Territory of monsters “Black Dolphin” – the most terrible prison in Russia. Maniacs, cannibals and terrorists live here.
It is believed that the prison, on the site of which the Black Dolphin arose centuries later, was created in Catherine’s time – after the suppression of the rebellion led by Emelyan Pugachev in 1773. Then the authorities needed a place where they could send the rebels. Since the Pugachev uprising began on the territory of the current Orenburg region, a prison arose there. It was created in the fortress of Iletsk Protection – today the city of Sol-Iletsk is located there.
However, according to some reports, by the time the Pugachev rebellion was suppressed, convicts were already kept in that area, who had been exiled there since 1756, even under Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. The main occupation of the exiles was to work in the local salt mines, and the arrested Pugachevites picked salt here until the end of their days.
In 1893, the prison in the Iletsk Protection was transformed into the Iletsk prison department, designed for 400 people. The prisoners who found themselves there sewed official clothes, made boots and felt boots, burned alabaster for plastering buildings, and in the warm season worked in the gardens. But they were no longer engaged in salt mining: this was partly facilitated by the case when a convict, exhausted by hard work in the mines, killed the clerk of the industry.
The convicts in the Iletsk prison department were distributed according to their religion and belonging to one or another class. But everyone was punished for violations of the regime in the same way: both a peasant and a tradesman could receive the prescribed number of blows with rods.
From drunkards to maniacs
In 1905, the Iletsk prison department was transformed into a transit prison, and it worked in this mode until the 1917 revolution. With the advent of the Bolsheviks and until 1942, the institution was called the Iletsk concentration camp. Deserters, White Guard accomplices from the civilian population and the military, who were caught drinking, were kept there. Some of them managed to atone for their guilt with a quality repair of the prison building: after its completion, in 1919, the first batch of prisoners was amnestied.
In those years, those who did not pose a particular danger were sent to the Iletsk camp – deserters, idlers, alcoholics and speculators. The conditions of detention were very humane: the prisoners ate on a par with the jailers and could go outside the institution. But over time, a more serious contingent was brought to Iletsk: cadets from Kolchak’s army or prisoners of war in the Soviet-Polish war of 1919-1921. Of course, they no longer had soft conditions – and soon the Iletsk prisoners were again involved in the extraction of salt.
In 1942, the status of the correctional institution changed again: now it was called the Sol-Iletsk prison of the NKVD No. 2 for the maintenance of persons under investigation. In 1953, it was transferred to the department of the Internal Affairs , and in 1965 it became a haven exclusively for convicts with an open form of tuberculosis.
its current status of a special regime penal colony , where convicts are kept for long terms up to life, only in 2000. Before delivering the first batch of convicts to the territory of correctional colony (IK) No. 6 – this is the official name of the Black Dolphin, they carried out a major overhaul and installed a modern tracking system. In addition, the cells were equipped with additional bars at the entrance to enhance the safety of personnel.
The perimeter of the colony was also fortified: additional checkpoints appeared there. In part, this measure was a response to the mass escape in 1967, when the prisoners dug under the prison wall. And considering who is sitting in the Black Dolphin today, any escape from there is a serious danger.
Zeks in bags
The Black Dolphin colony got its informal name after a sculpture of this animal appeared on its territory. It was made by the rapist and murderer Vladimir Krishtopa, who in 1996 was sentenced to death for the murder of two people (replaced for life) and spent some time in IK No. 6.
Krishtopa and his cellmates, as a creative initiative, sculpted a dolphin using papier-mache technique and painted it with black paint – the only one that was found at that time in the colony. The prison administration liked the craft: it was installed in the yard and turned into a fountain.
True, the prisoners themselves do not see the main prison attraction. Despite the fact that the path from the paddy wagon lies past the sculpture, the convicts are led to the territory of the colony with a black bag on their heads. This is done for two reasons.
The first is to disorient the convicts and prevent them from remembering the location of objects. The second is to protect them: around the colony there are several multi-storey buildings that can accommodate snipers. Not all relatives of the victims consider life imprisonment a sufficient punishment, and some of the prisoners know more than their accomplices, who remained at large, would like. Therefore, so that the potential killer could not identify his victim, everyone is put on black canvas bags.
Today, the Black Dolphin, consisting of two three-story buildings, is the largest special regime colony in Russia. About 900 people are kept there, despite the fact that IK No. 6 is able to accept twice as many. There are about the same number of jailers in the colony as there are prisoners. They call their wards among themselves “wasps” – from the word “condemned”.
The contingent of the “Black Dolphin” – robbers, maniacs, cannibals, terrorists and the creators of organized criminal groups (OCG), which account for a total of three thousand ruined lives. One of the most terrible characters is the cannibal Vladimir Nikolaev from Novocheboksarsk (Chuvashia), who committed two murders. In 1997, he dealt with his drinking companion, after which he dismembered the victim in order to pack the body parts into bags and discreetly take them out of the apartment. But hungry, Nikolaev cut off a piece of flesh, boiled it and ate it.
Nikolaev already deliberately killed his second friend: he wanted to eat and sell meat in order to earn money for drinking. The cannibal was exposed by his acquaintance, to whom Nikolaev gave part of the meat of the alleged saiga. The wife of a friend made dumplings from this meat and treated the guests – but the taste of the filling, according to one of the guests, was very different from saiga meat, and the hosts gave the dumplings for examination. What happened to people when they found out that they ate human flesh is not known for certain.
Vladimir Nikolaev was sentenced to death, which was replaced by a life term due to the moratorium. At one time, the convict sat in a double cell, and, according to the cannibal, he had a good relationship with his cellmate. Another cannibal from the Black Dolphin is Alexander Maslich, a resident of the Altai Territory, who killed four people. Moreover, one of the victims was his cellmate, with whom Maslich was in the Rubtsovsk colony. Having strangled a neighbor, the killer cut out the insides of him, which he boiled and ate right in the cell, and then washed down with the blood of the victim. This offense forever deprived him of the opportunity to get out on parole.
Oleg Rylkov, the tormentor and murderer of children, spends his life in the Black Dolphin “Togliatti Ripper”. From 1993 to 1997, he raped 37 (according to other sources – 39) underage girls and committed four murders (three children and one woman). When Rylkov was asked what he felt during his crimes, he replied: “No matter how blasphemous it sounds, but something like that … The highest pleasure, or something.”
Another maniac from the Black Dolphin, whose name still terrifies the inhabitants of the Rostov region, is Vladimir Mukhankin. The mother named him after Lenin, not even suspecting that a completely different person would be the ideal for her son – Andrei Chikatilo , whose terrible crimes Mukhankin decided to surpass. In the first half of 1995, he killed eight people. From some of his victims, the maniac cut out the internal organs, which he then put in his bed. A serial killer was caught after he was identified by a miraculously surviving girl.
The fourth maniac of IK No. 6 is the serial killer and rapist Vadim Ershov, who operated in the period from 1992 to 1995 in the Krasnoyarsk Territory; 19 people became its victims. Ershov committed his first crime while serving in the army: unable to withstand hazing, he beat his offender with a brick and stabbed him several times, after which he deserted from the unit. In the wild, the maniac began to attack women, most of whom he robbed, raped and killed. He certainly would have killed more – but the case helped. Ershov attacked a 16-year-old girl in the entrance, and a neighbor ran out to her screams and hit the maniac on the head with a fire extinguisher. He lost consciousness – and fell into the hands of the police.
former investigator from Yekaterinburg Sergei Vinogradov , is Yershov’s neighbor in the colony. In the early 90s, using his official position, he entered the apartment of two local residents, mother and daughter, and strangled them both. And then Vinogradov began dating a resident of Yekaterinburg, who had a nine-year-old daughter – the girl became another victim of the investigator. They wanted to entrust him with the investigation of this case, but Vinogradov refused. Some oddities in his behavior aroused the suspicions of his colleagues – and the investigation ended with accusations.
Mikhail Ivantsov , another killer from the Black Dolphin, out of jealousy, committed reprisals against his pregnant wife. He killed a woman in front of his six-year-old son. What happened did not have the best effect on the mental development of the child. Already at the age of 15, he received a five-year sentence for the first crime. According to some reports, he was not going to stop – but all because he wanted to get to his father. In Black Dolphin.
No chance for forgiveness
In addition to cannibals and maniacs, there are many extremists in IK No. 6 who have committed high-profile terrorist attacks. One of them is Isa Zainudinov, who recently turned 80 years old. In 1999, Zainudinov became one of the perpetrators of blowing up a residential building in Buynaksk (Dagestan). The attack killed 64 people. Another perpetrator of this crime, Alisultan Salikhov, is also in the Black Dolphin.
Another convicted terrorist from IK No. 6, 55-year-old Tamarlan Aliyev, blew up a house in Makhachkala in 1998 – then 19 people died and more than 90 were injured. Aliyev is considered an extremely dangerous criminal, prone to escape. Law enforcement agencies faced this in 2001 – the extremist was taken to an investigative experiment in Buynaksk, where he worked. Once in the local pre-trial detention center, Aliyev escaped from there, but was soon caught.
The company in the Black Dolphin is Oleg Kostarev, a nationalist and former chemistry student who, in August 2006, blew up a homemade bomb on the Cherkizovsky market in Moscow. On that day, 14 people died, 61 were injured.
By the way, in order for the employees of IK No. 6 not to forget who they are guarding, at the entrance to each cell there are signs listing all the crimes of the convicts.
Life by the clock
The whole life of the Black Dolphin convicts is subject to a strict daily routine. Having risen at 06:00, the prisoners fill the bunks and wash. In addition to a washbasin and a bed, the standard cells of IK No. 6 are equipped with a mirror, a toilet bowl, a table, a stool and a bedside table. Convicts must keep all state property in perfect cleanliness, as well as their clothes and shoes; the latter in the Black Dolphin is only allowed to be worn without laces – just in case.
Breakfast starts at 06:30. While eating, you can listen to the radio, on which religious preachers who have specially arrived in the colony often speak – conversion to faith among life-sentenced prisoners is not uncommon. At 07:15, after breakfast, sockets are turned on in the colony: convicts can use razors or boil water. Those who did not have time are late: at exactly 08:00, the sockets are turned off, and the check begins.
When the door to the cell opens, the prisoner is obliged to face the wall, put his hands behind his back, raise them up with their palms turned outward, give his name and all the articles under which he is serving a sentence. Then follows the command to turn around and approach the grate separating the entrance from the main room of the cell. “Yes, citizen chief” is a phrase that the prisoners memorize in the early days; they are obliged to pronounce it after each demand from the overseers.
Inspection of the cell begins at the moment when handcuffs are tightly snapped on the hands of the inmate. To do this, the prisoner, turning his back, puts his hands in a small window in the bars. Then the convict is taken out into the corridor. There, in addition to the jailers, he is met by a cynologist with a dog: animals for this service have been trained for many years in the nursery at the Black Dolphin. The life of dogs is sometimes in real danger: once an aggressive convict tried to strangle a shepherd dog, but the guards prevented this.
Meanwhile, out of the entire Black Dolphin contingent, about 160 people are registered with a psychiatrist. The problems here are different. For example, one of the convicts refused to get out of bed in the morning: he assured the doctor that his legs had been stolen from him at night. Others suddenly begin to howl or sing songs.
Life of a special regime
As an additional precaution, the prisoners are led in a crouched position and handcuffed. They move around the territory of the colony blindfolded (for disorientation) in the company of two escorts and a cynologist with a dog. The handcuffs are removed from the convicts only in the chapel – so that they can be baptized – and in the shower. True, prisoners wash only in a special cage.
Every day at 09:00 a medical round begins in the Black Dolphin – the prison doctor monitors the health of convicts every day. At 10:00, those of them whose condition was found to be satisfactory go for a walk to warm up. True, there is no prison yard in IK No. 6, so the promenade takes place in a small cage just a few meters long. While the prisoners are “walking”, the jailers carefully search their cells. The walk lasts 1.5 hours – then the convicts return to their cells and while away the time until lunch.
Lunch lasts from 13:00 to 13:50. They feed the prisoners without frills – they eat here mainly soup and bread. Of course, there are no canteens in the Black Dolphin, food is delivered to the cells in tin bowls, which the kitchen staff push through a small window on special shovels with a long handle. It is strictly forbidden to approach the food “portal” from the outside – this can cost the kitchen employee at least health, or even life.
After lunch, the wasps start cleaning their cells. Then – listening to the radio until 17:00 and dinner at 18:00. An evening check follows, and at 20:30 the sockets in the cells are turned on again. The convicts of the “Black Dolphin” go to bed at 22:00.
Window to TV
From the moment you wake up until the end of the day, it is strictly forbidden to sit on the bunk, and even more so to lie down. After the lights out, the ban is lifted, but you have to sleep with a bright light burning around the clock, head to the door – as required by the rules of the Black Dolphin. You can’t cover yourself with your head: this is regarded as a violation of discipline, entailing punishment. All the actions of the convicts are monitored by the jailers 24 hours a day with the help of video surveillance, which is conducted in each cell.
There are very few options for having fun in IK No. 6. It is strictly forbidden for convicts to smoke – for this they are immediately awaited by an insulator. A small indulgence is the opportunity to watch TV. To do this, it is necessary to spend at least 10 years in the Black Dolphin, and relatives must buy a TV set for the convict. Not everyone has them: many relatives turn away from them when they learn about what they have done.
You can pass the time watching programs for 4 hours 15 minutes a day. At the same time, the prison authorities reserve the choice of content: prisoners watch only central channels and only programs that do not contain scenes of violence. And no advertising – videos are blocked using special programs. But this is more of a privilege than a limitation.
In addition, convicts are not forbidden to read, but chess is strictly prohibited in the colony for security reasons – it is possible that one of the “wasps” will try to swallow the figure in order to then get into a hospital bed. To be in the infirmary, where more lenient rules apply, is the cherished dream of almost every convict in the Black Dolphin.
With dreams of freedom
The most dangerous of the prisoners of IK No. 6 are in solitary confinement. Those convicts whom psychologists recognize as not dangerous to other prisoners share cells with their neighbors – double and even quadruple cells are designed for this. However, there is no particular joy for the inmates in this: they are forbidden to have conversations with their cellmates. The most they can do is to exchange a couple of phrases.
It is clear that with such serious security measures, the escape from the Black Dolphin becomes something out of the realm of fantasy – although there have been, and have been, such attempts more than once. In 2016, the media were quick to announce that the first prisoner in its history had escaped from IK No. 6 – they allegedly became 32-year-old Alexander Alexandrov , convicted of robbery. In fact, he was serving his sentence not in the Black Dolphin itself, but in a colony-settlement under it.
… As for the colony itself, many of those who are there do not part with the dream of one day being free. Theoretically, the chances of this, surprisingly, are: under current law, life-sentenced prisoners can apply for parole (PAROLE) after 25 years behind bars. A prerequisite for this is the absence of comments, starting from the 22nd year of his release.
Many of the life-sentenced “Black Dolphin” asked to be released on parole – but so far no one has succeeded. They say that judges by default refuse such petitioners. That is why the colony in Sol-Iletsk is still the place where prisoners can leave only in one case – after death.