Tens of thousands have signed an online petition to free 33-year-old Vladimir Sankin from the oil city of Ufa, who has been charged with “intentional infliction of grave bodily harm resulting in the death of the victim by negligence.”
Sankin was arrested by police as he waited outside the apartment of 54-year-old Vladimir Zaitsev, who died from injuries in a confrontation with Sankin.
No date was listed in the reports for when Sankin freed the boy, but photographs dated Feb. 3 show Sankin in leaving court.
Reports indicated that two teenage boys were standing in the entrance of Zaitsev’s apartment trying to get warm after playing in the snow.
Zaitsev invited them into his apartment to dry their wet clothes. Once inside, he told them to undress and began to “harass” them. One boy escaped to get help while the other remained locked inside.
Sankin ran to the apartment and forced his way inside after hearing the cries of the boy, who had been told to strip naked under the threat of being killed and dismember with an axe.
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After freeing the boy, Sankin took Zaitsev, who recently had been released from jail for a child sexual assault conviction, outside. Multiple outlets reported that Sankin beat Zaitsev with a wooden stick and waited for police.
The online petition claims Zaitsev died from a head injury suffered when he fell during a fight with Sankin.
“I didn’t expect him to die at all. I saved two children… from him,” Sankin was quoted as saying.
He was under house arrest while the homicide investigation was underway.
A Daily Mail report quoted his unidentified lawyer as suggesting authorities should consider the factors that resulted in Zaitsev’s death.
‘We hope the court will assess this because there mitigating circumstances,” he said. “The immoral behavior of the ‘victim’, which was the reason for committing the crime.”
Vladimir Sankin deserves freedom! https://t.co/YEOGu49PZw
— Julia? (@Julia19769886) February 5, 2020
Regardless, several posted the story on social media calling Sankin a hero. Others commended him for his bravery and pleaded for his freedom.