Continuing the joint Agentura.ru/ Ezhednevny Zhurnal project to analyze the state campaign against extremism, which has enabled the authorities to dramatically increase their capacity to monitor ordinary citizens. Russia today has gone a long way in rolling out e-surveillance systems for the virtual surveillance on the behavior of groups and individuals.

The rolling out of a nationwide monitoring and surveillance system started in September 2005, when Putin signed order PR-1564 on the creation of state systems of crime-prevention. At its core is the creation of Safe City complexes in Russian cities. These facilities are currently active in 53 Federation constituent entities. In June 2007 Putin inspected one of these centres in Rostov on Don where he heard that as part of the programme for the city, 138 CCTV cameras had been installed: in train stations, stadiums, streets, squares, parks, cinemas, suburbs and main roads into the city. The image quality of these cameras not only made it possible to make out the cars’ number plates (Potok Complex) but even to identify people (through a system of facial recognition of individuals among a crowd “face-control). Anything that the camera couldn’t pick up was recorded by the OKO-1 dirigible, which carries out video-obervation from heights of 200-300 meters, thanks to high-tech facial and car-registration plate recognition systems...