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Russia Reacts to Deadly Shooting Spree in Crimean College

Yekaterina Keizo / TASS

At least 18 students at a Crimean college have been gunned down in a Columbine-style attack that has been described as Russia’s worst act of gun violence.

Investigators identified an 18-year-old student at the Kerch college, Vladislav Roslyakov, as the gunman. According to CCTV pictures published by the Mash Telegram channel, Roslyakov had been wearing clothes that resembled those of one of the Columbine shooters. Roslyakov’s dead body was later found at the college with what investigators said were self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Local Russian-backed authorities have declared three days of mourning across the annexed peninsula.

Here’s how Russian policymakers and other public figures reacted to the tragedy:

– State Duma lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky

“Whether it was our own Columbine or a terrorist act organized by Russia’s enemies, Crimean authorities should either way guarantee the safety of Kerch and the entire peninsula’s residents right away, if the criminal’s possible accomplices haven’t been killed or caught yet.”

– Senator Frants Klintsevich, member of the Federation Council's Committee on Defense and Security:

“I don’t think the Islamic State [terrorist organization banned in Russia] is capable of reaching Kerch. It looks more like there was a Ukrainian trace. It could be both official [government] structures or twisted nationalists who are capable of doing anything out of their hatred for Russia.”

– Natalya Poklonskaya, ex-Crimean prosecutor and current State Duma deputy:

“The degenerates didn’t choose to target their opponents, who are capable of handing their as-es to them, but those who are most vulnerable – children.”

– Dissident punk band Pussy Riot:

“15 people have been killed and many more wounded in a bomb explosion at a college in Crimea and an attack by armed gunmen. #gunviolence.”

– Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia's republic of Chechnya:

“The criminals should be identified, located and SEVERELY punished in accordance with the law.”

“Evil should be punished in all of its manifestations.”

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