Funeral of Derbent priest murdered in Dagestan terror attacks takes place — Novaya Gazeta Europe

Funeral of Derbent priest murdered in Dagestan terror attacks takes place

An Orthodox priest who was among the 20 people killed in a series of coordinated terror attacks in Dagestan on Sunday was buried on the grounds of the church where he had worked for 45 years on Wednesday, Russian media outlet RBC reported.

Nikolay Kotelnikov, who had served at the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin in the southern Russian city of Derbent since 1979, was killed when masked gunmen simultaneously opened fire on multiple places of worship in the cities of Derbent and Makhachkala.

After shooting Kotelnikov, who was leading celebrations for the Orthodox festival of Pentecost, the attackers set fire to the church. No terrorist group has officially claimed responsibility for the attack, in which 20 people died and another 46 were hospitalised.

Dozens of congregants and city residents attended the priest’s funeral, RBC reported, while representatives of the Islamic and Jewish faiths in the city were also present, according to the tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets.

Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded the priest the Order of Courage, a state award given for bravery, while oligarch Suleyman Kerimov, who represents Dagestan in Russia’s upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council, promised to fund the repair of the church and pledged he would give 5 million rubles (€53,600) to each of the victims’ families.

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