Russian Rifle Raid Reveals Ravenous Reptile, Reds Responsible

Via JuliaM, this story from Russia:

Russian police searching for illegal weapons in a St Petersburg house faced a scaly surprise in the basement: a two-metre (6.5ft) Nile crocodile.

Where the hell did they get it from in the first place? I’ve been to Saint Petersburg, and one thing you don’t see among those strange creatures basking in the mud along the Neva river or the fountains at Peterhof are Nile crocodiles.

Police said the reptile did not cause any injuries – but now they must find a new home for it. Russian media say the house is used by a nationalist group.

With a penchant for Lacoste?

A stockpile of illegal arms was found in the raid, in the city’s Peterhof suburb, RIA Novosti news reports.

It included explosive devices and copies of Kalashnikov assault rifles.

A 40-year-old man arrested in November is suspected of illegal possession of weapons.

I admit this is some way outside my line of work, but I reckon if I was assembling illegal weapons in my basement I’d find the presence of a large crocodile somewhat distracting.

The St Petersburg news website Fontanka says the property houses a “patriotic youth militia” called Red Star (“Krasnaya Zvezda” in Russian).

Red Star doesn’t sound very nationalistic, does it? More Communist, I’d say.

The crocodile was living in a pool that had been dug into the concrete floor.

I want to know what it ate. Small children? Putin’s enemies? So many questions. It’s at times like this when I mourn the death of traditional journalism.

Leningrad Zoo says it has no extra space to take it in.

Aw. I expect it’ll remain in Saint Petersburg, albeit in the form of a handbag in the window of a shop on Nevskiy Prospekt.


12 thoughts on “Russian Rifle Raid Reveals Ravenous Reptile, Reds Responsible

  1. Red Star doesn’t sound very nationalistic, does it? More Communist, I’d say.

    From the “socialism in one country” era to the end, the USSR was very nationalistic, and mentioning “internationalism” was considered Trotskyism, which was deemed to be Fascist (such are the bizarre twists of hyperfine and infinitely fluid Socialist definitionism, where what was one minute the only acceptable line suddenly becomes “Fascism” because Stalin said so).

    It would not surprise me that a neo-Communist group would be very much nationalistic, pining for the fjords of the Russian-dominated USSR.

  2. “copies of Kalashnikov assault rifles”

    Why bother copying them when the real thing is readily available black market? It would cost a lot less just to buy them than make them which will require at the least buying some machine tools. You could buy a lot of AK’s for the price of a decent lathe.

    Actually, alliteration always annoys …

  3. “Red Star” was the British Rail parcels service. This might be just coincidence, but the presence of hard-left militants (and crocodiles) suggest that there is, in fact, some kind of link.

  4. The association with the Russian military, beloved of nationalists, is also strong. I’m sure many Soviet symbols of the Great Patriotic War in particular have retained their national significance even if their ideological significance has faded. (The communists still have the hammer and sickle, which is more symbolically entwined with their ideology, but even that comes out on the streets with more national than political connotations at WWII memorials.)

    The red star was reinstated by Putin as a military symbol shortly after the Soviet anthem was reintroduced, judging by to

  5. Incidentally the symbology of the USSR was always that the red star was associated with the armed forces whereas the hammer and sickle were for civilian labour. The Soviet military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda is now the Russian one and it lives at

  6. Russian nationalism was basically invented by Stalin. Before the revolution there wasn’t much of it. Certainly not among the peasants.

    Suspect Dave is right, though.

  7. Gah. He writes a book, next thing he’s angling for a job writing headlines at El Reg.

  8. “copies of Kalashnikov assault rifles”

    Doesn’t necessarily mean that they were making them themselves. More likely Chinese, Czech or someone else’s knock offs.

  9. Gah. He writes a book, next thing he’s angling for a job writing headlines at El Reg.


  10. Obviously a fond remembrance of the old anti-government parody magazine Krokodil. Used to be the only reading material that could get away with making fun of the government.

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