A member of a Satanist gang who was jailed for his role in the 2008 ritual murder of four teenagers in the city of Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow, has been pardoned by Russian president Vladimir Putin in recognition of his military service in Ukraine, local news website 76.ru reported on Tuesday.
Journalists at 76.ru confirmed the release of Nikolay Ogolobyak, who had been serving a 20-year sentence in prison since 2010, with his father.
“It’s true”, his father said. “He served for six months with Storm-Z [a military penal unit]. … He can’t work yet. He is recovering. It’s unlikely they’ll make him go back and fight again.”
The Satanic sect that Ogolobyak joined was formed in Yaroslavl in 2006 by 15-year-old Konstantin “Fang” Baranov, and most of the members were teenagers. For several years, they carried out blood rituals and sacrifices, gathering on wasteland near a semi-abandoned cemetery where they tied animal carcasses to an inverted cross.
In the summer of 2008, eight of the group’s members, half of whom were minors, brutally murdered four local college students and dismembered their bodies. They were each sentenced to between eight and 20 years in prison. Ogolobyak, who was an adult at the time of the murders, was given 20 years, and wasn’t due to be released until 2030.