Sakhalin doesn’t get in the news much these days, and rarely for reasons unrelated to the oil industry. However, friends on Sakhalin posting on Facebook alerted me to this:
A gunman has opened fire inside a cathedral on the eastern Russian island of Sakhalin, killing a nun and a churchgoer, say reports.
Six other people were wounded in the incident – most were said to have been shot in the legs and were not critically hurt.
An employee at a private security firm was detained at the scene in the main city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
The motive of the man, who is said to be about 25 years old, were not clear.
I doubt there was much of a motive, it sounds like the random act of a nutcase. Being rather low-paid work, the average employee of a private security firm in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and is often an ex-conscript unable to find any other type of work. It would hardly be a revelation if one of their number had mental health issues.
There was no apparent link to the Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi about 7,500km (4,700 miles) to the west.
Well, yes. If you want to make a statement about a major international event, getting within 7,500km of the place where it is underway is normally the way to go about it.