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Kondopoga (English)
Кондопога (Russian)
—  Inhabited locality  —
Dormition Church
Map of Russia - Republic of Karelia (2008-03).svg
Location of the Republic of Karelia on the map of Russia
Kondopoga is located in Karelia
Location of Kondopoga on the map of the Republic of Karelia
Coordinates: 62°12′N 34°16′E / 62.2°N 34.267°E / 62.2; 34.267Coordinates: 62°12′N 34°16′E / 62.2°N 34.267°E / 62.2; 34.267
Coat of Arms of Kondopoga (Karelia).JPG
Coat of arms
Administrative status
Country Russia
Federal subject Republic of Karelia
Municipal status
Municipal Status Urban okrug
Population (2002 Census) 34,863 inhabitants[1]
Time zone MSK/MSD (UTC+3/+4)
Founded 1495
Dialing code(s) +7 81451
Official website Site

Kondopoga (Russian: Кондопога; Finnish: Kontupohja; Karelian: Kondupohju) is a town in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. It is situated on the coast of the Kondopozhskaya gulf of Lake Onega, near the mouth of the Suna River and Kivach Nature Reserve, about 54 km from Petrozavodsk.

Kondopoga has a railroad station on the Moscow–Murmansk railroad, some of the largest pulp and paper mills in Eastern Europe, a medical college, and facilities for the manufacture of building materials. Population: 34,863 (2002 Census).

First recorded as early as 1495, Kondopoga retains a rare monument of Russian wooden architecture — the Dormition Church (Успенская церковь), built in 1774. The central column of this church is crowned by a hipped roof, 42 m in total height. The column is based on a central rectangular framework, with adjacent frameworks for the refectory and altar. The altar framework is covered by a traditional wooden roof, called a barrel roof.


2006 ethnic tensions

On the night of 29 August – 30 August two ethnic Russians were killed and several others badly injured by Chechens in the Chayka («Чайка») restaurant. A group of Russian men were eating at the Azeri-owned restaurant, when allegedly, they noticed that the expensive, premium brand vodka bottle the waiter was pouring their drinks from was actually filled with a cheap, low quality spirit. An argument and brief scuffle ensued. The ethnic Russians then left the bar. The barman then called a 'rescue team' of 15 Chechens. This team of hired 'protectionists' actually arrived an hour after the Russians involved in the initial fracas had exited, but on arrival, randomly attacked ethnic Russian diners in the restaurant, who hadn't been involved in the original vodka dispute. Armed with baseball bats and knives, they set on the clientele shouting 'allahu akbar!', and a in a brutal melee, 2 Russians were killed, 8 seriously injured and 15 mutilated, the injuries ranging from cuts to gouged out eyes. Despite the fact that 3 police vehicles were in the direct vicinity of the restaurant, the police did not intervene. This has led to allegations that the police were being paid off by the Chechen gang.

After the funeral of the Russian victims, tensions spilled over into an all out riot as the mob attempted to obtain vigilante revenge. Many of the Chechens and the families left the town, some stating a desire to live in Finland.[2]

View from space

Sergei Katanandov, the head of Karelia Republic, told "Izvestia" on September 6 about a gang of Chechens who drove around the town in a Mercedes without number plates 'terrorising locals'. He also related an incident where a Chechen gang beat a local policeman. An ensuing lawsuit by the policeman was dropped, Katanandov hinting that he had been 'paid off' by the gang - others believe fear of reprisals may have been his motivation. .[2] It said to be an open secret in Russia that many businesses often operate under the protection of 'kryshas' - that provide protection via the FSB and other state bodies. In Kondopoga, many believe such 'immunity from prosecution' was visibly flaunted by the Chechen gang and the businesses under their protection.[2]

Some reports link this state of affairs to clashes on the night of September 1 – 2 September 2006 between groups of ethnic Russian youths and the OMON (Ministry of Internal Affairs special forces, a SWAT-type and riot-control unit) troops. The Chayka restaurant was destroyed during this unrest. A number of Chechen-owned businesses were also targeted.

On 2 September, two days after the beginning of rioting, there was a mass meeting held at the town hall. A number of Russian nationalists came from Moscow, including leaders of Movement Against Illegal Immigration, and organized a rally calling on the government to forcibly resettle all people from the Caucasus, especially ethnic Chechens, from the town.

The nationalists pointed to the reign of fear spread by Chechen gangsters and the many violent acts committed against ethnic Russians, exacerbated by corrupt officials 'in the pockets' of the Chechens, as their motivation.


External links


Links about ethnic tensions in Kondopoga


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