A senior police officer making claims of chronic corruption in the Russian police force has stirred controversy in the country and prompted the interior minister to launch an investigation.
In a video posted on the internet and addressed to Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, Mayor Alexei Dymovsky accused his superiors in the southern city of Novorossiisk of treating officers "like cattle" and preordaining the results of investigations.
"I am tired of being made to uncover crimes that do not exist. I am tired of being told that these are the people who we need go to jail," Dymovsky said.
His remarks have been reported throughout the Russian media and on Sunday, an official said Rashid Nurgaliyev, the interior minister, had ordered an investigation into the claims.
Report to Putin
Valery Gribakin, a police spokesman, said: "A report will be drawn up which Nurgaliyev will present to President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin."
In the video, Dymovsky asked Putin for a "face-to-face" meeting to discuss the problems in the police force.
"Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], you talk about reducing corruption and that corruption should not simply be a crime but also improper. But this is not the case," he said.
"I told my boss in Novorossiisk the police are corrupt... He said there's no way to remove corruption, that it's simply the local mentality."
Russian authorities have admitted that corruption is a problem in the police force.
"Alexei Dymovsky has said what almost all employees of the police force in Russia think," Mikhail Pashkin, the head of the Russian police officers union, told the Moscow Echo radio.
But the Novorossiisk police, in an open letter to the city, said that they were "insulted to the depths of the soul" by Dymovsky's comments, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Vladimir Grebenyuk, the head of the Novorossiisk force, told Moscow Echo "that there cannot be confirmation of a single fact that he gives".