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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Top Cop Talks Tough on Crime

Moscow has a new and reputedly tough police chief this week, only a week after city hall ruled the police department's efforts to stem rising crime in the city as unsatisfactory.

Vladimir Pankratov is a policeman's cop with 30 years experience who, until one month ago, headed the Interior Ministry's sports club, Dynamo, according to a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

Before that he headed the Moscow GAI traffic police for four years. He is also an expert in hand to hand combat and a former martial arts champion.

Aged 53, Pankratov takes over Moscow at a time when violent and organized crime are rising rapidly. Answering questions posed by the daily Kuranty, Pankratov stressed that two million people pass through the capital every day, making crime control extremely difficult.

The new police chief gave a fair inkling of his character when he answered Kuranty's question of how Muscovites could escape being attacked in the streets by saying that, "First of all I would advise men to be men and not whiners. As for women, they should always take with them a loyal ally".

In his one month as deputy to the outgoing Arkady Murashov, Pankratov was credited with masterminding a sweep through Moscow's kiosks and markets which netted 1 million rubles of stolen domestic cigarettes and spirits.