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Russia To Prosecute YouTube Police Whistleblower

Aleksei Dymovsky faces fraud charges for his videos alleging corruption in Russia's police force.
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- A former policeman who accused senior officers of corruption in a series of video blogs will himself face prosecution for abuse of office, Russian investigators said today.

Former police major Aleksei Dymovsky became a household name in Russia earlier this year when he used YouTube to appeal to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to tackle corruption in the police force.

A criminal case would be brought against Dymovsky for "fraud committed by a person using his official position," according to a statement from the Prosecutor-General's investigative committee. It gave no further details.

Dymovsky, who worked for the police force in the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, appealed to Putin to rein in senior officers whom he accused of pressuring subordinates to charge innocent people to meet statistical targets.

"I want to show you from the inside the life of cops across Russia...the ignorance, the boorishness, the recklessness, where officers die because of their dim-witted bosses," Dymovsky said in the video.

The clip received more than 1 million hits on YouTube.

He was fired after making the appeal. Regional police also conducted their own investigation after the videos were released, which they said did not back up Dymovsky's allegations.

Corruption is endemic in Russian society and global surveys have repeatedly ranked the former Soviet state as one of the most corrupt in the world.