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Deserters Shot after Killing 10

: Vita Lukashina, Foma Lavrentiev  

Both of the paratroopers who deserted who from their Airborne Troops unit near Ulyanovsk in the early hours of Monday, were shot dead by Tatarstan police late on Monday after they had shot at least 9 people dead.

The deputy interior minister of Tatarstan, Major-General Rakhil Nagumanov, told Interfax that Sergeant Almaz Shageyev, born 1981, was shot dead by police in a shoot-out near the Lashi railway crossing in the republic's Buinsk district on Monday evening. Three policemen of the Interior Ministrys Tatarstan department were also killed in the incident.

According to Nagumanov, the second deserter Private Mikhail Sukhorukov, born 1982, managed to get away but was later was later shot near the village of Cherki-Grishino in the Buinsky district.

However, according to the NTV channel, the police did not shoot the deserters. In the shootout near the Lashi railway crossing, Shagayev tricked the police by pretending to turn himself in. As he walked towards them with his hands raised, Sukhorukov opened fire at the police killing three of them. In the exchanger of fire Shagayev was wounded and reportedly it was Sukhorukov who gave his wounded fellow deserter the coup de grace.

The NTV channel also reported that Sukhorukov was not shot but committed suicide a couple hours after he had finished off Shagayev.

The two paratroopers went AWOL from their units garrison 25 km north of Ulyanovsk at 1:30 am on Monday. The deserters opened fire at anybody who attempted to apprehend and shot dead eight people and wounded several others.

The press office of the Interior Ministrys main department in Tatarstan (the Ulyanovsk Regions neighbouring province), told Gazeta.Ru that paratroopers Sergeant Almaz Shageyev and Private Mikhail Sukhorukov took with them two Kalashnikov rifles and nine cartridges of ammunition each.

They made their escape by down a car near their garrison. Immediately after their desertion was noticed, special police operation Siren was launched in the Ulyanovsk Region and Tatarstan to apprehend them.

The police soon established that the deserters were heading towards the town of Buinsk, over the regional boundary in Tatarstan. The first people to confront the deserters were road police officers manning the Vostok road checkpoint in the Ulyanovsk Region.

The deserters ignored the traffic policemens signal to stop and in the ensuing chase the law enforcers attempted to force the Zhiguli ,which the deserters were driving, onto the verge. The deserters responded with gunfire. In the shootout that followed two traffic police officers and one civilian in a passing car were killed.

The deserters then got into the Zhuguli that had happened into the exchange of fire, taking the surviving driver hostage, and continued in the direction of Buinsk. As they were approaching the town the car ran out of petrol and the deserters abandoned it and their hostage and set off for the town on foot.

One kilometre from Buinsk they ran into a police patrol and opened fire, killing two policemen and injuring two others. The deserters then drove to the town in the police patrols car.

A while later police in Buinsk found the police car that the deserters had taken. According to an unconfirmed report the deserters tried to hijack a Kamaz truck in the town. They reportedly fired shots at the vehicle but the driver refused to stop.

Also on Monday the bodies of two young entrepreneurs from the village of Laishevka were found in the Ulyanovsk Region. The first body was found at around 6:00 am on Monday in the boot of a Zhiguli 6 car abandoned near the border of Tatarstan and the second was found at around noon several kilometres from Ulyanovsk.

Investigators presume that the deserters used the abandoned Zhiguli 6 to get away from the vicinity of their garrison and killed the driver and passenger when switching cars in order to cover their tracks.

The military prosecutors office of the Republic of Tatarstan has opened an investigation under paragraph 105 part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code, Intentional murder of two or more persons.

It remains unclear why the two young men, both of whom had earned reputations as competent, obedient soldiers and who had only half a year of military service left to serve, should resort to such measures. However, it is known that they served in Chechnya. Their combat experience was certainly evident on Monday. At the shootout at the Lashi railway crossing, all the three killed policemen were wearing bulletproof vests, but Sukharukov managed to shoot all three in the head in quick succession.

Investigators think it is possible that the deserters could have been involved in organised crime and went AWOL with the aim of settling scores with someone.

The head of the press service of the Airborne Troops of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Bragin, gave a somewhat simpler explanation The lads decided to play Rambo, he told the Itar-Tass news agency.

05 15:32


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