Alleged organizer of Luhansk attack on foreign students released from custody
The website Polemika.com.ua reports that one of the three men detained on suspicion of involvement in an attack on foreign students in Luhansk and vandal attack on a kiosk owned by Azerbaijanis, has been released by a Luhansk court. The man, who would seem to still be charged with the crimes, is a martial arts trainer. He is suspected of having organized the attack. Two people, seemingly part of the Thai martial arts club are still being held in detention.
Lawyer representing the victims of the attack, Ihor Chudovsky, has criticized the man’s release saying that he will now be about to put pressure on witnesses. He alleges that there are “serious people behind the accused man, Vladmir Skavinsky.
The report does not explain why the man accused of organizing the attack should have been released, not the others, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions.
As reported, in the evening of 1 November thugs in medical masks and with bats smashed shop windows and caused damage to a kiosk selling shaurma (kebabs) [The BBC report says “several dozen”, however initial reports said around 15-25]. The kiosk belongs to Azerbaijanis and is close to the main part of the university. The assailants then moved to one of the 9-storey hostels and beat up foreign students, four of whom ended up in hospital.
According to the police, they have already detained several suspected organizers of the attack. The lawyer of one of the victims, Ihor Chudovsky, asserts that all those detained are well-known martial arts sportsmen (Muay Thai) who train out in one of Luhasnk’s sports clubs. The main suspect is a trainer. He is in custody while the others under a signed undertaking not to abscond. The lawyer says that according to information he has received, the case may be reclassified from “hooliganism” to “incitement to inter-ethnic enmity” and passed to the SBU [Security Service]. He says that straight after the attack on the kiosk selling ethnic dishes, foreign students were attacked. He says that the assailants shouted “Foreigners, get out!”