At least 15 people, including 11 children, were killed in a shooting on Monday (26) at a school in Izhevsk, in central Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the attack an “inhumane terrorist attack”.
“Fifteen people died, including 11 children and four adults, and 24 were injured, including 22 children and two adults,” the Russian Investigations Committee reported in the afternoon, updating the balance sheet.
The gunman, who, according to investigators, committed suicide, was wearing “a black pullover with Nazi symbology and a balaclava”. He has been identified as an alumnus of the school, Artiom Kazantsev, born in 1988. “We are checking whether he was linked to neo-fascist positions and Nazi ideology,” the committee said.
Authorities have posted a video showing the body of a man on the ground, with blood around his head. The pullover has a red swastika.
“Police officers found the body of the man who opened fire. According to our information, he committed suicide,” the Russian Interior Ministry said.
The attack took place in the morning at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, a city of nearly 650,000 inhabitants in the central region of the country, west of the Ural Mountains, which divide the European part of the Asian part of Russia. The locality houses the factories of Kalashnikov rifles.
The teaching center reports on its website that it has nearly 1,000 students and 80 teachers.
“Inhumane terrorist act”
Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the case as an “inhumane terrorist act”, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“The president deeply mourns the death of staff and children in this school where a terrorist attack was committed,” Peskov said, before stressing that Putin wishes the wounded to recover quickly.
In a speech, the governor of the region, Alexander Brechalov, announced with emotion that the gunman had entered the school, killed a security guard and opened fire on the children.
“The withdrawal operation is over and the perimeter is sealed off,” Brechalov said in the video posted on Telegram. He also informed that the Russian National Guard, the FSB (Federal Security Service) and the authorities responsible for the investigation were at the scene.
An investigation was opened for “murder” and “illegal possession of weapons” by Russia’s Investigative Committee, the country’s top investigative body.
Monday’s shooting came at a time of great tension in several regions of Russia, following the announcement of the military call-up of hundreds of thousands of reservists for the offensive in Ukraine.
On Monday (26), a man opened fire at a Russian army recruitment center in Siberia, and a soldier was seriously injured.
The phenomenon of shootings was rare in the country, particularly in schools. But in recent years, it has become more frequent, to the point where President Vladimir Putin expressed concern and attributed the causes to events imported from the United States and the perverse effect of globalization.