Tactical Exercises

On the 1st of April tactical exercises of the prison guards took place in an old disused hangar not far away from the Nijniy Chov prison. The Department of Punishment (DoP) organized the event. The legend was: a group of prisoners who escaped from the prison captured the hangar and requested some things from the prison management. A member of the DoP arrives to the place of incident and starts negotiating with the criminals.

At this time firemen, an assault group and doctors arrive. An assault operation was planned. The special forces team tried to find out how to neutralize the zeks (who are actually the guards in changed clothes). When it turns out that the group of rebels isn’t going to give up, it’s decided to attack the hangar.

Most of the prisoners are neutralized and are sent to the 'filtrational spot', before they’re sent back to jail. At the same time soldiers receive information that a hostage had been captured, and the aggressors request a car, cell phones and money.

While management of the prison looks for the necessary stuff, the special forces team is mining the entrance. When aggressors get what they want, they leave the building. When they exit, the mine is exploded, and soldiers start to free the hostage and grasping the prisoners.

The organization of this event was very professional. The special commission from Moscow controlled and estimated the process of the operation. Besides, the situation was simulated very plausibly, so I even started thinking that the special forces were dealing with some real prisoners, not the faked ones.

But at last the prisoners were captured, put into the military cars and then they were made free to celebrate the end of the operation with the other guards. (Syktyvkar, Komi Republic, Russia, 2009)

Preparaion for the exercises. Sergeants.

Preparaion for the exercises. A "prisoner".

Preparaion for the exercises. Inside the hangar.

Preparaion for the exercises. Zeks gather to discuss the defensive tactics.

Preparaion for the exercises. Zeks gather to discuss the defensive tactics.

The beginning of rioting.

The beginning of rioting.

A negotiator.

Arriving of soldiers.

Arriving of an assault team.

Preparations for the storm. A cynologist with a dog.

The hangar before an assault.

A doctor.

Some minutes before capturing.

The assault team enters the building.


An armoured car.

Opposition of soldiers to prisoners.


Captures of some rebels.

The special forces team. A message which says the hostage was captured is reveived.

Filtrational spot. During the negotiations with aggressors.

The hostage and the criminal. Transfer of money.

A guardian.

Setting up a mine.

A member of the special forces team.

An operation on capturing the aggressors is being planned.

The "UAZ" with prisoners explodes. The beginning of capturing.

Neutralization of zeks.

Neutralization of zeks.

A prisoner.

The search.

The ending of the operation.

Field kitchen.

© alexander aksakov