About 20,000 people pay last tributes to victims of Crimea college attack

Frederick Owens
October 20, 2018

The Investigative Committee said that the shooting spree started right after a handmade explosive device detonated inside the college, wounding dozens of people, mainly students.

The school attack in Kerch was the greatest loss of life in school violence in Russian Federation since the Beslan attack by Chechen separatists in 2004, in which more than 300 people were killed in a three-day siege, many of them children, and hundreds of others wounded.

For Kerch, a city of 150,000 inhabitants in a strategic position in the extreme east of the peninsula, annexation led to the hugely costly construction of a bridge connecting it to the Russian mainland, opened by Putin in May, which shook up the previously sleepy city and has raised new fears about security. "His body was found in the library on the first floor", Aksyonov wrote on Facebook.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday blamed a mass shooting at a college in Crimea on globalization, saying a problem that began in the United States had spread around the world through online communities on the Internet.

The paper said Roslyakov's mother is a Jehovah's Witness - a Christian organisation considered "extremist" and banned in Russian Federation.

"It is the problem of global terrorism, not from Russian Federation or the Crimea", outbids Oleg Jmaka: "there are special forces in front of each school".

Residents of the Black Sea city of Kerch brought flowers and toys to a makeshift memorial outside the school on Thursday morning.

"Vladislav was always telling me about his frequent fights with people around him", she said, adding that he "didn't want to live" because of it.

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Yet as the day wore on Thursday, neither Russian investigators nor other authorities followed up on Aksyonov's comments hinting at a wider attack plot.

Radio columnist Dmitry Drize of Kommersant FM argued that measures such as even stricter gun laws or restrictions on social media won't necessarily help.

"Today, all pre-school [institutions] and schools have been put under the protection of Russian National Guard fighters". Civilians can own only hunting rifles and smoothbore shotguns and must undergo significant background checks.

Russian media initially reported it was a gas explosion, but the regional gas distribution company told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty it did not supply gas to the college. "She was running next to me, and then she fell and wasn't breathing any more", said the grieving student.

Another student, Yuri Kerpek, told the state RIA Novosti news agency that the shooting went on for about 15 minutes. 'I locked the door, hoping he wouldn't hear me, ' he told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

"I'm sorry for the people he shot and I'm very sorry that he killed himself".

Eighteen people were killed when gunmen burst into a college in the Black Sea region of Crimea, set off a bomb in the cafeteria, and went through the building shooting anyone they saw, officials and the college's director have said.

Russian Federation forcibly annexed Crimea from Ukraine four years ago, a development that prompted the West to impose economic sanctions on Russian Federation.

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