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Mass protests in Pugachev may be orchestrated from outside - expert

July 10, 2013, 19:48 UTC+3

Earlier, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov also offered condolences to Marzhanov’s family

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GROZNY, July 10 (Itar-Tass) - Chechnya’s Human Rights Commissioner Nurdi Nukhazhiyev said mass protests in Pugachev might have been orchestrated by someone from the outside.

Mass protests in this town in Saratov Region on the Volga started after a fight between a 16-year-old Chechen boy and 20-year-old commando Ruslan Marzhanov, who died from stab wounds.

“We share the pain of his relatives and express our sincere condolences to them. Each parent grows his children for a long and happy life. But unfortunately, tragedies occur and take the lives of young people,” Nukhazhiyev said on Wednesday, July 10.

Earlier, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov also offered condolences to Marzhanov’s family.

Nukhazhiyev stressed that “the anti-Chechen feelings in Pugachev are being artificially whipped up and directed by mass media controlled by certain forces” that seek to “break up Russia”.

“A domestic conflict between the young people, which led to a tragedy, was very quickly bloated to an ‘inter- ethnic’ conflict. There promptly appeared calls for sending all Chechen families out of Pugachev. ‘Protests’ were organised too quickly and too well, which suggests that they were orchestrated by someone from the outside. Who could be interested in escalating ethnic strife in different regions of Russia? This is a question for the competent bodies to deal with,” the ombudsman said.

He noted that Saratov Region is one of the most stable regions in Russia in terms of ethnic relations, and there are “long-standing friendly relations” between Chechnya and Saratov Region.

Nukhazhiyev noted that “the perpetrator should be punished” and that ethnic Chechens, who are “Marzhanov’s friends”, caught “the suspected murderer” and turned him over to police.

“This alone shows that there is no inter-ethnic conflict there,” the official concluded.

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