May 11, 2007

"Don't go to demonstrations"

Russia's Special Purpose Police Unit puts on the charm, and offers a quiet warning.

AP: "After the violent dispersal of several opposition rallies, Russia's riot police are in need of an image makeover. Ajax, a large police dog that enjoys licking cats, is ready to oblige. The hefty Alsatian astonished more than 100 journalists gathered Thursday at a police base outside Moscow by following orders to lick and nuzzle a fluffy, apparently happy cat. 'You see,' exclaimed proud commander, Major General Alexander Ivanin, 'our service dogs wouldn't threaten a thing!' The cuddly attack dog was part of a charm offensive laid on to repair the image of Russia's OMON, or Special Purpose Police Unit, which violently broke up peaceful anti-Kremlin protests last month."

When asked how journalists could avoid being assulted when covering pro-democracy demonstrations in Russia, Ivanin said, "The best thing? Don't go to demonstrations." Read it here.

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