Home Europe Roma flee Russian village after mass brawl

Roma flee Russian village after mass brawl


Arrest in Chemodanovka - Investigative Committee (SK) siteImage copyright

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Russian police have arrested 28 suspects over the Chemodanovka unrest (screenshot from SK video)

Dozens of ethnic Roma (Gypsies) have fled from a village in southern Russia after a mass brawl with local Russians, in which one man died of a head wound.

The brawl erupted in Chemodanovka on 13 June, and Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee (SK) is trying to establish exactly what happened.

Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency says 28 suspects have been arrested so far, all of them Roma.

A senior official, Nikolai Moskalenko, says 43 Roma have now left the village.

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A video from Russia’s Investigative Committee (SK) showed weapons seized after the brawl

Some witnesses said as many as 150 people took part in the fight. Police have been deployed to calm the situation.

Mr Moskalenko told RIA Novosti that most evacuees were women and children, taken by bus to the Astrakhan region, a long way south, by the Caspian Sea. He is responsible for inter-ethnic relations in neighbouring Volgograd region.

Chemodanovka is in the Penza region, about 642km (400 miles) south-east of Moscow.

It is not clear exactly what triggered the brawl. A senior Roma community official, Nadezhda Demeter, said adults got involved after children from the two village communities began arguing while bathing at a local pond.

Police say at least five people were seriously injured, one of whom died later of head injuries in hospital.

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