October 02, 2023

Prisoner Returns from War With Fatal Consequences


Prisoner Returns from War With Fatal Consequences
Investigators at the crime scene where a former prisoner-turned-soldier killed his sister in Nizhny Novgorod. Nizhny Novgorod| Novosti NN RU, Telegram.

On September 28, Oleg Grechko, a prisoner serving a prison sentence for murder who was sent to fight in Ukraine, returned home and burned his sister alive in Zavolzhyie, near Nizhny Novgorod. 

Shortly after returning from Ukraine, Grechko committed a robbery. Then he argued with his sister over an "insignificant thing," showering her in gasoline and burning her alive.

His sister died on the spot. Grechko was admitted to the hospital with second-degree burns and confessed his guilt. 

Grechko had been arrested five times, for theft and assault. He was also convicted of murder after getting into a drunken fight with an acquaintance, whom Grechko stabbed 12 times and strangled with wire from a boiler. In March 2022, Grechko was sentenced to 11 years in a penal colony for this crime. But, as Nizhny Novgorod Novosti wrote on their Telegram channel, "However, Oleg was released a year into his sentence." Independent news outlet Meduza speculated that Grechko may have signed a contract with the private mercenary Wagner Group to fight in Ukraine in exchange for his release from prison. 

Grechko's story is part of a larger trend. In 2022, it was revealed that Wagner offered prisoners contracts with pardons and cash payments. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed he signed decrees handing freedom to those who agreed to fight in Ukraine. The late Yevgeny Prigozhin announced that Wagner had stopped recruiting prisoners in February 2023.

However, convicts returning from the war often go back to the courtroom. Earlier this month, a man in Rostov-on-Don previously convicted of murder who fought in Ukraine was convicted again of a new murder after returning.

The Investigation Committee of Nizhny Novgorod has opened a criminal case for murder against Grechko. If convicted, the former soldier will face life in prison.

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