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Teen Detained on Suspicion of Burning Down 18th-Century Russian Church

Ilya Timin / TASS

A 15-year-old has been placed in custody on suspicion of setting fire to a historic 18th-century church under state protection.

Built entirely out of wood in Russia’s northwestern republic of Karelia in 1774, the Dormition Church of Kondopoga burned to the ground last week.

The regional branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had detained the teen and assigned a psychological evaluation.

“The teenager has been placed in the Karelian Interior Ministry’s temporary detention [center] for juvenile delinquents for 30 days,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted branch spokeswoman Olga Golubenko as saying Monday.

According to the Mash Telegram channel, the alleged arsonist said he had been motivated by “a wish to attain worldwide fame.”

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