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Russia: Volunteer firefighters attacked, Greenpeace says



Mikhail Kreindlin after the attackImage copyright
AP

Image caption

Greenpeace activist Mikhail Kreindlin suffered a broken nose in the attack

At least two people have been seriously injured after armed masked men attacked volunteer firefighters, who had travelled to southern Russia to help put out forest fires, activists say.

Environmental group Greenpeace said the men attacked the camp at night, beating people up and damaging tents and cars.

Cuts to fire services have prompted local and foreign NGOS to send volunteers to affected areas.

But some nationalists say foreign NGOs are a front for Western spies.

The attackers – armed with a gun, knives and stun grenades – described themselves as “Cossacks”, called the volunteers “traitors” and daubed a derogatory word for American on a fence at the camp in the Krasnodar region, according to Greenpeace.

“They said if we don’t get out of here till the morning, no one will ever find us, [they said] we should get the hell out of here to ‘our America’,” Greenpeace wildfire prevention coordinator Grigory Kuksin said.

The head of Greenpeace’s protected areas programme, Mikhail Kreindlin, suffered a broken nose while another volunteer suffered suspected broken ribs, Mr Kuksin said.

Volunteers also suffered chemical burns from a “substance in glass vials” thrown by the attackers, he added.

The head of a regional environmental protection group, which also had activists in the expedition, alleged the attack may have been coordinated with the security services.

Andrei Rudomakha from Environmental Watch on North Caucasus described it as a “professional attack”.

Russia: Volunteer firefighters attacked, Greenpeace says


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