Prison "mafia" busted, but inmates continue to die in the "Medved" (Bear) detention facility 

Prison "mafia" busted, but inmates continue to die in the "Medved" (Bear) detention facility
"Lad" (on the right)

A new mysterious death occurred in the scandalous Pretrial Detention Center #4 known as "Medved" (Bear). The new victim is a 39-old native of the Kaluga Region arrested on suspicion of robbery. The death occurred under unclear circumstances. This is the fifth inmate whose life ended this way during the recent time.

The body was discovered yestermorning in a washroom of the detention facility. A slash cut wound was found on the neck; the circumstances of death remain unknown. However, Sergey Tsigankov, a representative of the Moscow Administration of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, told TASS that “there is no indication of a foul play”. The instrument of crime is not found yet. Interfax reports, citing its source in law enforcement, the a pre-investigation check and service audit are currently being conducted; the initiation of a criminal case is under consideration.

The victim was transferred to the Pretrial Detention Center #4 known as ‘Medved’ in April 2016; he was accused of robbery.  

It is worth noting that this is the fifth death in the "Medved" since November 2015. In the beginning of this year, four inmates died during only 2 months. The first victim was a 33-year old accused in theft, he was hospitalized from the detention facility with a cerebro-cranial trauma. In less than a month, another accused of theft was found dead in one of the cells. Then another suspect died – he was found with slashed throat. The last in this ‘black row’ was a 34-year old detainee. Also, one of the inmates was saved after an attempted suicide. 

For a long time, despite media publications about the criminal mayhem in the Moscow "Medved" Pretrial Detention Center #4 – beating of inmates, extortion, incitement to suicide – the detention facility administration haven’t done nothing. After the inmates’ deaths, Novaya Gazeta published a journalist investigation based on a collective petition from ‘Medved’ detainees.

Following this publication, a service audit was performed and Alexey Khorev, Head of the Pretrial Detention Center #4, applied for resignation from the penitentiary service; officially, he resigned on his own will. Alexander Stupin, the Head of the Operations Department, has also resigned, as well as operative Grigory Smorkalov. All of them were mentioned in inmates’ stories as the prison administration who covered the atrocities happening in the facility. The journalists found that mobs led by criminal lords were extorting money from detainees. Those unable to pay off were dispatched right in the detention facility.


В июне 2016 года главарь «тюремной мафии» Евгений Рожков по прозвищу Рожок был приговорен к 26 годам лишения свободы

However, after the high-profile publications, the gang has been busted: Sergey "Malish" (Lad) Shipantsev and Pavel Matveev aka "Pasha Lyuberetsky" were transferred to a pretrial detention center in Zelenograd. In June 2016 Evgeny "Rozhok" Rozhkov, the prison "mafia" boss, was sentenced to 26 years behind bars. 

The new death in the "Medved" Pretrial Detention Center #4 is the first incident since the crackdown of the gang. Who is responsible for this death, and what are true reasons behind it – must be determined following the service audit. But another interesting and still open question is: How objective will be the information provided by the Pretrial Detention Center #4 to the public?

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