Ordinary Russians do not enjoy the right to bear arms, but Moscow police appears to be dismissive of those who do it anyway, a pro-Kremlin activist group claims.
Several members of the StopKham ("Stop the Lout") movement marched through downtown Moscow's Paveletsky metro and train stations last week touting fake Kalashnikov machine guns, the group said.
Many police officers and private security guards initially refrained from intervening in the group-members' activities. Those who eventually did get involved relented almost immediately after being told the firearms were fake, Mskagency.ru city news site said.
A video posted online shows a cadre of men in military fatigues with what appeared to be authentic Kalashnikovs marching down the metro platform and into the adjacent train station.
Most passers-by ignored them, though at least one filmed them on a cellphone. "They're fu--ed up," a voice is heard saying at one point.
The group members carried on unimpeded, according to the video footage, until they stopped for coffee, at which point a pudgy police officer approached to see what they were up to.
Notably, the group members fit the visual stereotypes of pro-Russian volunteers in Ukraine, who are seen as heroes by many Russians, as opposed to terrorists from the North Caucasus, who have been behind most terrorists attacks on Russian transport systems.
After the video was posted, city police said they were looking into the incident. As of Monday afternoon, no findings had been reported.
A spokesman for the Russian Railroads, meanwhile, blasted the stint in an interview with TASS news agency on Saturday, vowing the state-run monopoly would move to have the StopKham activists prosecuted.
StopKham is an offshoot of the pro-Kremlin movement Nashi. Active since 2010, the group made a name for itself by harassing people who parked their cars improperly — an issue endemic to the Russian capital.
Several such incidents deteriorated into scuffles, video-recordings of which were frequently uploaded to YouTube.