Irkutsk police detained three youths suspected of striking a German student over the head with a bottle and stealing his wallet after he refused to drink vodka with them in a park.
The student, who had arrived in Irkutsk to brush up on his Russian-language skills at a local university, introduced himself to the youths on the Siberian city's Gagarin Bulvar after hearing one of them speak German, police told Interfax.
Initially, the group got along well, and spent several hours together. But after the German student refused to try Russian vodka, events took a turn for the worse.
"The categorical refusal of the European [to drink vodka] provoked the youths to behave angrily and aggressively. Of their formerly friendly interaction, not a trace remained," police said in a statement.
In the ensuing quarrel, one of the youths struck the student over the head with a bottle and stole his wallet with 2,000 rubles ($65) inside, before fleeing the scene, the statement said.
Police soon apprehended the youths, who were all from the same Irkutsk region village and quickly confessed to their crime.
Investigators have opened a criminal case on charges of theft, which carry a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison.