Teenager shot and killed after attacking police station in Russia in apparent echo of France attacks

Nataliya Vasilyeva
·2-min read
Russian Muslims rallied outside the French Embassy in Moscow earlier this week to protest against President Emmanuel Macron's stance on cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammed - Vladimir Gerdo/Tass via Getty Images
Russian Muslims rallied outside the French Embassy in Moscow earlier this week to protest against President Emmanuel Macron's stance on cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammed - Vladimir Gerdo/Tass via Getty Images

A 16-year-old has been shot and killed after trying to set fire to a police station and stabbing an officer in an attack that appeared to echo those recently carried out in France.

The teenage boy threw a Molotov cocktail at the police station in the town of Kukmor in the predominantly Muslim region of Tatarstan late on Thursday and stabbed a police officer who tried to detain him, Russian investigators said on Friday. Another police officer later shot the 16-year-old, who died on spot.

Authorities are treating the incident as an attempted terrorist attack but would not immediately give the teenager’s motives.

Tatarstan’s Interior Ministry confirmed media reports that the teenager shouted “Allahu akbar!” and threatened to kill “enemies of Allah.” 

Local media identified the 16-year-old as Vitaly Antipov, who was reportedly unemployed and did not attend school.

The Business Online website said Mr Antipov was a stepson of a convicted terrorist who was found guilty of blowing up a section of a gas pipeline and sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2001.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, on Friday refused to link the attack to the ongoing Islamist violence in France and called it an isolated criminal incident.

Many in Russia’s Muslim community were irked by French President Emmanuel Macron’s reaction to the murder of a school teacher two weeks ago.

His defence of freedom of expression including mocking religion sparked protests outside the French embassy in Moscow and triggered angry comments from Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia’s Chechnya.

Mr Kadyrov earlier this week claimed that Mr Macron was “100 times worse than a terrorist” for “enticing provocations.

After he was dressed down by the Kremlin for meddling in Russia’s foreign policy, Mr Kadyrov insisted that he spoke in personal capacity as a Muslim who feels compelled to defend his religion.