Children’s entertainer beaten to death with crowbar after ex hires teen hitmen

A popular children's entertainer was killed after her ex-lover hired teenage hitmen to beat her to death with a crowbar.

Ekaterina Polyakova, 27, thought she was meeting up with her former partner but was instead met by three thugs who struck her more than 20 times.

Up-and-coming singer Kirill Zhukov, 23, then ordered the teens to bury the animator in a makeshift grave as he launched his debut album.

Zhukov has been jailed by a Russian court for 18 years over the murder.

He'd ordered the killing of the mother-of-one after he got into trouble paying back a debt to her.

Zhukov agreed to pay the killers £3,700 for the murder.

He arranged a meeting with Ekaterina, a former actress, saying he would pay back the money.

But instead she was met by the three 17-year-olds who killed her.

She fought them but was eventually overcome by repeated blows with the crowbar, as they hit her more than 20 times.

They then dug a shallow grave to bury her body and threw the murder weapon into the nearby Pakhra River in Podolsk, near Moscow.

The victim had run her own company providing shows and parties for children and was "extremely popular".

Ilkham Babakishev, from the Russian Investigative Committee, said: "At first no one admitted their guilt.

"The teenagers cracked first. Then the orderer confessed too."

He had borrowed around £1,000 from his victim but the contract said that if he defaulted in the loan, he must give her a one-third share in his flat worth tens of thousands off pounds.

The unnamed teenage gang who killed the entertainer were each jailed for nine years.

Her son Miron, six, is being raised by his grandparents.

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