Russian convict soldier shot dead six commanders using AK-12 rifle

A Russian convict soldier allegedly shot dead six of his own comrades including his commander before fleeing.

A major manhunt is now underway for Junior Sergeant Yuri Galushko, 57, as the Kremlin fears he may be attempting to surrender to Ukraine.

Galushko reportedly shot his fellow troops in the heart and chest at close range as they slept yesterday in a a killing spree that has sent shockwaves through the Russian military.

He is said to have belonged to the howitzer artillery battalion of the 10th Tank Regiment who were positioned in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region in Ukraine’s southeast.

Galushko fled with his AK-12 Kalashnikov gas-operated assault rifle.

The alleged turncoat troop is believed to be originally from the Kharkiv area of Ukraine before moving to the Belgorod region of Russia where he was later jailed.

Galushko was then one of hundreds of thousands of convicts recruited into Russian forces in exchange for their freedom if they survive the heavy fighting at the front.

It is not clear why he was imprisoned.

He signed up with the military on February 28.

In response to the slaughter, Ukrainian Telegram channel Crimean Wind wrote: “This is what every Ukrainian who has been drafted into the occupying army should do.”

A report by Telegram channel Project BARS – linked to army reservists – called him an “animal”.

“Perhaps he will try to * cross over to the other side [Ukraine],” said an unknown informant in an audio recording on the channel.

It said: “On May 4, 2024, junior sergeant Galushko, according to initial information, having killed 6 servicemen of the howitzer artillery battalion of the 10th tank regiment, disappeared with an AK-12 personal weapon from the location of the artillery control point of the 10th tank regiment.

“The direction of movement is unknown.”

It described the former convict as a Russian national with “average build, stooped shoulders, short, dark hair with grey hair”.

“According to preliminary information, he is armed with an AK-12 assault rifle with a silent firing device.”

Military personnel are instructed: “If detected, immediately detain […] inform the deputy chief of staff for military service and security of military service….”

A report in Ukraine says he was originally Ukrainian and “was forced to fight for the Russian Federation.

But he shot six occupiers, and escaped. They are looking for a Ukrainian in the occupied territories, according to the Russian media.”

The 10th Tank Regiment which Galushko belonged are known to have fought in the brutal eastern battle for Avdiivka, which Russian troops claimed in February.

The massacre in the ranks came as Russians marked Orthodox Easter.

Meanwhile, this morning Putin paraded nuclear missile launchers, tanks and thousands of war-ready troops ahead of his triumphant Victory Day event.

The Russian tyrant, 71, has already had to axe most of the May 9 celebrations – the most sacred day in the Russian calendar – but Moscow’s will go ahead.

The real events will be held on Thursday under intense security, with reports suggesting the capital’s centrepiece show will be scaled back.

Victory Day parades are held throughout Russia as a means of celebrating the country’s defeat of Nazi Germany in World War 2.

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