Horrific pics show addicts left with scaly wounds like crocodile skin after injecting ‘cannibal’ drug Krokodil that ‘killed more people than heroin’ after sweeping across Russia
These shocking pictures reveal the horror of a deadly drug that swept across Russia and left addicts with scaly rotting skin before eventually killing them.Photographer Emanuele Satolli documented the chilling reality of ‘cannibal’ drug Krokodil when it ravaged the country – and has now returned three years on.
A photographer travelled to Russia to capture a series of shocking images
Krokodil gets its name because it causes the skin to users to turn dark and scaly
Krokodil – a cheap heroin substitute – spread like wildfire through Russia and reached its deadly peak in 2013.
Russian for crocodile, it got its name not because of the efficiency with which it killed but because of its agonising effects.
The drug turns a user’s skin green and scaly around the area where they inject it as blood vessels burst and the skin rots away.
Sergey Agalakov, narcotics expert and psychologist, said at the time: “A person becomes a zombie with their body rotting, the rancid smell of which is detected a few steps away.”
The active ingredient is codeine, which addicts cook up with paint thinner, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorous scraped from the striking pads of matchboxes.
The resulting caramel-coloured toxic gunge is then injected into their veins – with hideous results.
The use of the poison, whose medical name is desomorphine, exploded in Russia because it can be up to ten times cheaper than heroin and can be made using over-the-counter painkillers.
Use of the drug exploded in Russia, peaking in 2013 when Emanuele travelled there
The drug is a cheap substitute for heroin that can be easily made using over-the-counter painkillers
Users cook codeine with paint thinner, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorous from matchboxes
Oxana has been lying in bed for the past year-and-a-half with her back permanently damaged
Andrey lies in a hospital bed after suffering from tuberculosis in a picture taken on Emanuele’s latest visit
Pavel, the only one to survive without life-changing health problems, reveals his scars from taking the drug. He quit after nearly dying for a third time.Emanuele was able to gain the trust of addicts to capture shocking images showing what life was like inside a Krokodil drug den.His photos of addicts injecting and the terrible scars and rotting flesh they were left with shocked the world.Now, he has returned to visit those he met to see how they were – and whether Krokodil was still the scourge it was back then.He told Sun Online that of the ten people he met in the city of Yekaterinburg, only three were known to still be alive.Out of those, one, Oxana, is partially paralysed while another, Andrey, is seriously ill with hepatitis.Only Pavel had managed to leave the drug behind without leaving his health in tatters.All of the rest had either died or disappeared and were assumed dead.
Krokodil addicts have a shockingly short lifespan.
An article published in 2011 in Russian magazine Pravada claimed the lifespan of a user to be “two years maximum”, compared to six or seven years for many heroin addicts.
“Most of them die very soon because of the terrible effects the drug has on their bodies,” Emanuele explains.
“They say Krokodil killed more people in Russia during the little time it has been around than heroin, which has been in Russia since the Soviet Union days.
“It just shows you how bad it is.”
Andrey injects a dose of Krokodil into Zhanna in his apartment in Yekaterinburg
Zhanna, who died in 2015, is shown lying in a stupor after injecting krokodil
Tamara, who starting taking the drug when she was just 12, shows a wound in a mobile health centre
Oxana, who is currently unable to walk, injects herself back in 2013
He told the tragic story of one of those he had met, called Olya, who had died of liver failure after the horrific drug attacked her body.
Emanuele said: “I spoke with her mother who told me she called an ambulance when she became very sick.
“But when they arrived they refused to take her to the hospital because she was a drug addict.
“In Russia there is a lot of discrimination against drug addicts.
“She found another way to get Olya to the hospital after but it was too late.”
Alexy, who was forced to walk with a cane and died in 2015, injects Krokodil into his groin
Zhanna, who died in 2015, cooks up Krokodil in a house in Russia
Alexey, Natalya and husband Ilya, prepare Krokodil in their kitchen
Krokodil makes the flesh die and rot where it is injected, leaving horrific injuries
Ilya prepares Krokodil to inject in a drug den in Russia
Olya, who died in 2015, injects the drug in a bedroom
The codeine is boiled in a closed bottle for a few minutes as part of the drug's preparation
Zhanna, who died in 2015, under the effect of Krokodil trying to filter water from a bottle
But despite cops clamping down on the horror drug, Emanuele says it seems it has simply been replaced with another.
The snapper explained: “There's a new drug now that has become very popular called salt.
“It's like bath salts and people inject it.
“It makes people very paranoid when they take it.”
He said it seems that there will always be a new high for users to chase.