Support The Moscow Times!

5 Hostages Taken at Astrakhan College Freed

All hostages taken by an armed man at a college in the center of Astrakhan earlier today have been freed, news reports said Thursday evening.

The incident occurred around 2 p.m. at the Volgo-Kaspiisky fishing college, when an unknown man took two faculty members of the college and two students into an auditorium with what appeared to be a gun and warned that he was going to detonate a bomb, reported.

In negotiations with police, the man's only demand was for food and drinks — specifically pizza and Coca-Cola.

Around 5:00 p.m., it was reported that the hostages had all been freed and the hostage taker detained, along with a female who was believed by police to have been helping him.

A spokesperson for the regional police told that the object thought to be a gun earlier was in fact a replica, as was the object that the man claimed was a bomb.

The motive is still unclear. An investigation is under way.

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.