26 October 2021. Rossiyskaya Gazeta – Federal Issue No. 245(8596)

Written by Mikhail Falaleev

Translated by Elizaveta Ovchinnikova


One dream of counterintelligence and security services from all over the world has become true. A system for recognising a concealed weapon has been developed. This was told to the ‘RG’ reporter by interlocutors in law enforcement.


The idea of the innovation is that ordinary citizens with a corkscrew or a screwdriver in their pocket will not be thoroughly searched. It will be clear whether a person carries in their pocket a weapon or just a working tool. An ordinary metal detector reacts to a piece of metal in a pocket, which can be a bunch of keys, a handful of change, a watch or a cell phone. Sometimes, the device ‘detects’ glasses and dentures. The new device however is able to identify whether it is a harmless piece of metal or it can shoot. Perhaps the technology will be noticed in law enforcement and integrated into the Safe City system. We should add that this ‘smart technology’ must necessarily sense the fuse, gunpowder and explosive. Which is not easy to do even with modern equipment. Sometimes explosives are created from seemingly innocent materials.

In addition, there is a new technology that may allow the police to respond quickly to street conflicts. If, for example, a fight breaks out, the system automatically sends a signal to the police and an ambulance. NtechLab startup told TASS about the development of this scheme. It was here that such a unique technology was created.

However, President of the International Police Association the Russian Section, Police Lieutenant General Yury Zhdanov told the ‘RG’ reporter that there are already devices that distinguish a fake weapon from a real one.

Do you remember this often-used, annoying but legally correct term – an object similar to a gun, knife etc? There are devices that exclude the word ‘similar.’ The point is that with the growth of all kinds of gaming and simulation technologies, a real danger of so-called ‘fake’ banditry and terrorism appears. What can we say about the prop guns that are sold in children’s stores? But these are particulars. The main question is how to protect yourself from this ‘toy’ scourge? There are already several mechanisms.

The new technology will allow the police to respond quickly to street conflicts – it will automatically send a signal to the police and an ambulance.

As Yury Zhdanov told the ‘RG’ reporter, it is already clear that the possibilities of such technologies are limitless.

Today, an artificial intelligence algorithm recognises a face, even if a person uses glasses, a mustache or a beard to disguise themselves. There have already been facts when people in motorcycle helmets were recognised. A medical face mask will not work to protect against the algorithm either.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia is developing a system for recognising people by tattoos, iris, voice and body movement. The gait recognition system is able to identify a person at a distance of 50 meters, even if they are not looking at the camera. The gait is analysed by the step length, foot inclination level, hands movement. It is quite difficult to ‘trick’ it.

Since a database creates a fundament for all tracking technologies, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia is developing a centralised bank of biometric data containing fingerprints and facial images. The bank will collect information about both Russian citizens and foreigners. The system is planned to be established in the next three years.

In Moscow, since the beginning of the Safe City project, the number of video cameras has been increasing by about 7-10 thousand per year. In May 2019, the Mayor of the capital, Sergey Sobyanin, said that there were 167 thousand cameras in Moscow. By the beginning of 2021 – already about 200 thousand. The Mayor said that videos are used in investigative practices of 70% of all crimes committed.

Most cameras are installed at the entrances of residential and administrative buildings, in schools, universities, shopping centres. At least 2.5 thousand are installed in crowded places.

Recordings from video cameras are used to investigate acts of vandalism or theft – in 52% of cases, and to analyse car accidents – in 40% of cases.

The gait recognition system is able to identify a person at a distance of 50 meters, even if they are not looking at the camera.

Russian technology from NtechLab has been chosen for Moscow. It allows detecting four out of five wanted persons, whose faces have been recorded at least once by at least one camera. And the time to search for a person in a database of one billion images takes no more than ten seconds.