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6 Oct, 2008 03:02

Killing in the name of love?

A Russian man from a town in the Urals is facing ten years in prison for a ‘mercy killing’. Oleg Mayorshin says he strangled his partner, Svetlana Fandeyeva, with a lace to release her from the severe pain she was suffering due to a back injury.

Mayorshin, 40, then went to a police station and gave himself up.

The daughter of the deceased woman, Anastasia Fandeyeva, doubts his motives, saying her mother had never told her she wanted to die. Anastasia doesn’t believe the man loved Svetlana either. So why did he kill her? “He simply got tired of looking after her,” says Anastasia.

But investigator Sultan Zhumabayev, who spoke to other people from Svetlana’s surroundings, is convinced Oleg loved his wife a lot. “He took care of her even when she was in critical condition,” he said. But sadly, the spine injury did not leave her much time.

Svetlana received her injury when she accidentally fell while dancing at a party. She broke one of the bones in her spine and not even surgery could alleviate the unbearable pain. Svetlana's daughter Anastasiya believes Oleg expected her mother to die two day's after the surgery, but when she continued to live for more than two weeks his attitude changed.

Oleg Mayorshin confessed to committing the crime after Svetlana’s burial. He was initially not on the list of suspects despite signs of violent death found on Svetlana’s body.

Investigators checked whether Mayorshin could be motivated by the intention to obtain the apartment of the deceased. However, it turned out they were not officially married and the man had no right to her property.

However, his neighbours still can’t make out how love could have lead to death.
“Perhaps, he was sorry for her but what compassion can we talk about if a person strangles another person for thirty minutes,” said neighbour Oksana Vorobyova.

Mayorshin still can appeal against the sentence within ten days.

Euthanasia carries stiff penalties in the Russian legal system. But despite many arguments against the legalisation it remains a deeply personal moral issue.