Russian fighter freed after killing conviction


Rasul Mirzaev, 26, walked free from court on Monday after being convicted of killing a student in a case that highlights Russia's fraught ethnic tensions.

Mirzaev received the maximum sentence of two years in prison for causing death by negligence over the incident outside a Moscow nightclub last year, but was released immediately because of time already served.

Mirzaev's release is likely to anger nationalists who complained when more serious charges were dropped earlier this year, and has revived memories of race riots in downtown Moscow in 2010 that followed the fatal shooting of a football fan by a migrant from the country's North Caucasus region.

The case captivated Russia and focused debate on relations between ethnic Russians and people from the North Caucasus, many of whom, including Mirzaev, have moved to Moscow since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Many Russian nationalists protest the huge government subsidies allocated to the impoverished Caucasus, where unemployment is high.

Nineteen-year-old Ivan Agafonov died after Mirzaev hit him with a single punch to the face, causing the student to fall and strike his head on a metal drain cover.

The two had argued after Mirzaev accused Agafonov of insulting his girlfriend. Agafonov’s friends have said he merely shared a joke with Mirzaev’s girlfriend.

The fighter, known as the Black Tiger, originally faced a sentence of up to 15 years before the charges were reduced in January. Mirzaev pled guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by negligence, saying there was no intent to harm Agafonov.

Lawyers for Agafonov’s family have accused the prosecutor of ignoring their interests and earlier vowed to seek harsher punishment for Mirzaev at the European Court of Human Rights if he were to be convicted of the lesser charge.

Agafonov's mother was hospitalized Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack. His father stormed out of the courtroom before the sentence was read out.

Ethnic-Russian nationalists protested outside the court, with Dmitry Dyomushkin, the head of the "Russkie" movement, arrested as he attempted to enter the court along with three others.

Mirzaev was a world champion in the Russian martial art of sambo, and had been due to fight in Bellator before the incident.

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tags: Rasul Mirzaev   Bellator   


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Recent Comments »

Tolstolobic site profile image  

11/28/12 7:53 AM by Tolstolobic

In 4 Azamat Bagatov

Barry Soetoro Jr site profile image  

11/28/12 5:24 AM by Barry Soetoro Jr

I thought this was about Datsik.

GSTREBENDT site profile image  

11/28/12 2:56 AM by GSTREBENDT

I know a drunk Marine who tried to stick his hand down a pool table pocket to try to catch a baby rattle snake...guess what the baby rattle snake did??? all you guys who are crying for the guy who tried to make a stand against the russin fighter are probably card carrying members of the ACLU and stand in line at local prisons to complain that the cells are too small...thank you for being the reason the USA is going down the drain...

Brigham site profile image  

11/27/12 11:57 PM by Brigham

Lol awesome

TheComedian site profile image  

11/27/12 11:43 PM by TheComedian

That's generally true unless the dude KOs him and then starts stomping on his head BUT it sounds more like this guy insulted the dude's GF and then when called out probably continued to talk shit and the fighter just clocked him (i.e. hit him first without an imminent threat).And again..........this is Russia.......

The Purp site profile image  

11/27/12 11:21 PM by The Purp

if some dude started a fight with someone (especially a pro fighter) and gets knocked out out, and then subsequently dies, thats his fault.

TheComedian site profile image  

11/27/12 4:40 PM by TheComedian

Not so (at least here in America):

TheComedian site profile image  

11/27/12 4:39 PM by TheComedian


grandchampion site profile image  

11/27/12 4:04 PM by grandchampion

the real obvious problem that needs to be addressed here is the inherit dangers of metal drain covers...

TypicalTDM site profile image  

11/27/12 2:40 PM by TypicalTDM

The main problem in this case isn't that the verdict was incorrect. As a matter of fact, there have been numerous other incidents where professional combat sports athletes, mostly boxers, assaulted and murdered people and received the same 2 year punishment in Russia. The problem is that the public, not just the nationalists, feel that the court system is unfair, that such cases should be punished more severely, that his Caucuses background had an effect on the decision, and that there are political prisoners sitting in jail for a longer period while murderers get set free. For example, a guy that hit a policeman in a "March of Millions" protest was sentenced to 4 years in jail for damaging the enamel of the policeman's teeth: As was said before me, the Pussy Riot girls got sentenced to the same 2 years for dancing in a church and signing against Putin. As the article stated, this situation can get out of control as the Dec. 2010 situation with the soccer fan did. The government already knows this and has shut down Moscow squares fearing protests. In general, the entire situation has handled really bad.