In 2006, sociologist and police captain Igor Groshev learned that most of his students had first-hand knowledge of a phenomenon they were supposed to combat as police officers - corruption. Mr. Groshev, a teacher at the Interior Ministry Law Institute in the city of Tyumen, had conducted a survey to study the extent to which police cadets used bribes to get into that institution or to receive higher grades.
"Originally, I was not on any kind of a crusade. I was just doing my job as a scholar and as a teacher of professional ethics to would-be policemen," Mr. Groshev, 42, told CBS News over the phone from his hometown in Siberia. "But when I got the results of the poll, my hair stood on end. The situation was so horrible that I realized I had to report it to my superiors immediately."
The sociologist’s findings showed that only 3% of those polled had never used bribes to enter the academy or pass exams, while one third admitted to paying between 2,000 and 5,000 dollars in bribes for passing entrance exams without a problem. "And these are the people whose job will be to serve and protect!" Groshev almost shouted on the phone.
The bosses’ reaction was as sharp as it was bewildering. "Instead of dealing with the problem, they decided to deal with me." Before long, Groshev was "officially reprimanded for conducting the poll," subjected to a line-of-duty investigation and subsequently fired from his job.
After the sociologist went public with his findings, the Law Institute took him to court for "harming the professional reputation" of the school - and won. Groshev is still appealing the court verdict in higher instances, but knowledgeable experts in Russia say the sociologist does not have much of a chance.