Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the mass school shooting in Crimea a day before was the result of "globalisation" and the continuation of an American trend.
"It’s a result of globalisation. On social media, on the internet, we see that there is a whole community that has been created. Everything started with the tragic events in schools in the US," he said at a forum in Sochi.
He said unstable young people were creating "fake heroes for themselves" and "reaching out for a surrogate for heroism" in the absence of the real thing.
"We’re not creating healthy (internet) content for young people… which leads to tragedies of this kind," he said.
"But there is a place for real heroism in today’s life," he said.
An 18-year-old identified as Vladislav Roslyakov on Wednesday killed at least 20 students at a college in the Moscow-annexed peninsula before killing himself.
More than 40 others were injured in what local press dubbed "Russia’s Columbine", a reference to a 1999 US high school massacre.
Authorities said they were working to establish the motive for the attack.
An ex-girlfriend told Russian state media Roslyakov had spoken to her about taking revenge for bullying at the school.
The head of Crimea said on Thursday the shooter couldn’t have organised the attack alone and investigators are looking into "who prepared him for this crime".
Russian state television has suggested Ukrainian agents were to blame and discussed his mother’s membership in the Jehovah’s Witnesses "sect".
The shooting is the latest in half a dozen school attacks in Russia this year, although the previous incidents involved knives and traumatic pistols rather than high-powered firearms.
Several of the attacks were inspired by the Columbine high school massacre in Colorado in 1999. The shooter in Crimea wore a white t-shirt that seemed to resemble that worn by one of the Columbine shooters.
Also on Thursday, Mr Putin’s spokesman called the incident part of a “dangerous trend”.
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