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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Escaped Russian murderer found frozen to death

  • [01] Escaped Russian murderer found frozen to death

    The body of a 23-year-old Russian convicted killer, who escaped last week after shooting two police officers to death while being transferred from a police detention centre in Ioannina to a prison in Volos, was found by police on Monday on the shores of Malakasiotis river, and according to early reports the fugitive apparently froze to death.

    A manhunt had been mounted on Friday for the Russian convict, 23-year-old Maxim Zhilin, after he killed two policemen who were escorting the Zhilin and two 17-year-old Albanians convicted on minor drug charges from a police detention centre in Ioannina to a jail in Volos. One of the Albanians was injured by gunfire in the transport van, while the second Albanian, who escaped with Zhilin after the massacre, was captured on Sunday some 12 kilometres from the scene of the crime.

    The two police officers -- a driver and a guard -- were killed in Malakasi, Kalambaka, on Friday when they made an unscheduled stop because the Russian and one of the Albanians asked to relieve themselves.

    Zhilin asked the guard to remove the handcuffs he was wearing and when the guard complied, he assaulted him and grabbed his weapon, shooting him in the head. The Russian and one of the Albanians overpowered and killed the driver before fleeing, while the second Albanian was injured during the process.

    Zhilin was serving time for the murder of a 42-year-old woman in Corfu on October 2. The Russian posed as a hitchhiker and robbed and murdered the woman after she gave him a lift. The two Albanians were being held for drug-related offences.

    A massive search operation by land and and air was immediately launched by police and border guards aided by special forces and police commandos flown to scene of the crime.

    According to initial reports, officers of the EKAM special police force found the Russian's body on the shores of the Malakasiotis river, a tributary of the Pinios river, at quite a distance from the scene of the massacre and escape.

    It is believed that Zhelin attempted to cross the river to escape the police search squads, but that he froze to death after spending many hours outdoors in freezing temperatures and adverse weather conditions.

    The body was being transported to a police morgue for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

    Details were due to be released later in the day by the police.

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