Russian nationalists want wedding shooters jailed

Millions of mostly Muslim natives of Dagestan and other Caucasus provinces flooded into western Russia after the 1991 Soviet collapse. Some have formed ethnic gangs notorious for their cruelty, and many others have been involved in violent clashes with ethnic Russian nationalists and soccer fans.

In this video grab taken on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, and provided by Russian Television channel shows wedding guests and passers-by standing around a red sports Ferrari that was pulled over by police after celebratory firing in the air in Moscow. The shooting that was part of a Caucasus wedding ritual prompted a public outcry in Russia amid growing xenophobia and ethnic tensions between Slavs and predominantly Muslim natives of the volatile Caucasus region.

It was an unusual wedding escort even for Moscow’s brash style: A red Ferrari led a motorcade in which guests fired celebratory shots from car windows as they sped down one of the city’s main avenues near Red Square.

Sunday’s parade drew an angry reaction from the Kremlin-controlled parliament, where senior lawmakers voiced outrage Monday after wedding guests from the province of Dagestan in Russia’s North Caucasus walked away with $3 fines. Just one man was ordered to pay a $60 fine by police who stopped the motorcade just outside the Kremlin.

Video of the incident also prompted angry comments from ethnic Russians, who denounced the wedding traditions brought into the Russian capital from the volatile Caucasus. Some called for tougher punishment for such behavior.

In an apparent response to the public outcry, a Moscow judge handed out a 15-day jail sentence to one of the shooters, the Interfax news agency reported.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of Liberal Democratic Party, said Monday while it’s “a sign of joy” for people from the Caucasus to shoot off guns in celebration, “here it’s a sign of robbery, banditry.” He suggested such incidents be punishable by up to two years in jail.


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