The surveillance camera in a Moscow area apartment building captured 27-year-old Galina Ryabkova walking through the lobby on Sunday morning. A slight smile is detectable on her face as she makes her way back to the elevators after making sure that her sons, 4-year-old Rodion and 7-year-old Vladimir, were indeed dead. Moments earlier, she had thrown both of them off her 15th floor balcony, sending them falling over 40 meters. Before she can get through the lobby, she’s confronted by neighbor Andrei Gumanev, who rushed outside to witness a gory scene. Surveillance footage of the building’s entrance shows one of the boys landing just outside of the frame, and Gumanev coming outside immediately after and dialing police. When he went back inside, he and Ryabkova, with two other neighbors joining in, are seen talking. Ryabkova is seated at first, but then attempts to leave, with Gumanev stopping her. Outside, police place a white sheet over the boys before going in to arrest their mother.
According to the building’s concierge who witnessed the confrontation in the lobby, Ryabkova made no attempt at denying what she had done. In her statement to police, concierge Natalia Fetu said, “[Ryabkova] said, nobody needs her, and the children are little angels who flew to heaven.” Gumanev told LifeNews.ru, “My wife woke me up, said ‘there are children falling!’ We ran out, and saw two children lying on the asphalt near the entrance. Then right at that time their half-witted mother was coming out. We asked her, ‘Are these your kids?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘I threw them out.’ With no emotion. As if it’s long been time to do that.”
The children’s father, Sergei Ryabkov, was away on business at the time and was due to return Sunday, the day of the incident. LifeNews.ru reports that although the Ryabkovs lived in a well-off new highrise building, their apartment was in utter disarray. In Russia, it is common for people to buy bare cement apartments in new buildings and install the flooring, wall coverings, and fixtures themselves. None of this had been done in the Ryabkovs’ apartment; instead, children’s toys were found strewn about on the cement floor.
Currently, investigators believe Ryabkova’s actions were caused by her dissatisfaction with her home life and marital problems. According to police spokesperson Vladimir Markin, the children were homeschooled. Markin added that Ryabkova had been planning a divorce, and had made a suicide attempt prior to her wedding. She is in custody awaiting a psychological evaluation.