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Presidential envoy arrives to Saratov region to discuss situation in Pugachyov

July 10, 2013, 12:02 UTC+3

Mikhail Babich is set to meet with the regional administration to learn what preventive measures are being taken to avoid disturbances

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PUGACHYOV /Saratov region/, July 10 (Itar-Tass) - Presidential envoy in the Volga Federal District Mikhail Babich and Saratov region governor Valery Radayev arrived in the town of Pugachyov to discuss the situation in the town, where mass protests have continued for the third day running, the press service of the regional government said.

To investigate the resounding murder of a local resident, a group of investigators and forensic experts arrived in Pugachyov, head of the Investigative Committee’s main department Alexander Shchukin told reporters on Wednesday.

"The SK leadership decided to pass the case - which caused a public outcry - to the main investigation department," Shchukin noted, "it will be handled by special investigator Maj-Gen Vladimir Kostin. We believe that an impartial, quick and quality investigation will help ease social tensions. We hope to finish the probe within two months. There are no obstacles, such as political ones, to the investigation into the case."

A number of experts’ examinations will be carried out on Wednesday and Thursday, including crime re-enactment.

Saratov region police chief Sergei Arenin said the Tuesday night was calm in town. No crimes were reported. At present, police are making rounds of residential districts to check passports.

Regional police also said a range of operations and preventive measures "are being taken in Pugachyov," to prevent mass disturbances and ensure public security and law and order.

"The situation in Pugachyov and the Pugachyov district is stable and under control," the press service of the regional police department said.

On Tuesday evening, participants in a Pugachyov rally tried to block traffic on the Samara-Volgograd highway, but police prevented the attempt. A shower with hail made the protesters go home.

To prevent possible road accidents, police placed restrictions on heavy trucks movement along the Samara-Volgograd highway.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Russian president's council for human rights Mikhail Fedotov believes there was no ethnic conflict behind the murder in the town of Pugachyov, Saratov region and that it was a domestic crime.

"We've discussed this topic. It's absolutely obvious that the murder was not committed because of ethnic hate. It's a domestic murder. Someone found it very advantageous to make it a political event. It's a very dangerous game," Fedotov told a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

Regrettably, people's mistrust of law-enforcement bodies interferes with the conflict settlement. "People don't trust /police/. The law-enforcement system should be more open to make people trust it. But I wish to underline: there is no ethnic conflict here. It's perfectly obvious to me," he stated.


Mass protests near Pugachyov administration










Thousands of people took to the highway

As previously reported, several thousands of people attended the procession on the highway. The police tried to prevent the passage and blocked the road, but people broke through the police chain.

Residents of Pugachyov have tried to shut off the highway the day before, after a meeting near the administration building, where they raised protest against migrants from the Caucasus, but the police managed to stop them.

One of the rallies has nearly turned into a mass brawl.


The cause of mass protests

The murder of 20-year-old Ruslan Marzhanov caused outbreak among local residents. A few days ago the young man had a quarrel with a 16-year-old guest from Chechnya. The latter has hit Marzhanov with a lancet and the victim of the attack has died in the hospital.

The murder suspect has been arrested for two months.


State Duma insists on prompt investigations

State Duma deputy and member of the Central Staff of the All-Russia People’s Front Michael Starshinov made an inquiry to the administration of the Investigative Committee of the General Prosecutor's Office, the Interior Ministry and the FSB.

Starshinov asked head of the Investigation Committee Alexander Bastrykin to take the investigation of the criminal case under personal control. The MP said he expects a prompt and impartial investigation of the events in Pugachyov and bring to justice all those responsible.

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