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Criminal Cases Follow Fiery Standoff

Police intervened after both sides faced off near the Demyanovo sawmill, exchanging threats and wielding planks of wood.

Police opened several criminal cases over the weekend after a conflict between locals and North Caucasus migrants in a Kirov region village threatened to erupt into mass violence.

The latest charge of battery, which was announced Sunday, brings the number of criminal cases over the incident to four.

Police have detained two individuals and deployed four mobile patrols in the area, the Kirov branch of the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The charges relate to a heated conflict that police prevented from boiling over in the village of Demyanovo on Friday after a local resident reportedly offended the Dagestani owner of the village sawmill.

"The conflict arose June 20, when there was a fight between the owner of a sawmill and two other residents in Demyanovo. On June 22, about 40 of the sawmill owner's countrymen then arrived in light automobiles from the Komi republic," the statement read.

Police intervened after both sides faced off near the Demyanovo sawmill, exchanging threats and wielding planks of wood.

In a YouTube video of the incident titled "Dagestanis in Demyanovo fire on Russians," shots are audible as police try to break up the fight.

Police claimed that they fired the shots to scare off dozens of unruly villagers gearing up for a fight.

But a local resident who was present during the conflict told The Moscow Times that the police reaction was very slow.

“They didn't fire a single shot, only the Dagestani guys were shooting,” he said, adding that the North Caucasus migrants were armed with hunting rifles.

The local, who declined to give his first name, said he didn't see the situation as an ethnic conflict.

“It was just young guys from both sides who were on the loose,” he said.

Kirov Governor Nikita Belykh, away at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum at the time, wrote on Twitter that he had been informed of the conflict and would travel to the area.

"I've been in touch with my deputies and the head of the local Interior Ministry. I am acquainted with the circumstances and have taken measures. An analysis of the causes will happen later. I will go to the district," he wrote.

Police haven't reported any casualties in Demyanovo, but a local lawyer said four people had suffered wounds to the head and chest.

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