Russian policeman quits for 'urinating in office'
A senior Russian police officer dubbed "the pissing policeman" after a video of him urinating in the office corridor became an Internet sensation has quit, officials said Thursday.
Tens of thousands of people have watched the video posted on YouTube of how the police officer, dressed only in a pair of underpants and socks, calmly walks out of an office and relieves himself in the corridor.
Leaving a conspicuous puddle on the floor, he then nonchalantly strolls back inside the office. In scenes worthy of a silent comedy, a fellow employee then discovers the mishap and other staff gradually emerge from their offices to gaze in disbelief.
The video -- shot by the in-house closed-circuit camera -- identified the policeman as Alexei Isakov, the head of personnel of the police force of the Lomonosov district outside Saint Petersburg.
Confirming the authenticity of the video, the police force for Saint Petersburg and its surrounding region said it launched a probe and established that Isakov was present that day and "in a state of alcoholic intoxication".
It said in a statement that Isakov had now handed in his resignation but the head of the Saint Petersburg police force Mikhail Sukhodolsky has asked the interior ministry to allow him to be formally sacked.
"The video sparked huge public interest and caused considerable damage to the image of the interior ministry organs," it said.
It remains unclear how the footage found its way to the Internet, where it was posted by a blogger cleverly using the jaunty soundtrack from the much-loved Soviet comedy "Gentlemen of Fortune".
The scandal was the latest embarrassment for Russia's troubled police force which is battling incompetence, corruption and alcoholism within its ranks and is the target of a major reform drive spearheaded by President Dmitry Medvedev.
There has been a marked upsurge in recent months of Russians using Internet videos to blow the whistle on excesses, exposing violations by the drivers of politicians, violence by the police and the lavish tastes of officials.
© 2011 AFP