Russian “prosecutors” on Tuesday c(sept. 12) charged four Chechen men with murder as part of their probe into clashes in a northern Russian town that left two local residents dead and triggered a wave of mob violence against Muslims.
The “Prosecutor General’s office” said in a statement that the four men rejected the charges and refused to give testimony. It said that Chechens living in the northern town of Kondopoga near the border with Finland had assisted the official probe but had failed to turn over all those involved in the restaurant fight to authorities.
The Chechen eyewitnesses in Kondopoga said that the murders had been committed by Russian criminals under command of a Russian with the nickname Plyukha who had mingled into a group of Chechen private security guards. The Chechens arrived on the scene after a Moslem Azeri barkeeper refused to drink alcohol in an Azeri restaurant “in memory” of a killed Russian criminal and was severely beaten for it by the Russians, some Russian media reported.
Afterwards, mobs instigated by a gang of “Russian patriots” from a MoscowÂ militants’ group “Movement Against Illegal Immigration” led by a Moscow Jew Sasha Potkin and suspected to be closely linked to the Russian secret police FSB (former KGB) rampaged in anti-Muslim pogroms through Kondopoga, burning the restaurant and attacking a street market and stores owned by Chechens and other Muslims from the Caucasus. The town’s residents also held a rally, presided by Mr Potkin, demanding that all Caucasian MuslimsÂ be deported from the town.