VIDEO: Attacks on Roma in Russia apparently continued with arson
On Saturday 15 June in the Russian village of Lopatka, near Chemodanovka, a big fire broke out. Local Romani residents were living in the homes that burned.
People commenting on social media believe the incident is a continuation of the conflicts that happened there between local Romani people and Russians. As a consequence of the altercations a local Russian resident died last week.
According to media reports, the fire broke out on Saturday at 21:46 local time. Several homes occupied by local Romani people were burned to the ground.
The Russian Interior Ministry announced that no victims of the blaze were reported. Those discussing the fire on social media believe it was arson.
Violent clashes between hundreds of local residents of Chemodanovka happened on 13 June. The cause was apparently a conflict between youths at a fishpond, as a consequence of which local Russians took the law into their own hands and set out to punish the alleged culprits from the Romani community.
The Romani people defended themselves and 33-year-old Vladimir Grushin, a Russian, was killed during the altercation. After the clash, on 14 June, about 1 000 residents of Chemodanovka blocked a national highway in an attempt to draw attention to the conflict and achieve clarification regarding the murder of Grushin, who had died the previous day when he and 200 other local Russians set out to assault the Romani community.
At the instruction of Alexandra Bastrykina, the head of Russia's federal law enforcement agency, federal detectives have taken over the case. The activity of the local authorities in Chemodanovka, Penza Oblast, will be monitored by supervising bodies.
Igor Komarov, the representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Volga Federal Oblast, ordered the supervision. The Penza Regional Authority is also meant to develop a plan to improve the socioeconomic situation there.
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