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Friday, September 29, 2023

Junior figure skating champion goes missing in Moscow

Police have deployed search dogs in an effort to find 16-year-old Alina Gorbacheva, who was last seen entering a park

Russian junior figure skating champion Alina Gorbacheva was declared missing in Moscow on Tuesday after not returning home from training the night before. Police are reviewing surveillance cameras and have deployed search dogs in their efforts to find the teenager. 

According to Gorbacheva’s mother, the 16-year-old was seen leaving the Chkalov Arena ice rink at around 7pm on Monday and walking towards the nearby Vladimir Church. She later entered a park near the embankment of the Moscow River, after which she was not seen again. 

Investigators said they had discovered Gorbacheva’s belongings on a stretch of the Pokrovskaya embankment, but that no other sign of the figure skater had been found. 


According to footage published as part of search efforts, authorities found a sock near the embankment and provided it to a police dog, which then led officers towards a forest. It is not clear if the item belonged to Gorbacheva. 

Telegram channels Baza and 112 have claimed that Gorbacheva had been involved in a disagreement with her trainer before she went missing. People close to the figure skater told the SHOT Telegram channel that she had wanted to change her coach and could be hiding with friends. The outlet noted, however, that Gorbacheva had texted one of her friends not long before her disappearance. The friend in question told SHOT that she had not noticed anything unusual in Gorbacheva’s behavior.

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According to the authorities, the figure skater was last seen wearing a black tracksuit and white sneakers, and was carrying a dark blue backpack in which she had her passport, phone, tablet computer, and cash. 


The Moscow prosecutor’s office announced that it has opened a criminal case under the article for murder in relation to Gorbacheva’s disappearance. It was noted, however, that this is standard procedure in such cases and that the search continues. 

Gorbacheva won this year’s Russian Junior Figure Skating Championships, and came ninth in the adult edition of the competition.

August 29, 2023 at 08:45PM


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