High-ranking officer dismissed for drunken shooting: Kremlin

20th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has dismissed a general working for the interior ministry after he brandished his gun and fired it outside a Moscow store while drunk, the Kremlin said Monday.

General Yevgeny Novikov "has been released from his functions as deputy chief of the interior ministry's department in charge of maintaining public order," the Kremlin's statement said.

In February, a drunken Novikov took out his pistol and fired several shots in front of a Moscow store where he had stopped his car to ask for directions, the Russian media reported.

The store's security guards, whom he spoke to, were able to disarm Novikov but not hold him. They had to contact the police who arrested Novikov that same day, the media reports said.

Novikov was released from custody but an investigation into the incident was opened.

Scandals involving Russian police officials -- from murder to extortion to corruption -- have increased in recent years.

Last December Medvedev introduced a police reform aiming to reduce the workforce by some 20 percent, raise salaries and attract a better selection of future police officers.

© 2010 AFP

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