A Russian man found himself entangled in a shocking and tragic saga that culminated in his imprisonment for coercing his former friend into taking his own life. Vyacheslav Matrosov, aged 35, faced conviction for compelling Oleg Sviridov, 32, to dig a grave in a forest near Vintai village. Their grim encounter escalated into a violent knife duel, purportedly concluding with Sviridov’s apparent suicide.
Initially detained on suspicion of murder, Matrosov sparked local outrage. Nearby residents, sensing a parallel response under similar circumstances, rallied support, gathering funds for his legal defense and launching a petition to secure his acquittal.
The legal saga concluded with an 18-month prison sentence for Matrosov, of which he served six months, owing to public outcry. The two men, formerly close friends, shared a history where Sviridov often cared for Matrosov’s children. His mother reflected on their seemingly normal interactions, emphasizing his role as a babysitter and returning home in good spirits.
The shocking episode unraveled amidst an evening of drinking, where Matrosov uncovered distressing content on Sviridov’s phone—a video depicting the latter coercing a child into a sexual act, as disclosed in court records. Disturbingly, other videos on Sviridov’s device reportedly showed the sexual assault of girls aged 6 and 11, hinting at a history of abuse spanning five years.
Matrosov purportedly confronted Sviridov, offering him the choice to surrender to the authorities. When met with refusal, Matrosov himself alerted the police, initiating a pursuit. However, his attempts to escape led Matrosov to confront his former friend, resulting in a scuffle. Sviridov was last seen alive, bearing severe injuries, before his body was discovered in a makeshift grave a week later.
Matrosov maintained his intention wasn’t to kill but to prompt a confession from Sviridov. Expressing relief at not facing a deliberate murder charge, he acknowledged hoping to induce fear rather than harm. Despite this, he served a partial sentence in a Russian penal colony for his role in the tragedy.