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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

OMON Given Western Riot Gear

OMON, Russia's special riot police, have received some free samples of Western-made riot equipment from a private security company run by former KGB and military intelligence officials.

The violence during last October's political uprising in Moscow showed that the Interior Ministry's OMON troops needed such state-of-the-art equipment to protect government buildings and control demonstrations.

The Interior Ministry contends that its Scientific Institute can design and produce the riot gear itself -- and that it cannot afford to buy from abroad. But critics charge that the ministry is not only unable to do so but is dragging its feet on providing funds to buy the provisions from abroad.

Inex, a Moscow-based business that provides such services as industrial security, detective work and bodyguards, gave OMON two sets of French-made crowd control equipment and an electrified riot shield made in Germany.

"Our company would equip police with special anti-riot materials very quickly," Alexei Yarovoy, commercial director of Inex, said Wednesday.

Yarovoy said the samples' total cost was 10,000,000 rubles ($6,222).