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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Interior Ministry to Cut Its Office Staff by Half

The Interior Ministry will fire half of the staff at its central office by December, with the candidates for dismissal to be announced by Sept. 1, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said Thursday.

Nurgaliyev said the ministry would help all officers whom it intends to fire during the reform to find new jobs.

After a series of corruption scandals and violent crimes involving police, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered a broad reform of the 1.2 million-member Interior Ministry in December. In February, he signed a decree ordering the Interior Ministry to develop a legal framework for the reform and submit it to the State Duma by year-end.

Speaking to the Duma's Security Committee, Nurgaliyev said the national police force would be reduced by 20 percent in the next two years, though officers who make the cut will get a threefold salary hike.

By 2012, the average officer will be paid 35,000 rubles ($1,200) a month, while a district criminal investigator would receive 55,000 rubles, he said. About 90,000 police officers quit the force every year, with low salaries of $600 to $800 per month cited among the main reasons.

"We are not going to put up with this situation," Nurgaliyev said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Federal authorities will allocate 3.7 billion rubles ($130 million) within the next two years to construct housing for police reassigned to new regions, he said. The ministry is also planning to restructure its universities to eliminate and combine several of them, and they will be accepting half as many students.