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Russian Cop Jailed for Ignoring Murdered Domestic Violence Victim’s Pleas

A Russian police officer has been convicted of negligence after telling a domestic violence victim to “come back when you’re dead” minutes before she was murdered.

Police inspector Natalya Bashkatova received a domestic abuse call in the city of Oryol in late 2016 but refused to investigate the victim’s claims, telling her, “If he kills you, we will come and report the corpse, don’t worry.” Yana Savchuk, the victim, was killed by her ex-boyfriend less than an hour later. He was sentenced to 13 years behind bars on murder charges.

An Oryol court found Bashkatova guilty of dereliction of duty that led to a person’s death and sentenced her to two years in a penal colony on Thursday. 

Bashkatova has also been barred from serving in the police force for three years.

The officer’s jailing comes amid a high-profile murder case against three teenage sisters who killed their father after he subjected them to years of abuse, including systematic beatings and violent sexual abuse.

Thousands of people have spoken out in support of the sisters, saying they were defending themselves from an abusive father after being failed by a Russian legal system that critics say turns a blind eye to domestic abuse.

In another case, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Russia failed to protect another victim of domestic violence — a woman who was assaulted, kidnapped and stalked by her former partner.

About 14,000 women die in Russia at the hands of husbands or other male relatives each year, according to a 2010 United Nations report. Russian law does not define or mention domestic violence as a separate offense and there is no mechanism for imposing restraining or protection orders. 

Russia decriminalized some forms of domestic violence two years ago. 

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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