At least a dozen students have been detained in a raid by security forces on a geological university dorm in Moscow on Monday, Russian media have reported.
Unconfirmed reports initially said “400 students from the Caucasus” were swept up in the raid, with footage on social media showing rows of paddy wagons parked outside the dorm. The number was later revised to 200 detained students, with media reporting that most of them hailed from Russia’s Muslim-majority republic of Ingushetia.
A message on the Russian State Geological Prospecting University’s website said drugs and airguns had been seized in joint police and National Guard “preventive measures.”
“Inspections are underway into those involved in these offenses,” the university said in an online statement Monday without specifying how many students had been detained.
A university spokeswoman later told the Govorit Moskva radio station that fewer than 20 students had ultimately been detained in the raid.
“What they wrote about 400 Ingush [students] is wrong and false,” she was quoted as saying.
“No one was arrested based on their nationality,” she added.
Adding to the confusion, unnamed university officials told the RBC news website earlier on Monday that the raid was carried out after “some people spent the night in a nearby kindergarten.”
One of the students who claimed to be detained alongside 200 other students told the MBKh Media news website that “a majority” of those apprehended were Ingush.
“I had heard there were incidents. There was a shooting near the dorm four days ago. It must have been some sort of grudge,” the student, who gave his name as Artyom P., was quoted as saying.