A cart driver detained on suspicion of stabbing two police officers to death in the Voronezh region this week was trying to protect his pregnant fiancee from the drunken officers' blows, the tabloid Lifenews.ru reported Wednesday.
The driver, Alexander Kuleshov, is accused of killing the two officers and stabbing a third in an argument that broke out after the police car carrying the officers flipped over as it tried to avoid a collision with the horse-drawn cart Sunday.
Kuleshov's fiancee, Tatyana Larina, told Lifenews.ru that the three officers were drunk and assaulted Kuleshov and the other people on the cart, which was carrying Larina's family, including two children and an elderly woman.
“They bore down on us like animals. They cruelly beat up Sasha and then dragged him to the gutter to finish him off,” she said.
She said that when she recognized one of the officers, they switched to her.
Larina, 32, said Kuleshov snapped after the officers hit her on the head and knocked her to the ground, stabbing to death Sergei Fetisov and Alexei Shcherbakov, and injuring the third, Alexei Seleznyov.
Larina, who was in the third week of her pregnancy, lost the child after the incident.
Incidentally, Larina shares the name with the heroine of Pushkin's masterpiece “Eugene Onegin."
Police have offered a different picture of the incident. Seleznyov, who initially admitted to provoking the fight, said Tuesday that the officers had tried to check the documents of the people in the cart while investigating a reported theft but were attacked physically before they could speak a single word.
The policeman did not say whether the officers were drunk or whether there were women and children in the cart.
Investigators did not comment on Larina's accusations Wednesday.
Kuleshov faces life in prison if charged and convicted of murder.