Russian Forces Quash Prison Mutiny Led by Terrorism Suspects, State Media Reports


Russian special forces have quashed a short-lived mutiny at a provincial detention center on Sunday, killing detainees, some charged with terrorism, who had broken out of their cells earlier in the day, according to Russian state media.

Six detainees who awaited court appearances at a pretrial detention center in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don had managed to take control of the facility, state media reported. Armed with knives, the suspects took two guards hostage, the reports said.

A video posted on Rostov’s local news channels and reposted by some Russian officials appeared to show a man identified as one of the detainees brandishing a knife and demanding a car to leave the detention center for an unspecified destination. A detainee is seen in the video holding a black flag associated with the Islamic State. The video could not immediately be verified.

Security agents had surrounded the detention center by Sunday morning. Soon after, Russian state media published a short statement from the country’s prison service saying that security agents had stormed the facility, “liquidated” the mutinied detainees and freed the hostages unharmed.

The Rostov governor and senior federal officials have yet to comment on the episode.

The Rostov mutiny comes less than three months after assailants staged the deadliest terrorist attack in Russia in more than a decade at a concert hall near Moscow. The attack, which killed nearly 150 people, took place despite U.S. intelligence services providing a detailed warning to their Russian counterparts of the impending plot.

The Islamic State took responsibility for the concert hall attack. President Vladimir V. Putin, however, has blamed it on Ukraine and Western intelligence services, without providing evidence.

Mr. Putin’s critics said those accusations were an attempt to deflect his government’s failure to deal with the threat of Islamist terrorism as the attention shifted to the war in Ukraine.

At least one Russian official publicly questioned how the Rostov detainees managed to break out of their cells and overpower the guards.

“They clearly were planning this for a while,” Andrei Medvedev, a Russian propagandist and regional lawmaker in Moscow, wrote on the Telegram messaging app on Sunday. “Where is the protocol for dealing with especially dangerous detainees?”

Hwaida Saad contributed reporting.



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