Russian ex-convict returning from war suspected of murdering 12-year-old — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Russian ex-convict returning from war suspected of murdering 12-year-old

Andrey Bykov being interviewed by the YouTube channel Ne zhdi menya iz Ukraini. Photo: YouTube screenshot

Andrey Bykov being interviewed by the YouTube channel Ne zhdi menya iz Ukraini. Photo: YouTube screenshot

A man was detained in the Siberian city of Topki in Russia’s Kemerovo region on Wednesday on suspicion of murdering a 12-year-old girl who went missing a day earlier, the regional Investigative Committee announced.

“The individual involved in the crime has been identified — a 49-year-old local resident previously convicted of murder,” said Kristina Ivanova, a senior assistant to the head of the Kemerovo regional Investigative Committee.

Ivanova added that murder charges were being prepared, after which investigators would petition a court for his arrest.

Karina Kabikova. Photo: Kemerovo regional Investigative Committee

Karina Kabikova. Photo: Kemerovo regional Investigative Committee

Karina Kabikova was reported missing in the city of Topki on Tuesday night. She was found dead in an abandoned building in the city centre the following day.

The Siberian Express Telegram channel reported the suspect’s name as Andrey Bykov, a prisoner who was given early release from jail to fight in a so-called Storm Z unit made up of ex-convicts in Ukraine. State-owned news agency RIA Novosti confirmed that Bykov had been captured by Ukrainian forces and was returned to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange in February.

Bykov had already been convicted at least six times on charges of theft, making death threats, crime involving minors, and murder, according to Siberian Express. Before he was deployed to fight in Ukraine, Bykov had been serving a 13-and-a-half year sentence for strangling his neighbour to death.

In a recent data investigation, Novaya Gazeta Europe estimated that in 2023 Russian soldiers serving in occupied Ukraine were charged with at least 190 violent crimes, 70% of which were murders.

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