Russian millionaire claims he mistook man for bear before fatal shooting

A Russian millionaire and public official has admitted to accidentally shooting a man he mistook for a bear that had been troubling the local community.

Igor Redkin, a member of the Kamchatka regional legislature in Russia's far east, was placed under house arrest earlier this week after he shot and killed a man who was rummaging in a garbage bin.

Redkin sent a statement to local news outlet Kam24 in which he called himself an "involuntary participant" in a "tragedy".

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He said that on the evening of August 2, he had heard there was a bear in the village of Ozernovsky.

To scare it away and prevent it from posing a threat to residents, he said, he shot "at the bear".

"Later, I learned that at about the same time a local resident was wounded in the area of the shooting and died in the hospital.

"Yesterday, I made a decision for myself and am ready to bear the punishment which will be determined by the court."

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The victim of the shooting was 30-year-old Andrei Tolstopyatov.

Redkin, a long-time member of Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, has suspended his party membership.

There are an estimated 20,000 bears on the Kamchatka peninsula, and they occasionally roam into settlements looking for food.

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