A former police officer has been accused of killing four homeless people and attempting to resurrect them as 'zombies' during occult rituals in a Russian forest.

Arsen Bairambekov allegedly lured the vagrants with free alcohol to a makeshift altar and bonfire in woodlands in Verkhnyaya Pyshma at night-time, according to the Daily Mail.

He sacrificed his victims then attempted to turn them into 'zombies' a Russian court heard.

After the sacrificial killings Bairambekov buried the four bodies and is said to have returned 'some time later' in a bid to unleash his occult powers through further rituals.

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Investigators told The Times: 'He tried to bring the dead back to life then turn them into zombies. However, all his attempts were futile."

Originally a police officer based in Dagestan in southern Russia, Bairambekov moved to Verkhnyaya Pyshma, 1448km east of Moscow, where the killings took place in 2014.

The former officer is also facing charges for two contact killings carried out on businessmen in 2002 and 2010 and for the illegal circulation of firearms.

According to the Investigative Committee of Russia, Bairambekov underwent three psychiatric evaluations and was deemed fit to stand trial.

In unconfirmed reports from Russian media outlets, Bairambekov had a female accomplice who is being investigated separately, according to The Times.

The newspaper also reveals he has struck a plea deal with police officers to serve no more than 12 years if found guilty.

The rise of Satanism in Russia is deemed 'a greater threat to national security than Islamist extremism' by the Russian interior ministry, who made the claim in 2008 according to The Times.

The newspaper also reveals that in 2010 a 'satanic cult' in Saransk allegedly encouraged members to join the police force.