Russian chases down robber in central Vietnam, gets arms slashed

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Artem Moskalyuk at a hospital after being slashed by a thief in Nha Trang on Tuesday night. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre

Police in the central resort town of Nha Trang are investigating the robbery of a Russian tourist Tuesday night, which resulted in her Russian tour guide being knifed by the culprit after chasing him down.

Artem Moskalyuk, a tour guide employed by Pegas Touristik, told the police he was walking along Pasteur Street with a female client named Onga around 10:20 p.m. when a young man snatched the woman's bag and ran away.

Moskalyuk chased after the thief and managed to take the bag back, but the perpetrator slashed the tour guide's arms with clasp knife during the struggle.

The 28-year-old was rushed to hospital, where he required several stitches the two most severe wounds on his left arm were around eight centimeters long, police said.

Tran Van Minh, chief police officer of Xuong Huan Ward, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper the police were able to retrieve the knife, which the robber left behind.

Minh speculated the robber might have been carrying the knife in order to cut the handle or strap of somebody's bag, and probably did not plan to attack anyone.

With the town welcoming more visitors, the Nha Trang police have reported incidents of locals attacking foreigners recently, as well as cases where foreigners have attacked locals. However, they said they have been hesitant to take firm action on the latter situation, fearing it might negatively impact the number of tourists who choose to visit Nha Trang.

The town in Khanh Hoa Province has been familiar to Russian people ever since the Russian Navy began using the nearby Cam Ranh port in 1979, then for military purposes. The port served as Russia's biggest naval base outside its own territory until 2002.

Nha Trang attracts so many Russian tourists each year that many of the signboards belonging to restaurants and travel agencies are written in Russian.

The town can expect to receive more Russian visitors in the near future, as Vietnam national carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced that this April it will launch nonstop service from Moscow to Cam Ranh International Airport, 30 kilometers away. 

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