Powerlifter from Novosibirsk caused attack on Russian Embassy in Libya

 10/8/2013, 16:51
Powerlifter from Novosibirsk caused attack on Russian Embassy in Libya
the aftermath of the attack on the embassy, still from NTV

The attack on the Russian Embassy in Libya by a group of armed Libyans, after which the embassy was evacuated, was triggered by the murder of a local officer and injuries to his mother, supposedly the work of Ekaterina Ustyuzhaninova, a sportswoman from Novosibirsk and former student of Novosibirsk State University, Sib.fm’s correspondent discovered on 4 October.

The Russian Embassy in Tripoli was subjected to an armed attack from a group of militants in the evening on 2 October; one of the attackers was killed in the crossfire.

«According to available information, the immediate reason for the aggressive actions against our embassy was the murder of a Libyan army officer and the stabbing of his mother by Russian citizen Ekaterina Ustyuzhaninova on October 1. Ustyuzhaninova has been arrested and criminal proceedings have been started against her. The Libyans will inform us about all circumstances of the incident and the progress of the investigation,» said a statement from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to diplomats, the incident provoked relatives and friends of the murdered Libyan to try to «avenge» his death with an attack on the Russian diplomatic mission. The armed attackers managed to break into the embassy, while staff members and their families took refuge in secure rooms.

«The attackers were driven away from our diplomatic mission by its own security service, supported by one of the Libyan pro-government forces. Nevertheless, the Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdel-Aziz visited the embassy and informed the Russian Ambassador that Libya is currently unable to ensure the safety and security of the Russian Embassy, advising its employees to leave the diplomatic mission. Under the circumstances, it was decided to immediately evacuate through Tunisia all employees of our foreign missions in Libya and members of their families,» noted a ministry spokesperson.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded that Libya take steps to ensure the safety of all members of the Russian diplomatic mission and their families during their travel to Tunisia, as well as the «swift reinstatement of safe conditions for the Russian Embassy in Libya to resume normal activities.»

On 3 October, all employees of the Russian Embassy and their families safely crossed the border into Tunisia. Their return to Moscow on a Ministry of Emergency Situations charter flight is scheduled for 4 October.

The Novosibirsk State University website indicates that Ekaterina Ustyuzhaninova was a student there. In addition, she holds several prizes from powerlifting competitions and is an international class Master of Sports.

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«In 2007, she enrolled at the Department of Foreign Languages, but withdrew in 2008. In the same year, she transferred to the Department of Humanities to study history, but was expelled in 2011 when she did not return from a leave of absence», explained the university press office.

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