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Russian Soldier Charged In Death Of Armenian Woman, Lawyers Say

Julieta Kazaryan, a Gyumri resident who passed away after being beaten up on the street.
Julieta Kazaryan, a Gyumri resident who passed away after being beaten up on the street.

A 23-year-old soldier serving at a Russian military base in Armenia has been charged with beating an Armenian woman to death, lawyers for the victims' daughter say.

Julieta Ghukasian, 57, was attacked on a street in Armenia's northwestern city of Gyumri and died during her transfer to a local hospital early on December 2.

She worked as a street sweeper in Armenia's second-largest city, which is home to the headquarters of Russia's 102nd military base.

Armenian prosecutors have so far refused to give any details about the criminal investigation or the suspect's age, name, or whereabouts.

However, lawyers for the victim's daughter, Anahit, told RFE/RL that the soldier, identified by the initials A.R., had been charged by Armenian prosecutors with brutal assault and involuntary manslaughter.

The lawyers said A.R. is being held at the Russian base despite being prosecuted under Armenian law.

The soldier's Armenian attorney, Narine Rshtuni, has confirmed the information.

The cause of the attack remains unclear.

The suspect was arrested on December 10 in connection with Ghukasian's violent death.

Under Armenia's Criminal Code, such crimes are punishable by between five and 10 years in prison.

In 2015, another Russian soldier murdered seven members of an Armenian family in Gyumri. A local court in August 2016 sentenced Private Valery Permyakov to life in prison.

Permyakov was held in detention at the Russian base before and during his trial. He was transferred to Russia to serve his sentence.