Four residents of the republic of Dagestan have been arrested in the Volgograd region on suspicion of severely beating a Liberal Democrat State Duma Deputy in Moscow late Tuesday, investigators said.
The four suspects were apprehended Wednesday night while driving a Lexus. They were armed with two traumatic guns and 16 live cartridges while the oldest suspect, 38, was in possession of a private security guard's license issued in the capital of Dagestan, Makhachkala.
"The policemen were forced to apply handcuffs to two of the detainees, as they were behaving quite aggressively — shouting threats and even spitting on the video camera while law enforcement officers were filming the proceedings," a Volgograd Interior Ministry spokesman told Interfax.
The four men are suspected of beating up Roman Khudyakov, an LDPR Duma Deputy, best known for his outspoken support for making gun ownership legal for self-defense purposes.
Khudyakov's car was pinned to the roadside and stopped by a Toyota Land Cruiser during rush hour in Moscow on Tuesday night following a high-risk maneuver that led to an accident.
A driver and a passenger then approached Khudyakov and swore at him. They assaulted the deputy with numerous blows to the head and then fled the scene in their car.
The deputy was subsequently hospitalized and diagnosed with a concussion.
A criminal case has been opened by the police on charges of assault and hooliganism.
The incident provoked the LDPR's flamboyant nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky to predict that Russians were likely to demand that some regions separate from the country soon.
"These people [Caucasians] were taught to take Russians as enemies," he said.