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Russian City Left Red-Faced After 'Sniper' Leaflets

KIROV, Russia -- Local authorities in the Russian city of Kirov have had to apologize after leaflets were distributed recommending people avoid behavior that might "provoke sniper attacks" during an upcoming visit by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

RFE/RL's correspondent reports from Kirov that locals living on the city's central Moskva Street received leaflets with instructions on how to behave during Putin's visit, which is expected on February 3.

The leaflets said "close the curtains on all windows, do not look out of the windows, and do not use cameras or binoculars in order to avoid flashes that might provoke sniper shootings."

Some citizens took the leaflets for a joke, but others took them seriously and started keeping their windows closed.

Some went further, protesting to the city Interior Affairs Department (GUVD). GUVD Chief Vyacheslav Buchnyov publicly apologized to local citizens today.

Kirov GUVD's press service informed journalists that investigations revealed that a police captain had printed out the instructions on his own initiative.

It said the police officer was reprimanded and faces possible dismissal. His two immediate supervisors have also received disciplinary reprimands.

Read in Russian here