A top-level investigation has been launched in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, where police and students clashed on April 14. (RTR, Itar-Tass, April 15) Police launched a baton charge against a crowd of some 2,500 students who were demonstrating in the center of the city against the government’s plans to introduce tuition fees for higher education. Russian TV showed footage of police beating male and female students with truncheons. (NTV, April 14) At least fourteen students were injured. One policeman received a serious head wound. The police said they were forced to take action as the demonstration was threatening to get out of control. Acting Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko deplored the police action. He has ordered acting Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin, who initially expressed approval of the police action, to hold an inquiry into the incident. Student demonstrations held in other Russian cities the same day passed off peacefully. (Itar-Tass, April 14)
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