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 flesh.

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 market.

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 kettle.

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 Novocheboksary.

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 her friends."

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 dump.

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 Rostov-a-Don.


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