Cossacks to display ‘military skills’ in World Cup city

FILE - In this file photo from May 13, 2018, Cossacks practice on the bank of the Don river near the World Cup stadium before a Russian league match between Rostov and Ural, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) A senior official in Russia’s southern Rostov region says Cossack patrols in this World Cup city will ”display their military skills” and not replace the role of police.

Deputy regional governor Igor Guskov told reporters Saturday that members of the academy of the self-governing militia would take part in horseback patrols along the Don River, but weren’t strictly given the responsibility of providing security.

Guskov said that ”we are all Cossacks here,” adding that a number of public events planned in the city would involve Cossack culture.

Authorities have boosted the police presence before Sunday’s match between Brazil and Switzerland. They are expecting up to 250,000 fans to visit through July 2, when the city hosts the last of its five games.

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