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Russian Police Accused Of Carrying Coffin At Funeral Of Crime Boss

A screengrab from a video posted on YouTube which allegedly shows police officers acting as pallbearers for a local criminal figure in Amursk.

Authorities in Russia’s Khabarovsk region say they are investigating allegations that several police officers carried the coffin of a local gang leader during his funeral and that employees of the prosecutors’ office also attended the funeral.

The allegations emerged on social media after a video was posted on YouTube on January 8 that shows the funeral procession -- a large crowd of people walking on a motorway followed by several vehicles.

Pallbearers can be seen carrying the coffin. But the footage was recorded from a distance and it was not clear whether any of the pallbearers were wearing police uniforms.

A female voice in the video says the footage shows the funeral procession of Yury Zarubin, who is known by the nickname Zaruba and was buried on January 8 in the city of Amursk.

The woman who speaks in the video also claims that workers dispersed sand ahead of the funeral procession to de-ice the snow-covered highway.

Some viewers commented that several police officers and employees of the prosecutors' office attended the funeral.

The press office for the regional police has denied that any law enforcement officials were present at the funeral.

Irina Shchyogoleva, the head of the press office, said on January 10 that police are investigating the video posted under the YouTube username "ihar felyzen."

She said the person who posted footage has previously been listed by police as a suspected criminal, but she would not provide further details about the individual.

Shchyogoleva said he was "being interviewed" to "establish reasons" why the video was shared online.

Shchyogoleva also said lawyers were "assessing the extent of the damage it inflicted to the reputation of police."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the local prosecutor's office denied that any of its employees attended the funeral, including the chief prosecutor in the city of Amursk.

The spokesperson told state media that the prosecutor had been away in the regional capital, Khabarovsk City, when the funeral took place.