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Old 05-05-2015, 10:00 AM   #223
Join Date: Nov 2011
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A Synchronicity of Dead Russians in Edinburgh.

First we have Daria Kuchuk, 35, and boyfriend Igor Pavlov, 27

THE first photograph of the Russian couple who died in a cyanide suicide pact in an Edinburgh hotel room has been released as it emerged that a note found with their bodies told how they had ended their lives because of crippling debts.

The picture shows Daria Kuchuk, 35, and boyfriend Igor Pavlov, 27, as they pose on holiday somewhere in the UK with Mr Pavlov’s parents, Alexander and Tatanya, several years ago.

Their bodies were found in a room at the Scotsman Hotel on the city’s North Bridge on 1 August after they died of “toxicity” from a mixture of cyanide and nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.

The couple had become swamped with debt after a failed business venture. A note left by the pair told how they had fallen into serious financial difficulties after their business – believed to be related to the sale of old films – collapsed.

A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry press centre said the couple had not been married, but had lived together for a “considerable time”. A spokesman said: “Both had been living in the United Kingdom for several years and both had permanent residence in the UK. British police are convinced it was suicide and we have no reason not to trust their judgement.

“It is known that a final note was left at the scene and the reason for suicide was given as follows – they failed in starting a business in the UK and faced serious financial difficulties because of this. This is not a quote from the note, but just the explanation.”

A friend of Ms Kuchuk’s was quoted as paying tribute to her friend, who received a degree in late antique and Byzantine studies from Oxford University.

“I remember her as a really clever girl, very good, nothing bad at all,” she said, adding that Ms Kuchuk’s mother had been upset that she dedicated herself to Mr Pavlov’s business, rather than working on her own. “You could say she was unearthly with her head in the clouds.”

The interesting thing not mentioned in the piece is that the police entered the hotle room they were staying in wearing Hazmat suits.

Now the couple were found on the 1st August 2013.

Which leads me to...Yulia Solodyankina

The body of the 22-year-old was discovered in a remote wood near the A83 west of Arrochar by a passer-by last Thursday.

Ms Solodyankina, who was studying physics at Edinburgh University, was reported missing on 12 June last year, sparking a nationwide missing persons hunt.

Police last night confirmed the remains were the student’s and said her parents, who live in Moscow, have been informed. There are no suspicious circumstances concerning her death, they said.

A spokesman for the Find Yulia campaign, set up after she vanished, said: “No words can express the sadness we feel regarding the death of our friend Yulia.

“We feel blessed to have spent the time that we did with her.

“Yulia was full of energy, a beautiful dancer, caring friend and a kind and gentle soul. Our thoughts go out to her family and loved ones.

“We would like to thank the thousands of people involved in the Find Yulia campaign. We feel overwhelmed by the number of people who offered their support and sent kind words.

“It has been heartening to realise how many people really care. We would encourage anyone struggling or feeling a sense of desperation to reach out for help and support.

He added: “We miss Yulia so much and will never forget her.”

Last night her friend Washu McWatt said: “I wish I saw Yulia in Glasgow that day, I would have spoken to her and told her how beautiful and intelligent she was and no degree would need to prove it.”

Members of the Find Yulia campaign had complained about the time it was taking police to formally to identify the remains after they were found.

Police sources had revealed they had faced considerable difficulty obtaining a reliable sample of Yulia’s DNA which they could match to the badly composed remains.

Ms Solodyankina, originally from Moscow, disappeared after learning she had failed her fourth and final year.

And at the time of her disappearance her boyfriend, Antoine Dao, described her as feeling “very stressed” after her final exams.

The Russian had not been in contact with friends or family since 6 June after leaving a bar in the centre of Edinburgh at around 9pm.

The last recorded sighting was captured on CCTV at Buchanan Street bus station in Glasgow at 4:55pm on 7 June.

Due to the location of the discovery, there had been some speculation the body was that of missing Edinburgh bookkeeper Suzanne Pilley, who disappeared in May 2010.
Yulia supposedly went missing about a month and a half before the supposed suicide at The Scotsman hotel.

Secondly, Yulia was found dead by two people who till this day have never been identifed by the police and the media. Who were they and what were they doing in that part of Scotland in the first place? (Shades of Dr David Kelly)

Now i thought that this might be just a fluke, but this type of stuff happened in Glasgow too...

It was shortly after 10am on Sunday that Graham Galbraith and Carol Craig were woken by police, who told them that their next door neighbours had jumped to their deaths from the balcony of their high-rise flat.

When the couple looked over their own balcony on the 15th floor of 63 Petershill Drive in Glasgow's Red Road estate, they saw three bodies on the small square of grass below.

"They were right next to each other," said Galbraith. "Two of them side by side, and one just a bit away. We hadn't heard a thing."

There was little the couple could tell the authorities about their neighbours, not even their names. The father, mother and adult son had only moved in on 2 February, one of 670 asylum-seeking families temporarily housed in the cluster of decaying tower blocks that dominate the skyline of this north-east corner of Glasgow. Here, they all but disappeared among the other residents.

But the case of Serge Serykh, his wife, Tatiana, and his stepson was remarkable, not least because they were Russian and, it has emerged, had sought asylum in the UK from Canada, a country which had already granted them leave to remain and which Serge Serykh would claim was trying to assassinate the Queen and attack him with secret radioactive weapons.

Officials say that with obvious psychological issues at play it would be wrong to make generalisations from one tragic incident. They say the family, whose application to stay in the UK had been rejected, had been told to vacate the flat on the day they died but were not under imminent threat of deportation or even eviction.

Campaigners, however, say the family's deaths highlight the brutality of an asylum system that leaves people homeless and destitute once their application has been turned down, and living in fear of the moment that UK Border Agency officials will turn up to deport them.

"This has exposed how barbaric the system is," says Robina Qureshi, director of the Glasgow charity Positive Action in Housing. "The Home Office has tried to skew this story by putting the blame on a dead family. We don't believe for a moment that psychological issues were the only reason for this. We believe they were driven to the brink by asylum policy."

Tomorrow residents from the Red Road area will march through Glasgow in memory of the Serykhs and in support of another asylum seeker, Stephanie Ovranah, and her five-year-old twins, Joshua and Joel, who were detained by border agency officials in Glasgow last week after five years in the UK and are due to be deported to Nigeria, a country the boys left as infants.

"They were treated like cattle," says Qureshi. "They were shoved in a van; the boys were still in their school uniform. They've got strong Glasgow accents. They miss their schoolfriends. And the Serykhs were considered credible in Canada. Shouldn't that be good enough for us? They were going to be out on the street, destitute. What would that do to your mental state?"

The Serykhs first arrived in the UK on 28 November 2007, seeking asylum immediately. They settled in the north-west London borough of Brent, not far from Heathrow airport. They found accommodation in a recently built block of high rise flats on Forty Lane directly opposite the town hall.

Serge Serykh told those helping him with his case that he was a member of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and had fled the country with his wife and stepson, arriving in Canada in 2000, aged 33. The young family were granted leave to remain in Canada as "protected persons", a form of refugee status, but they existed in a legal limbo in which they were neither Canadian nor permanent residents, but they had indefinite leave to stay in the country. Canadian officials believe they lived in Toronto, but it is also possible they spent some time in Montreal.

Among those attending asylum surgeries held by the Brent North MP Barry Gardiner, Serge Serykh stood out. On a Friday morning he wore a slightly dated suit and tie and, gripping an attache case, often choosing to stand for four or five hours at a time rather than sit with everyone else in the waiting area.

"He was 6ft 2in and had a striking military bearing – chest out," recalled Gardiner, who handled Serykh's claim for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. "He held himself very stiffly and upright. He was clearly physically very powerful. He was always clean-shaven, always had shiny shoes, which gave some credibility to the idea that he might have had some military background."

No evidence has emerged to confirm Serykh's claim that he was a Russian secret agent – the FSB, previously headed by Vladimir Putin, is a notoriously secretive organisation, not known for its willingness to disclose the identity of its operatives, or talk to the western press – but there has been some speculation in Russia, meanwhile, that the Serykhs's deaths may not have been suicide, following the demise of several prominent journalists and rights activists who fell to their deaths from high-rise Soviet tower blocks in recent years.

A press attache at the Russian embassy in London said they were still waiting for confirmation that the family was Russian. "We don't have the bodies and we don't have the documents. It would be useless to speculate whether they are from Russia or from other countries of the former Soviet Union."

The name Serykh originally comes from Siberia, but it is sufficiently common for Serykhs to be found across the vast Russian Federation.

Serykh insisted to Gardiner, however, that he had fled to Canada because the country offered him protection in return for "services rendered". He claimed that while in Canada he had uncovered a plot by the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, to kill Queen Elizabeth II. He became convinced that this made him a target for Canadian secret services, and that was ultimately the reason he said he needed to leave. He claimed Canadians and perhaps Russian agents had used psychotronic weapons against him. On one occasion he told Gardiner that he was being poisoned by someone sending anthrax in the mail. He brought the letters in a biscuit tin and the MP had them checked by House of Commons security experts, but no traces of poison were found.

Serykh later told a similar tale to the Glasgow Labour MP Willie Bain after the family moved to Scotland in the autumn of 2009. It was here, on 15 February this year, that the family's application for asylum in the UK was refused. As a result, their financial support and housing were withdrawn and they were told to leave the Red Road flat on 7 March, the day they died. The YMCA, which leases the Red Road building, said they would not have been evicted. They say the Serykhs were advised to make a fresh claim for asylum, and to seek temporary accommodation with the Scottish Refugee Council .

"I am not qualified to judge his mental health, but in layman's terms he had paranoia," said Barry Gardiner. "My overwhelming impression is that this was a tragedy that was always going to happen. He was not an ordinary person driven to suicide by the Kafkaesque immigration system, as some people seem to be suggesting."

But there is little sympathy for that view among the other residents of the Red Road. Six other asylum seekers have committed suicide in the Red Road flats since 2003, and mental health problems are prevalent among the asylum-seeking community with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder the most common complaints.

Those still caught up in the asylum process say the pressure can be unbearable. "How can three different people all decide that they want to die?" said Tracey, 21, from Nigeria, who lives in the same tower block as the Serykhs. "Something pushed them. I blame the Home Office. You are terrified they will come to the door. It is always in the morning that they come. For someone to commit suicide, they are choking, you know? They have reached a point where they can't take it anymore. How did these three people get to that stage?"

It should be noted i am not touching anything to do with Glasgow. If a forum member wants to start untangling the mess that is Glasgow, you are more than welcome...
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