Russia jails crossbow coup conspirators

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A RETIRED Russian military intelligence colonel has been found guilty of leading a plot that envisioned a group of elderly people taking over the government.

Prosecutors said Vladimir Kvachkov, 64, organised a group which planned to seize power by training crossbow-wielding men to overwhelm military depots and then descend upon Moscow with tanks.

Moscow City Court yesterday sentenced Kvachkov to 13 years in prison for attempting to organise an armed uprising.

A retired police captain, 62-year-old Alexey Kiselev, was sentenced to 11 years as a co-conspirator.

Kvachkov, who denied the charges, became a nationalist folk hero after twice being acquitted for a 2005 assassination attempt on former deputy prime minister Anatoly Chubais, the mastermind of Russia’s 1990’s privatisation drive.

Chubais is a hate figure for many on the Left in Russia.