Familicide in Russia Familicide in Russia

By Tatiana Tulijkina

The building where familicide happened

“   - Killing me!

    -Police, Listening…”

One year for investigation, 5 hours for sentence, 10 minutes for unhuman murder of pregnant wife and six young children.

On the morning of the 26 June 2015, in Nijni Novgorod, Russia, Oleg Belov had an argument with his wife. In ten minutes, Oleg annihilated his whole family: pregnant wife and six young children. After the murder, Belov has been staying at home one week, trying to hide all traces of the crime. Oleg Belov dismembered bodies with a hatchet into many fragments and put into polymer packages. On the 4 August, police found corpses in their flat, Nizhny Novgorod district, on the Verhnepecherskaya Street, 9. There, the police found lots of Belov`s fingerprints.

What was the reason for the crime? The couple could not make a decision - how to cut their son’s hair. In few minutes Oleg Belov lost control and slapped Yuliya on her face. The woman cried and ran for help to their neighbor.

Ponomareva Natalia, Belov`s neighbor, said that Oleg took his wife and after few minutes she heard a sharp scream, cries of children and then silence. After that Natalia did not hear any sounds from Belov`s flat.

“Several hours later, Oleg came to my flat and gave me bucket of raspberry, asking nobody to talk about the scandal. He also said that Yuliya with children had gone to the village until September”.

The neighbor describes Yuliya as a calm, benevolent woman while “Oleg Belov was a cagey and silent man”.

“All of them were afraid of him. Children were very afraid of his father so they did everything what Oleg said”.

With no help from the neighbor, Yuliya tried to call the police but the husband stopped her.

39 calls was recorded by police for the period from 2014 to 2015 from Yuliya`s number. In June 2015 police received 8 calls in 12 days. According to case materials, the last call was at 7.13 morning on 26 June, lasted few seconds:

“   - Killing me!

    -Police, Listening…”

Belov took a kitchen knife and stabbed woman five times in front of small children. After killing his wife, the man immediately killed all his young children. By reason of the small age, children were not able to defend themselves.

During the court session Belov said that he killed children because he did not want to leave them alone in the orphanage.

According to the psychological analysis of the case materials Oleg Belov, had mental problems. He had “tendency to dominate, confidence in the correctness of his decisions, tendency to fix on negatively colored events and lack feeling of guilty”. However, all actions in this crime were premeditated. In the store near his house, Belov bought light-proof polyethylene packages, an adhesive tape, mounting foam, which sealed the gaps between the entrance door and the jamb, so that cadaver smell do not go out. In the courtroom Belov says that before the crime he watched in the Internet ways to kill quickly.

The case materials shows that in 2010 during another quarrel, when Yuliya started talking about divorce, her husband became angry. He hit the woman with the ax's head, trying to beat slightly, just to scare his wife. And it worked. The woman did not involve Belov to criminal responsibility because of the great fear.  

In 2015 Yuliya reported an allegation of beating to the police but suddenly took it back. According to a witness in the courtroom, Belov threatened his wife that “he would cut off the child's head if she did not take back the allegation”.

Judicial acts confirm that in June Yuliya seriously intended to divorce with Oleg Belov. She filed an application to the court and the trial must be on 27 June 2015. By this time the woman was already killed on June 26.

Yuliya Zaitseva, 31 years old, from small town Kovrov, lived in Nijni Novgorod about 8 years. When she was 24 years old, she married 44 years old Oleg Belov and soon they had a first child, Alena. With her husband they had 6 small children: the oldest child was seven years old, the youngest - one year. At that time, Yuliya was expecting another one. They lived in a prestigious place near the city center, in the municipal three bedroom apartment.

Yuliya had an active online life, posting photos with her big family and writing comments on different topics: news, history, even politic. They were covered with humor. However, in real life, Julia seemed to be a completely different person. According to Ponomareva Natalia, family`s neighbor, Yuliya was “strongly influenced by her husband” she even became a vegetarian did not feed the meat of her children.

“She was not communicative. Mostly, she did not speak or just give small answers.  Her voice was quiet. Her face was covered with hair. It seemed that she was trying to hide her face”

Family psychologist Ruzanna Arakelyan, “the main point is that for a woman it would be easy to get away from a man who only beats, insults, rapes her. However, incidents of violence alternate with light periods, when a woman sees in the tyrant the her former prince. Therefore, she wants to the stop not their relations, but the violence in relations. Which, of course, cannot happen without the desire of a tyrant, and he definitely will not want it.”

As Ruzanna Arakelyan says, mostly, after the incident of violence, a woman feels anger, which could induce her to leave her husband, but then emotions fade, until the next incident:

“Cultural attitudes and beliefs learned from parents also affect women. A woman can believe that:

"Without a man, a woman is inferior."

"The woman is responsible for everything that happens in the family."

"If a woman truly loves, she must forgive everything."

"Children need a father."

"Without me, he will lost (will get drunk, commit suicide, etc.)."

It is impossible to re-educate a tyrant husband, the only one way is to leave him.”

After the detention Belov confessed to the police to the murder and described in detail how he killed his family. However, at the court Oleg Belov denied everything. The court, referring to the evidence, sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Brutal murder of a pregnant woman and six small children affected the public all around Russia. The Internet was full of headlines: “Maniac-child killer Oleg Belov burst into tears in the courtroom…” (REN TV), “Father-murderer, schizophrenic Oleg Belov: "I can easily kill anyone …" (Komsomolskaya Pravda). Even foreign journalists did not ignore this case. At the same time, on the Internet appeared defenders of Oleg Belov. According to the page “in support of Oleg Belov” in the Russian social network VKontakte, Oleg is not guilty and they blame child dealers for this murder.  This community still is waiting for an acquittal of Belov. According to the latest information from this page, Belov has a girlfriend, “his fan”, with whom Oleg plans to get married and they will have a baby.