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Russian policewoman fired after appeal to president

A police officer in Russia’s Urals region said Thursday lost her job after accusing her superiors of corruption in a video addressed to President Dmitry Medvedev.

Major Tatiana Domracheva accused her superiors in the Sverdlovsk region police department of falsifying records on thousands of cases in a 10-minute video address to Russia’s Internet-savvy president in late June.

Two months later, shortly after she was promoted to lieutenant colonel, she was given dismissal papers that cited absence from work, Domracheva told AFP.

The official reason for her sacking was bogus, she said, adding she hoped to get her job back. “I will fight the dismissal in court,” she said.

Several officers have in recent months recorded similar videos to bring attention to problems in the country’s scandal-tainted police.

They were emboldened by Major Alexei Dymovsky, a provincial police officer who gained notoriety in 2009 after recording a personal address to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Dymovsky was also subsequently fired, and later convicted of slander.

In her address, Domracheva said the department had closed thousands of cases after writing them off as having been committed by dead people.

This is done to “get promotions, commendations, and new ranks,” she said in the address on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SPp483MkDQ), urging Medvedev to take action.

“The war against corruption is not happening,” Domracheva told AFP. “It’s absurd: honest employees are fired while superiors responsible for violations get promoted.”

The head of the department, whom Domracheva accused in the video message, was one such promotion and was preparing to move to Moscow, she said.

Moscow police contacted by AFP declined to comment on the claims.

But local police spokesman Valery Gorelykh, speaking to Russian news agencies, denied that the dismissal was unfair.

Domracheva was fired after she was absent from work for several days without a legitimate reason, he was quoted as saying.

Many observers say the Internet in Russia remains the last bastion of free speech, where a small but determined group of Russian bloggers challenge corrupt officials while the docile, state-dominated media looks the other way.