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From jail to battlefield: the horrifying story of a Russian killer

feminicide in Russia

feminicide in Russia

In the year 2020, Vera Pekhteleva, a 23-year-old Russian woman, makes the courageous decision to end her relationship with Vladislav Kanyus. Two months later, they find themselves in the house they once shared, as Vera needs to collect her belongings. Half an hour after their encounter, the first screams are heard. Neighbors call the police on eight occasions, but they receive no response, being informed that it is a family dispute and not their concern.

Finally, they manage to contact Vera’s brother. He arrives quickly and upon entering, he finds a devastating scene: Vera lies on the floor with 111 knife wounds, multiple bruises, and fractures, while Vladislav sits in the bathroom, drinking vodka. It is estimated that Vera’s torment lasted for around 12 hours, making it one of the most sadistic feminicides in Russia.

Vladislav Kanyus is sentenced to 17 years in prison for torture, rape, and murder. However, after nine months of imprisonment, Vera’s mother receives anonymous photographs showing Vladislav in military uniform, along with a message indicating that he has been released and is fighting in Ukraine. The family cannot believe what they see, but soon it is confirmed that Vladislav has indeed been released.

It is revealed that Vladislav has been pardoned by decree of President Putin, which allows his release and the elimination of his criminal record. After six months of service, Vladislav returns home and posts pictures of himself enjoying life, images that are shared by activist Alyona Popova.

Meanwhile, it is reported that the Russian Ministry of Defense has recruited around 100,000 people from penitentiary colonies, offering sentence reductions in exchange for military service. This includes individuals convicted of heinous crimes. In a similar case, a former police officer convicted of the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya is pardoned by Putin after serving six months of service in Ukraine.

The story of Vera Pekhteleva becomes a symbol of gender violence and impunity in Russia. The case highlights the deficiencies in the authorities’ response to domestic violence and its devastating consequences. Vladislav Kanyus’ release, despite his horrendous crime, reveals controversial government policies in times of war. The decision to pardon him and send him to fight in Ukraine generates outrage and despair among Vera’s relatives and human rights activists.

This act also highlights the tactics used by the Russian government to strengthen its army, recruiting convicted criminals and offering them a second chance in exchange for military service. Vera’s story not only represents the personal tragedy of a young woman and her family but also illustrates broader issues related to justice and human rights in contemporary Russia.

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