Enough’s enough. Police officers across Russia are taking their own lives, and the justice system itself is partly to blame

Every year in Russia, according to various data, anywhere from 50 to 400 police officers end their own lives. Last year, suicides accounted for at least 10 percent of all deaths among officers — and that figure is based only on the reported cases (Russia’s Interior Ministry doesn’t release full statistics). The cause of suicides in the police force is usually listed as “family and domestic problems,” but many inside the Interior Ministry say they suspect Russia’s law-enforcement system itself is to blame, with its constant overtime work and rising performance targets for solved crimes. Police suicides are unusually common in Bashkiria, where there were 10 such deaths just last year. Meduza special correspondent Pavel Merzlikin traveled to the region, to learn about the grueling life in law enforcement, and to try to understand what drives so many officers to take their own lives.