Europe

Russian soldier jailed for life for killing Armenian family

Conscript Russian soldier Valery Permyakov in court at military base in Gyumri, 12 Aug 15 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Permyakov in court at the military base: He gave no explanation of his motives

A court in Armenia has sentenced a Russian soldier to life imprisonment for murdering a family of seven.

Conscript Valery Permyakov went on a shooting rampage after running away from the Russian base in the Armenian city of Gyumri in January 2015.

He was sentenced by an Armenian court inside the base, according to Russian law. He had been pronounced sane.

The massacre of the Avetisyan family enraged Armenians in Gyumri, where a crowd clashed with police.

Six family members died when he burst into their home and opened fire. A six-month-old infant was mortally wounded and died later.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Furious protesters tried to reach the Russian consulate in Gyumri after the massacre

Permyakov was arrested by Russian border guards while attempting to cross into Turkey from Armenia. In court he gave no explanation of his motives.

Russia has a military alliance with Armenia, and the two countries have maintained friendly ties since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Russian and Armenian troops jointly patrol Armenia's borders with Turkey and Iran.

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