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Standoff ends at Russian Embassy in Costa Rica

A 20-year-old Kazakhstan man turned himself over to police on Friday, ending a three-hour standoff and safely releasing a captive he held inside the Russian Embassy in Costa Rica, police said.
Costa Rica Russia Hostages
Costa Rican police escort released employees from the Russian Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Friday.Ezequel Becerra / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A 20-year-old Kazakhstan man turned himself over to police on Friday, ending a three-hour standoff and safely releasing a captive he held inside the Russian Embassy in Costa Rica, police said.

Roman Bogdanyants covered his face as he was escorted by police from the building, followed by a Russian man that police spokesman Francisco Ruiz said was held hostage.

Officials originally reported an armed gunman had seized eight hostages, quickly releasing five. But Russian Ambassador Valery Nikolayenko told Channel 7 Telenoticias in a phone interview from inside the building that he and three other officials had remained to help negotiate a peaceful end to the conflict.

Bogdanyants was taken to a cell in a San Jose courthouse, where he was being held late Friday. Court official Maria Isabel Solis said prosecutors were investigating what charges would be filed against him.

Immigration spokeswoman Heidi Bonilla told The Associated Press that Bogdanyants arrived in Costa Rica in 2005. Police earlier had described him as an Uzbek.

A family friend, Artur Mitiniani, told Channel 7 that the family had lost $54,000 because of problems with a Russian citizen who Bogdanyants met at the embassy.

In July 2004, a Costa Rican security guard took several hostages at the Chilean Embassy where he worked in San Jose, eventually killing himself and three embassy employees. The guard, Orlando Jimenez, 54, was upset about a pending transfer.