Pavel Chikov: "To date, no one sentenced to life in prison in Russia has been released"

posted 3 Dec 2019, 13:09 by Translation Service   [ updated 3 Dec 2019, 13:19 ]
19 November 2019

Source: Facebook 

To date, no one sentenced to life in prison in Russia has been released. Around 200 people have already served 25 years, after which time the law grants prisoners the right to apply for parole. There is one known case where the court granted a parole request — which was made by a convict from what is called the "Pyatak" penal colony in Vologda Oblast — but the prosecutor's office challenged the decision and it was canceled on appeal.

Pyotr Stakhovtsev from Dubravlag was sentenced to life in prison and has been serving his sentence since 1989. He is a former major in the Soviet police, convicted for forming a gang responsible for murders and robberies. Stakhovtsev was sentenced to death, but there was a moratorium and Yeltsin later changed his sentence to life imprisonment. Lev Levinson has been involved in the convict's fate for many years.

Journalist Maksim Solopov worked on an extensive investigation of Stakhovtsev ( There is reasonable doubt in the validity of his guilt. The case was a springboard for the career of Yury Chaika, prosecutor in Irkutsk Oblast at that time.

Stakhovtsev has already served 30 years. He filed a petition for parole once, and it was rejected. He petitioned for pardon several times, with the same results, and today the court in Mordovia again refused to release him. People imprisoned for life can only apply for parole once every three years. Stakhovtsev will be 77 years old when the next time he will be able to ask the court to release him. He likely won't live until that time.

Prisoners sentenced to life in prison in Russia remain blocked from the right to parole, despite what the law provides. Indeed, like many other things in Russia.

Zona Prava is handling his case.

Translated by Nina dePalma