Thief in law Chaikovsky who died in fire nearly burned down whole village

Thief in law Chaikovsky who died in fire nearly burned down whole village
Photo: Vladimir Shchankin

Shchankin, who retired to a monastery after his release in 2000, suffered from alcohol abuse. The fire he started could have burnt down the whole village, in which there are no roads and mobile communications.

The former thief in law Vladimir Shchankin, better known as Chaikovsky in the crime environment, died a week ago in a fire in the Istrut village, Satka district of Chelyabinsk region. It became known that the death of 63-year-old criminal brought a lot of trouble to Istrut residents.

The fire occurred due to Chaikovsky switching a set of heaters in his house while in a drunken state.

The rescue operation involved firefighters and local residents, members of the nearby neuropsychiatric hospital, and the monks of Svyato-Voskresensky Fratry, located in the village.

Once the fire broke out in Chaikovsky’s house, a fire truck from the neighboring Chulkovka village responded to a call, however, it stuck in a swamp 2.5 kilometers away from Istrut. Firefighters from Satka were also unable to reach the scene; according to, there no roads in Istrut, nor there are mobile communications. Firefighters walked to the fire scene by themselves, arriving only an hour later. By this time, the burnt roof of the house had already collapsed, so the fire brigade had to dismantle the rest of the building to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring buildings.

Local residents and monks came to the aid, dragging a motor pump, with which the fire was fixed using the water pumped from the river 20 meters away. When health care workers brought a second pump, the fire was completely eliminated.

63-year-old native of Perm, Vladimir Shchankin was crowned at the age of 23 with the consent of Vasya Buzulutsky and Malina.

After yet another release from prison in 2000, he became religious and moved to a monastery in Istrut. He had been diagnosed with cancer shortly before, and in spite of the religious commitment, he abused alcohol. Shchankin had illegally occupied the house that was eventually destroyed by fire, taking advantage of the house owner leaving to earn money. It is not the first fire, which happened at Shchankin’s fault. According to local residents, one month before the incident he set a fire on a nearby street in a similar way.



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