This paper explores major issues with Russia’s 2011 federal police reform law (“Law on Police”) that call into question whether the law can be considered progress toward democratization, or whether it fortifies existing structures of corruption, further diminishing public control over the police force. The paper first explores the demand for police reform, including examining salient holdovers from the Soviet militia, and then briefly outlines the framework of democratic policing that will be used to analyze the legislation, before exploring the major flaws in the drafting process and the provisions of the law that will limit its efficacy, including issues with the drafting, financing of the reforms, staffing review, and accountability/monitoring.

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