In a chilling interview in St Petersburg, Budeikin was asked if he really pushed teenagers to their deaths.
'Yes,' he said. 'I truly was doing that. Don't worry, you'll understand everything. Everyone will understand.
'They were dying happy. I was giving them what they didn't have in real life: warmth, understanding, connections.'
He denied reports that there had been as many as 130 teenagers.
The lethal game called Blue Whale involves brainwashing vulnerable teenagers over a period of 50 days, urging them to complete tasks from watching horror movies to waking at strange hours, and self harming.
'There were 17 of them,' he said but also claimed another 28 were 'ready' to take their lives.
'There were also those with whom I was simply communicating, who committed suicide later but without my direct influence.
'There are people - and there is biological waste. Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society.
'I was cleaning our society of such people. It started in 2013 when I created F57 [online] community. I'd been thinking through this idea for 5 years. It was necessary to distinguish normal [people] from biological rubbish.'