Russia’s ‘Pizza Terrorist’ Gets 9 Years in Jail

MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) – A court in south Russia has handed down a nine-year jail sentence to a man who held four people hostage at a local college in March and initially demanded a pizza and a fizzy drink, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Claiming to be armed with a bomb and pistol, former army commando Alexander Kuptsov, 25, locked himself in a classroom with two young girls, a teacher and a security guard, at a marine fishing industry college in Astrakhan on March 14.

But after finishing his snack, Kuptsov, dubbed the “pizza terrorist” by Russian media, asked for a ransom of 50,000 rubles ($1,630) and a sport utility vehicle, investigators said.

Police eventually stormed the classroom Kuptsov was holed up in and detained him. A bomb he claimed to be carrying proved to be a fake and his gun only a toy.

No-one was harmed during the standoff. Media reports said Kuptsov only wanted to to impress his 17-year-old girlfriend who was among the hostages, who had previously refused to leave Astrakhan with him.

He could have been sentenced to a maximum 15 years in jail.


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