A gunman has opened fire in a school in the city of Izhevsk in central Russia, killing at least 13 people and injuring 21 more, Russian officials confirm. According to initial reports, seven children and six adults have been killed.
The gunman, who later killed himself at the scene, entered the school wearing a T-shirt with Nazi imagery and a balaclava, firing upon students with two pistols. The attacker, named by a local politician as Artem Kazantsev, was a former pupil of the school.
Footage believed to have been taken from within the school shows students fleeing in panic as the gunman opened fire within the building. Blood can be seen on the classroom floor, a bullet hole in a window, and children hiding beneath their desks.
Today in Izhevsk, a man wearing a T-shirt with Nazi symbols & armed with 2 guns walked into a school, shot the guards & began shooting at the children.13 people were killed, including 7 children. The man shot himself. This is a horrible crime and an awful tragedy. pic.twitter.com/pvr5NLYiTo — Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) September 26, 2022
Izhevsk is a city of just over 650,000 people in Russia’s Volga Region. The targeted school taught around 1,000 pupils at the time of the attack. Russia’s Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes and incidents, said it was already looking into the attacker's suspected neo-Nazi connections.
“Currently investigators are conducting a search of his residence and studying the personality of the attacker, his views and surroundings,” the committee said in a statement. “Checks are being made into his adherence to neo-fascist views and Nazi ideology.”
- Finland says border traffic with Russia rising
- European Council President in favour of opening borders to Russians fleeing mobilisation
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “deeply mourns” the deaths and a day of mourning has been organised in the local region.
On the same day, against the backdrop of rising resistance against mobilisation, a gunman shot a military officer at a draft office in the town of Ust-Ilimsk in the Irkutsk region of Siberia. In another incident, a man set himself on fire to protest mobilisation. Also on the same day, fresh violence has erupted in Dagestan where locals are opposing the military draft.
Not exclusively an American phenomenon, school shootings are becoming increasingly frequent in Russia. In May 2021, a teenager opened fire at a school in Kazan, killing nine. In April this year, an armed man killed two children and a teacher at a kindergarten in the Ulyanovsk region.
In 2018, in Russian-occupied Crimea, an 18-year-old student shot and killed 20 people and wounded 70 others in the Kerch Polytechnic College, one of the worst in both Ukraine and Russia’s history.