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Russian Riot Police Launch Recruitment Drive 'To Suppress Uprisings' in Moscow

Maxim Shipenkov / EPA / TASS

Russia’s National Guard is recruiting people from across the country to join its anti-riot forces amid a summer of mass demonstrations that have rocked Moscow.

The Russian capital has been the site of the biggest anti-government protests in years after authorities last month barred more than a dozen opposition politicians from taking part in a Moscow city election. Police have briefly detained over 2,000 people, sometimes violently, at rallies that the authorities said were illegal.

“The main task at the job is to protect public order and ensure public safety at mass gatherings in Moscow,” reads the National Guard’s ad posted on Russia’s HeadHunter job site on Monday.

The recruits will be required to “suppress ... uprisings, public-order crimes committed by groups and mass pogroms.” 

The National Guard made the Moscow job posting available to recruits from 52 Russian regions, Russia’s Open Media news website reported Tuesday. The posting has since been archived.

On Tuesday, National Guard spokesman Valery Gribakin confirmed to Open Media that it uses HeadHunter for recruiting its anti-riot forces. HeadHunter has said that the ads were posted from a verified Russian National Guard account.

“As for what Rosgvardia [the National Guard] is preparing for, that’s our own internal business,” Gribakin was quoted as saying.

The National Guard has previously dismissed reports of its ads seeking snipers and other fighters during mass gatherings as “fake.”

Russia’s National Guard is a powerful defense force that President Vladimir Putin founded in 2016 to take over the functions of riot police and better combat terrorism and protect public order. Critics say that the force was designed to target anti-government protesters.

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