Ex-Wagner fighter detained in Siberia on suspicion of double murder

Russian police officers have detained Denis Stepanov, a former Wagner Group fighter, on suspicion of committing a double murder in the village of Yermakovskoye in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region, independent media outlet Siberia.Realities reported on Tuesday.

Stepanov, 32, is believed to have killed two people, a 68-year-old woman and her 35-year-old daughter, by setting their house on fire. The incident occurred at around 3:30 AM on Tuesday, the bodies were found after the blaze was extinguished. Stepanov was detained several hours later having been found with a jerry can and is now being questioned by police.

Denis Stepanov. Photo: Ostorozhno, Novosti

Denis Stepanov. Photo: Ostorozhno, Novosti

Stepanov’s possible motives are unclear. Siberia.Realities reported that he had threatened the women before the incident and that in 2021 he had been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for grievous bodily harm.

The suspect was recruited from prison to join the Wagner Group and was deployed to fight in Ukraine in November 2022, the Ostorozhno, Novosti Telegram channel reported, adding that he had been jailed for just six months before being given early release.

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