Mass brawl on Moscow's largest cemetery to trigger funeral business reforms

The Public Chamber of the Russian Federation addressed to the Prosecutor General of Russia Yuri Chaika with a request to initiate mass inspections of funeral companies in the country.

The address followed the events that occurred at Moscow's largest Khovanskoye Cemetery in Moscow on Saturday, May 14, where dozens were injured in a massive conflict. On the territory of the cemetery, armed men staged a brawl and shootouts in an attempt to seize the funeral business. Prior to the conflict, they told cemetery employees that they were going to take the profit from funerals. A mass brawl ensued. Nearly 300 police officers, including riot police, were sent to the Khovanskoye Cemetery. As many as 111 people were detained on the site of the conflict. Three people were killed.

The police had to fire warning shots into the air to stop the conflict. A Kalashnikov rifle, 51 cartridge cases of different caliber, brass knuckles, knives, axes, sticks and pieces of fittings were found on the site.

"I believe that the events at Khovanskoye Cemetery should serve as a basis for inter-departmental inspection of cemeteries, morgues and crematoria in order to identify violations of financial and economic activities," chairman of the committee of the Public Chamber for social policy, labor relations, and quality of life of citizens, Vladimir Slepak said.

"Illegal business activities are conducted throughout the funeral sector in Russia. These services  are exempt from taxes and duties and the quality of funeral services remains out of control. The lack of control in this sector comes contrary to the declared program to combat budget deficit and restore order in all sectors of the Russian economy," a message from the Public Chamber said.


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