Russian security forces on Saturday killed a heavily armed gunman who broke into a private home on the outskirts of Moscow and shot dead them, apparently threatening to march on the Kremlin.
Guards spotted the attacker after breaking into an unoccupied house in the elite cottage village of Istra district, about 45 kilometers (less than 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 attacker, who was dressed in combat gear and carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle. The man claimed he came from the front lines in Ukraine and was pushed by God to walk to the Kremlin, the seat of government in Moscow.
The Russian National Guard said they refused to surrender and shot and killed the special forces when they stormed the house. He added that the attacker was in possession of several automatic weapons and hand grenades.
Russian lawmaker Alexander Khinstein identified the attacker as Vyacheslav Chernenko, 35, who lives in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. It was not immediately clear if he had actually fought in Ukraine as he claimed.
Astra manager Tatiana Vitusheva described the attacker as mentally unstable.
Some Russian media outlets claimed that the hut he broke into belonged to Viktor Yanukovych, the former president of Moscow-friendly Ukraine who was ousted from office by mass protests and sheltered by Russia. It was put up for sale by its current owner, who was out at the time of the accident.
The incident attracted media attention, nearly a month after mercenary commander Yevgeny Prigozhin launched a short-lived rebellion that saw Wagner’s forces seize the military headquarters in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don and then drive 200 km (125 mi) from Moscow in an attempt to overthrow the country’s top military leaders.
Prigozhin agreed to end the June 23-24 rebellion in a deal that offered amnesty for him and his mercenaries and allowed them to relocate to Belarus.