Convicted Murderer Freed to Fight in Ukraine Accused of Butchering Six When He Got Back Home

via VK

via VK

A Russian ex-convict who was apparently freed from prison to take part in the war against Ukraine has now been accused of returning home and butchering six people in a drunken rampage.

Igor Sofonov, 37, is one of two suspects arrested in the Republic of Karelia after authorities discovered two burned down homes containing the remains of six people who’d been stabbed to death. The victims were identified as a 39-year-old man and his 71-year-old father in one home, and a man and his wife, brother, and a pensioner in the second home.

Police say a “long-standing domestic conflict” motivated the savage murders in the village of Derevyannoye but gave no further details.

Along with Sofonov, another ex-con named Maksim Bochkarev is also accused of taking part. At a court hearing Wednesday, Sofonov told reporters he’d taken part in the war, according to Karelia News. It was not immediately clear if Bochkarev, too, had been involved in the bloodshed in Ukraine.

Investigators confirmed that both Sofonov and Bochkarev had lengthy track records for “serious crimes” and had served prison time, but it was not immediately clear when and under what circumstances they were released.

With convictions for murder, theft, robbery, and drug manufacturing under his belt, Sofonov posted several pictures of himself apparently taking part in the war on social media. Sources cited by Karelia News confirmed he had returned home from the battlefield this past spring.

Russian Shadow Army Recruit Returns Home and Stabs Man to Death

Sofonov was apparently a member of Storm Z—a unit made up of prison recruits that was formed by the Russian Defense Ministry in an attempt to replicate the notorious Wagner Group. He had posted several photos and videos of the group on social media, captioning one “our guys,” and noting in another post that “everyone here is from the camp.”

Local residents told Karelia News he had returned home with a huge sum of money that he quickly squandered, and then spent the whole month of July with his prison buddy Bochkarev in a drunken stupor.

This is not the first massacre allegedly carried out by a Russian mercenary returning home from the battlefield. Several prison inmates freed under the Wagner Group’s prison recruitment scheme have been accused of murder and rape on Russian soil after their return.

The independent investigative outlet Verstka reported last month that Russian authorities appear to be trying to conceal a wave of crimes committed by freed prison inmates-turned-Wagner fighters, with their names erased from court documents and details of their crimes kept under wraps by prosecutors and investigators.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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