An Armenian man reportedly suffering from mental disorders was formally charged on Tuesday with stabbing to death a Russian soldier in Gyumri.
The 21-year-old soldier, Dmitry Yalpayev, was found dead outside a shop in Armenia’s second largest city on Saturday. According to Armenian law-enforcement authorities, he sustained eight stab wounds to his back, neck and head.
Shortly afterwards, a 20-year-old resident of Stepanavan, a small town 85 kilometers east of Gyumri, was detained as a suspect in the slaying. The man, identified by Armenia’s Investigative Committee as A. Janjughazian, was formally charged and remanded in pre-trial custody.
“The suspect has been interrogated and has given testimony in connection with the incident,” the committee said in a statement. “Necessary investigative actions are being conducted with the purpose of verifying circumstances pointed out in the testimony.”
“A preliminary investigation has established that the suspect has certain problems with mental health,” added the statement.
The law-enforcement agency also confirmed media reports that Janjughazian was discharged from the Armenian military last month after being diagnosed with “certain mental disorders.” It said he underwent psychiatric evaluation during his compulsory service due to several incidents of self-mutilation.
In a letter sent to his Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu sent on Sunday, Defense Minister Vigen Sargsian offered his condolences in connection with the Russian soldier’s death. Sargsian assured Shoygu that Armenian authorities are taking “all steps” to solve the murder and “punish the guilty.”
Gyumri is home to the headquarters of a Russian military base stationed in Armenia. The base is thought to have up to 4,000 soldiers.