SOCHI, Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the mass school shooting in Crimea a day before was the result of “globalisation” and the continuation of an American trend.
“It’s a result of globalisation. On social media, on the internet, we see that there is a whole community that has been created. Everything started with the tragic events in schools in the US,” he said at a forum in Sochi.
“We’re not creating healthy (internet) content for young people, which leads to tragedies of this kind,” he said.
An 18-year-old identified as Vladislav Roslyakov on Wednesday killed at least 20 students at a college in the Moscow-annexed peninsula before killing himself.
More than 40 others were injured in what local press dubbed “Russia’s Columbine”, a reference to a 1999 US high school massacre.
Authorities said they were working to establish the motive for the attack.
An ex-girlfriend told Russian state media Roslyakov had spoken to her about taking revenge for being bullied at the school.
“He would say that he lost trust in people when his classmates began humiliating him for not being like everyone else,” a 15-year-old named as Zlata told the Kremlin-funded RT television of Vladislav Roslyakov.
“Vladislav was always telling me about his frequent fights with people around him,” she said.
The 18-year-old had spoken to her about taking revenge for this bullying, RT reported Zlata as saying.
“He didn’t want to live” because of it, said the girl, who broke up with Roslyakov at an unspecified time before the killing.
She said Roslyakov was a shooting enthusiast whose favourite type of knife was the “butterfly”.
But she also described him as a good person.
“When we started going out, everything was fine. He was kind and considerate, he helped me when things were bad.
“I’m sorry for the people he shot and I’m very sorry that he killed himself. He was a very good friend.”
Russian investigators and residents of the peninsula are looking to understand what motivated the killer and how he was able to carry out a massacre of this scale. — AFP