Just days after a bombing took 14 lives in St. Petersburg, a local man has burned down an entire village, believing it to be a terrorist hideout.
The 55-year-old resident of St. Petersburg, Oleg Gerasimov, reportedly turned himself in at a police station on Thursday, confessing that he had set the village of Lopets on fire in the early morning of April 5, the 47news.ru website reports.
Nine of eleven homes in the small village and four other structures burnt to the ground in the ensuing blaze, the report said.
Thankfully, only one of the homes was occupied at the time of the fire — Lopets is dacha community that is mainly populated in the summer.
Gerasimov allegedly used petrol and oil to set the structures alight, and even went as far as building bonfires underneath some of the elevated buildings. In a muddled letter left behind in his apartment — referring to “Estonian invaders, communist recruits, traitor priests” and the dangers of hydrocarbons — he called Lopets “a base for bandits and murderers.”
He reportedly told police that recent media reports on the St. Petersburg bombing had made him believe that jihadi militants had settled in Lopets.
Gerasimov has been charged with the deliberate destruction of property and has not been released. “This is an alarming time, let him sit in a cell,” 47news.ru cited a policeman as saying. “Or else he'll find a [supposed] al-Qaeda headquarters next.”