During the 1980s, Soviet authorities hunt for a serial killer who picks his victims in railway stations and commuter trains and lures them into the woods.



(book), (teleplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Alexandr Bukhanovsky
Radu Amzulescu ...
Mrs. Burakov
András Bálint ...
Géza Balkay ...
László Váradi Balogh ...
Zsolt Biro ...
Older Gay Man
Balázs Csapo ...
Gayy Partner
Imre Csuja ...
Front Detective


Based on the true story of a Russian serial killer who, over many years, claimed over 50 victims, mostly under the age of 17. In what was then a Communist state, the police investigations were hampered by bureaucracy, incompetence and those in power. The story is told from the viewpoint of the detective in charge of the case. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


8 years. 52 victims. 1 killer. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong, graphic violence and related language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ciudadano X  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A subtle and clever device to mark time is employed by a succession of wall photographs depicting current premiers from Brezhnev to Gorbachev. See more »


Russian married people wear wedding ring on the right hand, not on the left one as it's showed in the movie. See more »


Fetisov: I have here...
Bondarchuk: I don't care what you have there!
Fetisov: Information...
Bondarchuk: Who cares!
Fetisov: About the nineteen year old boy you maintain in the town of Shakti! And the apartment you have arranged for him... and the gifts that you have given him... and the dates of your last three overnight visits. If you attempt to fire Lieutenant Burakov... now, or at any time... I will send all this to your wife.
Bondarchuk: I recommended you for this position.
Fetisov: I will always be indebted to you.
See more »


Featured in The 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

A serious docudrama from HBO
21 October 2002 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

"Citizen X" tells the story of "The Butcher of Rostov", nickname for a heinous and perverse Russian serial killer who claimed 52 lives from 1978-92. The film focuses on the novice detective (Rea) who doggedly pursued the killer against all odds in the face of an uncooperative bureaucracy in self-serving and convenient denial. An HBO product for t.v., the film offers a solid cast, good performances, spares the audience much of the grisly details, but plays out like a docudrama sans the stylistics of similar Hollywood fare. An even and straight-forward dramatization of a serious and comparatively little known story more interesting than "Jack the Ripper". (B)

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