Espreso. Global

Volnovakha family murder: Russia claims military shot civilians over moonshine

31 October, 2023 Tuesday

Russia reported the detention of 2 soldiers suspected of killing 9 people in the temporarily occupied Volnovakha - Russia’s Investigative Committee denies the involvement of Kadyrov or Wagner fighters

This is reported by the Agenstvo. Novosti (Agency. News) Telegram channel, citing the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

The statement refutes earlier reports that Wagner or Chechen fighters were involved in the murder. According to the official version, the murderers were contract soldiers from the Far East. Their names, however, have not yet been released.

According to the Investigative Committee, the murder was caused by a domestic conflict. No other details were given in the report. The murder took place on Friday, October 27.

According to the VCHK-OGPU Telegram channel, Russian forensic experts concluded that the killers had military training and used automatic weapons with silencers and thermal imaging devices to carry out the murders in the dark. Based on information from Astra's sources, the police have suggested that the victims were likely killed while they were asleep. "They all were killed in their sleep. On their beds. The house was flooded with water, apparently to hide the evidence. All the neighbors say that the killers are military," a neighbor said.

The Baza Telegram channel reported that prior to the murder, the family had a dispute with unidentified individuals wearing uniforms without insignia. According to one account, the conflict involved Wagner mercenaries, while another version suggests it might have been with security forces from Chechen units. A friend of the family shared with Important Stories outlet details about a confrontation with a Chechen individual who allegedly demanded moonshine for free. "There are rumors around town that the family was selling moonshine, like many others, because there is a huge demand among the military. Many among them are heavy drinkers. They say that a Chechen came to them in the afternoon. He wanted to take some moonshine. Not to buy it, but to take it, saying ‘well, we are protecting you after all.’ He was refused, there was a loud scandal and threats," he said.

The Russian Spring Telegram channel writes that the contract soldiers were drunk and continued to drink after the quarrel. Later, "in an almost insane state," they decided to take revenge, broke into the house and opened fire on sleeping people. The detainees themselves say that they did not see any children and went to kill only men, the channel reports.

According to the same source, the murder suspects were identified by a rare motorcycle they were riding. It was also mentioned in the description of the perpetrators. According to the Russian Spring Telegram channel, the motorcycle was found near the house where one of the suspects lived.

According to the channel, this is the most massive killing of civilians by the Russian military among those investigated by Russian law enforcement agencies. In total, Russian soldiers who returned from the frontline had committed at least 20 crimes by October, killing 27 people.

Names of the detained killers revealed

The VCHK-OGPU Telegram channel has announced the names of those detained for the shooting of a family in Volnovakha. The contractors suspected of mass murder are Anton Sopov and Stanislav Rau.

Sopov turned 21 in August and enlisted immediately after completing his military service. Rau, 28, is originally from the Altai Territory, but recently lived with his wife in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

The channel notes that both detainees had financial difficulties and struggled to repay their loans, which likely led them to seek employment as contract soldiers with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Interestingly, the parents of Rau and Sopov had prior criminal convictions and were on the federal wanted list for various offenses. Additionally, Sopov's father, Ruslan Sopov, originally from the Primorye Territory, has been listed in the Myrotvorets database, a Ukrainian website and a non-governmental organization that publishes personal data of people considered by the site's authors to be enemies of Ukraine, since 2016 as a member of the 60th Separate Mechanized Brigade (military unit 16871), serving as a truck driver in the Russian Armed Forces and a combatant.

Previously, Stanislav Rau and Anton Sopov served in Donetsk near Volnovakha as contract soldiers of the 80th Brigade - unit 19288. The brigade is stationed in Ussuriysk.

According to the source, one of the alleged murderers was caught at home - he lived near the cottage where the shot family was found. The other accused was found a little later.

During the initial investigative actions, Sopov and Rau confessed that they wanted to get even with the men, Eduard and his son Oleksandr, who allegedly offended them. According to the detainees, they killed the women and children by accident, as they could not recognize the victims in the dark. Presumably, the shooting was carried out with special assault rifles Val.

Read also:
  • News
2024, Wednesday
17 April
Scores of civilians killed and injured in Russian missile attack on Chernihiv
Russian 'peacekeepers' start to leave Nagorno-Karabakh
"Ordinary voters" will lead to punishment
Russia bans 235 Australian MPs from entering country in response to sanctions
Russia engages over 1,000 teenagers in making Shahed UAVs — Center for National Resistance
Russia is preparing provocation against Ukraine over alleged Western arms trafficking in Africa
Ukraine Intelligence's drones attack Container radar in Mordovia - media
April 10-17 live war map: Russian forces mobilize reserves to break through front lines
I brought deported Ukrainian children to speak at UN and it changed the world
Yana Stepanenko raises over USD 15,000 for military at Boston marathon
Mi-8 helicopter destroyed in Russian Samara – Ukraine's Intelligence
"Very severe detonation": Captain of Ukrainian Navy Reserve explains importance of Dzhankoi airfield strike
Ukrainian drone production volumes have increased significantly - military expert Zgurets
Explosions heard near Dzhankoi military airfield in Crimea - Russian media
Kharkiv Mayor says city could become "second Aleppo" without US help
Ukraine's armed forces prevent Russia's advance near Chasiv Yar - Rubizh brigade 
Why won't the US and its allies crush Iran?
"Critical need": US Congress calls to provide urgent aid to Ukraine
Russian army loses 4 tanks, 15 artillery systems and 710 soldiers per day — Ukraine's General Staff
Russia currently lacks resources and conditions to quickly capture Chasiv Yar - Information Resistance
U.S. aid delays limit Ukraine's defense and give Russia flexibility to attack - ISW
2024, Tuesday
16 April
Victorious news of 783rd day of war: Ukraine blackouts two Russian military plants, IMF predicts Ukraine's GDP growth this year
Zelenskyy announces request to convene NATO-Ukraine Council meeting
Support for Ukraine's recovery at Russian assets expense: PACE unanimously adopts resolution
Patriot can't intercept such missiles: aviation expert explains how Russia destroyed Trypilska TPP
Russia views operation in Bakhmut area as springboard for summer offensive — Defense Express
Inviting Russia is illogical, it has nothing to do at peace summit — political scientist Levus
Ukraine verifies 1,700 civilian hostages held by Russia — Ombudsman
On the aftermath of Iran's strike on Israel
Ukraine builds underground hospitals in Kherson region — Ukrainian official
Russia keeps civilian Ukrainians prisoner fearing they may serve as war crime witnesses — Ombudsman
Ukraine emerges as crucial in shaping new world order
Russia claims Ukraine would use “Olympic truce” for regrouping
Power substation in Russia’s Bryansk burns down, cutting power to military facilities
Russia's war against Ukraine: Xi tells Scholz he supports international peace conference with participation of all sides
Russia attacks Kherson region with KAB bombs: 15 people suffer contusions
Russian weapons bolster Iran's defense against Israeli airstrikes – WP
20 Days in Mariupol film to appear on Netflix
Biden meets Czech Prime Minister Fiala at White House to discuss Ukraine
Zelenskyy says Russia managed to destroy Trypilska TPP as Ukraine lacked missiles for defense
More news