Support The Moscow Times!

Caucasus Natives Blamed in Fatal Fight

Investigators said a deadly brawl in December that triggered nationalist rioting near the Kremlin days later was instigated by North Caucasus natives, Kommersant reported Monday.

The Investigative Committee made the conclusion as it wrapped an inquiry into the Dec. 6 brawl between ethnic Slav football fans and North Caucasus natives that resulted in the shooting death of football fan Yegor Sviridov, 28, the daily said, citing a committee source.

The North Caucasus natives said earlier that they were defending themselves from drunken fans who shouted nationalist slogans.

Investigators confirmed that the fans were drunk but ruled that the Caucasus natives started "picking" on them because of "a difference in the cultures of behavior."

Five North Caucasus natives have been charged with assault and hooliganism, while a sixth, Aslan Cherkesov, has been accused of firing the gun that killed Sviridov. No trial date has been set.

Police initially released all the Caucasus natives but Cherkesov, which prompted a mixed crowd of 5,500 nationalists and football fans to riot on Manezh Square on Dec. 11.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.