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Gorky Park Attacker Claims Self-Defense

Kornei Makarov Zykov Kirill / Moskva News Agency

The main suspect in a deadly attack on a St. Petersburg blogger in central Moscow’s Gorky Park has claimed he was acting in self-defense when he knocked his victim to the ground late on Aug. 13.

Kornei Makarov, the son of television actor Sergei Makarov, told the “Pust Govoryat” talk show that the conflict began when one of his acquaintances engaged in a “verbal altercation” with someone from the victim’s group.

His confrontation with St. Petersburg blogger Stanislav Dumkin took place when their mutual friends stepped aside to continue their squabble and the two were left alone, Makarov said Wednesday on the show, aired by the state-run Channel One.

“You can say it was a defensive reflex,” Makarov said.

He added he had “pushed” Dumkin after the blogger “grabbed me by the throat and began threatening me.”  

Footage published by Russian media this week appears to show two men arguing before one of them knocks down the other with a single blow to the head.

Dumkin was subsequently taken to a hospital where he died of his injuries.

“There was just one strike. I wasn’t aiming,” Makarov said. “It was just an instinct: I saw that I was being attacked.”

Makarov was detained on Wednesday, presumably after the show was taped, as the main murder suspect, investigators said in an online statement. Media reports have suggested Dumkin was attacked for the “strange” way he was dressed.

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