Vladislav Struzhenkov, an 18-year-old Russian student has detonated a homemade bomb outside his former Orthodox school near a convent outside Moscow, in an apparent revenge attack for allegedly being bullied by nuns there.
According to Russia’s interior ministry, the student reportedly survived the murder-suicide attempt and is in critical condition in the hospital. However, the bomb he detonated has left 12 pupils injured.
“18-year-old graduate of this educational institution entered the premises of the Orthodox gymnasium of the Vvedenskiy Vladychniy convent and blew himself up’, Russia’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The attack, which saw Struzhenkov also carrying a machete, took place at 8.24am local time at the Orthodox school linked to a nunnery in the city of Serpukhov, south of Moscow.
The ministry confirmed a 15-year-old student was injured in the blast and said the staff of the school had been evacuated and that ‘information about other victims’ was being clarified.
Reports said that Struzhenkov had previously complained of being ‘bullied by the nuns’ who ran the school while one source said the attack had been ‘aimed at pupils’.
The attacker’s leg was blown off in the blast and police did not immediately permit paramedics to go close to Struzhenkov due to fears of another explosive device.
A law enforcement source told TASS news agency: ‘He has survived but lost his leg as a result of the blast. The young man was hospitalised in a critical condition.’
Struzhenkov is believed to have planned to carry out the attack during the Orthodox school’s morning prayers, but he set off the explosives outside the prayer hall after he was unable to gain entry, reported Russian news agency TASS.
A grandfather of one of the pupils trapped inside the school told of the terror faced by students.
‘Children were running bare feet, in shirts, to hide inside a dining room,’ he said.
‘My grandson called me, he was shell-shocked.
The suspect’s father, Andrey Struzhenkov, 41, said he had believed his son was buying fireworks for New Year.
The explosion came as the school day started at the school at Vvedenskiy Vladychniy Nunnery, one of the oldest in Russia.
Filip Savostin, a local street lifting coach, said: ‘I have trained Vladislav since 2018.
‘I only saw him from the positive side, never had any issues with him.
‘It was mainly his grandmother who cared for his upbringing.’
Struzhenkov is now under criminal investigation for attempted murder.
Russia has seen a rise in attacks on schools by teenagers in recent years.
The Vvedensky Vladychniy Monastery in Serpukhov was founded in 1360. Children between seven and 16 are taught at the school, about 100km (60 miles) south of Moscow.
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