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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: May 18, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Police Disperse Anti-War Demonstration at Togliatti Army Base Where Captured POWs Are From
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This morning, May 18, there was a brief anti-war demonstration for 20 minutes in front of the checkpoint of the former Togliatti Military Academy, now the 3rd Brigade of the GRU [Russian military's Main Intelligence Directorate], BBC Russian Service reports.

About 9 people came up to the checkpoint and began shouting anti-war slogans and trying to unfurl posters. The activists demanded that Russian forces be withdrawn from Ukraine.

Police arrived quickly and broke up the action, although they made no arrests. The demonstrators declined to give their names to the press.

The action appears to have been motivated by a broadcast by Ukrainian television in which POWs said to be captured by Ukrainian forces were from the 3rd GRU spetsnaz brigade. Their commander is reported to be Yevgeny Yerofeyev.

The soldiers, who were drafted into the army then later made contracted fighters said during interrogations that they were from this brigade. Ukrainian military officials held up a Vintorez, a  type rifle only given to GRU units.

The Russian Defense Ministry and 3rd Brigade had no comment.

Journalists in Togliatti told the BBC that they have had been given an unofficial warning by the government not to cover the issue of the Togliatti POWs.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick