Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Detains Suspect in Killings of 26 Elderly Women

Radik Tagirov Social Media, Pixabay

Russian authorities have detained a man suspected of murdering dozens of elderly women in the republic of Tatarstan and nearby regions nearly a decade ago.

Unofficially known as the “Volga maniac,” the murderer has been linked to the killings of anywhere from 19 to 32 female pensioners, most of whom were strangled to death between March 2011 and September 2012. Investigators said that the suspect may have posed as a social services worker to enter the apartments of the women, who were between 75 and 90 years old and lived alone.

Radik Tagirov, 38, was detained by law enforcement officers in Kazan on Tuesday as part of a criminal investigation into 26 of the murders, the Investigative Committee that probes major crimes said. The committee's statement said investigators carried out thousands of tests to identify the suspect.

Tagirov confessed following his detention, investigators said.

He had previously been convicted in 2009 for theft.

The Realnoye Vremya (Real Time) news website reported, citing law enforcement sources, that the suspect was identified using DNA evidence obtained from the crime scenes.

Nine of the murders took place in Kazan and the rest took place in Samara, Saratov, Chelyabinsk, Ekaterinburg, Perm, Izhevsk, Ufa and other cities. 

In 2017, federal investigators announced a 3 million ruble ($40,000) reward for information that would help identify the killer.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.