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Georgy Povilaiko

‘God forbid he get injured’ Convicted murderer returns home to Russia’s Far East after serving just one year of lengthy prison sentence and three-month army stint

Source: Meduza
Georgy Povilaiko
Georgy Povilaiko
Georgy Povilaiko's personal archive

Georgy Povilaiko, a resident of Russia's far-eastern city of Vladivostok who was sentenced in 2022 to 24 years in prison for rape and murder, has returned home after joining the war in Ukraine for just three months, the news outlet reported on Tuesday. first learned of Povilaiko’s return from a reader and later confirmed it independently. “My neighbors called me like, ‘How this possible?’” the source told reporters. “He signed a contract in late October 2023 and he’s already home, less than three months later! They [usually] do contracts for six months. Who the hell knows how he left after three. But he sometimes talks on the phone with some unit commander. He may have gotten injured, of course.”

In August 2021, Georgy Povilaiko murdered 37-year-old Anna Koshulko, a mother of two. According to Koshulko’s husband, Alexander, Povilaiko attacked his wife in the family’s garage as Koshulko was getting ready to go to work.

“He didn’t just kill her. He attacked her with a knife. He raped her, killed her, raped her, and killed her. He didn’t just take her and strangle her. She was covered in bruises, totally beaten up, bleeding, all blue. Just a nightmare,” Alexander recounted to Novaya Gazeta.

After killing Koshulko, Alexander said, Povilaiko stole her car, drove back home to change clothes, and then went to the beach with his friends. He was arrested later that day.

In April 2022, Povilaiko was sentenced to 24 years in prison on charges of murder, rape, sexual assault, car theft, and violence against a public official. His unsuccessful appeal of the verdict ended on June 23, 2022. Then, in October 2023, he was released from prison after signing a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry to fight in Ukraine.

In December 2023, Anna Koshulko’s husband told Novaya Gazeta that after he learned about Povilaiko joining the army, he wrote to multiple Russian government agencies and officials asking them to send Povilaiko back to prison:

He only served a year out of his 24-year sentence! I’ve started sounding the alarm everywhere I can. If he dies like a dog, fine. To hell with him — nobody will miss him. But if he comes back? God forbid Povilaiko get some kind of injury. They’ll discharge him in two months.

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