A 26-year-old woman with a child has been left homeless in the Sakhalin region after fellow villagers, accusing the widow of witchcraft, allegedly burnt her house, Russian media report.
Varvara Genatulina, whose husband committed suicide at the age of 38, has been accused of being responsible for the man’s death by neighbors in the Pobedino village.
Somehow, the suspicious villagers have also connected two other suicides in their community to the woman. They say, in 2004 a boy who went to school with Genatulina, killed himself. Recently, another local, whom the woman is said to have known, also committed suicide.
After the funeral of the latter, the widow was proclaimed a witch, and her house was burned to the ground. The fire wasn’t an accident, but arson, one of the locals, Oleg Vnukov said.
Vnukov decided to protect the now homeless woman and her child and addressed the issue with the Russian association of lawyers. Having written a letter to the organization to make the case public, the man blamed local authorities for not providing enough job opportunities in the region, making people desperate.
The lawyers said such cases of witch-hunts and inquisitions are not unusual for remote rural areas with low levels of employment and poor living conditions, Mir 24 reported.