The European Court of Human Rights has awarded 35,000 euros to a young Russian woman who suffered abuse at the hands of the Russian police back in 1999. Though the incident dates back to the last year of Yeltsin’s presidency, what evidence is available to the general public suggests that the police and the courts continue to break the law on a large scale and in a detestable manner.
The Russian business news agency RBC reminds that, according to a 2005 opinion poll, over 50% of the residents of Russian cities with a population of above one million, live in fear of the police. Over 80% of the Russians believe abuse of power by Russia law enforcement agencies is a major problem; 79% feel unprotected against such abuse; 59% do not count on the courts to protect their rights against police abuse.
In other words, most Russians feel they are living in a failed state.