Was Putin kidding? He may have been saying that
Russians are not humanitarians in the sense that some
people are vegetarians... A search on 'Russian
cannibalism' on the internet threw up the following:
CANNIBALISM & VODKA
UKRAINE: On July 15, 2002, police in the central
Ukranian town of Zhytomyr said they have arrested
three men and a woman on suspicion of murdering and
cannibalizing up to six people, including an
18-year-old girl. "They killed a young woman in a
forest and then cut out fleshy parts of the body and
ate them. This is horrible," a police spokeswoman told
the Reuters news agency.
In what is believed to have been a Satanic ritual, the
suspects killed the 18-year-old with two knife thrusts
to the heart, local interior ministry representative
Viktor Kurbatov told the press. She was also scalped
and decapitated. Then the suspects boiled her head in
water and ate pieces from it. The cannibal crew was
arrested several days after the murder when they went
to meet the girl's parents to collect a $3,000 ransom.
CRIMEA:In March, 1996, police in the Crimean city of
Sebastopol were called to investigate a murder.
Nothing had prepared them for the carnage they
discovered when they entered the home of a former
convict and found the mutilated remains of human
bodies being prepared for eating. The flat's owner,
her mother and her boyfriend, had been stabbed to
death by the 33-year-old suspect and their bodies
neatly butchered. In the kitchen investigators found
the internal organs of two victims in saucepans, and
nearby on a plate a freshly roasted piece of human
PERESTROIKA: Alarmingly, cannibalism is becoming way
of life in the former Soviet Union. In the 1996 ten
people were charged with killing and eating other
people. Police estimate that at least 30 people were
eaten that year.
Newspaper reports across the former Soviet Union speak
of cases of vagrants being eaten, or their bodies
being cut up and sold to unsuspecting passers-by. "We
have information about cases where human flesh is sold
in street markets; also when homeless people kill each
other and sell the flesh. Every month we find corpses
with missing body parts."
An apocryphal story -- which may or may not be true --
relates how two winos fed a buddy human flesh. The man
ate with great appetite, but when he learned the true
source of the meal, he hanged himself.
SIBERIA: In 1996 a man in the Siberian coal mining
town of Kemerovo was arrested after he admitted
killing and cutting up a friend, and using his flesh
as the filling for pelmeni, a Russian version of
ravioli which, coincidentally, is the favourite dish
of the Yeltsin family. The scam was uncovered when
rag-pickers scavanging through a garbage dump
discovered a severed human head. Soon they discovered
that the rest of the body had been minced, put into
pelmeny, and sold at cut-price prices in the local
KYARGYZSTAN: Russia's most industrious cannibal,
Nikolai Dzhurmongaliev is believed to have killed up
to 100 women, and served many of them to his dinner
guests. Nikolai used at least 47 of his victims to
make ethnic dishes for his neighbors in the Russian
republic of Kyargyzstan. When arrested Nikolai pointed
out that two women could provide enough delicate meat
to keep him going for a week.
PRISON: Twice last year convicts in overcrowded
prisons killed and ate their cellmates because they
claimed they were hungry and wanted to relieve
overcrowding. Criminal experts said that most cases of
cannibalism in Russia were part of the general rise of
serial killings, and because of Russia's mounting
economic and social problems.
BARNAUL: Offering no other explanation than not
wanting to share his cell, Andrei Maslich, 24,
strangled his fellow prisoner and then cut out his
liver with a shard of broken glass. He put the organ
in a mug with water and boiled it up on a makeshift
fire made from his bedding. Standing in the
defendant's cage in the court room, Maslich admitted
to drinking up his homemade stew. The next mornign,
part of the shrunken organ was found in the mug.
Maslich, a four-time convicted murderer, was initially
given his first death penalty last year after he and
another inmate strangled, cooked and ate another
prisoner. Then they told authorities they were bored
and wanted to visit Moscow, where they thought they
would be sent for psychiatric examinations.
KAZAKSTAN: In the Semipalatinsk prison in Kazakhstan,
four convicts -- who blamed their actions on newspaper
articles about instances of cannibalism in prison --
decided to eat the very first "new guy" placed in
their cell. So when a convict named Volchenkov showed
up, they killed him, cut meat from his arms and back,
cooked it up, and ate it. Some pieces were fried on a
hot plate and some of were boiled in an electric
KZYL ORDA: A man guarding a pot field in Kzyl Orda
region of Kazakstan confessed to shooting and
cannibalising his comrade. The suspect, identified
only by the single name Zhusaly, salted the flesh of
his buddy and ate it for 10 days. The man -- along
with three farmers charged with growing the pot -- was
arrested in a drug raid. The three also have been
charged with concealing murder.
BEREZNIKI: The grim discovery of cannibalism in Perm
Oblast unfolded when Citizen K. brought to the police
station a package of human flesh. He had bought it on
the street. His wife, having studied the piece,
discovered skin on it. Specialists say that the taste
of "people meat" is a specific one, and has a
distinctive smell when it's cooked. "The taste of a
victim," it is asserted, in full seriousness, at the
Main Criminal Investigations Administration of the
Ministry of Internal Affairs, "depends on the victim
himself: if he drank or smoked a lot, whether he liked
sweets or salt..."
F.A. Boldyshev and his friend N.V. Ostanin, got drunk
with a third man, A.P. Vavilin, and killed him. Then
they dismembered his corpse and had one of their
mother's cook the choice cuts. After gladly gorging
themselves, they packed up the remains and sold them
in the street. Vavilin's head, hands, and feet were
thrown into the attic. In custody the lethal trio
confessed they did it so to save money on the purchase
of normal food.
THE URALS:Anatoly Dolbyshev, a resident of Berezniki
in the Urals region of Perm, was found guilty of
stabbing to death a friend of his mother's in a fight.
He was also charged with "swindling and appropriation
of property through deceit," when he cut up his
victim's body and sold pieces of the human flesh to
unsuspecting local townsfolk in exchange for vodka.
Police arrested Anatoly when one buyer found a strip
of human skin in the meat.
MOSCOW: Citizen Kolpakov from Nizhnyy Novgorod, a
lodger of a rooming house, was killed by the son of
the woman who owned the apartment. The killer cut a
piece of soft tissue from the forearm, fried it in a
frying pan, and ate it. A panel of experts found him
to be of diminished responsibility.
MARSHAL TUKHACHEVSKY STREET: Moskovsky Komsomolets,
Moscow's most popular daily, reported a grisly finding
on Marshal Tukhachevksy Street. A beggar rummaging for
food through the rubbish bins finds a human foot and
several other body parts. Police called to the scene
found more evidence of murder: four hands, four
shoulders and three feet, all female. "It became clear
to the detectives that they were dealing with not one,
but two murders," the newspaper reported.
CHUVASH AUTONOMOUS REPUBLIC: On July 3, 1997, the
supreme court of Russia's Chuvash Autonomous Republic
sentenced Vladimir Nikolayev, 38, to death for killing
and cannibalizing two people in the town of
Nikolayev, denounced as a particularly dangerous
criminal ten years before, was being arrested in his
apartment in the winter of 1996 when police found a
pan of roasted human meat on the stove and another
cannibal dish in the oven. In the snow on his balcony
Nikolayev had more bodies part stored to eat later.
Investigators who questioned Nikolayev said he had
jokingly asked them to prepare him a dinner using his
stock of human meat.
NOVOKUZNETSK: In a one man crusade to cleanse modern
Russia from the permissiveness of democracy, Sasha
Spesivtsev, 27, killed at least 19 street children who
he saw as the detritus of society. The unemployed
black marketeer would lure his homeless victims from
the streets and local train stations in the Siberian
town of Novokuznetsk to his home where, with the help
of his mother, he killed and ate them.
UDMURTIAN: In a settlement of Novyy, two men --
Rasskazov and Bobylev -- were charged with killing and
eating their drinking partner Alekhin.
In a stream outside Novokuznetsk, 43 bone fragments
were found of six bodies -- four boys, one girl, and
one man. The criminologists have a theory: A whole
family was done away with. But in order to "establish
genetic identity," it was necessary to conduct a
special analysis of the bones. And the Internal
Affairs Ministry official in charge of the case says,
"These preserved bones have lain in my refrigerator
for a month already, waiting for the chemicals.
Special preparations are very expensive..."
MANTOROVO: Situated on a tributary of the Volga,
Manturovo is a quiet town of 22,000, where two women
-- Valentina Dolbilina, a 36-year-old mother of a
four-year-old boy, and Vitaly Bezrodnov, 28, a factory
worker -- were accused of killing their drinking
partner and then cooking his flesh.
After a night of heavy drinking, Bezrodnov announced
he was hungry and "would like some meat". After
checking out one of their drinking buddies who was
dead drunk in the corridor, they decided he was too
skinny and packed him off home. Their gluttonous eyes
then fell on a fourth member of the party, who was a
bit fatter. Propelling him into the tiny kitchen,
Bezrodnov asked Dolbilina for something heavy. With
Dostoevskian inspiration she fetched an axe, and the
victim was hit on the head, beheaded, undressed and
then cut up into pieces. As Dolbilina held a tray,
some 15 pounds of meat was cut from the thigh and
rump, and put in the frying pan.
Awakened by the unusual smell of cooking meat, her
flatmate, Boris Komarov, came into her room and asked
to join the feast. Despite the haze of drink, even he
noticed something strange. "It was a bit tough," he
said. He was reassured by Bezrodnov, who said they had
killed a stray dog for the pot.
Satisfied by this explanation, Komarov skept eating
the leg of man straight from the pan. Little did he
realise the full ghastliness of the situation: the
dead man was his own brother, Leonid. Even the little
boy, Roma, was served a slice of Leonid. The kid later
blurted out: "Mummy killed a man and served him up to
ST. PETERSBURG: Local cannibal Ilshat Kuzikov liked to
marinate choice cuts with onions in a plastic bag hung
outside his window. When the police forced their way
into his home, they found Pepsi bottles full of blood
and dried ears hanging on the wall - his winter
supplies. He offered the officers some meat and vodka
if they would let him go.
On March 19, 1997, Kuzikov was found guilty of killing
three of his vodka drinking buddies and eating their
internal organs, and was sent to a maximum-security
psychiatric hospital. The confessed cannibal said he
killed his first victim in 1992 after inviting him to
his flat for a nightcap. Ilshat, 37, said he became a
cannibal because he couldn't buy enough to eat on his
$20 monthly pension. After sating his appetite Kuzikov
dismembered his friends and put them in a garbage
STALINISM: Russians have known cannibalism caused by
genuine hunger. Due to the brutality of the Soviet
Government there have been famines the like of which
has not been seen in the West since the 19th century.
In 1921 about five million people died in the Volga
and Urals region, while the Ukraine was devastated in
1931 during Stalin's collectivisation of the farms. To
survive the 444-day siege of Leningrad by the Germans,
the defenders ate corpses.
ROSTOV: The grandfather of Russian-style cannibalism
Andrei Chikatilo, believed that his brother had been
murdered and his body parts sold during the Ukrainian
famine of 1931. In a grim reminder of Andrei's
rampage, in January, 1997, Vladimir Mukhankin, 36,
pleaded guilty to murdering eight women in