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Cossack group led by MMA fighter attacks Azerbaijani family over ethnicity

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The group was led by MMA fighter Sergey Kalinin. 

Three men from a Cossack village in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia were detained for assaulting the sons of Azerbaijani entrepreneur Aminal Musayev last week. Among the detainees is mixed martial arts fighter Sergei Kalinin.

According to Russian media, the incident occurred after one of Musayev’s sons, Ilgar, decided to join the Cossacks, a group of predominantly East Slavic–speaking people who became known as members of democratic, self-governing, semi-military communities, predominantly located in Eastern and Southern Ukraine and in Southern Russia. Ilgar was warned that he would be rejected from the group due to his ethnicity and Islamic faith but still showed the desire to join the group. On July 1, Cossack leader Sergey Kalinin phoned the guy and asked if Ilgar had changed his mind about joining the Cossacks. The young man had not.

“I said no, the question is closed. Then he began to say that I was just messing with them, saying that I would like to be a Cossack, and don’t take them seriously,” Ilgar told Znak.

Kalinin requested a meeting with Ilgar in a cafe. The MMA fighter arrived with two fellow Cossacks attacked the 24-year-old Ilgar. According to the report, one of the Cossacks even held a grenade and threatened to blow them all up.

Several days later, Ilgar’s brother Elfat found out about the incident and arranged a meeting with the Cossacks in order to make peace. The brothers returned with their father, Aminal Musayev, and met with the Kalinin and his group. Despite arriving with the intention to make peace, the Azeri family was attacked by five men armed with whips, swords, and firearms.

“They surrounded us and just started to kill. Dragged on the ground, on the gravel, beat. Then they started shooting,” Ilgar said.

While reports suggested that the police refused to make any arrests, the Ministry of Interior Affairs in the Chelyabinsk region confirmed that three Cossacks were detained.

Kalinin is an active MMA fighter with a 6-5 professional record who recently competed on an RCC show in May 2019, where he lost to Bogdan Guskov by technical knockout.