Thursday, December 25, 2008

Russian Police Bracing For Demonstrations

Via The Other Russia.

Police in Russia are worried that the economic crisis may lead to widespread public disturbances and crime. As the Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports [Russian language reference. -ferg], national guard forces are being sent to reinforce local militsiya in towns hit hard by sweeping layoffs. Towns with a single major employer, like Magnitogorsk and its metallurgical complex, are the primary focus of the relocation. The Magnitogorsk smelter has laid off some 3800 employees in the past three months, and 1000 more workers may lose their jobs in the near future.

Gennady Gudkov, the deputy chair of the State Duma Security Committee, told the newspaper that the effects of the crisis were constantly growing. “It could happen,” he said, “that no amount of Internal Forces will be enough.”

The main office of the Internal Forces, Russia’s equivalent of a national guard, denied that troops were being moved. Interior Ministry press-secretary Vasily Panchenkov said enough units were already in place, but added that OMON special forces could be sent in if public meetings and demonstrations turned violent.

More here.

Note: Russia is not the only country that may be anticipating civil unrest due to economic turmoil -- the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute recently released a report entitled "Known Unknowns: Unconventional 'Strategic Shocks' in Defense Strategy Development" in which advises the DoD that military strategies might have to be considered within the U.S. if widespread civil unrest becomes a problem because of violent protests, etc. - ferg


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