Riot Police In Kiev Are Using Roman Military Tactics

Uk15REUTERS/Maks LevinRiot police and a blockade of military cars, mini-vans and buses greeted the rioters in Kiev, Jan. 22. A loudspeaker blared, ‘Dear citizens, your actions are illegal and are against the state.’

Things got pretty hairy in Kiev, Ukraine, in the last week due in large part to the government banning protests.

As a result, riot police broke out their Roman army tactics.

This formation is called the “Testudo,” or tortoise in Latin.

The tactic springs from ancient Greek warfare which relied on the Phalanx formation to slowly chew up the enemy.

In the case of riot police, it’s more about area denial and protecting police officers.

The Phalanx (and Testudo) fighting formations were so successful that they were adopted by various armies for approximately 2000 years, eventually giving way as lighter, more durable arms and projectiles became cheap and common.

Now, the formation is for the most part relegated to riot police trying to break up rock-throwing rabbles.

Uk9REUTERS/Gleb GaranichRioters in front of the government buildings quickly began to clash with riot police in Kiev.

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