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What’s in a Name?

police080610.jpgMedvedev announced today he wants the Russian police to be called by its pre-communist era name.

“We need professional people. We need personnel who work efficiently and honestly,” RFE/RL quotes Medvedev. “So I believe that the time has come to return the ‘militsia’ its old name and from now on call our law enforcement agency ‘politsia.'”

Medvedev has proclaimed on many occasions that fighting police corruption is one of his top priorities. But the public’s trust in the police force remains dismally low and reports of corruption and unpunished police beatings keep coming. It’s doubtful that a name change will make any difference. More important, of course, is whether Medvedev actually succeeds in implementing (and upholding) a newly-proposed law that would redefine the rights and responsibilities of the police.

(AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)