Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This footage shows a unit of intimidating Russian police walking the streets dressed in balaclavas with plastic pipes in their hands while enforcing the COVID lockdown.
The footage reportedly shows police officers from the Chechen Republic in south-western Russia marching on streets to scare people off from attempting to go outside.
In the video, the unit of cops in all-black can be seen walking down the street carrying white pipes reportedly made of polypropylene which they have been given permission to use on those breaking the quarantine.
According to Novaya Gazeta, the officers are stopping people walking on the streets who are not wearing face masks, as well as stopping cars.
Reports state that police have used violence on people who are not wearing face masks, and have dragged citizens out of vehicles before beating them up with the pipes.
Local media report there are currently no facemasks available in the region but the government led by Ramzan Kadyrov, 43, has ordered families to sew their own.
After the news about the cops using violence was widely shared Dzhambulat Umarov, 50, the local minister for internal affairs, press and information, said this was just an attempt to cheer people up.
He said: “This video doesn’t show any beatings or any number plates.”
Umarov underlined that having the police patrol is the best way to guarantee a good mood for law-obeying people staying at home.
Of the 1,836 confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia, only nine of them were confirmed in the Chechen Republic.
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