Russian President Vladimir Putin has pardoned a convicted murderer after his decided to enlist for the war in Ukraine. Vladislav Kanyus served less than a year of his 17-year sentence for brutally killing his ex-girlfriend, Vera Pekhteleva, reports suggest.
Kanyus had stabbed his ex-girlfriend 111 times, raped and tortured her for three-and-a-half hours, for breaking up with him. He then strangled her with a cable iron, ultimately killing her, according to The Sun. Hearing her scream, neighbours called the police seven times, but their calls went unanswered.
This revelation came after Vera Pekhteleva’s mother, Oksana, discovered photographs of Kanyus in a military uniform holding a weapon. The mourning mother lamented, “This was a blow at me. My child will rot in her grave and I’ve been deprived of everything – my life, any hope.”
“I don’t live, I exist. This simply finished me off, it just totally finished me off. I am a very strong person. But this lawlessness of our state just pushes me into a dead end. I don’t know what to do next,” she cried.
Women’s rights activist Alyona Popova on Wednesday said that prison authorities confirmed Kanyus’ transfer to Rostov in southern Russia, bordering Ukraine. She shared a letter from the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office dated November 3, stating that Kanyus had been pardoned, and his conviction was expunged by a presidential decree on April 27.
Oksana is heartbroken and blames Putin for pardoning her daughter’s killer. She is confused by the decision to let him join the war after murdering her daughter and is now worried for her own safety. “How could a cruel murderer be given a weapon? Why is he sent to the front – to defend Russia? He is scum. He is not a human being,” she said.
“[The killer] can at any moment kill any of us, the victims, out of revenge.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov defended the policy, saying that Russian prisoners sent to fight in Ukraine are atoning for their crimes “with blood,” AFP reported. “Those convicted, including for serious crimes, are atoning with blood for their crime on the battlefield,” Peskov told reporters.