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Medvedev Condemns Gun-Firing Wedding Party

Police detained 15 wedding guests not far from the walls of the Kremlin and confiscated an air gun from one driver.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and other senior officials on Tuesday criticized the Dagestani wedding guests who were fined for firing into the air while driving through central Moscow over the weekend.

“There are various cultural traditions, but nobody has abolished legal norms, so you're not allowed to shoot into the air — not in Moscow, not in Makhachkala, not in New York,” Medvedev said at a meeting in Dagestan, RIA-Novosti reported. 

On Sunday, police detained 15 Dagestani wedding guests after eyewitnesses reported hearing gunshots fired from a nine-car cortege traveling along Leningradsky Prospekt in the direction of Tverskaya Ulitsa to a wedding reception. 

The police confiscated an air gun from one of the drivers of the luxury cars, which included a Ferrari, Lexus, Porsche and BMW, not far from the Kremlin walls.

The driver admitted to firing the nonlethal weapon but said he had done so outside the city limits. He was later arrested for 15 days for swearing in a public place.

Police let off roughly 15 other guests with minor offenses carrying fines between 100 rubles and 2,000 rubles ($3 to $65). 

The leader of the Ingushetia republic on Tuesday criticized the Dagestani wedding guests as well, saying their behavior reflected badly on the Caucasus region.

“Firing for the sake of pleasure doesn't have anything in common with the traditions of the Caucasus peoples. It is simply ignorant,” Yunus-bek Yevkurov said, according to RIA-Novosti.

Yevkurov stressed that although Caucasus weddings are an ancient and beautiful custom, guests should consider the consequences of their actions, “for themselves, the reputation of their peoples and the Caucasus region as a whole.” 

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin gave his own view of the flamboyant wedding celebrations late Monday, ordering subordinates to “stamp out similar incidents in the future.”

Medvedev said that had such an incident happened in New York, “the police would have opened fire, and would have been justified in doing so.”

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