Murmansk is Russia's largest city above the Arctic Circle. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Murmansk double killer pardoned to fight in Ukraine

Alexei Teplykh, 49, was sentenced to 13,5 years in a maximum-security colony in 2023 for beating his ex-wife and her new partner to death.
April 30, 2024


Teplykh was last week pardoned by the Kola district court in exchange for fighting in Russia’s war on Ukraine, the local news online Arctic Observer reports.

The man had then served just over a year in jail after he in March 2023 was found guilty of the brutal double murder. Teplykh was on April 24 pardoned on conditions of signing contract with the Ministry of Defense.

This is the first publicly known case with a murderer being given amnesty in Murmansk to fight with regular Russian army forces in Ukraine. Before, several cases of convicts signing up with the Wagner private military company were known. 



Russia started to recruit prisoners as soldiers in the summer of 2022, first massively to the Wagner mercenary group, but also later to regular military forces.


The Barents Observer’s Russian edition has reported multiple case from other north Russian regions were convicts of serious crimes have been pardoned after fighting the war in Ukraine. Several of them committed new crimes when going home from the war.

Igor Sofonov from Karelia stabbed to death five men and a woman in the village of Derevyannoya near Petrozavodsk shortly after he came home from the battlefields in Lugansk last summer.

Vladimir Serov, who killed his 6-months-old daughter and dismembered his wife in a village in Karelia, was freed in the spring 2023 after enlisting to the war in Ukraine.

Konstantin Prikhodchenko and Arsentiy Bondarev, who brutally murdered two residents in Lovozero on the Kola Peninsula in 2020 were released and came home after fighting tin he war for the Wagner group.

Vyacheslav Samoilov, who in 2021 brutally killed and dismembered his partner Olga Shlyamina, today walks as a free man in Arkhangelsk after he came home wounded in his arm while fighting with Wagner in Ukraine. 




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