Police are investigating the tragic deaths of two Russian half-sisters in connection with the online ‘game’ known as Blue Whale.
Maria Vinogradova, 12, and her half-sister Anastasia Svetozarova, 15, were both found dead on the ground beneath their apartment block in Izhevsk, a town roughly 1,200km from Moscow.
It is thought the two may have jumped from the 10th-storey rooftop to their deaths on the pavement below.
Maria was reportedly ‘upset and depressed’ when the girls’ mother took her to a gynaecologist after she allegedly started up a relationship with a boy named Dmitry.
Maria’s mother was reportedly ‘furious’ about her boyfriend, according to local reports. Anastasia was also reported by friends to be depressed.
The Blue Whale game is connected to the deaths of hundreds of Russian children and teenagers who are thought to have taken their lives as a result of the brainwashing which the game entails.
The game mentors the vulnerable children to complete 50 steps which culminates in suicide, and is under investigation by police.
Police are going to study the girls’ phones and and computers to find any traces of interaction between them and members of such suicide groups who attempted to exploit their emotions.
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In the moments before Maria died, she posted a picture of her boyfriend and a message to him saying:
Forgive me, please. I love you so much. I know you will find somebody better than me.
The Blue Whale game is orchestrated by a group which has hundreds of thousands of posts relating to the trend on Instagram.
There are 50 tasks to complete in 50 days, which escalate to self-harm, watching terrifying horror films, and sleep deprivation, reports the Mirror Online.
Anastasia also sent out a last message before she died, in which she said, ‘Goodbye to everyone! I love you all! This is true. Love you very very much.’
It was reported four months ago by Major-General Alexey Moshkov, head of anti-computer crime K department in the Russian Interior Ministry, that there were a total of 1,339 suicide groups.
These groups have a combined audience of 12,000 users with over 200,000 posts.
He estimates 230 criminal cases, with 19 ‘masterminds’ so far detained. Masterminds are the people who ‘dare’ the vulnerable victims to carry out these horrific acts.
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A few months ago, we reported on one such ‘mastermind‘, a Russian 17-year-old girl, was arrested by state police.
The Russian teenager – who cannot been named for legal reasons – reportedly issued threats of murder to her victims and their family members if they ‘failed to obey orders’ to complete tasks which involved acts of self-harm.
According to the Mirror, Colonel Irina Volk, of the Russian Interior Ministry, said:
This administrator was sending particular tasks – often life-threatening – to each of several dozen members of the group.
In contrast to similar groups, teenagers in this group were blackmailed with death threats against them or their relatives for not completing the tasks.
The game, said to be designed by 21-year-old Russian, Philipp Budeikin, is allegedly named Blue Whale after the phenomenon of blue whales beaching themselves and dying.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.