Look at the interesting badges on these Russian cops (Updated)

It's just a coincidence, but the Cyrillic characters look like "homo" spelled backwards.

Here's a larger version of the image shot by Anatoly Maltsev for European Pressphoto Agency, of police detaining a man after an attack on a gay rights activist in St. Petersburg.

The Cyrillic letters indicate that the agents are from ОМОН, Отряд мобильный особого назначения, Otryad Mobilniy Osobogo Naznacheniya, or Special Purpose Mobile Unit. In other words, riot police.

Below, the image flipped.

[Thanks, Boing Boing BBS user Picasso8008]:

Update: Boing Boing reader Greg McMullen writes,

Thought I would send a clarification of the article you just posted about the incident with the OMOH/HOMO cops.

The cops are actually breaking up a thuggish gang of soldiers who had been harassing a single gay rights protester. Video of the entire incident is available here. After the cops drag the protester away and put him in a police car, the soldiers persist, and actually try to pull the protester from the police car to continue their harassment of him. It looks like several of the soldiers wind up fighting the police.

The irony of the thuggish anti-gay soldiers dressed like a pride parade parody of military men is amusing, but not nearly amusing enough to cancel out the brutal reality of what is happening in the video.

Here's the video and translation.

[HT: alec mackaye, thanks Aileen Graef]