Prisoner freed to fight for Putin went on slaughter spree killing six Russians

A Russian soldier pardoned for his crimes after serving on the frontlines in Ukraine has gone on a brutal rampage slaughtering families and setting fire to their homes.

Igor Sofonov, 37, had three years left to go on his sentence at a prison colony in St Petersburg when he was recruited to fight in Ukraine by Russia's Ministry of Defence. After returning from the war he, along with local troublemaker Maxim Bochkarev who Sofonov met in prison, went on a horrific rampage the loved ones of the victims suspect was caused by drugs and alcohol.

The brutal killing spree took place in the village of Derevyannoe in Karelia in northwest Russia. Sky reports they broke into the house of Artyom Tereschenko, where they stabbed him and his 71-year-old father to death. Mr Tereschenko’s two children, nine and 12, managed to escape through a window and call for help before Bochkarev and Sofonov set fire to the house.

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They then travelled some 100 metres further down the street where they entered another home and killed four more people, three men and a woman, and then set their home on fire too.

Irina Zhamoidina, the sister of Mr Tereschenko, told Sky News: "My dad definitely did not deserve such a death. We are from a good family. This is not how he should have died. I believe that anyone who was in prison, even if he went to war, then he should be sent back when he was done for such serious crimes. They should not live among us because cases like this do happen."

The policy of granting freedom to convicts in exchange for risking their lives fighting in Ukraine has been dominated by anxieties that the convicts may not have all been reformed upon their return to Russian society. In June, it was announced by the late Wagner group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin that some 32,000 Wagner ex-convicts were returning from the front line.

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