CRIMEA on Friday held a memorial ceremony for 20 people killed in a school shooting dubbed the ''Russian Columbine'', the worst massacre of its kind in the country's history.

On Wednesday, 18-year old VIadislav Roslyakov opened fire on his technical college in the city of Kerch before killing himself. More than 40 others were injured in the attack.

The ceremony, attended by the authorities from the Moscow-annexed peninsula, began in the morning in the centre of Kerch.

Security had been stepped up in the city of 150,000, which sits in the far east of Crimea and is where a recently opened bridge links the Russian mainland to its new territory.

All central roads had been closed. And residents have been laying flowers at the central square.

The mourning ceremony was followed by a procession towards Kerch's new cemetery.

Of those injured in the attack, a number remained in a ''very serious condition,'' according to Russian health minister Veronika Skvortsova.

Many of those hospitalised were injured by an explosion that blasted metal ball bearings and other items into their bodies. Six have been transferred to the  Russian capital for further treatment , Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

Claim Shooter was bullied : On Thursday, a girl claiming to be Roslyakov's  ex-girlfriend told Russian media he had spoken of taking revenge for bullying.

''He would say that he lost trust in people when his classmates began humiliating him for not being like everyone else,'' a 15-year-old named as ZIata told the Kremlin-funded RT television outlet.

''VIadislav was always telling me about his frequent fights with people around him,'' she said, adding that he ''didn't want to live'' because of it.

President Putin meanwhile said the killing was the ''result of globalisation'' and the continuation of a trend that had begun in the US. [Agencies]


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