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Navalny and Next

Guests: Ilya Budraitskis, Svetlana Erpyleva, and Greg Yudin on Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition, and the prospects of political pluralism in Russian society.

ОМОН: риалити шоу

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Imagine this. OMON needs to improve its image. The Russian version of SWAT put on a show for over 100 journalists in Shchyolkovo-7 where the elite police special operations unit, Zubr, is based. The outdoor demonstration of OMON’s expertise and physical acumen was a cross between bad 1970s cop shows and Gymkata. The Moscow Times reports:


In one training exercise, masked officers abseiled headfirst down a four-story building, threw smoke grenades into a second-story window and then swung into the buildings through open windows, firing handguns and shouting.

In another exercise, some 15 officers formed a circle, then two-by-two stepped forward and squared off in a display of hand-to-hand combat. As the music blared, they demonstrated how to repel a knife-wielding attacker; how to disarm, flip and shoot an attacker in the head with his own rifle; and how to evade a kick to the head with a back-flip.

A third exercise was designed to highlight the obedience of OMON police dogs: a German Shepherd resisted the urge to attack a cat that was placed in front of it.

In its appeal to the media, the Interior Ministry appeared to acknowledge that the OMON’s reputation had been dented after its heavy-handed response to a number of opposition rallies earlier this year.

This is display that Deputy Interior Minister Mikhail Sukhodolsky hoped would convince the media to “cover the OMON more objectively”? Nice.

I bet it totally looked like this. Without the snow, of course.

Awesome. Totally awesome.