Police are investigating whether tragic deaths of two Russian half-sisters were linked to notorious so-called Blue Whale suicide ‘game’. Maria Vinogradova 12 years old and her sibling Anastasia Svetozarova 15 years old were found dead on a snowy pavement beneath their apartment block in Izhevsk. They are believed to have jumped from ten-storey rooftop.
Maria is known to have been ‘upset and depressed’ when girls’ mother took her to a gynaecologist after she allegedly began a relationship with an underage boy called Dmitry. The mother was ‘furious’ about her boyfriend. Anastasia was also told by friends to be ‘depressed’.
Hundreds of Russian children and teenagers are feared to have taken their lives in recent years after being brainwashed by sick online mentors to complete 50 steps which culminates in suicide. Blue Whale and other similar online death groups are told by police to prey on depressed young people. Police are to study girls’ phones and computers for any traces that such suicide groups had sought to exploit their emotions or guide them towards taking their lives.
Seconds before she died, Maria posted a picture of her boyfriend and a message to him with smiles and hearts telling ‘Forgive me, please. I love you so much. ‘I know you will find somebody better than me.’
Anastasia recorded a video in which she told ‘Good bye to everyone! I love you all! This is true. Love you very very much.’
Four months ago Major-General Alexey Moshkov, head of anti-computer crime K department in Russian Interior Ministry, warned that in 2017 a total of 1339 online suicide groups had been uncovered, with an audience of more than 12’000 users and over 200’000 posts. He revealed 230 criminal cases have been opened and 19 masterminds, called ‘curators’ or ‘administrators’, are so far detained. These masterminds pick on vulnerable and unhappy young people on web and in case of deadly Blue Whale game, get them to complete tasks often involving self-harm and exhaustion.