Putin blames globalisation for Crimea killings
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the gun and bomb attack by a Crimean teenager, in which 21 young people died, a “result of globalisation”, adding that adults are failing to offer their children an alternative to violence.
Vyacheslav Roslyakov, an 18-year-old student, attacked his vocational school in Kerch in illegally occupied Crimea yesterday (Wednesday), killing 20 people and injuring more than 50. His motives are unclear.
The populist Russian president linked the incident to globalisation, drawing parallels to US mass shootings.
“We do not create enough good [internet] content for young people. This leads to this kind of tragedy,” he said.
Parents were “reacting poorly to fast-changing realities”, Putin said.
Russian state-backed media quoted his alleged 15-year-old ex-girlfriend saying he was a “kind and considerate” teenager who had complained of bullying.
“He would say that he lost trust in people when his classmates began humiliating him for not being like everyone else,” the girl called “Zlata” told the Kremlin mouthpiece RT.
“Vladislav was always telling me about his frequent fights with people around him … he didn’t want to live [as a result],” she reportedly said.
The teenager said Roslyakov was a shooting enthusiast.
“I’m sorry for the people he shot and I’m very sorry that he killed himself. He was a very good friend,” Zlata said.
Sergei Aksyonov, Russia’s chief in occupied Crimea, told Russian news agencies on Thursday that it was possible Roslyakov had an accomplice.
“The point is to find out who was coaching him for this crime,” he said. “He was acting on his own here, we know that. But this scoundrel could not have prepared this attack on his own, in my opinion, and according to my colleagues.”
The occupying forces said they were searching for any accomplice after the attacker killed himself in the library at the Kerch Polytechnic College.
No motive has been suggested with teachers and classmates describing Roslyakov as shy with few friends.
There have been questions asked about school security on the illegally occupied peninsula.
The vocational school had a front desk with no security guards and Russia’s National Guard said it had deployed officers and riot police to all teaching institutions in Kerch.
Since Russia violently annexed Crimea in 2014, it has warned of a terror threat from ill-defined Ukrainian nationalists and ethnic Tatars, an indigenous Crimean community. There have been no reports of violent activities on the peninsula.
The Kerch attack was the deadliest school violence in Russia or Ukraine since the 2004 Beslan attack by Chechen separatists, which left 333 people dead, including many children, after a three-day siege.
Kerch is at a key strategic location overlooking the new bridge to Russia. Picture credit: Wikimedia