Criminals are at large: how Russian authorities cover up criminals?

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Hundreds of Russian convicts who committed serious crimes were released after agreeing to participate in the war against Ukraine. Having received a pardon from Putin, former prisoners who never served their sentences return to Russia and commit crimes again: rob, beat, kill and rape. Moreover, human rights activists predict an increase in the number of such incidents involving Russian military personnel, FREEDOM reports.

Former director of the film magazine “Yeralash” Ilya Belostotsky, sentenced to six and a half years in prison for pedophilia, went to war against Ukraine, Russian media reported. Earlier, he said on his page on social networks that he had signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense. This is a well-established loophole for convicts to get early release.

“And, of course, everything that is happening has nothing to do with law. That is, perhaps this is normal in the Russian Federation, but from the point of view of international law, naturally, this is some kind of nonsense. People just go to the front, go to fight. After the agreed six months, they become innocent, and then anything can happen to them,” said Yuri Borovskikh, head of the Berlin branch of the human rights organization Sitting Rus’.

Hundreds of people convicted of serious crimes have already returned from the front to their hometowns and villages. The feeling of impunity pushes them to new crimes. So, in just the last 7 days, three former members of the so-called “SVO” have already been detained for rape. We are talking about Aslan Davlatov, Kirill Fedulov and Wagnerian Yuri Gavrilov. The latter raped an 11-year-old schoolgirl.

“They developed a reflex during the war in Ukraine that killing, raping, robbing is good. You will be rewarded for this. Well, what questions might there be? Why should something change in his head?” said Dmitry Popov, candidate of psychological sciences.

In addition to those sentenced for robbery, rape and serial murder, those who served time for domestic violence are also released. Most often, it is loved ones who become victims of repeated crimes.

“In April 2023, a resident of the city of Zavolzhye, Nizhny Novgorod region, Alexander Mamaev, returned from the war. 44-year-old Mamaev went to Ukraine as a volunteer and served there as a deputy platoon commander. While celebrating his return with his wife and her brother, Mamaev quarreled with his wife and stabbed her in the chest. Ekaterina Mamaeva managed to call an ambulance, but did not live to see its arrival,” from the publication of the publication “Current Time”.

Human rights activists record that Russian courts are mitigating the sentences of participants in the war against Ukraine. Even if a person commits a serious crime repeatedly. For example, the Volgograd Garrison Military Court gave three years probation to serviceman Alexander Kirichevsky, who, out of jealousy, stabbed his wife in the liver – she did not die thanks to the efforts of doctors. Or Corporal Eduard Bitarov, who received a year’s probation for the murder of his ex-wife.

“But, of course, when the media’s attention is already focused on this, then, naturally, they are condemned, in general, to the fullest extent of the law. I repeat, those cases that we don’t know, we don’t know how they end. The fact that the media condemns people and gives them, in general, quite a lot of prison terms. But who said that after this a person will not go to war again and will not sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense again?” Borovskikh said.

Experts note that most of the crimes of former participants in the war against Ukraine go completely unnoticed – only high-profile cases of high-profile violent crimes are prosecuted. In addition, the country has strict censorship on such messages. This means there are many more relevant incidents.

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