Russian national police chief fires officers who allegedly used schoolchildren for protest dispersal practice without warning
On December 20, police officers in the town of Novotroitsk, Tatarstan, underwent a training exercise for dispersing protesters in which the role of the protesters was played by local ninth graders. The schoolchildren were reportedly called out to the school playground and told to hit the officers and their shields.
On December 24, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, the highest-ranking individual in Russia’s police force, ordered the officers who organized the training session to be fired, according to Interfax.
Regional police officers in Tatarstan had previously claimed that the officers had actually practiced dispersing each other and that the high school students were only involved insofar as police gave a safety demonstration in front of them. However, one student at the school said the schoolchildren were involved in the exercises and that they weren’t warned about the nature of the training. Instead, the student told journalists, they were told that they would be taking part in a career preparation event.