A soldier has reappeared from the vast freezing Russian wastelands ten years after he was presumed dead.
Police have apprehended the army deserter who hid in a forest in the far east of Russia for over a decade. According to reports the un-named 30-year-old man, was drafted into the military in 2003 and was stationed in the remote Kamchatka peninsula for one year before deciding he’d had enough, simply wandering off into the forest in 2004.
In a statement, the regional branch of the interior ministry said:
He lived in Kamchatka all this time, mainly hiding in the forest.He got by with odd jobs and did not attempt to get in touch with his family.
This seems to be true as the search for the deserter was stopped when his family – falsely it turns out – identified a dead body as that of their missing relative a few months after his disappearance, even burying the dead man.
The former soldier had reportedly built himself a home out of waste building materials on the outskirts of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and made his living working on a private pig farm and collecting scrap.Russian soldiers found guilty of desertion can face prison sentences of up to seven years.
Valentina Melnikova, the head of Russia’s Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers, said she doubted the soldier would receive prison time for his offence:
There were lots of deserters in those days in the far east. We’ve had cases when some would hide in a basement for years, but they would go through a psychiatric examination and would be set free.
Sounds like he was managing to live a pretty hassle-free existence, wonder what made him come back?