A silver medalist mountain runner has described the terrifying moment her husband kidnapped her at knifepoint and smuggled her out of her apartment.
Elena Rukhlyada, 34, from the city of Novosibirsk in southern Russian, said she is still scared for her a life one year after the attack by her husband and former special forces officer, Yaroslav Fokin, 35.
“He always tried to limit me, in all terms. He was very jealous, that’s why, despite having two boys with him, I decided to separate from him, but he continued watching me,” she told national newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
On July 18 last year, Elena said Fokin came into her apartment, where she was with a friend called Maxim, and started threatening her with a knife.
“I was very scared at that moment because about a month before he had got mad and told me ‘I’ll kill you. Slowly.’ That’s why I decided to not fight back. He tied up both Maxim and I by our hands and taped our mouths with tape,” the sportswoman, who is well-known in the area for winning the silver medal in the 2011 Mountain Running World Championship, said.
She said her husband then put her into a hockey bag that he had bought with him and carried her down the stairs.
“I was trying to chew the tape to release myself but understood that there was no way I could escape. I thought it was the end,” she said.
CCTV footage shows the moment that Fokin leaves the apartment while wheeling the hockey bag with his tied up wife inside.
Fokin put the bag into Maxim's car, whose keys he had taken from the apartment.
The former special forces officer then took Elena to a riverbank where a rubber dingy he had previously left there was waiting.
“I did not interfere as he was evil and could use the knife. He brought me to a place in the forest and presented me with flowers like it was a romantic date,” Elena said.
After the athlete was reported missing, the police began a search and found her, and fortunately found the 34-year-old unharmed.
Fokin reportedly tried to escape but was detained by officers.
He was found guilty of kidnapping by the Zaeltsovsky District Court and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in a maximum-security prison.
Elena says she is concerned about what will happen when Fokin leaves prison.
“I don’t need any money or alimony from him. I want to think that he simply doesn’t exist. It’s scary when you can’t even freely walk outside your house without someone watching you,” she said.
There has been no further information from the Russian authorities about what will happen when he is released.
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