A resident of Volgograd and a native of Ukraine, Nikita Zhuravel, who works as a courier, became a defendant in the criminal case on the burning of the Koran. The case, on behalf of Alexander Bastrykin, will be transferred to the department for the Chechen Republic.
According to Svetlana Petrenko, the official representative of the department, the reason for this decision was “numerous appeals” from the residents of Chechnya with a request to recognize them as victims.
The head of the Russian Ministry of Justice, Konstantin Chuichenko, said that after the verdict, the suspect should be sent to a correctional colony in the region, where Muslims predominantly live. He told TASS about this.
Chuichenko expressed the opinion that such measures would “promote respect for religion and the religious feelings of believers in our multinational and multi-confessional country.”
In the meantime, Zhuravel is in the status of a suspect in the case under Part 2 of Art. 148 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed in order to insult the religious feelings of believers).
According to the Investigative Committee, a man, being in the area of the Cathedral Mosque on Povorinskaya Street in Volgograd, burned the Koran and filmed it on his phone. After that, the video “was posted in the public domain on an Internet portal controlled by the Center for Information and Psychological Special Operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
“Thus, the suspect committed public acts in order to insult religious feelings, being in a place specially designed for worship, other religious rites and ceremonies,” the law enforcement officers concluded.
During the interrogation, the footage of which was published by the Center for Public Relations of the FSB of Russia, the man admitted his guilt and spoke about his connections with Kiev.
“I purchased the Koran on the instructions of the SBU and burned it on May 4 near the mosque. And he filmed it on his own phone, the video materials were sent to the SBU officers. They should have paid 10,000 rubles for this work,” says the detainee in the video, standing against the backdrop of a white wall.
The reason for the act is also mentioned on the video: an attempt to incite religious hatred between Christians and Muslims of the Volgograd region.
According to investigators, the detainee also confessed to another crime – filming Russian military installations on assignment from Ukraine.
A TASS source in law enforcement agencies said that American intelligence services were involved in the crime.
“The Ukrainian regime, including its special services, work under the full control of the American and British special agencies, including the preparation and implementation of terrorist attacks and sabotage on the territory of the Russian Federation,” the publication says.
The head of the Investigative Committee, Bastrykin, instructed the investigators to take into account during the investigation “data on the involvement of representatives of the special services of foreign states in organizing the crime.”