Tatiana Andreeva, 20, has been jailed for 7 years in a controversial case that is becoming a cause celebre on the web.
Tatiana Andreeva, 20, was found guilty of murder after claiming she was defending herself against rape. Picture: vk.com
Tatiana and her supporters claim she was drugged by her attacker who had started undressing her and intended to rape her, goading her: 'Don't pretend you don't want it'. They say she is the victim of an horrific miscarriage of justice.
Backers of the divorced 26 year old man she killed, father-of-one Sergei Cherkaikin, say she 'loved' weaponry and nicknamed her 'the razor' and the 'beast'. His mother said: 'He had so many girlfriends and no-one was ever offended before.'
Andreeva and a friend had gone to swim in popular Lake Aya in the Altai Mountains.
After getting out of the bus, Cherkaikin and his cousin, who knew the women, drove past and gave them a lift. On the way back, they stopped in a village to buy drinks.
'I don't drink alcohol, so I asked to buy mineral water,' said Andreeva. 'They brought me a bottle BonAqua, already opened, and bought themselves ten cans of beer. My friend drank beer, I didn't. Then I do not remember what happened to me, I cannot even say that I felt when I lost consciousness.
'I woke up in a strange room, on the bed. In front of me stood Sergei. I was shocked and didn't know what I was doing. I understood that he wanted to rape me, and was very scared and acted spontaneously. I tried to defend myself'.
Lubov Cherkaykina, the dead man's mother, said: 'He had so many girlfriends and no-one was ever offended before'. Picture: Channel 1 Russia
CCTV cameras shows the Altai sportswoman being carried into a hotel room in Biysk in August last year after apparently feeling unwell, the court was told at her trial. They showed people leaving. Soon afterwards the same cameras showed Cherkaikin entering the room.
Then minutes later, he was shown running out again, clutching the side of his body. He died soon afterwards in hospital from a single stab wound.
Andreeva insisted in court that he attempted to rape her, and she was defending herself.
'I woke up in a strange room from a loud bang on the door,' she said in court.
'Sergei came in and seemed in a good mood but began to unbutton my shirt. Of course I was scared, because I did not understand where I was and how I got there. I could remember that we were in the car but nothing more. He was pestering me: 'Don't pretend you don't want it.'
'He ignored my resistance, and I hit him in the face. But he stopped listening to my words. To protect myself I looked around and my hand felt a knife.
'I stabbed Sergei.'
Tatiana Andreeva insisted in court that Sergey Cherkaykin attempted to rape her, and she was defending herself. Pictures: vk.com
In court she said: 'I felt that Cherkaykin wanted to rape me, and so I was forced to strike him with a knife. I didn't think the consequences would be so heavy. But to me it is up to a woman how to use her sexual freedom.'
She told the judge: 'I'm sorry about what happened.'
The case has attracted huge media attention in Siberia amid fears from women's groups that the judicial system downplays the seriousness of rape as a crime. Web support is growing for Andreeva, a 2012 junior powerlifting champion.
She admitted in a TV interview that she was 'too trusting, too naive' in her dealings with the men. But 'I never before faced such rudeness. I was just in shock. For me there was nothing more important than sport'.
Her claim that her drink had been spiked was rejected by the court, as was her allegation that she was on the point of being raped when she used the knife.
She was jailed for 7 years, ordered her to pay 700,000 roubles ($21,250) in compensation to Cherkaikin's mother. Her defence intend to lodge an immediate appeal, alleging that the case was not properly investigated and arguing no blood or urine tests were taken to establish her claim that her drink was spiked.
Lubov Cherkaykina, the dead man's mother, said: 'He had so many girlfriends and no-one was ever offended before.'
She insisted: 'I know about my boy, he was honest and hardworking. And she came and sliced him like cattle. She had taken a knife with her.'
Andreeva denies the knife was hers, saying it was on the table in the hotel room. Police say they failed to find the knife, amid claims Andreeva took it from the room after the stabbing.
The dead man's mother said she sees him in her dreams. 'He weeps, he feels bad.'
Sergei's aunt added: 'It was a premeditated murder. She stabbed him in the stomach with a knife and calmly walked away. She is studying to become teacher. She will teach children, this beast'.
Tatiana's supporters supporters claim an horrific miscarriage of justice, while backers of the 26 year old man she killed say she 'loved' weaponry. They nicknamed Tatiana 'the razor'. Pictures: vk.com
Several thousand supporters of the jailed woman have started a group of Russian social site Vkontakte to support her case. In 2012, Andreeva won gold in Russia's classic powerlifting competition among juniors, the 19-23 age bracket.
She began powerlifting four years ago in her local Burevestnik club. The head of the club Artyom Lakhtin told 'Gazeta.ru' that she was very active.
'She went into powerlifting during her first year of higher education, and attained impressive results within four years', he said.
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