Russian teenager becomes latest victim of Blue Whale suicide craze after police arrest the man who brainwashed her and incited her to take her own life
Russian police have suffered a major setback in their fight against the sinister Blue Whale teenage suicide ‘game’ with the tragic death of another schoolgirl.
Law enforcement officers believed Kristina K, 14, had been saved after she obeyed a social media order to take a drugs overdose but survived.
A 26-year-old Moscow postman was detained last month and was reported to have confessed to being the online coach who brainwashed the child and incited her to take her own life.
But despite him being held in custody and barred from the web, Kristina K was found hanged five days ago, according to police and locals.
Detectives are now investigating whether a substitute mastermind had instructed her to take her life.
A shocking picture posted on her social media shortly before she died showed a slashed wrist and a message reading, ‘I just cannot be without you’ and a love heart.
Another message stated: ‘You live please, I will be nearby.’
Urging death group members to cut their bodies is often a task set for the teenagers by the administrators as a prelude to suicide.
The teenager was said to have survived a drugs overdose which she was urged to take through the Blue Whale death game
A picture uploaded to social media by Kristina K of her bloodied arm through self harm on top of a piece of paper that reads, ‘I just cannot be without you’
A local official in Sokhorukovo, Chelyabinsk region, said: ‘We buried her yesterday – the whole village was there.’
The girl’s guardian said she had been vulnerable because she was in love with an older teenager who had been conscripted to military service far away from her.
After her failed suicide she had received psychological counselling and was sent to a seaside retreat with her guardian.
Blue Whale is a game played via many social media platforms, which originated in Russia.
Players are given a master who controls them for 50 days and each day they are given a task to complete.
On the 50th day the masters behind the game instruct the young people to commit suicide and sadly across the world some have killed themselves.
Earlier this year parents in the UK were warned about Blue Whale when a school in Basildon was told about the challenge following talks with Essex Police.
Ilya Sidorov behind bars in a Russian court
It is feared dozens and perhaps hundreds of deaths might be related to the sick trend.
Postman Ilya Sidorov was alleged to have threatened to kill her family if she did not take her own life, according to law enforcement sources.
He used the nickname Ilya Spartak, and is currently held in Chelyabinsk region.
He confessed to having ‘about seven’ young people in his Blue Whale death group, so called because of how the mammals beach themselves to die.
Police were probing a total of 32.
He broke down as he was interrogated on his role in demanding that a schoolgirl should ‘jump under a metro train at a certain station’.
Sidorov was asked in a shocking video questioning: ‘What was the final task? How does the game end?’
He replied: ‘To commit suicide.’
At the time of his arrest, Russian Interior Ministry spokeswoman Colonel Irina Volk said: ‘In May this year a 14-year-old girl from Chelyabinsk region was taken to hospital with slash wounds after attempting to commit suicide.
‘The underage girl was a member of a so-called death group in a social network.
‘She was completing a task assigned by administrator of the group.’
She said of Sidorov: ‘Five mobile phones, a tablet, and several SIM-cards were confiscated during the search.
‘The suspect clarified that he is the administrator of a so-called suicide group that had 32 members, all of them underage.
‘He assigned them tasks aimed at inuring themselves in order to incite suicide.
‘The suspect has been detained and taken to Chelyabinsk.
‘Currently, the police continue search and investigation activity aimed at establishing additional cases of illegal activity of the detained.’
Postman Ilya Sidorov was alleged to have threatened to kill her family if she did not take her own life, according to law enforcement sources
Sidorov used the nickname Ilya Spartak, and is currently held in Chelyabinsk region. He confessed to having ‘about seven’ young people in his Blue Whale death group, so called because of how the mammals beach themselves to die
Last week, the suspected ringleader of the Blue Whale suicide game in Russia was jailed for three years for inciting young people to kill themselves.
Philipp Budeikin, 22, nicknamed Philipp Lis (Fox), was imprisoned by a Siberian court in the country’s first conviction of a so-called administrator of macabre social media death groups preying on vulnerable teenagers.
There was shock at the ‘soft’ sentence from a closed-door trial which related to his confession to two cases in which the brainwashed victims were saved.
Earlier, Budeikin had been investigated for alleged links to 16 suicides in different regions of Russia, and had been reported as a key mastermind of the social media craze.
Philipp Budeikin, 22, is led away from court in Siberia by a Russian official during the trial
Suicide victim from Kishinau in Moldova (left) and another victim Angelina Davydova from Ryazan (right)
Philipp Budeikin, the Blue Whale suicide game’s ringleader, appears in the dock in court
The ringleader had appeared to confess to provoking 17 deaths, but these cases were not included in his trial.
Budeikin branded victims of the game as ‘biological waste’ and told police that they were ‘happy to die’ and he was ‘cleansing society’, said investigators.
Overall, around 20 Russian suicides are officially linked to the trend which has been branded evil by parents and police, but politicians and the media have suggested the figure runs into the hundreds.
Budeikin will not be subject to a harsh jail regime, and will serve his sentence in the Russian equivalent of an open jail.
Russian MP Irina Yarovaya has called for far tougher penalties for inciting teenagers to suicide, claiming the law must catch up with abusive social media trends which threaten the lives of depressed young people.
The deaths of Yulia Konstantinova, 15, pictured left, and Veronika Volkova, 16, right, were connected to the challenge in Russia
The game encourages youngsters to complete a series of challenges, including cutting themselves or carving symbols into their bodies
Yulia (pictured) and Veronika fell to their deaths from the roof of an apartment block in industrial Ust-Ilimsk
Yulia had earlier posted a picture with big blue whale, seen as a symbol of a social media movement encouraging children to take their own lives
Panic over the online challenge was prompted by the death of two teenagers in Russia in February.
Yulia Konstantinova, 15, and Veronika Volkova, 16, fell to their deaths from the roof of an apartment block in industrial Ust-Ilimsk.
Meanwhile a girl named only as Ekaterina, 15, was critically injured after she fell onto snowy ground from a flat in the city of Krasnoyarsk.
Just two days beforehand a 14-year-old girl from Chita was reported to have thrown herself under a commuter train.
In all cases state investigators are probing whether a controversial web ‘suicide game’ has influenced the girls to seek to take their lives.
Yulia left a note saying ‘End’ on her social page and earlier she had posted a picture with big blue whale. Her friend Veronika wrote: ‘Sense is lost… End.’
It was reported that two teenage boys were detained by police at the scene after allegedly filming the double suicide.
In the Chita case, transport police confirmed that the so-called suicide game ‘Blue Whale’ is seen as a possible ’cause of death’.
A second girl had made plans to kill herself with the dead teenager, but changed her mind at the last moment.
Teenagers are urged to use a knife or razor to make the shape of a whale on their wrist or leg, say Russian reports.
They are also urged to watch horror movies all day, and to wake themselves at 4.20am.
In one case Budeikin confessed to using a popular social media network to order a 16-year-old village girl in the Tyumen region of Siberia to kill an animal and film it.
Later, after completing other ‘tasks’ designed to exhaust and confuse her, she was told to commit suicide.
Fortunately, her mother called an ambulance in time and doctors saved her.
In a second case, he persuaded a girl aged 15 in Astrakhan to kill herself, but police intervened.
‘The trial managed to prove the guilt of the man and his connections to two episodes when he pushed young girls – teenagers – towards suicide,’ said Elvira Yakubova, assistant to the judge in Tobolsky District Court, Tyumen region.
Law enforcement in Russia is hampered in securing convictions because before committing suicides, victims are ordered by their online group ‘administrators’ to was ‘ to delete all correspondence from their social accounts’, reported gazeta.ru.
Sergey Pestov, whose daughter Diana Kuznetsova, 16, fell to her death from the top of a nine storey building in Ryazan, now campaigns for action against Blue Whale and similar games.
He said of the sentence: ‘It is soft from the human point of view, and we would like to see a tougher sentence.
‘But at least it is an example. It is good grounds to say that such people will not remain unpunished.
‘So in general we feel positive about this verdict.’
Philipp Budeikin giving interview to REN-TV before his arrest for inciting young girls to kill themselves
One of the 20 victims of the sick suicide groups, identified as Angelina Davydova, 12, from Ryazan
As a former policeman, he called on the Russian Investigative Committee – equivalent of the FBI – to ‘look further’ at Budeikin’s links to other suicide cases, arguing that the ‘administrators’ are ‘all connected to each other’.
‘It was not Philipp Budeikin who was guilty in the death of my daughter,’ he said.
‘There was another person who is not arrested yet – but it is a matter of time.’
He said such cases should be probed under murder and attempted murder laws, rather than inciting someone to suicide which carries lesser sentences.
‘In the case of our daughter, forensic experts proved that the way she fell means she was not alone,’ he said.
He believes another person linked to a ‘death group’ was with her on the roof.
‘These children were in such a state when they were fully controlled and manipulated,’ he warned.
‘It was like a shooting, a weapon, a knife. I think it must be called murder.’
Investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta alleged that of 130 suicides of children in Russia between November 2015 and April 2016 almost all were ‘members of one group or other on the internet’.
When he was held on remand in St Petersburg, Budeikin was inundated with love letters from teenage girls, said Russian law enforcement.
Philip Budeikin, who was jailed for three years and four month for his part in the Blue Whale suicide game
Philipp Budeikin on the day of his arrest wearing the same coat he has been wearing throughout his trial
Top investigator Anton Breido insisted: ‘Budeikin very clearly knew what he had to do to get the result (he wanted).’
In one case he told a vulnerable teenage girl ‘that life was awful and that it would never get better, that she was not interesting, how her parents didn’t need her, that they would never understand her.
‘Do something beautiful at least once in your life, he was saying, it is so good to die young.
‘He was saying that she was special, a rare ‘selected one’ who could understand the truth.
‘She felt that she was scared to make the final step, and Philipp immediately offered an alternative.
‘You don’t have to jump off a roof or go under train, he said. It’s okay to take pills, it’s painless.’
In a chilling admission while on detention, Budeikin had appeared to confess to leading people to suicide.
‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I truly was doing that.
‘Don’t worry, you’ll understand everything. Everyone will understand.
‘They were dying happy. I was giving them what they didn’t have in real life: warmth, understanding, connections.’
He denied reports that there had been as many as 130 teenagers.
‘There were 17 of them,’ he said but also claimed another 28 were ‘ready’ to take their lives.
‘There were also those with whom I was simply communicating, who committed suicide later but without my direct influence.
‘There are people – and there is biological waste.
‘Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society.
‘I was cleaning our society of such people. It started in 2013 when I created F57 [online] community. I’d been thinking through this idea for 5 years. It was necessary to distinguish normal [people] from biological rubbish.’
There are concerns that the ‘game’ has spread from Russia to the West.
Blue Whale game victim Vilena Piven from Mariupol, Ukraine
In other Russian cases, Anna K, from Karsun, was found hanged to death in March after becoming obsessed with the sinister Blue Whale game.
In December, Vilena Piven, 15, jumped from the 13th floor in Mariupol, Ukraine and died on the spot.
Her classmates said that she was shy and had been seen as school with cuts on her arms.
She posted the view from the top floor of the building on her social network page and wrote: ‘The quest is over. There’s just one step to be made.’
Later she wrote: ‘I did not think that it would be so scary to jump. Just one step forward and everything is done. But this very step is so difficult to make.’
Before the jump, she wrote: ‘I’m scared, I’m afraid.’ Despite this, she jumped.
Anna Kuznetsova, children’s ombudsman in Russia, said in March that the number of child suicides grew had risen 57 per cent in 2016.
‘One of the main reasons of such a situation is an avalanche-like growth of social media death groups.’
Last month an unnamed teenage girl was arrested on Russia’s Pacific coast, and is suspected to posing as a man to incite ‘depressed young people’ to suicide.
The girl from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky had been ‘trained’ online to act as a mastermind – or ‘manager’ – of a suicide group, say police.
She ‘monitored accounts in social networks searching for potential victims,’ it was reported.
Earlier police detained Ilya Sidorov, 26, a Moscow postman, who confessed to seeking to coax up to 32 mainly underprivileged schoolchildren to commit suicide.
Russian Interior Ministry spokeswoman Colonel Irina Volk said: ‘The suspect clarified that he is the administrator of a so-called suicide group that had 32 members, all of them underage.
‘He assigned them tasks aimed at inuring themselves in order to incite suicide.’
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