Trans woman’s killer released after breast implants help identify mutilated corpse

The woman’s dismembered body was found by a schoolboy in a river six months later

A Russian man who brutally killed and dismembered a transgender sex worker from Central Asia has been allowed to walk free on time already served by a St. Petersburg court despite having been found guilty of the crime, media outlets have reported.

On Wednesday, the press secretary of the city’s courts told news agency Lenta that judges in the Vasileostrovsky District had released Yury Yanovsky from custody, crediting his time spent in pre-detention.

The actor had been charged with killing Tamara Khatamzhonov, a 24-year-old transgender sex worker, said to be a native of the former Soviet republic Tajikistan. However, he was later convicted of homicide committed while exceeding the limits of self-defense, and judges ruled that he was to serve one year and ten months behind bars.

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On January 13, 2020, Yanovsky, who was intoxicated, argued with Khatamzhonov. The man claimed that the sex worker wanted to give him sleeping pills and steal from him. He stabbed her twice in the neck and once in the stomach. She died on the spot.

Yanovsky dismembered the victim’s body and threw it into the Mga River, in northern Russia’s Leningrad Region. Her severely mutilated, decapitated corpse was only found six months later by a schoolboy as he swam in the water.

Police in the region traced the serial number of her breast implants, manufactured by a Dublin-based company, to a hospital in Russia that had carried out the surgery.

There has been a spate of brutal attacks against members of the LGBT community in Russia in recent years. Last April, HIV-positive blogger Ilya Bronsky had his nose broken in broad daylight by an assailant and ended up in the emergency trauma department.

In October 2020, a Russian policeman confessed to murdering his transgender ex-girlfriend in Siberia. According to reports, he cut off her finger to send decoy messages from her phone.

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