvious: career growth. Just think: everybody is aware of the low social responsibility and unpleasant moral portrait of the men serving in the law enforcement structures. What a normal woman would work with this contingent? But such cute interrogators would frame up any case against anybody for the sake of a much-desired promotion”.

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Ultimately, the rally in support of the policemen fell through – while feminists have expressed their solidarity with the victim. On November 5, 2018, activists of Feminism in Bashkortostan public group held several single-person protests in popular locations of Ufa in relation to the high-profile incident in the Bashkir police. The purpose of their protests was to attract public attention to the tradition of blaming rape victims. "The recent rape of an interrogator in Ufa has once again shown that the majority of the people don't understand: the rapist is solely responsible for the rape. Do the people accusing the victim of the incident understand this?" – feminists wrote on the BashFem public page. They emphasize that it is always the choice of the potential rapist: to rape or not to rape. Both research studies and life experience of the majority of the victims show that lenten clothes don't reduce the level of harassment, the feminists claim.  

“I want it and take it” 

Psychiatrist Mikhail Baryshev believes that the actions of the policemen don’t have a rational explanation. According to the specialist, high-ranked enforcement officers are accustomed to doing whatever they want; their slogan is: I want it and take it”. 

“First, I think that they were strongly intoxicated and not governed by anything. The suspects had followed their instincts rather than the common sense – after all, they were officers and they were at the workplace. Second, these officers got accustomed to permissiveness and impunity. Third, similar incidents had occurred in these structures in the past as well – but such episodes are little known due to the principle: don't wash your dirty linen in public,” – the psychiatrist told on REN TV.

After the public disclosure, many other such cases have popped up.

It became known that in summer 2015, six police officers of Novotroitsk, Orenburg region, have raped District Inspector Svetlana Z. at her workplace. To prevent the woman from fleeing, they had handcuffed her to the desk. During the incident, she lost consciousness. The rapists included Deputy Police Chief Simonov, Interim Chief of District Inspectors Meshcheryakov, and District Inspectors Sheryaev, Kuzumbaev, Aminov, and Shvetsov. Only six months later, the policemen have been charged with deliberate rape of a helpless victim. Initially, the police command was unwilling to dismiss the six offenders despite the charges openly laid against them by the girl. 

An attempted rape was committed in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 2016. 24-year-old Oksana P., a Patrol and Guard Service Officer, has reported a rape attempt made by her boss – 51-year-old Nikolai Mamchur, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and Head of the MIA Investigations Administration for the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). In April 2018, the severely intoxicated colonel of justice has summoned the officer on duty to his office – but because of the active resistance of the victim, “failed to complete his actions” and committed “sexual violence”. After the exposure of the crime, Mamchur submitted a resignation letter and attempted to commit suicide by shooting his neck with a traumatic pistol. After the release from hospital, the deputy minister had denied any guilt and awaited the trial under home arrest. No information is available to the moment with regards to the verdict.

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Nikolai Mamchur

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Attempted rape victim Oksana P.

Lyubov Gerasimova, a former officer of the Patrol and Guard Service of Chelyabinsk, had complained about sexual harassment exercised by her superiors for several years and ultimately had to resign.

“In 2012, I submitted the first complaint against sexual harassment to the regimental commander. A service audit was carried out. I hoped that this puts an end to the unacceptable situation. But the audit ended up in nothing. Then they started pressurizing me for attracting the attention of the regimental commander and demanded me to resign. I went on maternity leave and returned to work in mid-2014. The pressure continued,” – tells Gerasimova who has resigned in 2017.

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Lyubov Gerasimova

Mikhail Pashkin, Head of the Moscow Police Professional Union, told Ura.ru portal about the specificity of intersexual relations in the MIA. 

“Much depends on the woman. Of course, if a woman or two serve in a male collective, significant attention is paid to them, especially by the commanders, – Mikhail Pashkin believes. – Some women agree to everything, sleep with their bosses, and receive bonuses and promotions for that. Some refuse to do so – and are pressurized and demanded to resign. Once a young female investigator has addressed us. According to her, she has rejected advances of her boss – and he started picking faults in her work and refused to grant her vacations. We submitted a letter to the Head of the MIA Administration asking to test them both on a polygraph detector. The test confirmed her claims and disproved his allegations. However, he has been promoted afterwards, while she has been transferred to another department. 

The story of the 23-year-old female interrogator vividly illustrates the moral portrait of those supposed to protect us. The Ufa incident is not only a personal tragedy of the girl and her relatives. This is a tragedy of the entire law enforcement agency whose bosses openly demonstrate their nature having nothing to do with honor and dignity. How many such policemen are currently serving in Russia? Is the MIA going to get rid of them?

In fact, verses of musician Sergei Shnurov provide an answer: “Somebody will be released, somebody will be put behind bars, nothing will change”.

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