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Member of Brutal Gang Given 20 Years in Killings

A member of a gang that terrorized a Krasnodar village for more than a decade, culminating in the grisly slaying of a dozen people last year, was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison, RIA-Novosti reported.

A Krasnodar district court ruled that Andrei Bykov — known by the nickname "Byk" (Russian for "Bull") — was among the most active members of the Tsapok gang that committed murders and other vicious crimes in Kushchyovskaya dating back to 1997.

The judge sided with the prosecution, convicting Bykov of killing four people over a 10-year period and sentencing him to 15 years in prison and five years in a penal colony.

Bykov was spared harsher punishment since he confessed and aided investigators in identifying other gang members, the report said. He also supports two children.

The case was heard in a special closed session without witness questioning, since Bykov signed a pretrial agreement with investigators.

The sentence is the first to be handed to a member of the Tsapok gang, which terrorized the village — extorting, killing and raping locals — for 13 years between 1997 and 2010.

Their reign of terror ended after several gang members were arrested for the premeditated attack on the home of farmer Server Ametov on Nov. 15 last year that left 12 people, including three young children and guests visiting the Ametovs by chance, dead.

The gang bound their victims and tortured several before killing them, with Bykov acting as lookout during the bloody attack, Interfax reported.

Separately, the corpse of Mikhail Poimuratov, a businessman from Krylovskaya — also in the Krasnodar region — was found Monday in a nearby forest with torture marks on the body, local newspaper Zhivaya Kuban reported.

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