Starting off as a typical ‘Meanwhile in Russia’ video, the undated clip, which surfaced on social media this week, quickly turns into a tense and thought-provoking standoff. The video begins in the middle of an altercation between three traffic police officers and a man dual-wielding a knife and a traffic baton – which he apparently yanked from the cops.

The profanity-filled exchange, possibly filmed by another officer, has the traffic police demanding that the man laid down his arms while threatening to use deadly force. One cop is indeed holding the knifeman at gunpoint. 

But the man, clearly acting erratically, keeps advancing while waving his knife and shouting: “Come on, shoot! I don’t give a f**k.” 

The officers are heard briefly discussing firing a warning shot and then shooting the man – but luckily for the knifeman, none turn out to be trigger-happy. 

“I just pity the fool,” one of the officers says, explaining why he would not fire.

The situation seems deadlocked, but it suddenly resolves in a most unexpected and bizarre fashion. The camera shifts to one the cops running towards the perpetrator with a huge – at least, two-meter-long – birch log and striking him from behind.

While far from dealing a decisive blow, the troublemaker seems momentarily stunned by such an unconventional non-lethal weapon used against him – bringing another officer a chance to jump on the knifeman from behind and bring him to the ground.

It’s unclear what happened next, and any more information about the video is yet to emerge, but the scene has already triggered some reaction on YouTube.

“Armed police and they still take him down with a log. Impressive. It shows how good the training is to not kill at the first opportunity. They are clearly trained at de-escalation,” David Lazarus wrote. 

“Good for them! They recognized that man was nuts and didn’t kill him. I hope he gets whatever help he needs,” another commenter said.

“I think some cops in America should take a cue from these guys,” Chris wrote, while a smorgasbord of other comments fantasized what would have happened to the man in the US.

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