Officers of Russia: shooting as modus operandi
This is how bodyguard of the Head of Officers of Russia responded to the residents’ attempt to bring the public organization, which had occupied the building’s community territory, to reason.
The Russiangate news agency has published a video from the surveillance camera, which recorded the bad-tempered guard of Head of the Officers of Russia Anton Tsvetkov, Aleksandr Tarasov. The video, the events of which take place in the entrance of the building, where the NGO headquarters is located, shows the man first tearing off pictures from the wall, then pulling out a gun and shooting at the spot where they had hung. Then he continues to remove the remnants of pictures from the walls while talking to someone on the phone, pulls out a weapon again, shifts the shutter, and hides it. He repeats this procedure several times, then finally calms down, sits down on a chair, and lights a cigarette.
Video: Bodyguard of OR Head commits lawlessness
Looking at it, it seems that the person is in some altered state, using his gun without knowing what else to do. As it turned out, in this particular situation Tarasov was mad at the kind of protest manifested by residents of the building, which houses the headquarters of the Officers of Russia. The photographs that hung on the wall depicted the common premises, cellars and stairwells, illegally seized by Tsvetkov’s organization. Wonder what would have happened if one of those dissatisfied with the organization’s arbitrariness had suddenly appeared before Tarasov at that moment? Would he do the same as with photos, or his reaction would be limited to physical abuse?
According to Russiangate’s source, this video was transferred to the police immediately after the incident, but no action was undertaken. Although it is obvious that Tsvetkov’ guard, even if he did not pose any threat, violated the rules of traumatic weapons operation.
The litigation between the controversial organization (Officers of Russia became widely known after blocking entrance to Jock Sturges's photography exhibition in Moscow) and the people has been going on for a long time. Tsvetkov’s five-room apartment, which he had bought back in 2006, is located in the same building as the Officers of Russia’s head office. After the emergence of the non-governmental organization, he had come into possession of a six-room apartment, which was then converted into headquarters. Active assimilation of adjacent territories began at the same time; namely, the house residents were deprived of garbage chute, some entrances, part of the yard, and playground. According to Russiangate, Tsvetkov owns 388 square meters of real estate with a market value of about 155 million rubles at 12, 5th Kotelnichesky lane. In 2010, 50 complainants filed lawsuits against the Officers of Russia, demanding to return the premises. As late as on April 13, 2016, the court ordered the organization to return the territories to public use.
However, the court decision did not in any way affect the Officers of Russia. Since, according to the residents of the house, being a chairman of the Public Council Presidium under the Federal Bailiff Service Administration for Moscow, Tsvetkov is not afraid of court enforcement action.
Building 12, 5th Kotelnichesky lane
As previously reported by the CrimeRussia, the Officers of Russia may soon become defendants in another suit of arbitrariness and forcible seizure of a territory. According to the statement of case, in July 2016, a large group of organization members wearing camouflage forcibly seized the entrance to the territory of a garage complex in the Vykhino-Zhulebino district of Moscow (South-East Administrative District). Under the pretext of combating illicit production, the NGO blocked the garage construction co-operative territory for two weeks, causing material damage to the garage tenants. In this case, the police refused to initiate a criminal case on this fact. However, the Prosecutor’s Office launched an inspection.
Members of the Officers of Russia include former and current military. According to Anton Tsvetkov himself, the organization includes more than 100 thousand people, most of them are officers and members of their families, as well as “patriots who share the organization’s goals and objectives.” It should be added that Tsvetkov has never served in the army. The organization’s main objectives is protection of the rights of officers and their families, prevention of offenses, and patriotic education of the population.
Since 2011, the Officers of Russia have received three presidential grants in the amount of 14 million rubles. In 2013 and 2014, the Russian National Charity Fund allocated 5.5 million rubles to the public activists for the project "No man left behind" on rendering free legal and social assistance to military personnel and veterans of law enforcement agencies. In 2016, the Ministry of Labor allocated a subsidy of 12 million rubles to the NGO.
The prosecutors want the former Russian Federation Council member to go to prison for 14 years instead of 9 and pay a 500-million-ruble ($8.8 million) fine instead of 70 million rubles ($1.2 million).