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Three Russian Police Fired For 'Training' With Students Acting As Protesters

Police in Russia's Tatarstan used force to conduct a training exercise with ninth graders on school grounds.
Police in Russia's Tatarstan used force to conduct a training exercise with ninth graders on school grounds.

Three police officers in Russia's Tatarstan region have been dismissed for reenacting a clash between protesters and security forces with the direct participation of 12 ninth graders on school grounds in the town of Novotroyitsk.

During the so-called training session, a group of police officers equipped with riot gear had the underage students attack them and behave like combative protesters.

A video published by a local resident of the reenactment on December 22 showed police officers using force on the schoolchildren. Several students received bruises and minor injuries.

Upon review of the "exercises," a district prosecutor's office in the region deemed them illegal and raised the issue of administering disciplinary action on the head of the Tukaeyevsky district and head of the district’s Interior Ministry department.

The involvement of the Internal Ministry officials in the incident "threatened the safety of life and health of students at the educational institution," the district prosecutor’s office said.

"Thus, it grossly violated their rights and legitimate interests," it concluded. "The district educational department did not ensure proper departmental control and timely suppression of unlawful actions by the school administration."

Five other police officers were reprimanded on December 25 by Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev for incompetent performance, including the Tatarstan region's interior minister, Lieutenant General Artem Khokhorin.

The head of the education department of the Tukayevsky district of Tatarstan also stepped down from her job.

After the video of the incident was published on social media, the Interior Ministry confirmed that the training exercise had taken place involving the underage students "with the approval of the school administration."

However, news of the incident was later deleted from the Tatarstan Interior Ministry's website.

The deleted news also stated that none of the students were harmed during the exercises and that they were instructed on safety measures.

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