Incidents » Crimes

The reasons for executing criminals in the former USSR


None of the "stars" that committed these crimes are alive. The criminals were well aware that they will be sentenced to death penalty. The Criminal Code of the USSR left no chance for mercy to robbers, rapists and murderers who had two or more victims. Nowadays criminals have easier life: moratorium for death penalty, liberal Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code delicate to criminals (not to their victims). The criminals of 70s and 80s seem just not to be in luck…

Passion to the innocent
The end of 1980s. The town of Talnakh. In the attic of a 5 storied apartment building the bodies of two girls aged 5 and 7 years old were found.  They were lying together as if were prepared to be carried away and buried. They had signs of rope or belt on the necks. They were not raped before being suffocated. The victims' names were discovered soon. Olya and Katya – the friends living in the same house. 
-We examined the residents of the apartments in the two doorways,- says Anatoly Galetski, former inspector for the most important criminal cases in the Regional Criminal Police Administration. – All the residents were questioned. We could not find the residents of one apartment. This fact made the police suspicious. We learned the apartment residents' names, they were a husband and a wife. But where did they move? There was no such information in the address bureau.
A local TV station helped the police. Speaking on TV, Mr. Galetskii asked the apartment owner Ms. Ivanova to call the police. Soon she contacted him and told that she was staying with her mother. Her husband had sexual disorder, and she divorced him. Mr. Ivanov, aged 40, was announced to be wanted by the police that put the airport of the northern remote town under tight control.
The murderer was hiding in thе rented apartment in the other part of the town. It was easy to discover his location and arrest him, but difficult to make him confess in committing the murder of two people. Ivanov denied all the allegations, and the search in his apartment gave no results.
The impotent man finally gave up only after being brought to the same attic. He became nervous and then fainted.
…In the daytime the two little girls named Katya and Olya went for a walk. They had not left the house because the kind man – their neighbor -  invited them to try tasty candies in his apartment. As soon as the girls entered his room, Ivanov started "making obscene actions', as the police report says. 7-year-old Katya started shouting and knocking at the door. Ivanov took a rope and suffocated Katya before her friend's eyes. Then 5-year-old Olya was murdered in the same way.

Achinsk Aluminum Industrial Complex was constructed by criminals. In 1970s there was a crime outburst in the town of Achinsk when an aluminum industrial complex was being constructed in it. Most of the construction workers were prisoners. The workers convicted for committing crimes lived in barracks under the watch of prison guards with shepherds. However, some of the convicted men were released on probation and had more comfortable life. They lived in a dormitory. Every night the guards counted the dorm residents and locked the door, in the morning the guards opened the door and took them to work.
Two friends from Ukraine named Zotov and Sukhorukov worked on the complex construction in the daytime and robbed people at night. They used to leave the dorm through the window and hang around the town. One of the robbers carried the metal stick he made at work. They quietly followed a lonely passer-by and then hit his/her head with the stick. After the victim fell down, they checked is/her pockets for money, took valuable belongings and left. It took the police a while to find the criminals. Two of their victims survived marvelously, but could not help the investigators. They could not see the criminals who always attacked from behind.
However, finally Zotov and Sukhorukov were arrested, and their dorm room was searched. The bedside tables of the "criminal brothers" were full of their victims' belongings. Robbery was just their hobby and they kept the taken things as souvenirs.
Zotov and Sukhorukov were sentenced to death penalty. Their last appeal to the court was brief:
- Don't execute us – we can be of use. Send us to fight in Vietnam.
- They were executed by shooting, and after that the town was very quiet in terms of crime,- recalls Grigory Ivanov, who was the region criminal police chief at that time. – Many criminals were scared.

The names of the criminals and their victims were changed.

The most sensational crimes of the recent years.

In 1997-2002 Vasiliev committed 18 murders and more than 30 robberies. "I am a black angel who wanted to surpass the result made by Chikatilo (the most horrible murderer of the Soviet period killing women)",- he said in court. He was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment.
In 2002 in the Severny neighborhood sisters Sukhinins were murdered and robbed. The murderers – Shitov and Podmazov – were sentenced to 25 and 23 years of imprisonment. Another suspect, a woman named Kortman, was released by court as being not guilty.
In 2002 the Denisovs family – mother Galina and her children Olesya and Denis, of 13 and 11 years old, were run over by the motor car on the pedestrian crossing. The legal case on the car drive Papava was cancelled because of not having "signs of crime".

Margarita Baranova.
Source: Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in Krasnoyarsk.

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