KRASNODAR, May 21. /TASS/. The chieftain of the Kuban area Cossack host, Nikolai Doluda, has ordered an internal inquiry into an incident at the airport of the Black Sea beach city of Anapa where a brawl involving the Cossacks and airline customers occurred, the press service of the Kuban Cossack Host said on Friday.
"At the instruction of the host chieftain Doluda, an internal inquiry into what happened at the airport of the Anapa seaside resort is underway," the report said.
Officials at the transport police of Russia's Southern Federal District told TASS earlier they were also investigating the incident that occurred at the airport on May 17 when a fistfight ostensibly broke out between the Cossacks and a group of passengers going to board a flight. Mass media also said one of the persons beaten up by the Cossacks was the oppositionist blogger and activist Alexei Navalny.
"They attacked us without letting us take off our rucksacks and floored us and then started beating men and young girls alike," Navalny twittered later.
On May 18, the chairperson of Russia's Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova said she would give precisely focused attention to the acts of aggressive behavior in the run-up to September parliamentary election. She said she felt apprehensive over a possible growth of aggression at the forthcoming election and said in this connection the use of 'costumed mountebacks' in struggle with political opponents was inadmissible.
"A certain aggressive behavior of various groups of costumed mountebacks of all sorts please pardon me is growing as the election is getting closer and they begin attacks on their ideological opponents without any shame in front of children and women, sometimes at the connivance and sometimes under the placidly watchful observation on the part of the forces of law and order," Pamfilova said.
"Chieftain Doluda believes Ms. Pamfilova meant Cossacks in her comment when she spoke about the incident at Anapa airport since no one else except the people in Cossack uniforms and the oppositionist activists took part in the brawl," a spokesman for the press service of the Kuban Cossack Host told TASS.
A letter Doluda sent to Pamfilova said the use of the word 'mountebacks' with regard to Cossacks meant putting a clich· on all the Cossacks of the Kuban are and the country as a whole.
"When statements of the kind are made at a level as high as this one, they are automatically projected to the entire Cossack community of Russia," he wrote. "People in this country naturally perceive the phrase 'costumed mountebacks' in a negative way. Besides, it insults the feelings of Cossacks of different generations and their families but also deals a blow to the prestige of the whole community of Cossacks."
"This (Pamfilova's) statement caused massive indignation and misunderstanding among the people of the Cossack region, since hundreds of thousands of Cossacks and members of their families live in the Kuban area," the press service quoted Doluda's letter.