Russian wrestling champ fatally stabbed during mass brawl

A little after sunrise on July 29, 2017, law enforcement officials were called to the scene of a mass brawl on the shores of…

By: Karim Zidan | 6 years ago
Russian wrestling champ fatally stabbed during mass brawl
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

A little after sunrise on July 29, 2017, law enforcement officials were called to the scene of a mass brawl on the shores of Lake Baikal in Buryatia, where a young athlete lay dead at the scene.

According to reports, Yury Vlasko, an amateur freestyle wrestler representing the Russian Federation, was found fatally wounded on the Southern Siberian shore. Police noted knife wounds on the 20-year-old’s body and later confirmed that his cause of death was a stab and slash wounds to the neck and head.

Though the details surrounding the brawl, its participants, and Vlasko’s death are vague, eyewitnesses were able to help piece together several of the details. Vlasko and his friends were on vacation in the region. One friend awoke Vlasko one night and told him that their friends were in trouble on the beach. Once they reached the shore, a brawl ensued between them and a handful of men believed to be local criminals.

During the fighting, one of the assailants fired a ‘traumatic gun’ (non-lethal handgun) at the ground, which halted the brawl. The locals fled the scene, and as they dispersed, Vlasko lay on the beach covered in blood. The wrestlers attempted to stop the bleeding while they waited for medical attention to arrive. According to one of the deceased’s friends, the ambulance never came.

“The police was waiting for the ambulance to arrive, and the shore service never came. Despite that fact that the accident took place not far from their building. In the end, 20 minutes later, the friends themselves put him it into some car, but it was already clear that it was too late,” an unnamed friend of Vlasko told Arigus TV (h/t CrimeRussia).

Reports from revealed that three of the men that faced Vlasko and his group – Radnazhab Ch., Evgeny B., and Vitaly T. – had been previously convicted for robberies. While law enforcement has already initiated a criminal case regarding the attack on Vlasko and identified a potential suspect, a senior official in the Buryatia police department revealed that “the investigation is complicated by the fact that there was a mass brawl.”

Vlasko was a Master of Sports in freestyle wrestling and two-time winner of the European Championship. His accomplishments include winning international tournaments in Iran and Turkey, as well as the Cup of Russia.

Yury Vlasko is also the son of the late Vladimir Vlasko, known in criminal circles under nickname Volodya Khokhol. The father was involved in illegal jade mining and controlled the transport routes in the Narodny market before being assassinated in 2010. His son, 13 years old at the time, only outlived him by seven years.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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