Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Mass brawl between Armenians and Belarusians in Brest

charter97.org

A Brest resident drowned trying to escape by rivery from a mob of armed Armenians.

Three residents of Brest got involved in a brawl with Armenians near the City club on August 17. They tried to defend a man. The result reminds criminal showdowns of the 1990s, Nasha Niva newspaper reports.

"One man from the group of Armenians was in a car with a Russian number plate," Aliaksandr learnt details from his friend, who was involved in the fight. None of participants of the incident want to talk to journalists. "They apparently were going to or from Europe through Brest. The brawl was stopped by club security guards and other people. It could have been the end, but one of the guys received a telephone call from a man from the Armenian diaspora in Brest. He offered to meet next day at the life-saving station on the Mukhavets River."

About 15 residents of Brest came to the arranged place and saw a stream of cars driving to the site. There were twice as many cars as the Belarusians. About 60 Armenians with metal bars or non-lethal weapons appeared. A brawl began. The Belarusians scattered trying to run away. They claim their heard shots. Some jumped into the river, others hid in the reeds. A guy from the group, Yauheny, jumped into the water hoping to reach a small island 100 metres from the life-saving station. Being a bad swimmer he drowned.

Aliaksandr says the rescue crew so what happened. Rescuers came to the island later to save the guys. A road police car was standing close to the site, but the police didn't interfere.

"The Armenians ran away when two police car appeared. One of the cars had a minor accident during the chase. Its passengers – 4 people – were detained. About 20 people were taken to the Leninski district police department at night.

All of us though that Yauheny got scared and was still hiding. Divers didn't find him near the island the next day. The Armenians were set free for lack of evidence. On the third day, August 20, divers finally found Yauheny's body. The forensic medical examination showed there were no signs of violent death. It was an accident – he drowned,"
he says.

Aliaksandr says he doesn't know whether the Belarusians will file a complaint to the police. "I don't know what they think now. They may be afraid of revenge – everyone knows the mentality of people from the Caucasus region."

The fact of hooliganism that may lead to initiating a criminal case was not established by the police. No air guns or balls were found on the scene. Policemen say they have doubts regarding the brawl: one side may have threatened to the other and the guys scattered.