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Killer Brutally Tortured His Victims Underground For Three Years

A Truly Shocking and Twisted Case

By mr. Nice guyPublished 2 months ago 28 min read
Modern day slave owners Komin and Mikheyev

Russian maniac Alexander Komin was a modern day slave owner and serial killer. Despite claiming "only" four victims, he was dubbed the Maniac of the 20th Century by the media.

An Insidious Underground Kingdom

In the early months of 1995, the construction of an underground bunker was completed in VKI Palani within the Kirov region of Russia. This project was the brainchild of Alexander Komin, who alongside his accomplice Alexander Mive, spent four years building this hidden structure below a garage. Komin's heinous scheme involved forcing women into slave labor within the confines of this bunker, where they were also held as prisoners for years at a time.

Motivated by a desire to get rich through the exploitation of his captives, Komin's vile aspirations extended beyond mere financial gain. He envisioned creating an insidious underground kingdom, where enslaved women would be forced to give birth to his offspring, giving rise to successive generations of slaves all bound to serve and idolize him as their ruler. A truly perverse vision.

The Background of Alexander komin

Alexander komin was born on July 15th, 1953, in the town of Pani during the era of the Soviet Union. He was brought up in a middle-class household nestled within a working-class district. Komin's life was unremarkable and calm. He was a student of average academic performance, not particularly standing out in any particular subject, and his discipline was in check. Upon completing eighth grade, Komin abandoned his studies driven by a desire to enlist in the military. He saw no further value in formal education and had been disillusioned for some time. He dropped out of high school and started the military enrollment process.

Komin successfully passed the required examinations and was poised to begin his career in the military. However, on the cusp of joining, he got into a violent altercation with two men, inflicting serious harm upon them. This incident led to his incarceration at the tender age of 18, serving a 3-year sentence and abruptly derailing his plans.

During his incarceration, Komin discovered a passion for tailoring while working in the colony's sewing factory. The process of sewing and creating garments captivated him to such an extent that upon his release, he was determined to further his education in textile manufacturing. Meanwhile, stories being told by fellow inmates enriched Komin's understanding of the world, but unfortunately not for the good. A story he found particularly intriguing came from his cellmate, who was incarcerated for the abduction of several homeless individuals. He told Komin how he forced those people into painting artworks of famous landmarks and selling them for himself. The manipulation of power to amass wealth left a profound impact on Komin. He saw for the first time a man who exercised unlimited power over others and wanted to experience this himself.

Once free, he immediately pursued his calling, enrolling in a technical college and earning a diploma in fashion design and tailoring. Despite his dedication and newly acquired skills, the grim economic climate of his hometown meant that his qualifications could not gain him employment. Komin instead worked various jobs, including roles as an electrician, a security guard, and a firefighter.

It was during one of these positions, on a night shift, that he encountered Alexander Mikheyev , an engineer who was also struggling both professionally and financially. Amidst this hardship, Komin's thoughts often drifted back to the story told by his former cellmate, the man who had enslaved homeless people and forced them into labor for his own personal gain. Inspired by this, komin shared with Mikheyev his own entrepreneurial but morally reprehensible ideas. One was to force people to grow berries and vegetables in a greenhouse for them both to sell at the market. The other, more sinister plan, involved farming animals for their fur. Shockingly,Mikheyev agreed to Komin's horrific plan. United by their dire situations and a shared lack of morality, the two men began laying the groundwork for what they called the "Greenhouse Project."

The Construction of the Bunker

Komin had his own garage, number 198, in a small row of private garages. This was the place they planned to make the greenhouse and keep their slaves. The two Alexanders soon realized the dangers of confining people in a garage. Any cries for help would attract unwanted attention. To reduce this risk, they opted to construct a secret basement beneath the garage, effectively transforming it into a bunker. The construction of this concealed space took four years, during which the duo were occasionally observed by neighboring garage owners transporting soil and construction materials. Komin deflected suspicion by claiming he was growing vegetables within his garage.

To maintain the facade and avoid raising suspicions, the pair moved their supplies mostly under the cover of night. Meanwhile, as the bunker took shape, komin's original business concept evolved. He began to ominously refer to the structure not as a greenhouse, but as a dungeon. Ultimately, he envisioned the space as a textile factory, an establishment far from its seemingly innocuous beginnings. As the year 1994 came to a close, this haunting facility was finalized beneath the earth, its chambers reaching depths of 8 to 9 meters, all veiled beneath the guise of a mundane garage. Ladders rigged with a lethal 220-volt charge were the only entry point and served as a grim deterrent against the escape of those who would soon be ensnared. To further silence any cries for help, triple doors were put in place, each a barrier to the outside world. The bunker's walls were covered in mattresses to absorb sound with a suffocating effect. This makeshift factory was now set with an array of sewing machines and work tables, mimicking that of a small factory.

The Hunt for Victims

With their grotesque fortress ready, komin and Mikheyev embarked on a harrowing prow hunt for women to drag into their nightmarish enterprise. The duo devised a profile for their prey: women who were reclusive, estranged from their family, seeking employment, and who wouldn't be immediately missed. They were essentially looking for lost souls, people they felt they could easily manipulate. They walked around the city for weeks, hanging around train stations and marketplaces, looking for those who matched their specifications.

On a fateful day, January 13th, 1995, a chance encounter brought together Alexander komin and 33-year-old Vera Talpa, who simply asked him for a cigarette. A casual conversation began, leading komin to invite Vera for a drink in his garage to celebrate the old New Year. In this area of Russia, it was normal to invite people to places like a garage for a drink, so Vera thought nothing of this and was delighted to accept.

That evening, Komin and Mikheyev were drinking and joking with Vera. Things seemed to be going well, but then Komin slipped a substance into Vera's drink. It quickly took effect, and she lost consciousness. She awoke a few hours later deep inside the bunker. Here, the cruel revelation was thrust upon her. It was in no uncertain terms explained to her that she was now a captive, condemned to work as a seamstress in this prison. She was warned that resistance would be met with brutality, starvation, and even death. Vera had no option but to submit to them.

Outside, Vera's family did report her missing, but despite the efforts of the police, they assumed that she was just another runaway, which was not uncommon. Vera was now trapped there with no one looking for her.

The Horrors of the Bunker

Terrifyingly, komin began to teach Vera how to use the sewing machine, along with other skills required for the production of garments to be sold. However, despite Komin's best efforts, Vera was simply not up to the task. Her hands, perhaps trembling with fear, could not meet the required standards. Frustration grew with Komin and Mikheyev as time wore on. The fear that their heinous plan might unravel before it even truly began was eating away at them.

Komin, however, came up with another plan. He demanded Vera give him the name of someone who was good at sewing and tailoring. Under the weight of his immense pressure, Vera suggested an acquaintance of hers who was a skilled dressmaker. Her name was Tatiana Melan Coova, a 35-year-old woman. Vera did not know the exact address for Melan Coova; she could only offer the name of the street she lived on. This did not deter Komin as he set out scouring the street, looking into the houses for any sign of the woman who matched Melan Coova's description.

In a dark twist of fate, on the very same street, Komin bumped into a man called Nikolai Malik, a fellow inmate during his time in prison. They got chatting, and it turned out Malik lived on that street as well. He lived with his girlfriend, who just happened to be none other than Tatiana Melan Coova. Komincould not believe his luck. Seizing the opportunity, he approached with a friendly facade, inviting them both for a casual drink. A gesture Malik was more than happy to partake in. The couple unsuspectingly joinedKomin for what appeared to be a harmless gathering.

As the evening progressed and the conversation flowed, Komin secretly administered the same substance into their drinks, and quickly the paralyzing grip took hold. In no time, they were both unconscious. Melan Coova was taken down into the bunker, meanwhile, Malik proved to be an issue.

Komin knew Malik had a strong, aggressive personality. There was an understanding that Malik would never willingly submit to their will. He posed a threat to their plans. Komin and Mikheyev, resorting to their usual mob tactics, stripped Malik of his clothing and abandoned him in a desolate winter field, where the harsh elements guaranteed no survival. They dumped Malik's clothes nearby, hoping to lead the police astray. The psychological response to extreme cold can sometimes make individuals remove their clothing as they feel overheated, a symptom of hypothermia. When Malik's body was eventually discovered, the clothes nearby led the authorities to conclude that he had succumbed to the natural or tragic consequences of exposure, rather than foul play. They believed that while he was intoxicated, he got lost in the snow and eventually froze to death.

komin and Mikheyev had just gotten away with murder. Melan Coova's family reported her disappearance, but as in Vera's case, the investigation went nowhere. It appeared to the officers like the women had just vanished. I suppose there was no way for them to know that they were being enslaved in a bunker.

The Horrors Continue

Melan Coova was forced to work 16-hour days. She made dressing gowns, underwear, and had to finish at least 32 bathrobes each day. This was grueling work. Vera could not help with the production of the garments, so instead, she helped Melan Coova with everything she needed and kept the bunker clean. The men also used her body to pleasure themselves, although they forced themselves on both the women, it was seen more as Vera's job to do so.

More often, Vera and Melan Coova were tormented by death threats and were fed menial food like potatoes, bread, and water. Sometimes, the women would not even get this and would be starved for days. They would resort to frying potato skins to get something extra into their diet. They were only allowed to bathe once a week with a bucket of water to share between them. The beatings and essaying continued.

While they were suffering through all this, komin and Mikheyev found a market for their illicit garments, with demand for their production steadily growing. The profits began to flow in, and the two men began to consider expanding their dark enterprise. Realizing the need for additional labor, this time they set their sights on abducting a man to enslave.

Searching for a suitable candidate to ensnare into their operation led Komin to a liquor store, where he encountered Yev Shishov, a 37-year-old homeless man who had been struggling with alcoholism and had fallen on hard times. Despite his predicaments, Shishov used to be in the Air Force. He was fit, strong, and in Komin's eyes, ideal for labor. Komn sought to capitalize on Shishov's desperation. He was a man who would willingly exchange his freedom for basic sustenance and shelter.

Shishov consented to being a captive and working in the bunker under the promise of being fed and housed. This agreement was a harrowing insight into the despair in which Shishov found himself. Komin trained Shishov in how to operate the sewing machines, laying out expectations of the grueling work ahead. But again, like Vera, he simply did not meet the standards. Komin was not sure what to do about the situation.

Shishov knew about the bunker. He knew about the plight of the other women. He couldn't just let him go. However, the situation took an unexpected turn when Shishov, in an effort to demonstrate his usefulness, revealed that he was a trained electrician.

This revelation set off an alarm in Komin's mind. With expertise in electronics, Shishov posed a significant risk. He had the capability to disable the power to the electrified ladders, which could lead to the escape of all the captives. This new information presented a significant complication for Komin , and one he could not overlook.

Komin made the grim decision that Shishov had to die. His fate was sealed. Komin pieced together a crude electric chair, fixing bare wires to Shishov's arms and legs. He was then granted one final cigarette before Komin commanded Melan Coova and Vera to deliver the fatal shock by switching on the charge.

Melan Coova refused to comply, unwilling to cross the line into murder. Vera, however, complied, and Shishov was killed instantly. Komin disposed of Shishov's body in a deserted forest. When his remains were eventually found, his known alcoholism led authorities to attribute his death to accidental poisoning, with no further inquiries.

After this, Kominturned on Melan Coova with ferocious violence for her defiance, while showing favor towards Vera. He eventually began to trust Vera. This built up so much that she was actually able to leave the bunker. Komin knew that she would not run away but comply and assist in bringing another unsuspecting individual into the bunker.

The Escape and Aftermath

Despite the opportunity to seek help, the psychological toll and fear instilled by Komin kept Vera from approaching the police. She tragically became an instrument in the continuation of their heinous cycle. On July 16th, 1995, 36-year-old Tatiana Kekova found herself in the bunker's grim confines. Despite holding a job, her wages were unreliable, and a moment of desperation had driven her to steal a cake for her daughter's birthday, an act that now laid heavy on her with an upcoming court hearing and the threat of possible incarceration.

When Vera, under the manipulation of her enslavement, presented the offer of a job opportunity, Kekova, hoping to pay her way out of legal troubles, quickly accepted. She was desperate, but what she didn't know was that she was being led into the depths of Komin's sinister lair.

Kekova's spirit, however, proved formidable. The bunker's harrowing conditions, Komin's physical abuse, and his violent essaying did not kill her will. Her defiance was strong. She fought back against her captor. She even protected Melan Coova, who was teetering on the brink of despair. By this point, she was even considering ending it all. Kekova, with her bright spirit, crafted a homemade amulet for Melan Coova as a beacon of hope and inscribed phrases of encouragement wherever she could around the bunker, promising that freedom would one day be theirs.

Her determination was fueled by the love for her daughter and the unwavering belief that she would one day see her again. Kekova meticulously observed the bunker's layout, looking for any weaknesses. She noticed the electrified ladders and tried to find a way to cut the power to them. Failing in this, what she did notice was that each time Komin entered, he would disable the electrical system, unknowingly presenting them with a chance to escape.

Seizing this moment, Kekova managed to trap Komin in a room, barricading the door with various objects. In a desperate bid for freedom, she and Melan Coova attempted to flee, but their hopes were quickly dashed as Komin , fueled by rage, burst open the door and grabbed both women. The punishment he handed out was brutal and ferocious, leaving him spattered in blood from the violence he inflicted.

The ordeal escalated as he resorted to using a hose and strangling Kekova with it, choking her, and then burning her hands with the flame of a large candle. The cruelty they both endured was horrific and showed the inhumanity of their captor. Komin presented the women with a harrowing ultimatum for punishment. They were to choose between having their mouths grotesquely slashed from ear to ear, like a Chelsea smile, or being branded with a tattoo of the word "PX," a Russian term signifying slave, etched onto their faces.

Faced with this cruel choice, the women opted for the tattoo, a permanent reminder of their captivity but one that spared them from further physical mutilation. Komin tattooed the phrase on their foreheads and under their eyes to stop any further attempts of escape.

Komin resorted to even more extreme measures. He fastened welded shackles to the bunker's walls, and each time before coming down the ladder, he would send a signal using a lamp. This was the women's cue to lock the shackles around their own necks, wrists, and ankles and to leave the keys in plain sight, ensuring their complete helplessness.

Under these horrific conditions, the production of garments continued relentlessly. Melan Coova labored to the point of exhaustion, barely sleeping or eating. On one occasion, the demand was huge, and Komin forced her to make 32 dresses within a single day. Vera, meanwhile, remained complicit, aiding in the hunt for new victims to sustain their grim operation.

But then unexpectedly, Vera vanished and did not return. Komin felt confident that the terror he had instilled in Vera was enough to silence her forever. He believed that no matter where she fled, she wouldn't dare expose him. So he made no effort to pursue her. His assumption proved correct. Vera chose not to reveal the horrors she had endured. She attempted to disappear into a new life, leaving the other captives alone to face the brutalities without any hope of being rescued.

With Vera now gone, Komin and Mikheyev spoke again about what to do. As usual, the plan was to search for more captives. komin set his sights on markets and train stations again, and in early 1996, he encountered a young woman who fit his vile criteria. She was shy, had a nice figure, and looked desperate. Komin engaged her in conversation, lured her to his garage with the promise of food, a place to rest, and, most importantly, employment. His method was ruthless and familiar: a drink laced with substances, followed by abduction to the bunker.

The latest victim of his horrific plan was 27-year-old Tatiana Nazim, who unbeknownst to Komin , was struggling mentally. Having fled her home years prior due to her issues with it, despite his efforts to train her on the sewing machines and garment making, Nazim lacked the skill and mental ability for tailoring.

Komin did have some use for her still. She was relegated to the role of intimate mistress, a further indignity amidst her captivity. She would have to pleasure Komin and Mikheyev at their will, replacing the role of the missing Vera. Meanwhile, the garments were selling well on the market, demand was high, and Komin and Mikheyev began to eye an expansion into new territories.

They forced the captives to craft robes for priests and other religious garments. They produced large, intricate flags and items intended for public institutions like the police. However, these entities, citing budget constraints, declined the purchase of these products. But Komin and Mikheyev were now making money from the forced labor of others, and expansion was on their minds. They constructed a cucumber farm, equipping it with heating for year-round cultivation, and forced their captives into farming the crops. Before long, a bountiful harvest grew, which fetched a good profit for the duo.

Then, they expanded into including potatoes. However, production hit a snag when the occupant of a neighboring garage raised complaints about the excessive heat, which had become too much to bear. Alarmed by the risk of discovery, Komin and Mikheyev ended their operation immediately, going back to the bunker and making garments.

Komin, while wandering the markets, bumped into Vera. He pretended to be happy to see her again and offered to give her a share in the factory's profits if she became his partner and kept the bunker a secret. Vera agreed and even offered to bring a new slave to show her loyalty. This new person was 22-year-old Enen Ganina. She had been looking for flats to move into with her boyfriend. She had gone to a viewing alone, and this is when she met Vera, who was leasing the flat on behalf of the landlord.

Arena, a young mother seeking a better life for herself and her daughter, who was being cared for by relatives, was in desperate need of work. Her limited education and lack of experience had hindered her job search. Vera exploited her vulnerability, offering her a connection to a potential employer, and she then gave her a drink with the mixed substance, quickly rendering Arena unconscious. Ver called Komin , and together they took her to the bunker. When Arena awoke a few hours later, she was terrified by the situation but relieved to see Mikheyev, whom she knew growing up. She thought she was going to be saved. She asked Mikheyev for help, but he refused and instead essayed her.

It's difficult to imagine how Irana must have felt after this happened. This is one of the most harrowing situations I have come across. Komin's encounter with Vera in the marketplace was not genuine. After introducing Arena to the horrors of the bunker, Komin set out to seek revenge on Vera. He had no intention of sharing profits. His true aim was to make an example of her, to instill fear amongst other captives.

Komin tied Vera to the table with which the garments were usually made on. He silenced her over a gag and began to thrust needles beneath her fingernails. The agony was so intense that Vera lost consciousness. Komin then tried to force Melan Coova to finish the vile act by injecting Vera with antifreeze. Melan Coova did not want to but feared the repercussions if she did not comply. But Vera, in a final act of defiance and to prevent Melan Coova from becoming a murderer, chose to drink the antifreeze herself, sparing the other women from the burden of murder.

Vera's death lasted a grueling 15 hours of pure pain as the poison passed through her body. Once she had died, Komin and Mikheyev simply disposed of her in a nearby river.

By March 1997, Tatiana Nazim's condition deteriorated. Symptoms of her mental illness, alongside leukemia, made her gravely ill. Nazim needed a lot of professional care, and Komin deemed her a liability. The other captives pleaded for her release to seek hospital treatment, arguing that given her state, she would not be credible if she spoke out. Komin tested Nazim's grasp on reality, questioning her identity and her understanding of her circumstances. In her response, she identified herself as a student living in an intensive dressmaking course led by Alexander Komin. This sealed her fate in his eyes. He considered her a major risk.

So he starved her for days before cruelly ending her with injections of antifreeze. Nazim's remains were eventually discovered, and while her family was notified, her life on the street led authorities to conclude her death was a result of her untreated conditions, and no further investigation ensued.

Back in the bunker, Komin's interest in Arena grew into a twisted romance. She was young and appeared compliant, traits that appealed to him. Following Nazim's death, Komin held a celebration within the bunker, indulging in sweet treats in an attempt to woo Arena. This had obviously never happened before. Arena was terrified by the situation, but soon she faced a crucial decision. When Komin left, the other women urged her to reciprocate Colan's advances. They saw it as a strategy for survival and a good chance to escape.

Arena played her part convincingly, penning poems that Komin, in his delusion, believed were written for him. Her words were actually written for her boyfriend back home. But when Komin read them, it moved him to tears. He fell deeply in love with Arena.

Komin, now under Arena's influence, revealed his grandiose and depraved vision for the future: an underground kingdom of enslaved women forced to bear his children. He envisioned Arena as his official wife and made several attempts to conceive a child with her, resorting to grotesque methods like artificial insemination with a turkey baster when natural methods failed.

Using her influence over Komin, Arena persuaded him that the bunker's conditions were not a good place to conceive and that they should try elsewhere. Arena said, "Almost immediately, he explained his feelings to me. He said he wanted to marry me. In turn, I asked that there be no more harassment of other women, even if they don't meet his expectations. He started bringing us normal food. He asked Tatiana to make me a beautiful dress. I didn't have my own clothes. He took me upstairs to breathe fresh air. However, he immediately warned me that there was no point in shouting. No one would hear me anyway. I decided I would play along. I had to pretend. It was very difficult to pretend that I liked a murderer, a man who forces himself on women, a maniac. But I had no choice. He kept asking me if I loved him, and I said yes. I still don't know how he didn't suspect anything."

In April 1997, Komin took Arena out of the bunker and brought her to live with him in his flat. Now, I need to let you know what Komin's life was like on the outside. He was a very mundane character. He had no job, lived in a shared flat, and claimed benefits. Neither his family nor his friends had any idea what was going on. Then, all of a sudden, he brings this young woman to live with him in the flat, and then they get married.

Koimin kept a constant presence around Arena, never allowing her a moment's peace. He monitored her communications, ensuring she maintained contact with family and friends under the pretense that all was well. He even saw to that.

Arena officially ended her relationship with her boyfriend. Then one day, while walking together, the new couple bumped into Arena's parents. Komin came across as well-mannered and insisted that they got together so they could get to know each other. They soon met at Arena's parents' house. Komin had a knife, and he told her that if she did not play along with him, then he would murder her parents and then her.

While chatting with her parents, he asked them for their blessing to marry their daughter. Komin's manipulation did not end there. He also convinced her parents to give over custody of Arena's 2-year-old daughter, who was being cared for by relatives. He made out that they were now going to be a happy family. But Arena recognized this for the manipulative tactic it was, effectively making her daughter another hostage in his sick game of control. But in this moment, she had no choice but to go along with it. She must have been raging inside.

The Escape and Aftermath

As the wedding got closer, Komin purchased a dress for Arena, and they set a date for the ceremony. But fate intervened when Arena's grandfather passed away. Komin was superstitious and believed this to be a bad omen. So he decided to delay the wedding.

All the while, Arena's desperation to escape grew, especially as Komin told her of his plans for the women in the bunker. Arena had been cooking food for the women, and Komin would take it to them. But he told her one time to poison their food. He wanted rid of them. But Arena refused. His backup plan, however, was even worse: to bury the women alive by filling the bunker with earth and leaving them to suffocate.

Arena needed to find a way out, and fast. Opportunity struck when Komin, who had undergone a small operation and needed to stay in the hospital for a few hours, left Arena alone at home for the first time. Seizing the moment on July 21st, 1997, Komin, preoccupied with his recovery, allowed Arena to take her daughter to the doctors by herself. This unprecedented level of trust presented Arena with the chance she had been waiting for, a chance to break free from the nightmare and save not only herself and her daughter, but also the women still trapped in the bunker.

With the small sum of money left by Komin, Arena took her moment. She rushed to the bus stop, paranoid that she was being followed and that this was some kind of test. But she made her way directly to the police station. When she got there, she told the officers about the entire ordeal. But sadly, she was dismissed. Officers thought she made the entire thing up and told her to stop watching so many horror films.

Shocked but not defeated, Arena went to the criminal investigation department. There, she requested to speak with an old acquaintance. Once in their office, she saw photos of the captive women on a notice board for missing people. She told the officer about her harrowing ordeal and pointed to the photos of the missing women. This time, the officer believed her and ensured Arena and her daughter were in a place of safety. They immediately dispatched a team to the garage.

Komin was quickly apprehended. They located the bunker's entrance, but Komin continued to deny the accusations. Arena had warned the officers about the deadly voltage on the ladders at the entrance of the bunker, so the police officer threatened that if he were harmed,Komin would face charges for a police officer's murder. Komin then turned off the power supply, paving the way for the rescue of the women and the unraveling of Komin and 'Mikheyevs reign of terror.

Upon exiting the bunker, the two women, Melan Coova and Kuzikov, had to shield their eyes, cover their faces, and protect themselves upon entering daylight for the first time in over 2 years.

Following the arrest, Komin admitted to the heinous acts but framed his actions as charitable. He claimed to provide shelter and food for those who had none. The case hit the headlines immediately, and a wave of disbelief and horror fell over the people who thought they knew Alexander Komin. They were confronted with the chilling reality that stood in stark contrast. His friends and neighbors struggled to comprehend how such an ordinary person could mask the truth of his hideous behavior.

Mikheyev was also arrested and took no responsibility for his actions, professing love for his wife and children. Mikheyev painted himself as a reluctant participant, forced into compliance by his fear of what Alexander might do to his loved ones, to which he claimed Komin had threatened.

When Melan Coova and Kuzikov publicly revealed their tattooed faces on television, local authorities set up bank accounts to fund tattoo removal, estimated to cost $400. Tragically, there were no donations, reflecting a lack of empathy from the public. Some even unjustly blamed the victims for what happened.

In June 1999, the trial against Alexander Komin commenced. He received a life sentence, while Mikheyev was sentenced to 20 years. Komin never truly expressed remorse, saying his only regret was not marrying Arena and not carrying his plans through to the end.

Just days after the sentencing, on July 15th, 1999, Komin ended everything in his cell by cutting a major artery in his groin.

The Aftermath for the Women

The aftermath for the women is perhaps the saddest part of this case for me. They were shunned from society and lived through particularly cruel hardship. The past haunted them wherever they went. They had no chance of employment and no chance at a normal life. Melan Coova was particularly devastated by her experiences. She found herself unable to recover. She resorted to begging and scavenging for food in people's bins. She died only a few years after being released from the bunker and spent all that time on the streets. She was found lifeless amongst the rubbish she had been reduced to sift through for survival.

However, although to begin with, Kuzikov also lived on the streets, by chance, a popular singer came across the story, and now there was finally someone to help. Moved by her plight, the singer financed the tattoo removals needed to remove the words "slave" off her face and secured a home for Kekova, which helped her have a fighting chance at a normal life. But sadly, despite these efforts, Kekova passed away less than 7 years after her release from the bunker.

Arena, on the other hand, managed to fare better. She managed to get a job and secure a home for herself and her daughter, although it was very tough. She survived and now has a large family and is very loved.

Mikheyev, after serving his sentence, was released in 2017 and retreated to a quiet life in Moscow. Insanely, a live TV debate brought Mikheyev face to face with Arena, where she publicly challenged his defense of being manipulated by Komin, accusing him of lying and being just as culpable as him. She said he took pleasure out of the women's suffering. Mikheyev passed away in 2020, and it's only Arena alive today who is part of those horrible crimes. But I'm glad she managed to find some happiness.

Thank you for reading.

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