For a few days now, we at KVTV have also been following the cross-border debate on the controversial taz article All cops are disabled by Hengameh Yaghoobifarah. At this point we would like to bring the term МУСОР / MUSOR for policemen in Russia literally translated as MÜLL into play and explain it in a small excursus in the Russian language.

The word MUSOR, which is used as a derogatory name for a policeman, had no offensive meaning in tsarist Russia. Contrary to the popular assumption that the expression comes from household remnants, the term has much broader roots. It originated from a reduction of the place of employment: Московское Управление Сыскного Отделения России or Московского Уголовного Сыска Оперативный Работник.

Translated into German, it says something like: Moscow Office of the Russian Investigation Department or "Moscow Detective". The first letters of the Cyrillic word accumulations briefly and concisely resulted in the abbreviation МУС / МУСОР, literally translated as MUS / MÜLL . Until the revolution the police captains even introduced themselves as MUSOR. So according to the motto: "May I introduce myself? I am the trash Ivanov". After 1917 the MUS was disbanded and its place was taken by a new organisation - the Moscow Criminal Police and got the somewhat more harmonious sounding abbreviation - МУР / MUR.

However, the previous name MUSOR had already become established in the vernacular. It not only denoted an employee, but also became synonymous with a scoundrel, careerist and person without principles. The consolidation of this meaning was greatly facilitated by the complete phonetic identity with the word MUSE - meaning household waste, dirt and refuse.

But this anecdote is not intended to give the impression that in a country like Russia, where freedom of the press and freedom of opinion is, as we all know, pretty shitty, it would be common practice to call and address the police as DUStbin. It is considered a direct insult to a legal representative and has consequences. In the whole debate we do not want to suddenly start comparing vodka with beer and in this text we focus only on language and thematic coincidence.

We didn't want you to miss this play on words and share our observation - the willingness and acceptance in Russian society to perceive waste and law and order as not so far apart is greater than in this country.