Man who brutally murdered ex-girlfriend gets pardoned to join PMC Wagner

Vladislav Kanyus, a Russian man who was sentenced to 17 years in a maximum security colony for the brutal murder of 23-year-old woman Vera Pekhteleva, was pardoned for his participation in the special military operation in Ukraine.

"Vladislav Kanyus was pardoned on April 27, 2023, was released from further punishment with expungement of conviction," the Office of the Public Prosecutor of the Rostov region said.

In the summer of 2023, the mother of the murdered student received photographs showing the man who brutally murdered her daughter posing in camouflage with a weapon in his hands. It became known that Vladislav Kanyus joined private military company Wagner and went to the zone of the special military operation in Ukraine.

"My child is rotting in her grave. I am deprived of life. This is mockery of me, of those mothers whose [children] were brutally murdered the same way. There are a lot of us all over the country, we don't know what to do (…). How do we live with this?" Oksana Pekhteleva, the mother of the murdered student said.

Kanyus raped and strangled Pekhteleva with iron cord

Vladislav Kanyus killed Vera Pekhteleva, a 23-year-old student, in the Kemerovo region in January 2020. The man then learned about the new relationship that his ex-girlfriend was having. When the woman came to take her belongings from the apartment, Vladislav beat his ex-girlfriend and inflicted several stab wounds on her. Forensic experts found more than 100 hematomas, various injuries and bruises on the woman's body.

The criminal raped Pekhteleva and strangled her with an iron cord. He was tormenting the woman for six hours.

During the abuse, neighbours could hear the woman screaming loudly. They tried to call the police seven times, but the police did not arrive on time. When they finally came, the woman was already dead. It was established during the investigation that three dispatchers responded to calls reporting a fight in a dormitory, but did not report the incident to operational squads. The police did not properly respond to information about a possible crime.

In 2022, a court in Kemerovo sentenced Vladislav Kanyus to 17 years in prison for brutal murder. The criminal did not plead guilty and refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Five police officers who did not respond to calls for help were sentenced to suspended jail terms. The court found them guilty under the article of negligence resulting in the death of a person.

Kremlin: Murderer was pardoned to atone with blood for his crime

Pardon in Russia is possible either through guilty plea and subsequent procedures, or through "blood atonement” while serving in assault brigades, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in response to a question about the decision to pardon PMC Wagner fighter Vladislav Kanyus.

"There is a certain procedure for pardoning, we have spoken about it several times. This is an admission of guilt by the convict himself, this is a decision first at the level of the Federal Penitentiary Service, then at the regional level, then at the federal district level, then the central commission, then the documents are presented to the president. This is one way. There is a second way, when those convicted, including those convicted of serious crimes, atone for their crime on the battlefield with blood. They atone with blood when serving in assault brigades in a hail of bullets and shells," Peskov said.

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Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov