YEKATERINBURG, Russia, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The beating of a Russian police critic who ended up in a hospital after he tried to register his car has spurred criticism of police corruption.
Kirill Formanchuk's case inspired demonstrations in Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in Yekaterinburg, the industrial center in the Ural Mountains where he lives, The New York Times reported. Even Russian television, normally supportive of the government, has done stories on him.
Car ownership has skyrocketed to 28 million vehicles since the end of Communism, and many motorists say police officers see that as a money-making opportunity. Critics also say drivers tend to flout traffic laws because they know they can buy their way out of tickets.
Formanchuk, a government bureaucrat turned full-time activist, became a self-taught legal expert, interrogating police officers who pulled him over. His critics, especially in the police, say he is a scofflaw.