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Why aren't you at work, comrade? Spot-checks by Moscow police for truant workers at shops, theaters, and other public areas may be causing both popular and official backlash.

The recent campaign has sparked some fear that it will spawn mistrust and denunciations among workers. An editor at a trade union newspaper also voices reservations, calling the campaign ''amateurish'' and ill-conceived.

During spot-checks, police inspectors stop people and ask for identification, their place of work, and the reason for they are not at their job.

Reports circulating in Moscow, though not officially confirmed, indicate that the Kremlin has ordered an end to the campaign, and has reprimanded the recently appointed interior minister for having sanctioned them.

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