22 July 2023

Russian special forces kill gunman who broke into private house near Moscow

22 July 2023

Russian security forces on Saturday killed a heavily-armed gunman who broke into a private house in the suburbs of Moscow and fired at them, reportedly threatening to march on the Kremlin.

The gunman was spotted by guards after he had broken into an unoccupied house in an elite village in the Istra region, about 30 miles west of Moscow.

He held them at gunpoint, but they managed to escape, according to Russian media.

For several hours the authorities negotiated with the gunman, who was in combat fatigues and had a Kalashnikov rifle.

The man claimed he came from the front lines in Ukraine and was driven by God to march on the Kremlin, the seat of the government in Moscow.

He refused to surrender, fired at the special forces and was killed when they stormed the house, Russia’s National Guard said.

It said that the attacker had several automatic weapons and hand grenades.

Russian lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein identified the man as Vyacheslav Chernenko, 35, a resident of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. It was not clear if he had indeed fought in Ukraine as he claimed.

Istra administrator Tatiana Vitusheva described the attacker as mentally unstable.

Some Russian media claimed that the cottage he broke into once belonged to Viktor Yanukovych, the former Moscow-friendly president of Ukraine who was driven from office by mass protests and offered shelter by Russia.

It has been put up for sale by its current owner, who was abroad when the incident happened.

The incident attracted close media attention, coming nearly a month after mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin launched a short-lived mutiny that saw his Wagner troops capture military headquarters in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don and then drive as close as 125 miles from Moscow in a bid to oust the country’s top military leaders.

Prigozhin agreed to end the June 23-24 rebellion in a deal that offered amnesty to him and his mercenaries and allowed them to move to Belarus.

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