Russian ‘shaman’ detained by cops after pledge to ‘save humanity from satanist pedophiles’

A man from Russia’s remote Far East purporting to be a traditional spiritual leader has been detained by authorities after blogging his colossal journey across Siberia on foot as part of a self-declared mission to save the world.

On Sunday, law enforcement officials in the Urals city of Ekaterinburg confirmed to local media that Nikolay Dylykov, who goes by the name Dylyk Khan, had been taken into custody as a potential risk to himself and others.

Within the past year, the self-declared spiritual leader had filmed himself on a marathon walk across the vast expanse of eastern Russia, pledging to reach the city, Russia's fourth largest. Local media reports that he had announced he was on a mission “to save humanity from satanist pedophiles.”

He is said to have introduced himself to police as Alexander Gabyshev, a different self-declared shaman who was detained in 2019 after declaring an intention to march thousands of kilometres to Moscow, from remote Yakutia, supposedly to exorcise the soul of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“The police weren’t looking for Gabyshev,” a law enforcement source told Moscow’s Kommersant. It later emerged that the detainee was actually Dylykov, who is reportedly registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a vulnerable person who potentially poses a threat to others.

After an international media storm, a court in the East Siberian city of Yakutsk placed Gabyshev into a secure facility in July after he reportedly threatened to stab a public safety official with a homemade sword. He is now serving his time in the specialist institution for an indefinite period.

In an original plan disclosed to investigators, he claimed he would walk the 7,500 kilometer distance from his native Yakutia to Moscow’s iconic Red Square, where he would light a ritual bonfire of fermented dairy products and horsehair. After uttering a shamanic prayer, Putin would calmly resign, Gabyshev said at the time.

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