chapter  18
10 Pages

Raskolnikov’s Regret: Covering Crime in Russia

WithAlexei Izyumov

Crime has become much more a public matter. It is true, of course, that the upheavals of perestroika led to the increase in the volume of crime itself. For many Russians this explosion of crime information was a great shock. The "Russian" style of crime reporting has much to do with the writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Ever since Crime and Punishment men of letters in Russia were keen on studying the motives and circumstances that produce crime. In contrast, the "European" style of crime reporting did not have any particular source of inspiration. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 brought about radical changes in both the patterns of crime in Russia and its reporting. The Khrushchev era saw a partial undoing of Stalin's legacy. The judicial system was largely depoliticized; millions of people were rehabilitated and allowed to return from prisons and labor camps. Leonid Brezhnev, who ousted Khrushchev in 1964, preserved his predecessors' ideological attitude towards crime.