Report: Putin Deploys "Death Squads" to Ensure Public Safety in Sick New Move


The 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament is headed to Russia later this year, and there have been some reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has undertaken some rather extreme measures for the sake of public safety in the various cities that will host the games.

According to the U.K. Mirror, a woman named Ekaterina Dmitrieva, director of an animal rights group known as the City Animal Protection Federation, has warned that Putin’s government has authorized and distributed funds for “canine KGB death squads” to hunt down and eliminate stray dogs and cats in the host cities in advance of the tournament.

She insisted that the equivalent of about $2.1 million in Russian rubles had already been paid in contracts to armed squads equipped with poison to deal with the estimated 2 million stray dogs combined that live in the host cities.

Dmitrieva, who claimed that FIFA has ignored her warnings, has garnered more than 56,000 signatures to a petition calling on the Russian government to immediately cease the practice and find a humane method for handling the strays.

A separate petition dealing only with the suspected mass slaughter of stray dogs in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, has gained 90,000 signatures demanding an end to the killing.

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But Dmitrieva’s claim of widespread slaughter of stray dogs ran counter to a recent order issued by Russian deputy premier Vitaly Mutko to host cities that directed them to establish temporary animal shelters to house the strays during the World Cup.

Indeed, the  U.K. Telegraph reported that ahead of Mutko’s order to the host cities, a letter was sent in December from the head of the environmental protection committee, Vladimir Burmatov, to sport minister Pavel Kolobkov instructing Kolobkov to ensure there was no “mass destruction of unsupervised animals” in the host cities.

“These worrying signs should stop,” Burmatov said of reports that strays were being shot and euthanized. “It’s a question of our country’s reputation. Because we are not so savage as to kill animals on the street en masse, throw their bloody carcasses in vehicles and drive around the city.”

However, given the severe shortage of animal shelters throughout Russia, animal rights activists like Dmitrieva and others are skeptical that the “purge” of stray dogs will cease.

Do you think Russia is slaughtering stray dogs in host cities ahead of the 2018 World Cup?

That said, according to the U.K. Daily Mail, some of the cities that have allegedly received government funds to “eliminate” the stray dog problem have indeed set up shelters and begun housing and immunizing the dogs that are caught and delivered to them.

As to Dmitrieva’s claim that FIFA has ignored her warnings and turned a blind eye to the bloodshed, the organization issued a response that essentially noted her concerns but stated that it couldn’t do more because it is already dealing with “other numerous ongoing and planned activities” related to the games that required its limited attention and finances.

Of course, all large cities can have animal problems that are difficult to handle. And the World Cup has its own complications to worry about this year. But the idea of mass slaughter of dogs is enough to make animal lovers cringe.

To be sure, this isn’t the first time that the Russian government has been accused of allowing or even sponsoring the wholesale slaughter of stray dogs, as similar allegations were made around the time of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to Newsweek.

In that case, it was reported that there had been plans to kill an estimated 2,000 stray dogs in the city. By comparison, it was estimated in 2010 that there are at least 35,000 stray dogs in the city of Moscow — about 84 strays per square mile.

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Nor is Russia alone in being accused of slaughtering stray dogs to clear the streets of host cities ahead of major global gatherings, as it is believed that thousands of dogs were poisoned ahead of the 2004 Summer Olympic games in Athens, Greece, and hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats were allegedly sent to “death camps” in China ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Of course, the claims that Russian government officials are killing stray dogs ahead of the 2018 World Cup even though they said they aren’t haven’t yet been confirmed — but given past experience and the truthfulness of the Russian government, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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