Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Cops in Hot Pursuit as Vladivostok Fugitive Continues Crime Spree

Vladimir Bespalov

A fugitive who fatally shot one policeman and injured another before stealing clothing from a pensioner in Vladivostok earlier this week has struck again, first threatening to kill a bus driver and then robbing a young woman in her home, the Interfax news agency reported Wednesday.

The man, identified by the Emergency Situations Ministry as local inmate Vladimir Bespalov, has been on the run since opening fire against the policemen as they attempted to escort him back to his prison colony on Tuesday. Bespalov had snatched one of the officers' pistols while riding in their vehicle, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

A few hours after escaping, Bespalov threatened a local bus driver at gunpoint, Interfax reported, citing the regional branch of the Investigative Committee. The fugitive later broke into a young woman's home and robbed her. Bespalov ordered the woman to call him a taxi and accompany him on the ride, Interfax reported.

The woman later managed to escape, Interfax reported. Both she and the bus driver have been questioned by investigators.

Bespalov will also face additional charges for robbery and murder threats, according to Interfax. Investigators said Tuesday he could face charges for attacking law enforcement officials, stealing weapons and escaping police custody.

Citing an unnamed law enforcement source on Tuesday, the TASS news agency reported that Bespalov had also broken into the apartment of a female pensioner to steal a change of clothes.

Security measures have been tightened throughout Vladivostok and the surrounding region since Bespalov's escape, police said Wednesday. Police note that he walks with a limp, as one of his legs was amputated below the knee, and uses a prosthetic limb.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more