Anatoly Moskvin – The Russian Doll Maker

Anatoly Moskvin - The Russian Doll Maker

Anatoly Moskvin, the Russian Doll Maker. The admired and respected 50-year-old linguist with a PHD in Celtic Studies who speaks thirteen languages became the center of a media storm when his extracurricular activities at the graveyards in and around Nizhny Novgorod, Russia proved to be far more than an interest in local history.

Anatoly Yurevych Moskvin was arrested at the age of 45 in 2011 for the commission of a bizarre series of crimes in which he defiled the graves of young girls. He has been charged with the desecration of at least 150 graves, sometimes taking plaques and other memorabilia from the tombs with him. These were later found inside his home when the authorities investigated him over suspicion of the slew of grave robberies which had taken place in and around the city of Nizhny Novgorod. The authorities initially enlisted his aid in finding the perpetrator as he was a known cemetery historian. Even writing for a paper that dealt with the history of local graveyards and current news regarding them. However, when authorities searched the apartment more thoroughly, they discovered quite a collection of home made, life sized dolls. Now, any middle-aged man at home making life-sized dolls is automatically creepy and suspect in my book but the authorities didn’t examine them too closely on their first pass through of the home. The only video released of the discovery of the bodies is the first walk through before they knew what secrets the dolls held.

Anatoly Yurevych Moskvin operated mainly in Nizhny Novgorod where he lived with both of his parents. Although he also did some “work” in and around Moscow. His parents worked a lot and spent most of their time away from home, leaving Anatoly to his own devices. Devices which took hold of him in the form of a drive to dig up the graves of young girls. Devices which to him, superseded the law. For over ten years he visited graveyards and he says that the motivation for his crimes was a deep sadness that he felt for the dead girls.

Being obsessed with local cemeteries as he was, he always knew if a young girl had recently died. He would go to that grave at night and lay on top of it, listening through the damp earth. If the spirit of the dead girl told him she wanted to be let out, he would then dig her up and begin a mummification process on the body, with a home-made recipe using salt and baking soda to cure and dry the body, then leaving it in a secluded area of the cemetery. Once the process was complete to his satisfaction, he would take her back to the apartment. His idea was to preserve the rotting corpse as much as possible and then dress the remains in layers of bright clothing. You see, Anatoly was also into the occult, having spent a lot of time studying ancient practices in his Celtic studies. His idea was to give the girls a new body to live in once he figured out how to bring them back to life. Some of the girls would simply have a nylon stocking placed over their head and face with Anatoly giving them a crude new “face” with nail polish. Other girls, such as 10-year-old Olga Chardymova (murdered by a drug addict and then stolen by Anatoly after her funeral), he got more elaborate with and gave them masks to wear. And others were left faceless and lying around the apartment as if they were literally just play things. So much for the great sympathy he felt for them, eh?

So he believed he could restore them to life but in reality he only managed to give them a disturbing mockery of life. Some reports say (although not confirmed) that he even placed music boxes in the chest cavities of some of the girls so that they would “sing” to him. He stated that he would also sing to them and dance with them and talk to them as if they were alive. 26 mummified bodies of girls between the ages of three and fifteen were found around the house and even in the garage. The place was a cluttered mess of thousands of books, hoarded clothes and doll making materials and papers written by Anatoly. Notebooks recovered included his recipes for mummification, occult scribblings and his documentation of numerous graveyards in the area; the history of the site and more importantly, who was buried there. His parents plead utter ignorance of their son’s activities stating that they believed the dolls to be just that, creepy-ass home-made dolls. But look at the legs on the one doll in the gray stockings, those are human fucking legs. Plain as fucking day.

After his arrest he was mentally evaluated and determined to be a paranoid schizophrenic. As such, he was deemed unfit to stand trial and has since been contained within a mental health facility. He did not drink, smoke or take drugs. He never dated and it is actually believed that he is still a virgin. To date both Anatoly and authorities say that he had committed no sexual acts with any of the bodies of the young girls. His purpose was purely in preserving the girls and restoring them to life. Interesting to note is that Anatoly had once applied to adopt a little girl but was rejected only due to his low-income (although being a single man probably played a role as well). His case comes up for review quite often, but it has always been decided that he remain institutionalized although he is not considered a threat… at least not to living people.

Video of the initial search of Anatoly’s home

And a video telling the story of Olga Chardymova

ON A SIDE NOTE: I have a question, Gorriors. Does a person ever stop being a person in your eyes? Is a corpse just a thing, a shell, or is it still a human being? Does it really matter what is done to it after death? Afterall, everything that made it human is gone, right? Conversely, how would you feel about being informed that a loved one had been treated in this manner? I’m interested in your input as always. Very disturbing case that has had my mind working quite a bit over the last few days. However, yours truly is opting to be cremated… totally has nothing to do with the subject matter of the article. I personally couldn’t care less what was done with my corpse. I’m dead. I’m gone. Have all the fun you want haha.

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24 thoughts on “Anatoly Moskvin – The Russian Doll Maker

  1. Oh so he tried his hands as being a life giver .He instead should have spent all that energy in being a good home maker .Being a doll maker was a bad choice .
    Mock the departed ones ………..well in my opinion he is a mad fucker who is better off institutionalized with no liberty granted to go digging graves again .

  2. I sense Hollywood should jump all over this story and make it into a really good Indi motion picture. Robin Williams would of been great in the role. Unless they dig him up and use his corpse,could really revamp his career. Steve Martin would actually be a good choice.
    As far as my opinion on corpse yes,I’d feel upset if loved ones corpse is vandalized cuz it’s disrespectful…you pay all this money for casket and lot,and have some sorta closure,and some wacko is using corpse like a my buddy doll. Not cool. Only persons who have that right is family. Tho I agree once your gone ur gone, body is an empty shell,that’s why I lean towards CREMATION.

  3. When you die you leave behind a corpse sure, but I believe that it should be handled with care due to the fact that it once housed someone. Autopsies are disrespectful in my opinion. I just want to be cremated without being diced up. Viking style, honor the dead, no one really knows what happens, you could still be trapped inside of your body… Would you want to be cut up while your brain is still receiving pain signals while it’s still several days fresh? Not me…

  4. How kind of him to bring them back to life, but he should be charged for kidnaping though… They belong with the families, not in his creepy ass stinking room… Who does he think he is, an Adeptus Mechanicus fabricating servitors or something? 😆

    As for the question: A body matters to the living, not to the dead, no matter what people think what happens to them after they die, its the memories of the living that suffers the pain to know that it once used to be a living person, otherwise we wouldnt have funerary rites. They were something individual that was biologically created, fed, treated, interacted with, had a purpose, and now its purpose ended, it has no more social use, a terminated shell that once had a meaning… had. And its that thought that locks inside someone’s head, that they once had a meaning to them, that they once had a life that cant be returned, that fear of no return that lingers everyone unconsciously, no matter if one fears death or not… the immintent thought that they went to the point of no return first than you, and you will inevitably be next someday. You end up reflecting on your life by mirroring yourself on that spot, it impacts your life, even if unconsciously… but maybe only if you have too much time to think.

  5. Awesome post, that was really fascinating. There should seriously be a movie based on this.

    And even though a corpse isn’t really a person anymore, it should still be treated with respect. Not just for the memory of the person it used to be, but also for the friends and family that are still alive. I think knowing that the corpse was treated with respect can be comforting for people. My dad once told me that funerals are for the living because the dead don’t care anymore.

  6. @obli As an atheist, my perspective is that once someone dies, there really isn’t anything left to give a damn about. Just a meat sack. Personally, I signed up to be an organ donor in the event of my death. I’ve even stated in my will they can use my body as a cadaver for medical students. It won’t be doing me any good. Might as well use it to help others.

  7. “any middle-aged man at home making life-sized dolls is automatically creepy and suspect in my book”
    THANKS Obli, I am relieved to hear this from someone whose opinion i respect.
    My dolls Emily, Clara and Julia are only 4 feet tall, therefore (even though all three have real hair, teeth, and a varying amount of real skin on their pretty stuffed buttocks) I shall NOT consider myself creepy or suspect.
    And to any haters out there? NO! they do NOT get jealous of each other… each has her role in our household, and each gets to spend an equal and charted amount of “matrimonial” time with me.

  8. Fascinating! And very creepy as well. I believe it is wrong to desecrate someones grave especially that of a child. If someone desecrated my daughters grave it would feel like I lost her all over again. Once someone broke some of the porcelain angels that I put there and it took me into a deep depression. If you desecrate a grave you will be cursed and haunted according to the Native
    Americans. I for one hope it is true. This guy is the Russian Ed Gein taking it to a whole other level of sickness.


  9. Anatoly has beautiful eyes. A lot of empathy and intelligence behind them, but unfortunately madness as well. Of course it is wrong what he did. I wonder if he had more favourable circumstances in his life would something like that have even happened? Hearing his story does not invoke feelings of disgust, but instead immense sadness. Sadness for him, as well as the families of the children he dug up.
    I seriously hope he is in a decent mental health care system right now and not being abused in any way.

  10. They look like dolls to me! Everyone has hobbies. This was his. It’s weird but it didn’t hurt anybody. Then again, I wouldn’t want to see my Mom, Dad or sister having a tea party after they passed. It’s just too weird. Anybody else, I couldn’t care less.

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