It has emerged that two 12-year-old girls who tragically died after falling from a high rise building were part of an internet “death group”.
Varvara Vlasova, a successful child model, and Valeria Shirshova, a rhythmic gymnast, made a short film from the top of the high-rise building in the city of Samara in south-west Russia.
The girls were classmates and were described as “excellent students” who came from “wealthy” families.
The two recorded the short film after school in the building where Varvara lived.
In the video, the two are smiling and then one of them says “nightmare”, before laughing.
According to Life media, law enforcement reported the two girls were part of a social media group which “set them tasks”.
Their parents believed the group was “associated with Harry Potter” and to be “harmless”, though detectives are actively checking the girls’ viewing habits.
"The parents of the girls told police that the girls were in a certain group on social networks,” Life reported.
“There they were given some tasks.
“But, according to the adults, they thought it was harmless, so they did not attach importance to the hobby of their daughters.”
ProGorod newspaper reported that Varvara and Valeria “had prepared for this, said goodbye to their classmates”.
"We just can't imagine what happened,” a friend told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
“The girls were smart and beautiful. They had no problems.”
The girls reportedly said on February 9 “something would happen” and they were known to watch the Japanese anime series ‘Death Note’.
There have been calls to ban the anime in Russia, following other deaths of young people.
In recent years, Russia has seen a spate of child and teenage “suicides” in which deaths have been linked to sinister online groups pushing vulnerable young people to take their own lives.
The so-called “death groups” prey on young people, setting tasks for them to complete, which become more and more dangerous.
Major-General Alexey Moshkov, head of anti-computer crime K department in the Russian Interior Ministry, has warned of thousands of online suicide groups.
Russia has sought to crackdown on the sinister trend, detaining dozens of masterminds.
- with Australscope
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