GENERICO.ruRussiaThe police detained a disabled person from a Perm village due to a series of arson attacks; fellow villagers...

The police detained a disabled person from a Perm village due to a series of arson attacks; fellow villagers are sure that he is not involved in them

The security forces detained German Ovchinnikov, a thirty-year-old disabled child, in connection with a series of arson attacks in the village of Mulyanka near Perm. A New Tab correspondent visited the village and talked with Ovchinnikov’s acquaintances, many of whom are confident that he is innocent.

From the end of August to the end of September, six private houses burned down in Mulyanka. At the request of its residents, the head of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, became interested in arson in the village.

German Ovchinnikov has been diagnosed with delayed psycho-speech development since childhood; he is a disabled person of the third group. His fellow villagers call him “the big kid.” Until recently, the man worked as a fireman watchman in the boiler room of the Perm Non-autoclaved Aerated Concrete Plant and led an independent life.

At the end of September, Ovchinnikov was detained in the case of intentional damage to someone else's property (Part 2 of Article 167 of the Criminal Code). In a video published on the telegram channel of the regional department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a man in handcuffs and with a blurred face stands near one of the burnt houses, surrounded by security forces. He indistinctly says that he “wanted to see the flame,” timidly admitting that he was the culprit of the arson.

As the detainee’s mother, Veronika, told Novaya Tab, at a meeting with her son in the pre-trial detention center, he told her the opposite. According to the woman, Ovchinnikov was used to trusting people, but the security forces simply deceived him, promising to put him under house arrest in exchange for a confession.

“Herman did and said everything as they told him to do. And he repeated one phrase to everyone: “Yes, I did it, demons have possessed me.” Herman told me this on a date that I had been looking forward to for a very long time. <…> And the real arsonist is on the loose. It’s clear that he stopped, he doesn’t want to sit,” a woman wrote in the local VKontakte group “Emergency road accident Perm.”

Residents of Mulyanka have other versions of arson. For example, two fires – on August 28 and September 22 – occurred in the houses of the Egorov family. According to Veronica, the arsonist may be the ex-partner of the owners' daughter. In the relationship, he allegedly “offended and bullied the girl, and after she left, he threatened with violence.” At the same time, as Ovchinnikov’s mother notes, the police do not even consider such an interpretation of events.

According to another version, which some residents of Mulyanka are confident in, the fires occurred due to electrical surges. One of the interlocutors of New Tab, Elena, whose house burned down on September 19, speaks about this.

On the same street where Elena lives, another house burned down two years ago. An examination showed that the fire started due to a power surge. Elena's son is currently serving in military service. The woman is afraid that when he finds out about the fire, he will rashly sign a contract and go to war in Ukraine to earn money for his family.

In response to a question from a Novaya Tab correspondent about Ovchinnikov, Elena replies that he would not have been able to commit arson.

“I’m sure it’s not him,” says Elena. — I managed to work with him at the Aurora furniture factory. Yes, he’s scary at first, yes, you can see from his face that he’s… not okay. Yes, he is a big healthy guy, but when you start talking to him, you think: “He’s a three-year-old child!” He once had about "Coins" hooligans the bike was taken away, so the old women stood up for it! What kind of arson? – says the woman.

In addition, according to Elena, during the fire in the Egorov family house, eyewitnesses saw a man running away. At the same time, Ovchinnikov “not only doesn’t run, he barely walks.”

Ovchinnikov’s boss at the aerated concrete plant, Anastasia Aristova, is also confident that he is not capable of arson. She characterizes the man as “friendly, responsive” and says that “he has a very gentle character.” According to Aristova, Ovchinnikov “is not capable of causing harm to someone else’s property or entering someone else’s territory.”

Local resident Alexander Patokin notes that the cause of the fire may be someone's material interest.

“Do you know what my opinion is? The fact that they caught the guy there is that they just found the last one. Why are houses burning? Because someone needs the land. As they say: “Look for who benefits,” right? Even if, perhaps, this Herman did perform it, he didn’t come up with it himself, but they still won’t find customers. Land is at a premium here, something is always on fire,” says the man and recalls the fire on his neighbor’s property that occurred several years ago. The culprits have not yet been found.

At the end of October, 57 residents of Mulyanka signed a collective letter to the Investigative Committee with a request to “remove suspicions from German Olegovich Ovchinnikov and release him.”

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