Official spokesman of the Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin called on parents and teachers Monday to keep a close eye on children, warning of a seasonal aggravation of mental illnesses, a news report said.
"Considering that the onset of spring aggravates mental illnesses and that there may be more mentally disturbed people predisposed to such criminal behavior [against children], we appeal first of all to parents and teachers who work with children to be vigilant and careful," Markin said in comments carried by Interfax.
He also cited a string of heinous crimes against young children in the past few weeks, urging parents to accompany their children while outside and make sure that they are taught to avoid talking to strangers.
There have been at least three brutal killings of children within the past month. The killings of 11-year-old Ulyana Alexeyeva in the Irkutsk region and 8-year-old Vasilisa Galitsina in Tatarstan prompted discussion of reinstating the death penalty earlier in February. Another young girl, 8-year-old Anastasia Lutsishina, was found dead on Feb. 23 in Ussuriisk in the Primorye region after having been missing for days.