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Russian prisoner escapes on a hijacked helictopter

Prison guards shot at Alexei Shestakov as he climbed a rope lowered from a hijacked helicopter into the prison courtyard
Russia helicopter 12 03 22Enlarge
An Mi-24 helicopter much like the one that was hijacked in Russia to help convicted murderer Alexei Shestakov escape from a high security prison. (ROBERT ATANASOVSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

A convicted murderer broke out of a high-security Russian prison with the help of a hijacked helicopter, only to be caught a few hours later on his way to Moscow in a taxi.

RIA Novosti reports that Alexei Shestakov, 34,climbed up a rope lowered by the helicopter into the prison yard on Thursday morning in the eastern region of Vologda.

AFP quotes local investigator Natalia Letenkova as saying that the prison guards shot at Shestakov as he climbed, but missed.

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Shestakov, who had served half of a 24-year sentence for murder, was recaptured about 60 miles away headed toward Moscow in a taxi, Reuters says.

According to Associated Press, the Interior Ministry spokesman Valery Gribalkin told Russian news agencies that the prisoner hijacked the taxi and was stopped at a police checkpoint.

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"It sounds like something out of a movie, a prison escape so daring it almost seems improbable," an ABC blogger remarked.

Radio Free Europe says the search for a man and woman who hijacked the helicopter and forced the crew to take part in the escape is continuing.

Gribalkin also said that the man had been injured while resisting arrest, the Moscow Times reports.

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