Fight started by Chechens ends with massive pogroms, arsons and murder in Russia's south

A group of about 50 Chechen men rushed into a settlement in the Astrakhan region of Russia on August 16 and started beating local residents of the Kalmyk nationality

Massive fights have recently taken place in the Astrakhan region in Russia's south. A group of Chechens arrived in the settlement of Yandyki and started beating its inhabitants (those of the local residents who originated from the republic of Kalmykia). One person was killed in the fight. The Kalmyks took revenge the next day when they started setting houses of the Chechens on fire. The funeral ceremony of the killed Kalmyk man eventually turned into another big fight, in which more than 300 people took part.

Local law-enforcement authorities had to send reinforcement police units to the site of the accident to suppress the raging crowd. Causes of the pogroms remain unknown for the time being; investigators are trying to find out if it was an inter-ethnic conflict or just a separate problem, which the sides failed to solve peacefully.

A group of about 50 Chechen men rushed into the settlement of Yandyki at night of August 16. The Chechens attacked local residents, the Kalmyks; one of them, a 24-year-old man, was shot dead during the fight. The police arrested 14 members of the scuffle. However, as soon as the police units left the village, the Kalmyks started setting Chechens' houses ablaze. Three people were hospitalized with skin burns as a result of the arsons, Regions.Ru reports.

The young man, who was killed in the fight between the Chechens and the Kalmyks, was buried on August 18. Over 100 people of Kalmyk nationality arrived in the settlement to bid farewell to their fellow countryman. When the funeral ceremony was over, another fight broke out, in which up to 350 people participated. At least six individuals were seriously injured in the fight and were subsequently hospitalized. Nine houses and about ten cars were burnt, Astrakhan News reports.

Local police authorities had to call reinforcement units from the neighboring Vologda and Saratov regions. About 1,110 police officers and several hundreds of military men currently control the situation in the rebellious town.

The Prosecutor of the Astrakhan region, Yevgeny Volkolupov, took the matter under his personal control. Regional law-enforcement authorities opened investigation into mass riots, arsons and murder.

The chairman of the State Council of the Chechen republic, Taus Jabrailov, was the first politician to comment on the massive pogroms in the settlement of Yandyki. “We have analyzed the situation carefully, from the very first hours of the conflict, and we may infer that the riot was not based on either inter-ethnic or political aspects. Most likely, it was caused with common local reasons,” Mr. Jabrailov said. According to the politician, the Chechens and the Kalmyks have been coexisting in the region for many decades already, which gives a reason to exclude the aspect of inter-ethnic relations in the investigation of the conflict.

Photos by Vesti

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Author`s name Olga Savka