Arrest of Shakro Molodoy, murder of Rovshan Lenkoransky, death of Pioneer. Most high-profile events in the criminal world 

Arrest of Shakro Molodoy, murder of Rovshan Lenkoransky, death of Pioneer. Most high-profile events in the criminal world
The year of 2016 was not quiet at all for ‘top criminals’ Photo: The CrimeRussia

The outgoing year was not quiet at all for ‘top criminals’. One of the most remarkable events in the criminal society was the high-profile arrest of ‘crowned thief’ ‘Shakro Molodoy’, the heir to the empire of ‘Ded Khasan’. The criminal case against ‘thief № 1’ revealed strong ties between the criminal world and power structures whose officers sometimes serve the organized crime, not law. The murder of ‘Rovshan Lenkoransky’, one of the main rivals of late ‘Ded Khasan’, in Turkey has also become a milestone event in the criminal world. The CrimeRussia has summarized all such noticeable events in its annual review.

Downfall of ‘boss of all bosses’

The history of the most high-profile scandal in the criminal world goes back to 2015. A verbal dispute about the debt owed by Zhanna Kim, owner of Elements restaurant located on Rochdelskaya street in Moscow, to designer Fatima Misikova has escalated into a brawl and then – into a firefight. Eduard Budantsev, a former officer of the Committee for State Security of the USSR (KGB) and three lawyers from his firm Diktatura Zakona (Dictatorship of Law), who are now defending him in court, represented interests of the restaurant owner. Guards from a private security company controlled by Shakro Molodoy and led by ‘criminal authority’ Andrei Ital’yanets (Italian) Kochuikov were acting on behalf of designer Misikova. The participants of the skirmish have been arrested; several officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation, who allegedly represented interests of Zakhar Kalashov, have been criminally prosecuted – they had arrived in response to a call but did nothing to stop the brawl and firefight, just had their dinner at a nearby table.

Шакро Молодой

Shakro Molodoy

The story escalated to another level when Shakro Molodoy attempted to release his henchman Ital’yanets from a pre-trial detention facility: the investigator has ‘forgotten’ to extend his detention period. But operatives of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation were aware of this and arrested Ital’yanets at the exit from the pretrial detention facility.

On June 11, 2016, FSB operatives arrived to the mansion of ‘crowned thief’ Shakro Molodoy located on Rublevskoe highway. Thief № 1 has been charged with extortion of 8 million rubles from Zhanna Kim and creation of an organized criminal group. According to the investigation, he had arranged, through his subordinates, the release of Ital’yanets from the pretrial detention facility for a bribe of $5 million. Andrei Kochuikov has also been charged with extortion and participation in a criminal community.

Then another wave of arrests and revelations has swept through. Denis Nikandrov, the Deputy Head of the Main Investigations Directorate for the City of Moscow of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR), Mikhail Maksimenko, the Head of the Main Directorate for Interdepartmental Liaison and Internal Security of the ICR; and his deputy Aleksander Lamonov have been arrested for receiving the first ‘installment’ of the bribe from Zakhar Kalashov in the amount of $1 million.

Никандров, Максименко, Ламонов

Arrested ICR investigators: Nikandrov, Maksimenko, and Lamonov

An ‘ordinary criminal skirmish’ has led to a high-profile scandal involving superior enforcement functionaries and ‘top criminals’.

Zakhar Kalashov is a rightful owner of the criminal empire created by Ded Hasan. After serving time in an Italian prison, he arrived to Russia on October 29, 2014. His authority was incontestable. Officers of the General Administration of Criminal Investigation of the MIA have met Shakro Molodoy in the Moscow airport and escorted him to their headquarters – where one of the top figures in the Ministry had a ‘prophylactic’ talk with him.

Vasily Vasya Voskres (Vasya Resurrected) Khristoforov and Yuri Pichuga (Little Bird) Puchugin have met Kalashov at the exit from the General Administration of Criminal Investigation and presented to him an expensive mansion (supposedly, the one where he was later arrested). Kalashov used to perform his ‘operations’ in Golden Palace hotel complex (a former casino) controlled by his old friend and close associate Konstantin Manukyan. According to the sources, Shakro Molodoy had established his ‘office’ in Golden Palace, and ‘crowned thieves’ from the entire Russia were attending it to solve their issues.

Video: Arrest of crowned thief Shakro Molodoy

After the arrest of Kalashov, his associates had attempted to release their boss, but soon they understood that this arrest has attracted too much public attention, and Shakro won’t be able to get out of jail any time soon. In November 2016, it became known that minions of Kalashov are hastily fleeing from Russia.

The criminal case against Shakro Molodoy was unique – the term “leader of the Russian criminal community” was officially used in it for the first time in the history, thus, emphasizing the federal scope of this criminal society. According to the investigation, ‘Shakro Molodoy’ had been establishing “strong links between independent criminal groups”, developing criminal plans for them, and distributing spheres of influence.

However, it would be difficult for the investigation to prove that Kalashov had indeed created an organized criminal group of a federal scope: this would require evidence of hierarchical links between Shakro Molodoy and criminal structures of other Russian regions (e.g. the Far East or High North) and their fulfillment of directives provided by Shakro.

A lawyer has advised the CrimeRussia that such terms as “the leader of the Russian criminal community” or “criminal community of a federal scope” do not exist in the Russian jurisprudence.

“The investigators may call Shakro Molodoy the leader of a criminal galaxy if they want so. But it would be possible to make any conclusions only after the indictment,” – the lawyer noted.

Murder of a fierce rival of Ded Hasan

The year of 2016 would be remembered by the murder of an influential Azerbaijani thief-in-law and fierce opponent of the policy implemented in the past by Ded Hasan. Rovshan Dzhaniev, also known in certain circles as Rovshan Lenkoransky, was gunned down in Istanbul overnight into August 18. That night, the ‘crowned thief’ had a meeting with members of his ‘brigade’ in a hotel restaurant in Istanbul. After the meeting, he went to his car. The assassins have attacked the Range Rover with Dzhaniev and his driver who died at the scene. Dzhaniev was transported in serious condition to a hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Внедорожник «Ровшана Ленкоранского»

SUV of Rovshan Lenkoransky

One of the versions states that the Kurds were the direct committers of the murder, while the contractors were other ‘crowned thieves’. It is believed that Rovshan Lenkoransky was killed in revenge for the murder of Ded Hasan. The ‘death sentence’ for the ‘criminal lord’ had been pronounced after the assassination of Aslan Usoyan in 2013, but it has been enforced only now.

According to another version, the murder of Dzhaniev was related to the arrest of Kalashov. After the imprisonment, Shakro Molodoy has lost his influence in the criminal community. His opponents, including Merab ‘Merab Sukhumsky’ Dzhangveladze and Rovshan Dzhaniev, used this opportunity to launch frenzied activities. In particular, they have annulled the moratorium on decrowning of thieves-in-law involved into the conflict between Taro and Ded Hasan imposed by Shakro Molodoy. It can’t be ruled out that Dzhaniev was killed for his actions.

Вор в законе Ровшан Джаниев в последние годы проживает в Турции и оттуда пытается контролировать азербайджанскую диаспору в Екатеринбурге

Rovshan Lenkoransky

The Turkish police have detained four henchmen of Rovshan Lenkoransky: Talybkhanly Khadzhibaba Takhir oglu, also known as Khadzhi Beilagansky, Zaur Isaev (Zaur Sumgaiytsky), Vakhid Bakinsky, and an Azerbaijani businessman initially called by media the driver for the victim. In September, all the people detained on suspicion of complicity to the murder of the ‘crowned thief’ have been released.

Dzhaniev was buried in his home country – Azerbaijan.

Murder of Gio Gyurza (Gio Levant Viper)

On November 18, 2016, it became known that another crowned thief was killed in Moscow – for the first time since the murder of ‘thief № 1’ Ded Hasan. In fact, Georgy Shirinov, also known in the criminal world as Gio Gyurza (Gio Levant Viper), died not in Moscow, but in the town of Vidnoe in the Moscow region where he had been hospitalized with a cranio-cerebral trauma. Very few details are known in relation to the death of a 40-year-old ‘crowned thief’: after being attacked by some unknown persons, he had been taken to a hospital where later succumbed to his injuries without regaining consciousness. According to one of the versions, the murder of Shirinov was directly linked with his ‘professional’ activities. The victim was a member of the ‘group’ of Merab Mzarelua, who, well-informed sources state, was the mastermind behind the attacks on Chia and Reziko Dzhvarsky. It can’t be ruled out that Shirinov had directly participated in these assaults.

«Гио Гюрза»

Gio Gyurza

A few days after the death of Shirinov, businessman Gevorg Gevorkyan, an Armenian citizen, was killed on Litovsky boulevard in Moscow. Later has reported, citing its source, that the death of Gio Gyurza and the murder of Gevorkyan were linked to each other. According to that source, the investigation into the death of the businessman has found that in the end of October, the victim had participated in a brawl and beaten somebody. The source states that the victim was Gio Gyurza who had a conflict with a group of Armenians. The source in the law enforcement authorities has noted that this version is not the main one yet – although it gets more and more evidence.

Khamzat Ingush and rebellion in the Vladimir Central Prison

«Хамзат Ингуш»

One of the most high-profile incidents of 2016 involving ‘top criminals’ was an uprising near the walls of the legendary Vladimir Central Prison on March 21. The relatives and henchmen of ‘crowned thief’ Khamzat ‘Khamzat Ingush’ Aushev were storming the prison after the announcement that the ‘criminal lord’ had been severely beaten by prison guards. SWAT teams have arrived on site and managed to subdue the mob only after several warning shots. The Administration of the Vladimir Central Prison had to explain the incident to journalists. Ultimately, after calming down the media hype, the blame was put on Aushev – allegedly, he had injured himself. Furthermore, the Deputy Head of the Administration for the Vladimir Region of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia has stated that Aushev is facing a new criminal case after the incident; no further details have been provided.

Verdicts of the year

In June 2016, the Naro-Fominsk Court has delivered a verdict in a high-profile legal action against one of the most influential Slavic ‘crowned thieves’. Konstantin ‘Kostyl’ (Crutch) Borisov was found guilty under Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Illegal Acquisition, Storage, Transportation, Making or processing of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances or analogues thereof) and sentenced to 3.5 years in a maximal security penal colony.

«Костыль» и его адвокат

Kostyl and his attorney

The thief in law has called the verdict unfair, the criminal case against him – framed-up, and operatives who had arrested him – ‘rogue cops’ who had robbed him and planted drugs on him.

Kostyl was arrested in Naro-Fominsk in May 2015. Operatives of the Russian MIA General Administration for the Moscow Region and troops of a special task force, disguised as officers of the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate, have pulled over a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 with Kostyl and his associates. Borisov understood that he has been tricked and blocked the doors of the SUV. According to some sources, SWAT officers started crushing the car windows with sledgehammers. Upon getting Kostyl out, they pinned him down and searched. According to defense attorney Ivan Mironov, at that moment, the police have planted a parcel with drugs on his client and seized a golden watch worth €30 thousand, ring with a diamond, and 150 thousand rubles. Mironov even tried to find owners of cars whose video cameras could record the ‘lawlessness’ of the police – but in vain. 9 grams of heroin have been found on Kostyl during the personal search, and a criminal case was initiated against him.

Another Slavic ‘crowned lord’ – the only Novosibirsk thief in law Evgeny ‘Antip’ Antipov – has been sentenced in 2016 to almost 10 years behind bars. On April 12, the Dzerzhinsky District Court has committed him to 9.5 years in a maximum security penal colony. His accomplices – Igor Semenov and Dmitry Maksimov – have got slightly lesser terms: 8 years 9 months and 8 years 3 months in a maximum security penal colony respectively.

The CrimeRussia had repeatedly covered the outrageous story underlain the criminal case against Antip. In September 2014, a dozen of thugs – members of so-called ‘prison mafia’ – have stormed into a cell in the Pretrial Detention Facility № 1 of Novosibirsk where Kenan Dzhalilov, suspected of membership in an ethnic gang, was held. The outraged ‘bros’ have entered the cell unhampered because Ruslan Robakidze, the Head of the Pretrial Detention Facility № 1, and his deputy Nikolai Nabok (later they both were charged and found guilty of abuse of official powers entailing grave consequences) had provided free access to them. After the bloody carnage, Dzhalilov had been admitted to the intensive care department. Later he was declared disabled and relieved from the prison term imposed by the court. Then it became known that after the beating, he has become a mental patient.


Evgeny Antipov

Antip was charged in the framework of this criminal case later than all the other suspects. According to the available information, Antipov was the originator and organizer of the massacre.

The outgoing year was also unfortunate for another Slavic gangster – Vladimir ‘Vagon’ Vagin. On March 22, an ‘excessively mild’ sentence to the ‘thief-in-law’ (he was found guilty of intentional infliction of injury to health of average gravity and sentenced to 1 year 9 months in a penal colony settlement) has been annulled. The original verdict had been appealed, and the court of appeal has replaced it with a new one: 7.5 years in a maximum security penal colony.

Вагон и компания. Дубай

Vagon and associates, Dubai

The incident occurred on March 15, 2009: the ‘crowned thief’ has arrived to a night club in Nizhny Novgorod – he had become aware about a fight between club patrons. Without getting into details, Vagin has stabbed a 23-year-old witness of the conflict – who was a law enforcement officer. Then the ‘thief-in-law’ has fled Nizhny Novgorod and Russia. In April 2009, the Interpol issued an international warrant against him. He was arrested in Dubai International Airport in February 2010 while trying to depart to Bangkok. On July 25, 2014, the ‘crowned thief’ was extradited to Nizhny Novgorod where the criminal case against him has been resumed.

Breaking the thieves: Death of Pioneer and truth of Badri

In 2016, the ‘word of thieves’ had a real shock: Maksim Pioneer Novikov, a thief in law from Penza, passed away under unclear circumstances. On February 11, the ‘criminal lord’, ‘crowned’ in September 2014 together with Vlad Sharap and Tolik Noginsky, was found hung in the Punitive Isolation Ward of the Penal Colony № 11 located in Nyrob settlement of the Cherdynsky district. Prior to his death, Novikov had told his attorney that he would “die as a thief”. Still, the relatives do not believe that it was a suicide.


Maksim Pioneer Novikov

The ‘crowning’ of a new thief in law had inspired local criminals, and four months later, a criminal case has been initiated against ‘Pioneer’ under part 2 of Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. In September 2015, the ‘crowned thief’ was sentenced by the Leninsky District Court of Penza to 3.5 years in a maximum security penal colony.

After the death of Maksim Novikov, many people have drawn an analogy with legendary Vasya Brilliant – who was also found strangled in a Perm penal colony 30 years ago.

A service check has been carried out after the death of the 36-year-old thief in law. Soon the Prosecutor for Supervision over Observance of the Legislation in Penitentiary Institutions has submitted to the Acting Head of the Penal Colony № 11 of Perm a letter requiring to remedy breaches of the Federal Law “On Institutions and Bodies Enforcing Criminal Punishment by Deprivation of Liberty”. It is unknown what breaches of the law were mentioned in the letter, but the Acting Head of the Penal Colony № 11 has ignored the requirements of the Prosecutor’s Office and failed to report on the actions taken. The case has been taken to court. A justice of the peace of the Cherdynsky District has fined the Acting Head of the Penal Colony № 11 two thousand rubles. During the court hearings, the defendant has admitted the intentional ignoring of the Prosecutor’s requirements. He has shown repentance for the wrongdoing and was fined by the justice of the peace two thousand rubles.

Concurrently,, citing its source, has provided details of the multiyear confrontation between the penitentiary system and ideologists of the ‘world of thieves’. Badri Koguashvili, a respected member of the criminal world, was too tough for the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia. The ‘crowned thief’ was arrested in spring 2011 in Glamour Khinkalnaya cafe. During a personal search, heroin has been found on the thief in law – who had never used drugs. In winter of the next year, he was sentenced to 9 years behind bars, but then his prison term has been commuted by 2 years. Koguashvili has been convoyed to a colony in Khakassia and then to the Penal Colony № 1 in the Perm Krai – where Maks Pioneer was serving his term.

«Бадри Кутаисский»

Badri Kutaissky

The Penal Colony № 1 located in Nyrob settlement of the Cherdynsky district of the Perm krai has been nicknamed Krasny Lebed (Red Swan) because it is ruled by convicts working for the prison administration. Those who disagree with this ‘order’ have very hard time there. However, Koguashvili managed to withstand all blows of Krasny Lebed and was transferred to a colony with the strictest regime located near Yeniseisk in the Krasnoyarsk krai. During the prison transfer, an incident has occurred with him, which resulted in a new criminal case.

In addition, the prison administration has been continuously penalizing him for poorly made bed, etc. The thief in law had been launching hunger strikes and refused to sleep on the bed, spending nights on a bench located near the table. But prison guards have sawn the bench in halves. On one of these halves, the ‘criminal lord’ has been sleeping with his head on the table.

Recently, the medical unit has advised Koguashvili that he has cancer. Later it turned out that there was no cancer – it can’t be ruled out that announcing terminal diagnoses is an element of the system designed to pressurize Badri and people of this kind. According to CrimeRussia sources, Koguashvili wields a great influence in the criminal world and is considered a role model demonstrating how a ‘thief-in-law’ should live and behave.

Split-up of thieves

In the end of March 2016, it was reported that the Armenian authorities have decided to deport two ‘crowned thieves’ from the country: Rafik 'Ezda Rafo’ Amoyan and Albert Magomedov (Luka Asanidze) also known in the criminal world as Leki Rustavsky. The exact reasons behind the deportation are unknown, but according to one of the versions, thieves in law had attempted to expand their criminal influence in Armenia, which was unacceptable for the Chief of the Armenian Police. Media reported that Vladimir Gasparyan had declared a war on the criminals, and the sources predicted their mass departure from Armenia.

Armenia was the only former Soviet Republic where thieves in law used to feel pretty comfortable until recently. There was an opinion that the national authorities did not consider ‘crowned thieves’ a threat to the civil order and did not impede their presence in the country. Thieves in law had even recognized Yerevan the best place to conduct ‘thieves’ meetings’. In addition to a dozen of Armenian natives, Merab Kalashov has been living there for more than a year already, while Vitaly Avdiyan, recently deported from Russia, has settled there as well. Shakro Molodoy also liked to spend time in Armenia – in January 2015, he had gathered a grand ‘congregation’ there involving Boris Apakela, Shishkan, Cheburashka, Mirych, and other thieves in law.

In September 2016, for the first time in 10 years, the Armenian authorities have decided to get rid of two ‘thieves-in-law’ of the Armenian nationality: Aleksander Alo Makaryan and Norair Koncho Piloyan were deported from the country.

«Зап» в окружении адвокатов

Zap surrounded by lawyers

According to the CrimeRussia source, this was not just a deportation – but a revenge for the refusal of the ‘crowned thieves’ to pay for loyal attitude of the authorities.

It turned out that two groups of ‘criminal lords’ were on opposite sides of the barricades. Alo and Koncho stayed on one side of the trench, while Zap, Gevorik Oshakansky, and Suro – on the other side. Earlier the gang of ‘Zap’ had been asked to ‘deal in their own way’ with local protesters who attempted to seize a police station. Currently they are in custody in the same pretrial detention facility where some Armenian thieves in law are incarcerated. The ‘authoritative’ inmates include Rafael Afo Khotseyan and Samvel Samo Arutyunyan affiliated with Alo and Koncho. Zap has been requested to repay a ‘debt’ for his multiyear tranquility. He intended to do so, but Afo and Samo – who had a possibility to reach the detained protesters – have disagreed. The sources link the subsequent deportation of Alo and Koncho with this unfulfilled request.

According to some sources, the emerging split-up in the ‘world of thieves’ has resulted in a beating and even ‘suspension’ of another Yerevan ‘crowned thief’ refusing to play political games – Zhirair ‘Zhiro’ Brutyan. Novosti Armenii (News of Armenia) periodical has found that overnight into August 4, there were squabbles between rival thieves in law on Severny avenue in Yerevan. Zap, Suro, and Gruzin Koba had unleashed their rage on Zhiro. No one can say what could be the result of the brawl, but a police car appeared just in time. According to the periodical, after seeing a patrol car with a light bar, ‘criminal lords’ have retreated.

Italian dilemma of Dzhemo

On March 2, at the exit from the Penal Colony № 5 of Kemerovo, operatives of the General Administration of Criminal Investigation of the MIA have arrested ‘thief-in-law’ Dzhemal ‘Dzhemo’ Mikeladze, one of the most fierce rivals of late Ded Hasan. It became known that Italy has requested to extradite the ‘criminal lord’ charged there with creation of a criminal community, extortion, bribery, and money laundering – so, he was escorted to a district court in Kemerovo.



While Dzhemo was serving a 3-year prison term for illegal acquisition, storage, transportation, making, or processing of narcotic drugs, his suspected accomplices had been sentenced in Italy to 15 years behind bars and put on the international wanted list. According to CrimeRussia sources, the following ‘thieves-in-law’ are involved into this criminal case in addition to Mikeladze: Chkhvindi, Tsripa, and Buiya.

Right before the end of his prison term, following an initiative from the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Dzhemo has been deprived of the Russian citizenship and declared persona non grata for life. The operatives of the General Administration of Criminal Investigation of the MIA have communicated this ‘good news’ to Dzhemo.

In the end of November 2016, the Zavodskoy District Court of Kemerovo has ruled to extradite the ‘crowned thief’ to Italy. During the court session, the ‘thief-in-law’ had insisted on his extradition himself and complained that he has to stay in a pretrial detention facility – while deputies of Governor Aman Tuleev charged with corruption are placed under home arrest. “Here, in the Kemerovo region, people who have stolen millions are placed under home arrest, while I have to sit in a ‘cellar’,” – Dzhemo stated.

The extradition date hasn’t been announced due to security concerns. The relatives and lawyers of Mikeladze would be notified upon his arrival to the Italian city of Bari. The defense hopes that the local court won’t detain the ‘mafioso’ but places him under home arrest in his villa – because the attorneys insist that Mikeladze had never been implicated in offences incriminated to him in Italy.

Harakiri of Dadash Bakinsky

On March 22, Dadash ‘Dadash Bakinsky’ Ibragimov, a ‘thief-in-law’ recently deported from Russia, has shown a bloody performance with a tragic ending in Boryspil Kiev International Airport. Upon arrival to Azerbaijan, Ibragimov has purchased a flight ticket to Kiev. Upon landing in Boryspil, the ‘crowned thief’ decided to have a smoke in the flight zone. Ukrainian patrol policemen have noticed the violation and approached him to make a warning. He reacted aggressively and started shouting in a foreign language.

“The inspectors were also concerned with his beaten bloody face. When they gave a reproof to the man and asked whether he is all right, he started shouting in a foreign language, drew a knife, and attacked the patrol policeman,” – the police explained to journalists of

While the policemen were calling for reinforcements, the ‘thief-in-law’ rushed to another patrol officer with the knife, then suddenly turned back from him and repeatedly stabbed himself to the neck and stomach. Then Dadash Bakinsky fell on the floor. The incident was recorded by security cameras; later the video has been published on YouTube.

Video: Thief in law Dadash Bakinsky has been deported from Russia 

A source familiar with the situation has provided an explanation for the abnormal behavior of Ibragimov. According to him, the ‘criminal lord’ was high on cocaine in that day, while the blood on his face was due to a quarrel with one of his associates that had occurred before the incident with the police. During the squabble, the ‘thief-in-law’ has gravely wounded his opponent with a knife.

The bleeding ‘crowned thief’ was taken to the Boryspil District Hospital. On April 7, it became known that he died in the intensive care department from 7 stab wounds.

Scandal in Medved (Bear)

The year of 2016 was marked by another scandal related to the ‘criminal world’. After a publication by Novaya Gazeta, it became known that five strange deaths of inmates have occurred in Medved (Bear) Pretrial Detention Facility №4 of Moscow since November 2015. According to the periodical, the ‘suicides’ among the detainees have started after the arrival of Evgeny ‘Rozhok’ Rozhkov, a criminal ‘authority’ and ‘enforcer’, to the detention facility. Following instructions from some persons, he had created a criminal group extorting money from the inmates. Dozens of detainees have become victims of the racketeers. Many of them committed suicide to evade abuses from Rozhok and his associates. Those unable to pay off were dispatched right in the detention facility.


Sergey Malysh Shipantsev (on the right)

The situation in Medved has changed only after the intervention of human rights advocates and journalists. Following a service audit, Aleksey Khorev, Head of the Pretrial Detention Facility №4, applied for resignation from the penitentiary service; officially, he resigned on his own will. Amid the scandal, Alexander Stupin, Head of the Operations Department, has also resigned, as well as operative Grigory Smorkalov. All of them were mentioned in inmates’ stories as the prison administration officers who covered the atrocities happening in the facility.

Evgeny Rozhkov has been transferred to Matrosskaya Tishina and in June 2016 sentenced to 26 years behind bars for murder, robbery, and keeping and sale of firearms. His closest accomplice Malysh (Lad), who also used to terrorize detainees, has been transferred to a pretrial detention facility in Zelenograd. In the end of March, the Supreme Court has approved a sentence to him and other members of ‘Luberetskie’ gang of Mikhail Mikhailov: Malysh will spend the next 8.5 years in prison.

‘Undermining’ thieves in law

The year of 2016 will also be remembered for numerous promises to eliminate such a “disgraceful phenomenon” as ‘thieves-in-law’ made in public by Anatoly Yakunin, then-Chief of the General Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for Moscow. In February 2016, at an extended session of the General Administration for the City of Moscow, Yakunin has brought up the issue of ‘thieves-in-law’, noted that they “feel themselves pretty comfortable”, and ordered to produce draft decrees to create task forces to combat them.


Lieutenant general of police Anatoly Yakunin

“I have set a task: undermine their economic basis during this year because this is a disgraceful phenomenon that must be eliminated,” – the Chief of the Moscow Police said.

The question whether Anatoly Yakunin has managed to undermine the financial basis of ‘criminal lords’ or not is still outstanding – but it is necessary to note that the number of arrests of ‘crowned thieves’ in Moscow and the Moscow region in 2016 was an order of magnitude less in comparison with past years.

The number of ‘thieves’ congregations’ was also pretty small. Either the ranks of thieves have depleted or law enforcement authorities stopped attending their criminal meetings.

In March, enforcement structures of the Sverdlovsk region have arrested participants of a major criminal meeting. According to operative information, on March 30, in the evening, leaders of the criminal community have gathered in a Yekaterinburg restaurant located on Kosmonavtov avenue. The purpose of the congregation was to distribute spheres of influence in the Middle Urals. In the course of the police operation, a bag with a vegetable matter, supposedly hashish, has been found. In addition, 4 handguns (supposedly Makarov pistols), 14 knives, wooden bat, rubber hose, and counterfeit alcohol have been seized.


The ‘congregation’ was disguised as a jubilee of Agayar Agaev, a native of Azerbaijan. In total, some 200 people had arrived to ‘celebrate’ in the restaurant; 167 of them have been escorted to the police department. People had arrived from Penza, Perm, Chelyabinsk, Moscow, and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District to ‘wish a happy birthday’ to the celebrator. One of the guests was intoxicated and actively resisted the arrest. The detained persons had been questioned and fingerprinted. Currently they are being checked for involvement into other crimes. Two guests turned out to be persistent non-payers of fines, while several others had been brought to administrative liability for darkening front passenger windows of their cars.

The ‘congregation’ intended to appoint an ‘enforcer’ to look after the Azerbaijani expat community. The list of guests included Zaur Gasanov, a ‘brigadier’ collecting money from the vegetable warehouse № 4; Ali from Pervouralsk; Dzhumanshir from the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District; and Vagif from Kamyshlov.

Another ‘congregation’ – resulting in a curious incident with one of the guests – has been held in 2016 outside Russia – in Kiev. One of the detained persons, Andrei ‘Nedelya’ (Week) Nedzelsky, attempted to get away from the law enforcement operatives by swimming across the Dnieper River. Alas, the attempt was unsuccessful. ‘Crowned thieves-in-law’ had attended the meeting – Georgy ‘Khmelo’ Khmelidze and Georgy ‘Kutsu’ Lobzhanidze. Local ‘criminal authorities’ had participated in the ‘congregation’ as well. The criminals had gathered to discuss pressing issues, including redistribution of their spheres of influence.

Андрей Недзельский

Andrei Nedzelsky

The ridiculous attempt to escape by Nedelya has caused resentment and derision of Khmelo and Kutsu. During the searches, the criminal police operatives have found and seized a large amount of money, three weapons (Fort-14TP handgun, TS-9-TP submachine gun, and MKE T94 A2 submachine gun), and ammunition rounds to those. It is necessary to note that owners of the firearms had presented licenses to carry weapons, but these were suspicious and likely forged. Therefore, the licenses had been sent for expert assessment, while their owners – escorted to the police station.

New status of Merab Sukhumsky

On November 8, 2016, it became known that representatives of the Russian law enforcement authorities had visited famous thief in law Merab Dzhangveladze – who is held under home arrest in the Italian city of Bari. Officers of the General Administration of Criminal Investigation of the MIA have read to the ‘thief-in-law’ a statement that his presence in Russia in undesirable.

Dzhangveladze acquired a Russian citizenship in the beginning of the 2000s; he has got a fake passport in Abkhazia. In June 2016, the Zamoskvoretsky District Court has fulfilled a request from the migration service to deprive Merab Sukhumsky of the Russian citizenship and declared him persona non grata.

«Мераб Сухумский»

Merab Sukhumsky

Dzhangveladze, who also has a Georgian citizenship, was arrested in Italy in 2013 and charged with organization of burglaries, extortion, money laundering, and forgery of documents. Currently the ‘thief-in-law’ is under home arrest in Bari. Earlier he was sentenced in Italy to 4 years 8 months behind bars. Upon serving a half of the term, he has been released under home arrest in accordance with the Italian legislation as a person sentenced for minor offences. Concurrently, it became known that Kazakhstan is seeking to extradite the ‘crowned thief’. The Kazakhstan authorities are going to charge Dzhangveladze with creation of a criminal community, which is punishable with deprivation of liberty for a term of up to 20 years.

CRU wins minds

In 2016, the Russian society has started actively discussing the mass spreading of the CRU (cons-rogues unity) movement among the youth in the Trans-Baikal region located to the east of Lake Baikal. According to CrimeRussia sources, the mastermind behind the expansion of the CRU ideology is famous ‘thief-in-law’ Georgy ‘Takhi’ Uglava – who was arrested on charges of extortion and experienced financial difficulties. The sources state that in order to raise money to pay lawyers, the ‘crowned thief’ had instructed his ‘enforcers’ to impose ‘levies’ on the entire Trans-Baikal region.

Георгий Углава

Georgy ‘Takhi’ Uglava

The criminal mayhem has been uncovered after a high-profile scandal, that had shocked the whole Russia, related to the abuse of children in the Children's Home № 1 of Chita. It turned out that not only the children had been beaten and humiliated there, but also forced to contribute money for the ‘thieves’ common cash fund’ – as required by the CRU subculture.

Overnight into February 2, 2016, several intoxicated minors from a correctional boarding school have attacked the police station in Khilok settlement of the Zabaykalsky krai. They smashed several security cameras with sticks and damaged the sign and a service vehicle parked nearby. According to the local MIA Administration, the principal of the boarding school has called police shortly before this incident because intoxicated teenagers had made a debauch. After the arrest of one of the boarders by the police, his friends had attempted to release him. The ICR has initiated a criminal case under part 2 of Article 213 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (hooliganism committed by a group of persons).

On January 2, 2017, in a nearby settlement, parents of schoolchildren have taken to the forest and beaten minors practicing racket in the local school. According to the parents who had taken the law into their own hands, minors from troubled families were actively supporting the CRU. The schoolchildren complained that 7th graders had imposed levies on 9th graders, including not only money, but also products – mostly, tea and cigarettes that are always in high demand in prisons.

Of course, the CRU movement was already known to the public prior to these incidents – but in 2016, it has become especially popular among the youth. Children started living by the code of criminals in the adjacent Republic of Buryatia and Irkutsk region as well. At the same time, the local law enforcement authorities are actively denying the very fact of CRU subculture existence – they claim that there are only individual unrelated episodes of school racket or brawls between young people.

The significance of the CRU issue can be illustrated by the words of the President of Russia, who has promised that the state would take actions to combat the influence of the prison subculture on the children. This happened after a statement made at the federal level by Mikhail Fedotov, Adviser to the President and Chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights: Fedotov said that the “thieves’ movement” exists in the Trans-Baikal region and “imposes levies” on minors.



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