Russian President Vladimir Putin faced huge backlash after he pardoned a man convicted in the brutal murder of his girlfriend. According to activists, Vladislav Kanyus was released after he signed up to fight in Ukraine.
Kanyus was sentenced to 17 years in a maximum-security prison over the murder of Vera Pekhteleva in Kemerovo in 2020. According to The Sun, Kanyus had stabbed his ex-girlfriend 111 times, raped and tortured her for breaking up with him.
He served only less than a year of his 17-year sentence.
Women's rights activist Alyona Popova said Pekhteleva's mother discovered photographs of him dressed in military uniform. She also added that the prison authorities confirmed Kanyus's transfter to southern Russia's Rostov region, which borders Ukraine, reported The Moscow Times.
"I don't live, I exist. This simply finished me off, it just totally finished me off...this lawlessness of our state just pushes me into a dead end. I don't know what to do next," said Pekhteleva's mother, Oksana.
Oksana blamed Putin and said she is now worried for her own safety. "The killer can at any moment kill any of us out of revenge," she said.
Popova posted a letter from the Russian Prosecutor General's office dated November 3, in which Kanyus was pardoned.
In June, Putin had said he was "signing pardon decrees" for prisoners fighting in Russia's war against Ukraine. Many such convicts had joined the Russian military in its fight against Ukraine.
After Putin's decision, activists came to the forefront criticising the government for enabling the abusers to roam freely.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russian prisoners are atoning for their crimes "with blood", reported AFP.