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Another armed attack in Abkhazia, Russian immigrants injured

One woman hospitalized with concussion after attack

Caucasian Knot

On the evening of the 31sto f July, in the Gudauta region of Abkhazia, an armed attack took place on a family of Russians: one of the three injured in the attack has been hospitalized with a concussion and burns.

Anatoliy Ivanov and Valentina Bykovets moved from Saint Petersburg in May to live in the village of Khipsta. Since then, burglars have tried to rob them three times, each time unsuccessfully.

This most recent attempt took place on 31 July in between 02:00 – 03:00.

“I heard the dog barking and went out into the courtyard to take a look at who had come. I turned around and saw in front of me a man in a black mask. He grabbed me by my hair, put me on the ground and crushed me with his knee. I screamed, and he started to threaten that he would kill me,” said Valentina Bykovets to a Caucasian Knot correspondent.

According to her, one of the criminals then took her inside, where her husband and cousin Vadim Lugin were; her cousin had come to visit.

“They hit me on the head with the butt of a gun, burned parts of my body with an iron, and put the muzzle of the gun up against me. I told them ‘take everything!’. They hit me with the butt of the gun again. I lost consciousness. When I woke up, I saw that they had dragged me into a different room. They had tortured me for a long time, for about 40 minutes,” Bykovets said.

“They tortured me for a long time. They put a bag over my head. I told them that we had taken the house on credit, but they didn’t calm down,” says her husband Anatoliy Ivanov.

There were three attackers. Two with automatic weapons and one with a pistol. One of the attackers found a bag with money, but said that it wasn’t enough, and continued to demand their savings. The criminals took their car – a Renault – having first slashed the seat cushions and fabric in search of money.

The victims noted that one of the attackers called his partner ‘Timur’.

The Minister of Internal Affairs and the Head of the State Security Service arrived at the scene of the crime and the investigation began. The stolen car has been recuperated. The victims were visited by the chairman of the public organization ‘Russian diaspora of Abkhazia’, Roman Ryazantsev.

“We will try to give the victims all the help they need,” he told a correspondent from the Caucasian Knot.

Valentina Bykovets, who suffered more than the other two victims, is now in Gudauta Hospital. The doctor treating her, Inal Abashidze, says her condition is of moderate severity but stable.

“She has sustained a closed craniocerebral trauma, has a concussion, a number of grazes and injuries to the head and spine, burns of the first degree on both her upper and lower extremities and a contusion of the lumbar spine,” he told the Caucasian Knot.

JAMNews earlier wrote that on 11 July in the Gudauta region of Abkhazia, a similar crime was committed against Russian tourists, resulting in the death of one of the victims. Both suspects were caught and confessed to their crime. “They were sentenced in accordance with three articles of the criminal codex of Abkhazia,” reports the General Prosecutor of Abkhazia.

The resonance in the media harmed the touristic image of Abkhazia and the industry as a whole which makes up 10 percent of the countries’ income. This was felt immediately: tour agencies told JAMnews that people who had formerly bought trips and tours to Abkhazia later cancelled their reservations and demanded their money back.

The Embassy of Russia recommended that Russian tourists be aware of the worsening criminal situation in the republic.

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