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No Plans for Tverskaya Cossack Patrols, City Hall Says

City Hall has denied a widely discussed news report published Tuesday that claimed Cossacks would begin patrolling central Moscow in the near future.

Izvestia cited Nikolai Komarovsky, an adviser to the Presidential Committee on Cossack Affairs, as saying Cossack watchmen would start patrolling Tverskaya Ulitsa and the areas around Belarussky Station and the Mayakovskaya metro station in the coming days.

A Tverskaya district official told the newspaper that the Cossacks' main task would be to fight unlawful business activity.

City security official Alexei Maiorov told Interfax that he was not aware of any such plan in the works.

Moscow Twitter users joked about the report Tuesday, with many saying they welcomed the supposedly imminent appearance on central streets of the famed military order.

An aide to a high-ranking Cossack official also said the report was false.

"It's unfortunate that this newspaper is making preliminary statements and running around with sensational rumors," Vasily Solovyov, an aide to local Cossack chief Valery Nalimov, said by phone Tuesday.

Nalimov is head of the Central Cossack Army and a member of the Presidential Committee on Cossack Affairs.

Solovyov also questioned Komarovsky's credentials.

"Nikolai Komarovsky has never been a member of the Central Cossack Army. I've never even heard of him," Solovyov said.

The only active Cossack patrolmen in Moscow are part of a pilot program in the city's southeast, Solovyov said, adding that Cossack and government officials are currently developing a legal framework for Cossacks' increased integration into law enforcement structures.

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