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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cops Are Counting Arrested Chechens

They’re keeping score.

At the end of each shift, Moscow police are now required to document the number of people from the Caucasus they managed to arrest, and how much money from such people they’ve managed to confiscate.

And in a sign of the thinking behind this new policy, confiscated money is broken down into categories, including "money intended to support the media in the interest of bandit formations," a newspaper report said.

Police spokesman Alexander Oboidikhin on Friday confirmed the existence of the document described by Noviye Izvestia this week. He refused to comment explicitly on the contents of the document, but did not deny the newspaper’s charges.

Called the "Operation Whirlwind Report" — after the anti-terrorist operation that has been in force since the apartment bombings last year — the document consists of a table apparently meant to be completed by patrol officers. The table is divided by types of detainees and the intended purposes of confiscated cash, Noviye Izvestia said.

Critics of the police, as well as ex-cops, have long maintained that there are secret quotas for detentions, arrests and fines — and that those quotas — increased after the apartment bombings and the recent explosion in the Pushkin Square underpass.

Oboidikhin confirmed that all patrolmen must fill out a report on the day’s results at the end of their shifts.

"The police know best which documents to issue and use for our work. We have got to keep track of what we are doing. It’s our job," Oboidikhin said in a telephone interview.

He added that the chart is used by police to insure the safety of Muscovites.

According to Noviye Izvestia, the chart for detainees is divided into Moscow residents and those without Moscow registration. Each of these categories is divided up into three ethnic categories — Chechens, Georgians and Azeris. There is no space for ethnic Russians or any other categories, the newspaper said.

Another section of report breaks down seized assets by their intended purpose. The purposes listed include purchase of real estate, recruitment of mercenaries to fight against the federal troops in Chechnya, financing media outlets for favorable coverage of the Chechen rebels and money to be transferred to the rebels themselves.

Oboidikhin would not comment on Noviye Izvestia’s specific description. He merely said the document was "misinterpreted."

Noviye Izvestia news editor Valery Yakov said the day after the article about the table was printed, police came to the newspaper’s office to ask how the reporters got hold of the chart.

Oboidikhin suggested that "some journalist might have snuck a look at a copy of the report on my desk."

Sergei Grigoryants of the Glasnost Foundation said the document is a typical example of the country’s inflated bureaucracy, which forces people who should be preventing crime to fill out charts every day.

At the same time, he was outraged that the document singles out three ethnicities for police attention.

"Suspecting entire nations of terrorism creates fertile ground for new monstrous conflicts in the future," he said.

Also disturbing is the space on the chart for money intended for favorable coverage of the rebels, he said.

"The situation is unprecedented. Media are being considered likely allies of the Chechen rebels," Grigoryants said, adding that law enforcement agencies could use the charge as an excuse to go after any media outlet they do not approve of.