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The Siberian Times

Siberian flood forces hermit killer to leave taiga where he was hiding for 24 years

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 August 2019

For quarter of a century he waited for police to come for him, convinced - wrongly - he had murdered girlfriend and her daughter in knife attack.

Soon after serving the term, in November 1995 Nikolay attacked his girlfriend and her six year old daughter. 

A 73 old man identified as Nikolay Nikolayevich had been on the Russian wanted list for more than two decades over a  double murder attempt.

Earlier, in the Soviet era he had served time for murdering a jail inmate in the 1970s when he worked as a prison security officer. 

Soon after serving the term, in November 1995 Nikolay attacked his girlfriend and her six year old daughter, leaving them on the verge of death, bleeding from deep knife wounds. 

The attack happened in Kemerovo region, miles to the west from where the man was eventually found.

Hermit Nikolay


Hermit Nikolay in hospital

Police failed to find him at the time, so Nikolay continued to move east along the Biryusa River until he reached Irkutsk region. 

As Nikolay confessed during his most recent interrogation, he was certain that he killed them both.

The fear being caught by police made him run away and hide in the forest.

Police failed to find him at the time, so Nikolay continued to move east along the Biryusa River until he reached Irkutsk region. 

There he made a dugout and lived for years fishing and hunting.

Biryusa river before and during the flood


Biryusa river

Satellite images of Biryusa River before and during the flood (top) and Biryusa River in its common size (bottom).

After some years he met another hunter who took pity on the ‘hermit’ and helped Nikolay to make a temporary identity card. 

He lost a leg during a hunt and would have lived out his years in the deep taiga if not for the recent flood.

Nikolay had to evacuate along with hundreds of others.

He showed his temporary identity card to doctors of Tulun city hospital. 

It flashed a warning signal and doctors called the police, who realised this was a long lost criminal from the Russian federal wanted list. 

Flood apocalypse in Eastern Siberia kills five and maroons 9,919 whose homes destroyed or damaged


Flood apocalypse in Eastern Siberia kills five and maroons 9,919 whose homes destroyed or damaged

Catastrophic flood in Irkutsk region in late June 2019 took at least 24 lives, 6 are still listed as missing.

The police visited Nikolay at hospital, and he confessed to the murder attempts. 

He was certain that both the woman and her daughter had died after the attack. 

In fact, they were saved by local doctors and while the woman died naturally several years ago, her daughter is alive. 

On 11 July the man was brought back to Kemerovo region. 

Tashtagol

Nikolay fled his native Tashtagol town in Kemerovo region, when he thought he killed two.

‘He is very calm indeed. He told us that all this time he was waiting for police to come after him, and yet it happened suddenly,’ said a Kemerovo city police representative. 

‘He understands what an awful thing he did years ago.

‘And he clearly keeps thinking about it over and over again.’ 

The man has been detained for two months, and has been charged with the attempted murder of two people, including a minor.

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