Violence shook the town of Kondopoga over the weekend after two people were killed earlier in the week in an apparent brawl at a restaurant allegedly owned by Chechens. Hundreds of locals gathered on Saturday to demand the expulsion of North Caucasus natives before a mob torched the restaurant and ransacked a marketplace.
Viktoria Veber, the head of Karelia's Islamic Enlightenment organization, said about 50 Chechens, mainly women and children, who were being housed at a tourist resort near the republic's capital, Petrozavodsk, had no money to pay for food and housing, with private entrepreneurs paying for them.
Veber said the refugees would not return to Kondopoga until they received guarantees of their safety. Most of them are relatives of Chechens detained on suspicion of killing two local residents, which triggered riots in the 35,000-city.