The Union Recorder

Local Sports

November 27, 2012

Murder trial in Russia inflames ethnic tensions

Moscow — A world martial arts champion from Russia's southern Caucasus region was convicted Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter, but set free after a trial that inflamed ethnic tensions.

The verdict led to protests by nationalists outside the court and prompted Russian riot police to flood the wide square outside the Kremlin to prevent possible violent clashes between nationalists and ethnic minorities from the Caucasus.

Rasul Mirzayev had punched former police academy student Ivan Agafonov outside a Moscow nightclub in 2011 after the drunken 19-year-old offended Mirzayev's girlfriend. Agafonov fell down, hitting his head on a sewer grate, and died four days later.

Mirzayev's trial had raised the anger of nationalists, who accused him of deliberately killing the Russian student. The athlete's supporters argued that Agafonov had provoked the lethal punch and his killing was accidental.

The Zamoskvoretsky court ruled Tuesday that since Mirzayev had already served his sentence while in custody awaiting trial he could walk free.

There are significant tensions between ethnic Russians, who make up two-thirds of the country's 142 million people, and dark-complexioned Muslims from the Caucasus, where there are more than 100 ethnic groups. Hundreds of thousands of Caucasus natives have flooded central Russia in search of jobs, causing a clash of cultures that aggravates deeply ingrained xenophobia.

Mirzayev, a bearded and lean 26-year-old, comes from Dagestan, Russia's most multiethnic province. Dagestan has for years been an epicenter of an Islamic insurgency that stems from separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya.

The Caucasus has also been beset by high unemployment and rampant corruption. The Kremlin has spent billions of dollars to subsidize the restive region, but government critics say most of the money is embezzled by local leaders.

Polls show that nearly half of Russians resent the Kremlin subsidies and dislike migrants from both the Caucasus and the former Soviet states in Central Asia.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 07-31 12U state champs_2.tif 12U All-Stars end 51-year drought

    Baldwin County’s 12U All-Star baseball team is “living the dream” after scorching through the competition to win the Dixie Youth State Championship July 23 in Trenton, Ga., punching a ticket to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series in less than two weeks.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • State amputee golf tournament this week

    The Milledgeville Country Club will host the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament beginning Friday with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. for the four-person scramble prior to the individual stroke play portion the following two days.

    July 10, 2014

  • Kalie Todd.jpg Elite Gymnastics posts strong showing at nationals

    Competing on the national stage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. June 11-15, Elite Gymnastics posted some of its best results in program history at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Gymnastics National Championship.

    July 9, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-26 Jayla Waller.jpg Former Bravette to play for Georgia College

    One of the most decorated players in Baldwin High School girls’ basketball history, Jayla Waller advanced to the collegiate level competing for Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. this past season as a freshman.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-21 Ramsey.JPG Amateur golf talent turns pro

    Professional golf is unforgiving and expensive.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-14 GMC summer basketball.jpg Bulldog basketball busy this summer

    Georgia Military Prep School boys’ basketball coach James Lunsford is notorious for working his players year-round to become better athletes and better students.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2312.JPG Ross a future star

    The numbers speak loudly for David Ross Jr.

    June 11, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-06 Blackbelt.jpg Mother-daughter combo make history at local karate studio

    History was made on Thursday, May 22 at Drouillard’s Karate Studio, as the school’s first mother-daughter combination in Mary Beth and Lindsey Atkinson tested and achieved the pinnacle black belt status on the same night.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_1061.JPG Youth explore tennis during GC camp

    Georgia College's tennis courts appeared to be a busy place on Wednesday afternoon.

    June 5, 2014 3 Photos

  • coach k camp.JPG Coach K's Soccer Camp kicks off with sweat

    Kids attending Coach K's Soccer Camp get their cleats dirty day one.

    June 3, 2014 3 Photos