By Maria Tsvetkova and Gleb Stolyarov
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s dreaded rebel police have launched an online recruitment blitz in the weeks since nationwide protests broke out of the jail of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Police dispersed strongly tens of thousands of people who participated in three protests across Russia, which stretched over January and early February, when Navalny returned to the country from Germany and later was jailed for 2-1 / 2 years.
Since then, rebel police have advertised hundreds of times for jobs on recruitment sites like HH.ru, run by Headhunter Group, Avito and Superjob.ru. A Reuters review of data from some of the recruitment firms suggests that ad blitz went far beyond a similar drive in recent years.
OMON units from the Russian National Guard, working on protests across Russia, sent jobs on Headhunter 1
In the same month, Moscow’s main rebel police, the Second Special Regiment, sent 608 times jobs on Headhunter against 11 in the period last year.
“No experience required,” reads a job description for the police sniper for the Second Special Regiment on Headhunter’s side, promising candidates a monthly salary of up to 70,000 rubles ($ 944.67).
The ad was first published on the Headhunter website on February 21 and republished 100 times within four days, Headhunter’s press service told Reuters.
The Russian Interior Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. The Russian National Guard’s press service said the publication of job advertisements was “business as usual” and they did not analyze whether the number of advertisements increased or not.
“We have a large recruitment drive”
On Avito, the number of riot police jobs published between January 26 and February 25 was 3.7 times higher than the same period last year, and the number of responses increased 5.1 times, according to data the company shared with Reuters.
Two OMON officers who were reached per. Phone, said the recruitment drive was not linked to protests but reflected a need to replace people leaving the service for new opportunities. Eight officers from the Second Special Regiment confirmed that the campaign was larger than usual.
“We have a large recruitment drive,” one told Reuters.
Another officer said the intensified recruitment followed a decision taken about two years ago to expand staff.
($ 1 = 74.1000 rubles)
(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova and Gleb Stolyarov; editing by Andrew Osborn and Peter Graff)